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A new topless bar complete with stripper pole and private theme rooms has opened one floor below the offices of Community Board 13 and down the block from P.S. 90 in Coney Island – but no one seems to be batting an eyelash.
“I haven’t seen it,” Community Board 13 District Manager Chuck Reichenthal said. “I haven’t been down there yet.”
Open for about a month, the Foxy Gentleman’s Club at 1201 Surf Avenue advertises table-side dancing, VIP rooms and “beautiful show girls.” A red neon sign over the entrance on West 12th Street depicts the provocative silhouette of a nude woman on her knees – just feet from the sign directing the civic-minded to the offices of Community Board 13.
Public School 90, as well as the JASA Luna Park Senior Center and Luna Park Houses, are located just down the block.
“As far as we know it’s not a strip joint,” City Councilmember Domenic Recchia insisted last week. “I have talked to the police department about this and they’re keeping an eye on it. I have not gone in there. If it is [a strip club] we will protest against it because that’s something that should not be in Coney Island.”
The general manager of the three-story building that houses both the gentlemen’s club and Community Board 13’s offices vehemently denied that Foxy is indeed a strip club.
“First of all it’s not a strip club,” she said. “It’s a cabaret. Everything is legal. It’s all a legal business.”
When contacted by this newspaper, however, a woman named “Nadia” who identified herself as the club’s manager conceded that Foxy is indeed “topless.”
“I spoke to her before it opened and she insisted that wasn’t going to be the case,” Reichenthal said.
But evidence to the contrary was in clear view last week when a reporter from this newspaper stopped in on the Foxy Gentleman’s Club and observed a female pole dancer removing her top and performing bare-breasted.
The club – open daily from 7 p.m. to 4 a.m. – includes a full-service bar, a small lounge, and a large area of partitioned “theme rooms” used for private one-on-one encounters between patrons and dancers.
The latest Certificate of Occupancy filed with the Department of Building refers to a “drinking and dancing establishment – not an adult establishment” on the premises of 1201 Surf Avenue.
Zoning regulations regarding adult-use sites and what actually constitutes an adult-use site are complicated. Adult-use sites are only permitted in some commercial and manufacturing districts throughout the city, and must be at least 500 feet from a house of worship, school, a residential district and some commercial areas.
Foxy’s giggling bare breasts have not only avoided the gaze of watchdogs – they’ve also eluded the detection of administrators at P.S. 90.
“The school is not aware of any club opening up,” said Department of Education spokesperson Margie Feinberg said. “It’s not going to be open when school is open, so it’s not going to affect the programming at the school.”
©2009 Community Newspaper Group
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