RI gentlemen’s club plans to reopen, but without entertainment

Business News

Mimosa with strawberry garnish on a bar top (Sabel Blanco)

WOONSOCKET, R.I. (WPRI) – A Woonsocket gentlemen’s club appears to have plans to reopen Thursday, but without adult entertainment.

Rhode Island Dolls on Front Street posted to Facebook and their website on Saturday announcing they would be back open on May 21 from 4 to 10 p.m. The post said dinner reservations would be required. 

“No contact! Face masks must be worn! Dinner and drinks being served by our wait staff,” the post read.

Under Phase 1 guidelines, entertainment venues like nightclubs are not allowed to reopen, but outdoor dining can resume. 

“If a restaurant has an active food and beverage license, and they follow all the regulations and guidelines put out in Phase 1, and they’re in compliance with the ordinances of their municipality, then they would be allowed to open for outdoor dining,” said Matt Sheaff,  a spokesperson for the Rhode Island Department of Business Regulation. 

Sheaff said at this time, state leaders are still working on a timeline for when the entertainment and recreation industry can safely resume business.

The club’s owner told WPRI 12 in an email that he would have more information to share on Tuesday.

Woonsocket City Solicitor John DeSimone said the club can re-open as a restaurant only if they abide by the new outdoor dining guidelines.  

DeSimone said the club has an active Class B license, which allows it to serve alcohol and food, but their entertainment license is separate and they will not be allowed to operate as a club. 

“Last Friday they submitted a plan that indicated a stage outside,” DeSimone said. He said the city would not be approving their proposal to have live entertainment, but he said they are likely to sign off on allowing the establishment to reopen to serve food and drinks.

DeSimone said the club has a large parking lot. He said the city’s building and zoning departments would look at their plans. 

DeSimone said as long as the establishment follows the state guidelines to keep tables eight feet apart, there’s “nothing prohibiting” them from serving dinner. 

He said the plan submitted to the city by the club did not include any details on the attire the wait staff would be wearing. 

This story has been updated.

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