July 22, 2008

Signs of the Apocalypse, or There Are Some Things a Strip Club Just Won't Put Up With

Carroll Andrew Morse

From Anchor Rising's newly opened Bizarro-world bureau: Owners of Providence strip-clubs are worried that nearby cultural events will drag their neighborhood down.

Organizers of the Puerto Rican Cultural Festival scheduled for this weekend at Providence Piers are circulating a press-release claiming that a lawyer representing an Allens Avenue strip-club has formally objected to the festival, because of risks to public safety…

Opponents of the festival were represented by David C. Tapalian, son of H. Charles Tapalian who owns or controls neighboring sex oriented businesses like Cheaters and others through corporations like Spur Track Properties, a limited partnership that does not list any officers. David C. Tapalian is on record as the registered agent.

Tapalian alleged that public safety was their main concern, and shot-gunned objections ranging from dust as an environmental health issue and concern to insufficient Police and then blocked fire hydrants and parking. As each concern was addressed in turn, opponents moved on to the next, finally settling on limited parking as their prime concern.

The "merits" of the objection will be decided at a hearing scheduled for this evening.

Comments, although monitored, are not necessarily representative of the views Anchor Rising's contributors or approved by them. We reserve the right to delete or modify comments for any reason.

Hey, if they want to have a festival in the scum pit that is Allens Ave we should let them. I would think the Puerto Ricans could have found a nicer venue than across from Providence's big pink eyesore.

Posted by: Greg at July 22, 2008 9:23 AM

You can certainly make legitimate aesthetic objections against staging anything on Allens Avenue. However, as the Puerto Rican Cultural Festival organizers have noted, WBRU-Radio was able to put on a successful event this past weekend, at the exact same spot the cultural festival is to take place.

Posted by: Andrew at July 22, 2008 9:44 AM

I'm sure it's a "Customers that can't GET to my club because of the traffic can't stuff dollar bills in g-strings" argument. Or it could be an "I hate brown people" argument. Either way, I fail to see any reason to bend to the will of the guy with the pink building.

Posted by: Greg at July 22, 2008 10:00 AM

In past years,the goal has always been to end up in Roger Williams Park, where the parade becomes a big festival. I haven't been in a number of years, so I can't say for sure what's happened more recently, but the parade used to be up Broad St and to the park, where food, dancing, and general merriment ensued. As for Cheaters, don't they do most of their business at night? How much business would they actually lose during the day? Although, some guys do prefer the day shift because, to roughly quote Charlie Sheen on the show Two and a Half Men, "The girls are a little worse for the wear but they try harder..."

Posted by: Tabetha Bernstein-Danis at July 22, 2008 11:09 AM

Sounds like Tapalian's just being a thug, like most of the guys who own strip clubs. I've been in one (when I was underage, before the place supplied adult entertainment and became the notorious flesh den that lures Boston pro athletes today), and witnessed one of the proprietors making arrangements with some young guys (including a guy from the class ahead of me at my Catholic high school) to pay them to beat up homosexuals on the street. Another guy making a few bucks on this gig ended up doing some hard time for manslaughter.
And one of my former co-workers nearly had his head handed to him by some of the tuxedoed beasts they call doormen at his bachelor party. And do you really want to be around a busload of off-duty cops jacked up on liquor and testosterone?
To think these people call a Puerto Rican festival a danger.
I enjoy watching dancing girls as much as the next guy, but I refuse to set foot in these flesh pots. Enough of my money already goes to organized crime...the General Assembly.

Posted by: rhody at July 22, 2008 12:12 PM

As someone who knows him, I can attest that Tapalian is a guy who always plays by the rules. A lot of people don't like him because he speaks his mind, challenges local governments (like Providence and Seekonk--he also owns firefly golf course) and exposes the hypocrisy in others.

The parade should have to follow all the rules any other venture or event would have to follow.

Many people don't like strip clubs, but as free market, limited government types, we folks should acknowledge that government shouldn't be regulating "victimless crimes."

Just a few thoughts,

Posted by: Rasputin at July 22, 2008 1:06 PM


The problem is that the Cultural Festival doesn't seem to be asking to do anything that WBRU didn't do this past weekend. The city fire hydrants haven't moved, and there's no rational reason to expect this week's event to kick up more dust than last's.

(And if we start disallowing public assembly on the gounds of "too much dust", then it's all over for limited government anyway!)

Posted by: Andrew at July 22, 2008 2:23 PM

Just a thought-doesn't Tapalian figure he might get some business from parade participants after the festival?

Posted by: joe bernstein at July 22, 2008 3:47 PM

Just a thought-doesn't Tapalian figure he might get some business from parade participants after the festival?

Posted by: joe bernstein at July 22, 2008 3:47 PM

Let's make Tapelian a deal: he hires no more Puerto Rican girls to dance at his club, and the festival is made to go away.
Something tells me Tapelian won't take that deal.

Posted by: rhody at July 22, 2008 4:37 PM

"shot-gunned objections ranging from dust as an environmental health issue"

There are some sand and gravel operations around the state that might also warrant the gentleman's attention.

Posted by: Monique at July 22, 2008 11:39 PM


You knew more than you let on, didn't you!

Posted by: Andrew at July 23, 2008 8:44 AM


I know about the situation in a vague and superficial manner.

I know Mr. Tapalian himself a little better, and in dealing with him have found him to be a pretty logical and fair--albeit colorful--guy.

A person who speaks their mind without constantly worrying about offending people is refreshing. We could use more folks like that.

Posted by: Rasputin at July 23, 2008 11:01 AM

I find it funny that Tapalian said that he was concerned about a possible health hazard at Providence Piers.

Maybe he should be more concerned about potential health hazards at his adult businesses. Then again, that probably night not be good for his pocket. I guess if Charles Tapalian can make a few bucks when one of his "entertainers" perform fellatio on a client in a "private dance", all is well.

I wonder if he ever comtemplated the potential health hazard from that. Or from the "Blackout Nights" his gay bathhouse The Megaplex promotes two nights a week, where they lower the lights, allowing the patrons to engage in sex in darkness.

Posted by: Provguy at September 6, 2008 2:21 AM
Post a comment

Remember personal info?

Important note: The text "http:" cannot appear anywhere in your comment.