Berlin strip club closes

Published on Wednesday, 17 January 2018 22:24
Written by Charles Paullin


BERLIN - Centerfold’s has folded.

Lora Rae Anderson, a Department of Consumer Protection spokeswoman, confirmed that the adult entertainment club at 1861 Berlin Turnpike surrendered its liquor license on Jan. 2, citing “their own business decision to close.”

At an Aug. 24, 2017, Planning and Zoning Commission meeting, Centerfold’s owner Mario Pirozzoli had applied for a site plan amendment for a restaurant with an outdoor patio area.

Pirozzoli said at that time that he would be closing Centerfold’s and relinquishing his café/liquor license, and that he would be opening a restaurant. A different type of license would be applied for so the new restaurant could serve alcoholic drinks, the minutes stated.

No permits for renovations had been applied for as of Wednesday afternoon, Zoning Enforcement Officer Maureen Giusti said.

Phone calls to Centerfold’s were not returned and Pirozzoli was unavailable there Wednesday afternoon.

Anderson said the club was fined $3,000 in December for violation of conduct on permit premises, citing “improper touching and exposure.” State regulations prohibit exposing body parts and touching.

The fine resulted from a referral from police reports, Anderson said.

The club surrendered its liquor license to the Department of Consumer Protection during a compliance meeting in connection with violation, Anderson said.

In 2016, Centerfold’s was slapped with a 21-day license suspension after undercover Berlin police found it in violation of the town’s sexually oriented business ordinance.

The ordinance is similar to the state’s conduct of permit premises regulations, and states no entertainer may expose herself or himself or make any contact with a patron.

Undercover officers saw performers at the strip club simulating sex acts and making physical contact with customers, police reports said.

Pirozzoli appealed the decision and the council settled on a seven-day suspension at the end of February and early March before the matter was brought to court, according to Corporation Counsel Jeffrey Donofrio.

Because it was the club’s first offense and it was issued a fine by the state, the council decided to be more cooperative in the pretrial conference, Donofrio said.

The state-imposed fine was $8,250.

Centerfold’s had also been found in violation of the sexually oriented business ordinance in August and September 2017, acting Town Manager Jack Healy said, but because the town was aware the business was closing, no action was taken.

Deputy Police Chief Chris Ciuci said there are no open cases involving Centerfold’s.

Economic Development Director Chris Edge said he was aware of Pirozzoli’s amendment request, but had not spoken with him since last summer about his plans to start another business.

Posted in New Britain Herald, Berlin on Wednesday, 17 January 2018 22:24. Updated: Wednesday, 17 January 2018 22:27.