These fresh new banners that just went up in Red Hook this afternoon signify a new chapter for nightlife in Red Hook, specifically the imminent opening of Con Amore cabaret, a professed stripper-free establishment that will replace the shady and previously stripper-filled Paris Burlesque Club in the same space at 18 Commerce Street. While new owner Cynthia Thomas-Dicks does not yet have approval for a liquor license, she and her husband recently signed a lease for a reported $1 per-square-foot lease for the 7,000-square-foot space.
At a Community Board 6 Brooklyn meeting last October, Con Amore’s co-owner and general manager Earl Dicks tried to assuage the concerns of neighbors with a PowerPoint presentation that at one point detoured into the behavioral specifics of professional poker players. "He stood before you and lied," said Dicks, referring to previous owner David Ruggiero, who had pledged to neighbors that the former Paris Burlesque Club would be tasteful. Instead, the Brooklyn Paper found private rooms for "therapeutic massage," lap dances, and Girls Gone Wild on loop behind the bar.
During the course of several community board sessions last fall, the club’s new owners promised to remove the stripper poles and runways, and said they’d offer music at "a conversational level," DNAinfo reported. The lap dancers would be replaced by stand-up comedians. "That’s in the past," said Thomas-Dicks. "What we’re bringing is different."