A Brief History of The “Gentlemen’s Club”

A Brief History of The “Gentlemen’s Club”

George Bernard Shaw said: “All evolution in thought and conduct as first appear as heresy and misconduct.” Certainly strip clubs court heresy of polite society and encourage lots of behavior that could be seen as misconduct…but we’ve certainly seen quite the evolution in what has become the quintessential “Gentlemen’s Club” in the U.S. over the last two decades.

It’s not that peep-shows and go-go bars don’t still exist, it’s just that sometime in the beginning of the 1990’s there came a transformation from what had typically been a certain kind of strip ‘joint’ morphing into, or with the complete building, of a new opulent place for men and women to go see strippers. One of those big changes, arguably one many would consider a milestone in this transformation, occurred in Manhattan.

“The big change-for New York-came in the early 1990s, when the ‘Scores’ club arrived on the scene; it was the first major gentlemen’s club. It had a gorgeous interior, high-end food and drinks, and of course stunningly beautiful women in sexy gowns. Prior to that, live adult entertainment in New York consisted largely of seedy peep show-type places,” says Joe Diamond, veteran journalist and publicist for the adult industry.

Bigger cities like New York, San Francisco, Atlanta are where people come to visit-and spent money-and are generally meccas of a more liberal mind set, all perfect for the growth of these new high-end cabarets. Soon solid well established companies got into the game of owning more then one palace across these cities, while those companies who had been in the business for years executed face-lifts of their existing clubs to compete.

Mr. Diamond’s view of New York City’s present gentleman’s club scene echoes what has happened with the proliferation of high-end gentleman clubs popping-up throughout the U.S. (and the world) these past few decades. “These days, of course, the glory days of ‘Scores’ are long gone and ‘Rick’s Cabaret’ is the premier operator of gentlemen’s clubs across the country, including two in New York City.”  Rick’s newer club, ‘Vivid Cabaret’ was developed under a name licensing agreement with leading adult movie studio Vivid Entertainment, while other contemporary examples of clubs owned by big companies is the American Spearmint Rhino group of clubs and also the litany of Déjà Vu clubs in the U.S. and abroad.

While the gentleman’s club is nearly ubiquitous across the landscape of big cities as well as burbs now, still plenty of patrons prefer dropping a few dollars on a couple of beers instead of spending on bottle service. V.I.P. lounges are all well and good for big spenders of sport star’s entourages, but one can also enjoy a lap dance in the backroom of one of the most famous strip clubs in the country ‘Satin Dolls,’ the setting for the Soprano’s Bada Bing Club…decidedly a strip club and not a gentlemen’s cabaret.

In the current strip landscape, there is certainly something for all gentle-persons to partake of.





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