Former Strip Club To Be Home To Starbucks, Gym

BY LUIS GRONDA
Staff Writer

The former location of a strip club will soon become a place to buy a hot cup of morning Joe.

Around 8,095-square-feet of retail space at 92-77 Queens Blvd. in Rego Park has become available and deals are in place for two companies to occupy the area, not including that available space.

Starbucks and Retro Fitness will open locations at the site, which is between the Long Island Expressway and 62nd Avenue, according to sources.

The Starbucks location, in particular, stands out because it will be a drive-thru Starbucks, the first one of its kind in Queens and second overall in the City. Staten Island is the only other borough that has a drive-thru location, according to Starbucks’ website.

According to Winick Realty Group, the group representing the space, the gym will take up about 16,000 square feet and will include on-site parking.

Robert Heicklen, who works at the company, said this space is attractive to companies because of the high volume of traffic, both pedestrian and vehicle, that the area has. It is the first new development since Vornado built the Rego Center Mall.

“Our space puts any potential brand in a high volume area and that’s hard to come by,” he said.

The site used to house the Goldfingers strip club, which was closed in 1999 after the community continuously protested the establishment.

Both Heicklen and Chris Okada, from Okada and Co. who represented Atlas Projects, the site’s developer, said there is “tremendous amount” of interest in the remaining space available at the site. Okada said they hope to have a deal in place for the third tenant by the end of this summer.

A Starbucks spokeswoman said they cannot confirm plans of opening a new store at that location when asked to comment.

“We are always looking for ways to better meet the needs of our customers. However, we do not have any additional information to share at this time,” the spokeswoman said.

Retro Fitness did not respond to requests for comment by press time.

Reach Luis Gronda at (718) 357-7400, Ext. 127, lgronda@queenstribune.com, or @luisgronda.