State authorities have shut down Satin Dolls, the real-life
New Jersey strip club that stood in for The Sopranos’ fictional Bada Bing, over
alleged mob activities, the Associated Press reports. The extent of those mob
activities is still being investigated; however, it is presumed they are very
compelling, even to those who might normally be morally opposed to them.
In a statement released this week by the New Jersey Attorney General’s office, state officials confirmed that the liquor license for the Lodi-based club has been ordered to cease all live entertainment and transfer its liquor license immediately, stemming from its owner’s previous refusal to step down despite being “criminally disqualified.” That owner, Anthony Cardinalle, has previously been charged with racketeering, extortion, federal income tax evasion, and working with the Genovese crime family on a conspiracy within the waste-disposal industry. These criminal acts all led to Cardinalle being barred from operation, in addition to making him a fascinatingly rich, multilayered antihero you can’t help but root for.
Making matters more excitingly complex for Cardinalle, a previous 2011 consent order demanded that his wife, Luceen—who probably frequently declares that she never wanted this life, even though she certainly enjoys the spoils—hand over the family’s liquor licenses to their daughter, Loren. While Loren seemingly had everything going for her and could have done anything she wanted, it was under her watch that Satin Dolls was slapped with charges of criminal solicitation for prostitution and lewd activity. It’s believed that authorities presenting those charge nevertheless felt some sympathy for Loren, who didn’t ask to be born into this family and probably just wanted to be a doctor or maybe a lawyer or something.
Satin Dolls has made the most of its Sopranos connection over the years, welcoming fans who want to hang out where Tony and his crew would meet to conduct business, shoot some pool, and have sex with and occasionally murder strippers in ways that were really vicariously thrilling, but only, you know, in the way that they explored the dark side of the human condition. But according to Yelp reviewers, the real-life club was relatively disappointing, full of “bored,” “average-looking” to “severely ugly” dancers pressuring customers into buying them food, as well as rude bartenders who served watered-down drinks while scamming people’s credit cards. However, all would surely agree that this was a poignant metaphor for 21st-century America.
The Attorney General’s order not only covers Satin Dolls but Cardinalle’s other, Secaucus-based establishment, A.J.’s Gentleman’s Club, which is believed to be fucking annoying.