Authorities say the family that owns a New Jersey strip club where fictional mobsters hung out in “The Sopranos” has been defying state law for years and must hand over its liquor licenses.
The Satin Dolls in Lodi, which served as the fictional “Bada Bing” club in the popular HBO crime drama, has until Dec. 17 to stop providing entertainment and must sell or transfer its liquor license by Jan. 3, Attorney General Christopher Porrino announced Thursday. State authorities have ordered A.J.’s Gentleman’s Club in Secaucus to do the same.
The two strip clubs, owned by various members of the Cardinalle family, have been the target of investigations and legal proceedings by the state Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control for more than six years. Porrino said if they don’t cease operations by Dec. 17, their licenses will be suspended and they could face disciplinary charges.
In a statement, Porrino said the Cardinalles’ “continued flouting of Alcoholic Beverage Control laws cannot and will not be tolerated.”
Earlier this year, the Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control alleged criminal solicitation for prostitution and lewd activity at the clubs; those charges remain pending.
“Illegal activity was glorified at the ‘Bada Bing’ in the fictional world of Tony Soprano, but it has no place in modern-day New Jersey. It’s time to shut it down,” Porrino said.
Authorities allege that Anthony Cardinalle continued to be involved in the clubs operations despite being criminally disqualified from doing so. Cardinalle pled guilty in 1995 to federal income tax evasion. In 2013, he pled guilty to racketeering conspiracy and conspiracy to commit extortion in connection with a waste-disposal scheme by the Genovese crime family.
The Cardinalles were ordered to transfer both of the clubs’ licenses to a bona fide third party by Dec. 13, 2015. Authorities say extensions were granted, but the Cardinalles continued to hold the licenses until the latest deadline, Sept. 28, 2017.
NBC 4 New York has reached out to Satin Dolls for comment.