From Dave Brigham:
I love misused quotation marks. In this case, "CHECK OUT OUR KITCHEN" on the sign above seems like a wink-wink, nudge-nudge joke playing off the fact that King Arthur's was known less for its wings and tips than for its legs and, well, you know where I was going with that.
The strip club closed in 2014 after a more than three-decade run providing wholesome, clean entertainment (cough, cough) to, among others: a) truckers going to and from the New England Produce Center next door, b) guys who showed up for the game room and were shocked -- shocked! I tell you -- to find naked ladies dancing on stage, c) high school and college dudes who may or may not have been old enough to be there, and d) off-duty cops who wanted to rumble. Let's learn more about that last bunch.
As you can see in the photo above (I hope), King Arthur's didn't just provide its customers with fine cuisine, a game room and, oh yeah, strippers, but it also operated a motel. Turndown service, mints on your pillow, a lap pool and a James Beard Award-winning restaurant - these are just some of the features that King Arthur's didn't offer. While not named after the mythical British king who defeated the Saxons, King Arthur's nonetheless reached legendary status in 1982. It was that year that a melee involving several cops, including one who was on duty, and numerous civilians at the lounge resulted in the death of one man, the conviction for second-degree murder of two cops and the subsequent conviction of other cops for falsifying reports. The incident was just the most high-profile in a long list of murders, stabbings, shootings, fights and god-knows-what-else. Read all about the case here.
In recent years an outfit called Phantom Ventures tried to reestablish a gentlemen's club on the site of the shuttered King Arthur's. Those good folks were shot down in November 2017 by the Chelsea Zoning Board of Appeals. It's unclear what may become of the site. Stay tuned....
For more about Chelsea, see my four-part series:
September 4, 2013, "Chelsea Stroll"
September 10, 2013, "Hollywood in Chelsea"
September 16, 2013, "On the (Chelsea) Waterfront"
September 24, 2013, "Urban Wild"