CHELSEA — The cinder block fortress known as King Arthur’s Motel and Lounge has long been a kind of unofficial wild west for Greater Boston, the site of murders, a legendary police brutality case, a bombing and, of course, countless men tossing dollars in the dim light at nude women gyrating on stage.
Though less infamous than Boston’s old Combat Zone, King Arthur’s location just over the Mystic River made it irresistible to certain men on lunch break and criminals alike. Recently, a felon hoping to cash in on Steve Wynn’s plans for a $1.6 billion casino in nearby Everett attempted to take over the place.
But city officials, hoping to erase bad memories, have closed King Arthur’s, seizing on the owners’ failure to pay $300,000 in taxes as a chance to revoke the club’s liquor, nude entertainment, and innholder licenses. The owners vow to fight, but city officials hope this is the end of a tawdry 37-year era.
“I’m not sad to see King Arthur’s go, just the opposite. It’s another one of those ties to the past that we’re happy to have lifted off of our shoulders,” said City Manager Jay Ash, who is trying to promote a new Chelsea free of the corruption and sins of its past. “There’s a lot of good things going on in Chelsea; King Arthur’s was not one of them. Seeing them close is a good thing.”
Beverly Guttadauro, who took over the bar after the original King Arthur — her husband, Arthur — died in 2007, said she was disappointed with the licensing commission’s decision to revoke her licenses. She has appealed the liquor license ruling to the state’s Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission.
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