Metro

Chelsea rejects request to establish strip club at former King Arthur’s site

The King Arthur’s Motel and Lounge, which was the scene of a 1982 fatal case of police brutality, has been closed for three years.
Jim Davis/Globe Staff
The King Arthur’s Motel and Lounge, which was the scene of a 1982 fatal case of police brutality, has been closed for three years.

CHELSEA — Strippers won’t be doing encore performances at the former site of King Arthur’s Motel and Lounge in Chelsea, at least not for now.

The city’s Zoning Board of Appeals Tuesday night dismissed a request from a Middleton company to establish a nude cabaret and sports bar at the property on Beacham Street. In a separate development, the owner of the two-story site sold the building Friday to an Everett business, records show.

Some people applauded after the zoning panel voted at Chelsea City Hall to dismiss the petition from Phantom Ventures to reopen King Arthur’s as a strip club. The company had hoped to establish an upscale nightspot called Phantom Club for Gentlemen.

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King Arthur’s, which operated as a strip club from the late 1970s until its closing in 2014, was the site of some of the most troubling chapters in Chelsea’s history, including a police brutality case that claimed the life of an Everett man 35 years ago.

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In dismissing the request, the zoning panel said Phantom Ventures didn’t have the authority to seek a special permit.

John DePriest, director of the city’s planning and development department and chairman of the zoning panel, cited an affidavit from Demetrios Vardakostas, manager of Atlas LLC in Quincy. The company owned the King Arthur’s site until Friday.

In 2015, Atlas leased the property to a company called GLK Holdings LLC, which is run by the same three managers who operate Phantom Ventures, records show.

In his affidavit, Vardakostas wrote that two years ago he had authorized one of those managers, Louis Tasiopoulos, to pursue licenses and permits for the King Arthur’s site.

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But earlier this year, GLK Holdings fell behind on its rent and Atlas won a $130,720 judgment against the company during eviction proceedings, court records show. GLK Holdings is appealing the decision and has a hearing scheduled for Thursday in Chelsea District Court.

Vardakostas also wrote that he hadn’t authorized anyone to seek a special permit for the property. He said he wasn’t aware of the application that Phantom Ventures filed with city officials on Oct. 13.

Vardakostas went to the zoning hearing to oppose Phantom Ventures’ request, said his attorney Dimitrios Ioannidis, who also attended the meeting.

Vardakostas owned Bostonia Produce in Chelsea for more than 30 years and wanted residents to know he didn’t support the proposal, Ioannidis said.

Late Tuesday afternoon, Konstantinos Georgopoulos, a manager with Phantom Ventures, notified the zoning panel that the company was withdrawing its request for a special permit, city records show.

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The board held a hearing anyway. No one from Phantom Ventures attended. The business didn’t immediately return a message Wednesdsay.

If the company wants to try again to open a strip club at King Arthur’s, it will have to negotiate a lease with a new landlord.

State land records show Atlas sold the King Arthur’s property Friday for $1.5 million to a business known as 200 Beacham Street LLC.

Gregory T. Antonelli, manager of that organization, said in a phone interview Tuesday that he wasn’t sure what he’ll do with the property. He said he wanted the site for its proximity to the $2.4 billion Wynn Resorts casino under construction in Everett.

Laura Crimaldi can be reached at laura.crimaldi@globe.com.