Club Castaway to stay shuttered for about 2 weeks

  • Club Castaway in Whately is closed until a building inspector signs off on a concrete wall slated to act as a noise buffer between the venue and an abutter. STAFF PHOTO/CAROL LOLLIS

  • Julius Sokol, left, and Nicholas Spagnola bought Club Castaway in August 2019. FILE PHOTO

Staff Writer
Saturday, January 18, 2020

WHATELY — The Select Board declined to take action on another extension request, and thus Club Castaway is closed until a building inspector signs off on a concrete wall slated to act as a noise buffer between the venue and an abutting property.

The strip club, purchased in early August by East Boston businessmen Nicholas Spagnola and Julius Sokol, was granted a transfer of liquor and adult entertainment licenses on some conditions, including the construction of the concrete-block wall. Select Board member Jonathan Edwards said Spagnola and Sokol have already been granted some extensions. For the business at 226 State Road to operate now would be a violation requiring a public hearing, Edwards said.

Spagnola said a chain-link fence in the rear of the property will be replaced by an 8-foot wall. He said he hopes to reopen by Feb. 2, which is Super Bowl Sunday.

“The closure is very disruptive and we have 25 really good people now out of work,” he said. “We will stay committed to providing high-quality adult entertainment and continue to feature beautiful female performers.”

Spagnola argued he and Sokol have made several concessions to the town as a show of good faith and to prove they want to be responsible neighbors. For example, they have erected a custom 8-foot stockade wooden fence, installed exterior lighting, eliminated parking spaces that could potentially obstruct views of the intersection, and they have police detail with full-time security. He said he feels the town has been more lenient with operators who have served alcohol to minors.

Spagnola and Sokol purchased the property from longtime owner Demetrious “Jimmy the Greek” Konstantopoulos for $425,000. The liquor license cost $75,000.

Edwards said the concrete wall will enclose an employee break area where workers can “remove themselves from the work routine.”

“How long they’re shut down for is entirely in their court,” Edwards said. “They could have avoided this by addressing this much earlier in the process.

“They’ve done everything else that we’ve asked,” he added, “and they’ve been great about it.”