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Astoria Bar 'Racks' Promises No Topless Women in Bid For Cabaret License

 “Racks” will be located on Steinway Street between 19th and 20th avenues.
“Racks” will be located on Steinway Street between 19th and 20th avenues.
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DNAinfo/Ewa Kern-Jedrychowska

ASTORIA — Steinway Street bar "Racks" got the blessing of a local community board for its application for a cabaret license after the owners reassured them they will not be including topless dancers in their venue.

The owners behind Racks, which will be located on an industrial block between 19th and 20th avenues, originally wanted to open the bar in 2012, but their plans were stalled when local officials and Queens Community Board 1 opposed it, saying they were concerned its "bikini bar" concept would end up becoming a strip club.

But the board voted Tuesday to recommend in favor of Racks' cabaret license — required by the city in order to allow patrons at the venue to dance — after the bar owners agreed to a stipulation that there would be no topless or adult entertainment there.

The owners made the same agreement with CB1 in May in order to gain the board's recommendation for their liquor license, which is still pending, records show.

Mark Weinstein, an attorney representing Racks' owners, said they plan to open Racks as a "sports lounge" and restaurant that would operate as a night club in the evenings, and would also offer catering and events like salsa dancing.

He said his clients are looking for alternative ways to draw customers to the bar that is large enough to fit up to 541 patrons but would be located in a somewhat isolated area.

"My clients are going to have to be very creative to be able to make money in the parameters of no adult entertainment, no topless [entertainment]," Weinstein said.

Racks' previous attempt to get a liquor license was rejected by CB1 and the State Liquor Authority in 2013. Weinstein said the owners hope to open the space when their current liquor license application is approved.