Club used as Bada Bing in ‘Sopranos’ loses liquor license over crime ties
TRENTON — The owners of two North Jersey "gentlemen's clubs," including one featured on "The Sopranos," have been ordered to give up their liquor licenses.
Attorney General Christopher Porrino said members of the Cardinale family have continued to operate Satin Dolls in Lodi and A.J.’s Gentleman’s Club, including Anthony Carinale, who was criminally disqualified from running the businesses. He was charged with federal tax evasion in 1995 and for not reporting large amounts of cash coming in-and-out of the businesses.
Cardinale's family, which had hoped to keep the businesses in the family and maintain the licenses, must cease operations by December 17 and sell or transfer the licenses to a "bona fide third party" by January 3.
The Division of Alcohol Beverage Control contends Anthony Cardinalle still handles issues for the Satin Club.
“The Cardinales may have wanted to keep the business in the family, but that’s not how it works. Their continued flouting of Alcoholic Beverage Control laws cannot and will not be tolerated. Illegal activity was glorified at the ‘Bada Bing’ in the fictional world of Tony Soprano, but it has no place in modern-day New Jersey. It’s time to shut it down," Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control David Rible said in a statement.
Both the interior and exterior of Satin Dolls were used to represent the Bada Bing club on HBO's Sopranos. Scenes in Tony Soprano's office, however, were filmed in a studio.
In 2011, a consent order with the companies that operate the clubs mandated that Luceen Cardinalle, the wife of Anthony, who was listed as the sole shareholder of both corporations, turn over the licenses to her daughter, Loren Cardinalle. The Cardinalles were ordered to pay $1.25 million in penalties as a compromise in lieu of revocation of both licenses, and Loren Cardinalle was ordered to transfer both licenses to a bona fide third party by December 31, 2015.
As the deadline approached, Loren Cardinalle asked the Division for permission to continue to hold the licenses. A series of extensions were granted, with the latest deadline set for September 28, 2017. After further investigation, the Division issued a Notice of Charges for criminal solicitation for prostitution and lewd activity on the licensed premises in May 2017. Those charges remain pending.