The Palomino Club Blog

Sopranos strip club whacked for mob activity

December 15, 2017  |   5:59 pm

There’s a saying about real life being stranger than fiction. Sometimes, real life isn’t necessarily stranger, but it can certainly be a mirror. A New Jersey strip club, Satin Dolls, is getting shut down for activities that might have made for a great episode of The Sopranos, an ironic twist given that the club served as a location Tony Soprano frequented in the show. The Sopranos strip club, frequented by fans of the show and real mobsters, has until January 3rd before it smash-cuts to black, awkward silence, and the final credits roll.

Called “Bada Bing!” in-show, business and pleasure went on behind closed doors as┬áthe drama unfolded. It’s almost not surprising at all that a real crime family ran the real strip club, and and performed real criminal acts there. How the famous Sopranos strip club finally got rubbed out is an interesting tale.

Keeping the Sopranos strip club “in the family”

The Satin Dolls, along with A.J.’s Gentlemen’s Club, has been under investigation for the past six years. The Cardinalle family, connected to the Genovese crime family, owned both clubs. Anthony Cardinalle, one of the club’s operators, had an extensive criminal history. He pled guilty as a tax evader in 1995. In 2013, he faced indictment as part of a waste-disposal conspiracy controlled by the Genovese family. The famous Sopranos strip club itself faced trouble before. In May of this year, the Cardinalle were hit with charges of prostitution and lewd activity occurring at the Satin Dolls.

Ultimately, Anthony Cardinalle was declared “criminally disqualified” from running the club. However, it seems that if he did try to walk free, he kept being pulled back in. It’s more likely that he stuck around by choice to work along side of his wife, Luceen Cardinalle. In 2011, Luceen was ordered to hand off the liquor licenses to her daughter Loren. She fought the order for years, with extensions given out until as late as September 2017.

Getting a little Hollywood at the club

Anthony Cardinalle’s life would have been behind bars after the 2013 mass arrest of mobsters all connected to the Genovese waste-disposal control conspiracy. He faced up to 40 years in prison for his activities. But in December 2014, in yet another Hollywood-esque twist, “Tony Lodi” ratted out his fellow mobsters in a plea deal.

Retribution was swift. On one Christmas eve, shortly after he squealed, the then 63-year-old mobster was attacked in front of the Satin Dolls. Robbed and beaten by two unidentified men, Cardinalle survived and continued to stay in control of the famous Sopranos strip club. In control, until last week, when the club was given a final ultimatum.

So now we come to the twilight of a strip club. One part of a famous piece of television, one part of a long-standing ‘family business’. Whether or not it means the end of the Cardinalle’s real-life mobster drama, we might need to wait until next season.