- The Magazine
The Crew Club, the District’s top men’s spa serving the gay and bisexual community, is remaining open after plans for it to close and be taken over by a local development firm fell through.
DC Allen, who co-owns the club with his business partner, Ken Flick, said that a deal that was previously reached with brothers Matthew and Norman Jemal, of Douglas Development Corporation, fell apart after a disagreement over how much Allen and Flick would receive from the deal.
Allen and Flick had originally planned to close the club for business after Feb. 29, with the idea to sell the building that houses the Crew Club over to Douglas Development Corp. on April 6. On Feb. 29, the night of its closing party, Allen and Flick announced that the Crew Club would continue to operate.
“We had been making plans of course, to give staff some money, and make sure they had full unemployment, and close out the club on April 6. None of that happened,” Allen said. “So I called around to people I know in the industry. I said I was looking for working partners who would basically invest in the club and run the club. A couple of guys came forward, we reached a deal on Friday afternoon, and on Saturday, we held our closing party, and announced our reopening.”
Allen says he is still in the midst of negotiations with those working partners, whose identities have not been made public at this time. Allen and Flick will remain the owners of the space, but in a limited capacity.
“That is the main condition, that we do not allow the club to be anything other than the wonderful part of the community that it’s been,” Allen told Metro Weekly.
Allen said that the club’s employees have kept their jobs, with one person even choosing to come back after having found employment elsewhere.
Allen did note that the entire first floor of the club is going to be eliminated, and that the Crew Club will continue to operate on the second floor.
When asked about any changes to the physical space, Allen said he had been forced to spend some money to repair some of the club’s amenities, including bathroom stalls, showers, and other communal spaces. He said he could not comment on any other plans for renovations at this time.
“We have had a very, very rough time, because the club was closing, and unfortunately people were very angry and they were breaking things, so I had a broken sauna, broken steam room benches, broken showers, broken urinals, broken sinks, all sorts of things, as well as some piping that had bottles and all sorts of stuff in it,” he said. “It was really harsh. I managed to get all of that fixed. In terms of renovations, that will all have to be announced later.”
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