A celebrity-backed gay nightclub in Hell’s Kitchen that marketed itself on its “inclusiveness” has been accused of, among other awful things, discriminating against all groups that aren’t made up of “white young men.”
In addition to alleged racist and sexist entrance policies, plying underage patrons with alcohol, and turning a blind eye to such dangerous illegal substances as GHB, also known as the “date rape” drug, Alan Pikus, a partner in the Q nightclub, “was vocal in his discriminatory beliefs and was hostile to the club catering to any group other than white young men,” according to his former partner, Frank “Frankie” Sharp in a lawsuit he filed last month in Manhattan’s state Supreme Court.
Boxers NYC chain co-founder Bob Fluet, another Q partner, is also named in the suit.
Sharp, a nightlife producer whom the New York Post says was the “public face of the club,” claims that he was instrumental in the design and launch of the Q. Among the investors in the four-story venue are actors Charlie Carver and Zachary Quinto. Actor and singer Billy Porter of Broadway’s “Kinky Boots” fame helped promote it.
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On Latin nights, the suit alleges, Pikus would tell Sharp, “Make sure your Latin nights are the good kind of Latins, and not Blatinos.”
“Blatinos,” the Post explains, is slang “for someone of mixed race.”
The court papers are littered with slang.
For example, according to the documents, Pikus wanted the Q to be “comfortable for white twinks” — a term used to describe young, white, gay men.
And but for them, it would seem Pikus wanted the company of no one.
According to the suit, he allegedly told a prospective bar manager, “I don’t need [you] to break my back to hire people just because they’re black or trans,” and he wanted to ban women from the Q altogether.
Instead of a diverse crowd of clubbers, the Q had a young crowd.
According to the court papers, the nightclub became the go-to place for underaged drinkers.
In an even more disturbing claim, the lawsuit alleges that Pikus ordered his security team to stand down when it came to prohibiting illegal drugs, especially if the drug was GHB, a colorless, odorless liquid that is easy to slip into drinks and is known to erase memories and inhibitions.
To the director of security who stopped the flow of that drug, the suit alleges, Pikus would read “the riot act” for “taking our boys’ GHB away.”
And when he wasn’t getting young white boys drunk, the lawsuit claims Pikus was having sex in public with the club’s customers, at times, right next to Q employees.
When Sharp went to Fluet in April 2022 with complaints from workers complete with video proof, he claims Fluet offered him a choice: take a small payout and resign or face getting fired.
On May 23, Sharp says the latter occurred.
“I was shown the door BECAUSE of my REPEATED attempts to address the problematic behavior and dangerous mismanagement of the Q. … All I am seeking in this claim is Justice and I REFUSE to be intimidated,” Sharp posted to his Facebook page.
The truth is closer to justice and “at least $726,000, plus Sharp’s share of the club’s profits,” The Post reports.
A Pikus attorney, Thomas Shanahan, stated, “the allegations of inappropriate, racially insensitive and discriminatory comments, they were taken out of context.”
It is unclear in which context the comments would be acceptable.
Shanahan also noted that Pikus denies that he made the derogatory remarks about Latinos, white twinks, or trans people and he claims he wasn’t having sex with customers in the club as employees tried to work. Neither did he allow illegal drugs or underage drinking in the club, the lawyer claimed.
On its Instagram page, the Q attempted to repair its reputation with a $10,000 donation to Destination Tomorrow, a nonprofit group in the Bronx dedicated to the LGBTQ+ community.
The club also announced that Pikus was no longer affiliated with Q.
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Also on Insta, Fluet denied everything.
“While we vehemently deny the hurtful allegations that have recently surfaced,” he posted, “we are committed to end the very division within our community that Q’s programming and mission were designed to combat.”
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