Elan’s of Connecticut, Danbury’s last strip club, closes
Danbury is now a city without a strip club and it may stay that way for a long time.
Elan’s of Connecticut, an upscale gentleman’s club at 82 Federal Road, has closed its doors after 25 years in business. The property will be purchased by a neighboring auto dealership that plans to raze the building and expand its car lot.
Danbury zoning regulations will make it difficult for another strip club to open in the city as any new “adult business use” would be limited to a specific zoning district and must meet several special exceptions.
Elan’s used Facebook to alert its customers about its closure. The post, which was written in all capital letters, read: “Sorry but after a gazillion years in the adult entertainment business, we need to retire. We are closing for good. Al is tooooo real freakin ooooold. Thanks to you, all of our clients/associates, staff and management. We wish you the best of the best.”
Elan’s owners Al doNascimento and George Amaral did not return phone calls seeking comment. The property has been home to a bar or club since 1979 and was converted to a strip club in 1993. On March 25, Elan’s held a 25-years-in-business celebration. The business held a closing party on July 14.
Ingersoll Auto of Danbury, located on adjacent property at 84 Federal Road, will buy the property. Todd Ingersoll, president and CEO of Ingersoll Auto of Danbury, said the property will increase the dealership’s frontage on Federal Road by about 40 percent and open up property he already owns behind the former Elan’s site.
Ingersoll said he is hoping to close on the property by the middle of this month and raze the building by the end of the month.
“It will expand our footprint for more parking and then we’ll see what the future holds,” he said. “Having that land gives us options.”
Ingersoll said he did not have conflicts with Elan’s because the hours of operation differed from his and doNascimento and Amaral ran a quiet establishment. He said he has been talking with the owners for years about purchasing the property.
“If it were sold to someone who was more aggressive in that industry, that could have had a big impact and been disruptive to the quality of life in the area,” Ingersoll said. “I didn’t want to take that chance.”
Elan’s of Connecticut had been Danbury’s lone strip club since the Oasis Café on Shelter Rock Road was shut down by authorities in 2008. That club had also operated under names such as Wiggles, the Go-Go Joint and Krazy Vin’s.
Any new adult business use establishment in Danbury would be restricted to a CG-20 zoning district, have to meet nine special exceptions and be approved by the planning commission. “Adult business use” includes a variety of businesses, including cabaret, adult book store, escort agency, and adult theater.
While there are several CG-20, or Commercial General, districts throughout Danbury, the special exceptions that need to be met will make it difficult for another strip club to open in the city, said Sean Hearty, director of planning coordination for Danbury. He said in his 20-year tenure with the city, no one has proposed opening a new strip club in Danbury.
The special exceptions, listed in section 5.A.5 of Danbury’s COD Zoning Regulations, include restrictions on signage, advertising, and distance from residential districts, schools, churches, libraries, public playgrounds, parks and other adult business use establishments.
“They are very tough to meet,” Hearty said.
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