The Boston Licensing Board yesterday approved the sale of Centerfolds on Lagrange Street - now half of Boston's Combat Zone - to a Texas-based, publicly traded ecdysiast chain.
The vote came after a Wednesday hearing at which nobody rose to oppose the sale of Centerfolds, which traces its routes to the old Naked i. The mayor's office and the office of district Councilor Ed Flynn supported the proposed sale, which also requires the approval of the state Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission.
RCI Hospitality Holdings of Houston says it will pay $15 million to buy Centerfolds and its building, which huddles next to the Combat Zone's other remaining strip club, the Glass Slipper.
The chain, which employs exotic dancers in ten other states, said it would not change much at Centerfolds, except to rename the place Rick's Cabaret. It will also have to comply with Boston regulations that will set the club apart from some of its other operations, notably a 2 a.m. closing time and a ban on any physical contact between customers and dancers, even in the private-performance rooms up on the third floor.
Centerfolds has been open since 2000, after taking over the liquor license of the Naked i, which had moved to Lagrange from Washington Street.