Monday, December 5 2022

WHATELY – Club Castaway will remain closed as the potential new owners withdrew their license transfer request two hours before the April 13 Select Board meeting.

HC Entertainment, the Boston-based contestant, sent a letter to the Select Board at 4 p.m. that day stating “it wished to withdraw” its candidacy, according to city administrator Brian Domina. Attorney Tom Lesser of Lesser, Newman, Aleo & Nassar submitted the email on behalf of HC Entertainment.

“It indicated that the potential owners wanted to step down,” Domina said at the meeting. “There’s not much to say at this point.”

Lesser could not be reached for comment before press time.

The select committee meeting was supposed to follow a public hearing held on February 23, when HC Entertainment requested the transfer of Club Castaway’s liquor license and the issuance of a new adult entertainment license. HC Entertainment was represented by Alexander Cwiakala and Harrison Bonner, co-founders of Wollaston Real Estate Investments, and head bartender Paula Andrea at the February meeting.

A call to a number listed for Cwiakala was not returned.

At the February meeting, the Selectboard raised questions about HC Entertainment’s experience running an adult entertainment business.

Wednesday’s discussion was supposed to involve Chief Constable James Sevigne as HC Entertainment presented its security plan and employee training protocols for the club.

With the withdrawal of the request, Club Castaway, the only strip club in Franklin County, will remain closed for the foreseeable future. The club was purchased in 2019 by East Boston businessmen Nick Spagnola and Julius Sokol and has been closed since the state issued an emergency order to shut down non-essential businesses in March 2020.

Before the pandemic, the club had been operating under its new owner for a few months. In June 2021, Spagnola said it was “working on a reopening plan”.

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