Talk about unintended consequences: New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani is waging a high-profile war on the city's adult entertainment industry, in part to shield minors from the corrupting influence of the skin trade. But at least one Big Apple eatery that serves up bare-breasted women along with top-grade steak will remain open precisely because it opens its doors to kids.
Facing a Giuliani-backed initiative to banish establishments that feature nude entertainment and "exclude minors by reason of age" to desolate lots in New York's outer boroughs, Ten's World Class Cabaret in Manhattan decided to welcome minors as long as a parent accompanies them. The restaurant's attorney then went to court and argued that Ten's is no different than a Broadway Show that may expose Fun City's tender youth to nudity. In November, a New York trial court agreed, ruling that "Ten's cannot be defined as an adult eating and drinking establishment if it does not exclude minors."
"This is, like, nuts," Giuliani told the Associated Press, later adding: "If a parent was bringing a kid into a place like that, we should question whether the parent should have custody of the kid." The city's appeal will be heard in January.
Mark Alonso, Ten's attorney, predicts the city will lose the rematch. "You can't bend the law simply to attack one party you disagree with. That concept goes back to Sir Thomas More," says Alonso, who points out that, in recent years the city itself has sponsored a free Shakespeare production open to all ages that featured considerable nudity.
If the city does lose again, it can take solace that Ten's reports having served only three minors under its new policy.