Is there anything that will not be blamed on the collapse of Lehman Brothers?
The events of September 2008 have been blamed for the credit crunch and the recession, as if the financial system had been zipping along at a perfectly clip until someone blew up a bridge over a canyon.
And now it is being blamed for the collapse of two Times Square “hot spots.” The China Club and Cheetahs Gentlemen’s Club & Restaurant both filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection this week.
China Club’s filing blamed the fall of Lehman Brothers for its failure, according to Crain’s New York.
“Located on West 47th Street, just a few blocks from Lehman’s former headquarters, the investment bankers were regular patrons,” Crain’s reports. “The club also said in the filing that business began declining in 2007.”
Now that’s more than a bit slippery. Business began declining in 2007. Lehman may be no more but its building is now occupied by Barclays Capital, many of whose employees are just Lehman holdovers. So how exactly did a name change from Lehman to Barclays ruin the Cheetah Club?
We suspect the two things had nothing to do with each other. Rather, the Cheetah Club had become a boom time institution, priced for high spenders and heavily dependent on corporate parties, out of towners, and perhaps the occasional clueless investment banker who hadn’t been out of his cubicle since the late 1990s, the last time the Cheetah Club may have been considered even marginally cool.
Cheetahs was also a product of the boom. It opened its doors in 2007. It’s only claim to fame–the thing that made it stick out from the other lap dance shops in the neighbourhood–was the practice of the supposedly ancient Japanese art of nyotaimori, “female body presentation.” This is that thing where all you can eat sushi is served on the body of a naked woman. You can imagine that there hasn’t really been much demand for that kind of flashy (heh) extravagance in the last couple of years.