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Landlord dispute closes strip clubs in Hamburg, Cheektowaga

Two strip clubs have closed in Erie County due to a dispute between the club’s operators and their landlord.

The Gold on Route 5 in Hamburg, formerly 24KT Gold, and Mademoiselle Gentlemen’s Club on Aero Drive in Cheektowaga were both padlocked by property owners Sunday morning.

Owners Mike and Irena Rudan said the club operators have not paid their rent in full for several years. Their ownership group, Rudan Holdings, also owns the Tower Hotel (formerly the Minolta Tower), and several strip clubs in Niagara Falls, Ont., including the Sundowner.

Both properties are being listed for sale or lease. A security service has been hired and posted at each club to keep the club operators out.

The clubs were operated by Mark and Christina Whipple. He declined to comment, and she could not be reached. They have said they bought the two clubs from the Rudans in 2009, after working there during the prior years.

24KT Gold was raided by the FBI in 2010. At the time, police investigators said they learned of cocaine dealing and prostitution in the club’s “private rooms.” The investigation ceased when 24KT Gold closed, and no one was charged. The club reopened later that year as The Gold, with Christina Whipple’s father listed on the liquor license.


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