new atlanta nightclub revisits a gold past
In the Atlanta footprint of one of the most infamous gentlemen’s club in recent history, the Gold Club, a new nightclub and lounge has opened with a playful nod to its past in its moniker. The Gold Room opened last week, sporting a sparkling new renovation that includes a state-of-the-art music and lighting system and a much-needed exterior remodel to the building that neighbors had started to call an eyesore. To club owner Jonathan Clay, the name was an opportunity to poke fun at the venue’s historic past while still being able to move the club’s reputation into the future. “It was just kind of a play on it. I like the color gold; so does my partner,” Clay told CBS Atlanta.
A decade ago, the original Gold Club made national headlines when the club’s management was indicted under a litany of illegal acts including tax evasion, racketeering, embezzlement and prostitution. The federal investigation and trail grabbed mainstream media attention because of the high-profile celebrities and athletes who got wrapped up in the trial, including Madonna, New York Knicks players Patrick Ewing and John Starks, Atlanta Braves outfielder Andruw Jones, NBA bad boy Dennis Rodman and footballer Terrell Davis, among many others.
Area residents mostly lauded the new club opening, noting that the building had become run down in the decade since it was closed. One neighbor was happy the renovations took place while another noted that if it is legitimate, then it’s great for the area because it would provide jobs for residents hit hard by the economy. "We'd like to pay homage to the history of the building," Clay continued to CBS Atlanta. "This is part of Atlanta nightlife history. It is a landmark. But we are, definitely, setting out on a different path than the previous establishment."