Partner in Hell's Kitchen Gay Club 'Q' Claims Club Discriminates

Sunday July 10, 2022

A popular Hell's Kitchen gay club has been accused of "racist and sexist entrance policies," as well as having "catered to underage drinkers and looked the other way when it came to illegal drugs including 'date rape' drug GHB, according to a new lawsuit," writes the New York Post.

The Q, located at 8th Avenue and 48th Street, promised "inclusiveness" when it opened in 2021, but one of the venue's partners, Alan Pikus, is being accused of being vocal in his discriminatory beliefs and was allegedly hostile to the club catering to anyone other than white young men. The accusations were made by Pikus's business partner Frank "Frankie" Sharp in the suit, which was filed last month in state Supreme Court in Manhattan.

The club, which Sharp said he helped design and develop, occupies four floors offers a mix of live music, cocktails, and a dance floor. Actors Charlie Carver and†Zachary Quinto are among its investors, and Billy Porter helped promote it, according to the Post.

In an interview with Instinct Magazine last year, Sharp underscored his long-standing belief in diversity. "People also always have the need to say that their staff and programming is going to be diverse, all welcoming and inviting, but I've been doing that from day one and I've been doing that making a bunch of other people rich. It is time that we, as queer artists, have our own space owned and operated by our own people. This is the chance of a lifetime. That is what I am the most excited about with The Q. From our staff, to the programming, to our customers, it we will feel and look like New York does; a space for everyone. It is an honor to invite everyone, both to our stage and to our dance floor."

According to court documents obtained by†Instinct Magazine, Sharp is accusing Bob Fluet, Alan Pikus, and Bar Fluid LLC for breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, fraud, [and] unjust enrichment". His claims are related to allegations involving his employment at the queer club, during which time he was allegedly used for "ownership of my intellectual properties, my credibility, access to my celebrity investors and entry into my social network," per the statement (embedded above) posted to Sharp's Instagram.

"Once the club was a proven financial success, and the partners believed they had taken what they wanted from me, their behavior swiftly darkened," Sharp continued, adding that he was "frightened, diminished, silenced, and intimidated" by Fluet and Pikus.

According to Instinct, what "disgusted" Sharp was "circumstances around my club," including Pikus allegedly telling security to stop checking IDs and allow drugs into The Q. Additionally, Sharp accused Pikus of discrimination related to racist and anti-trans hiring practices and rhetoric encompassing alleged statements such as "don't alienate the white boys" and†"I don't need to break my back to hire people just because they're black and trans."

"What I always feared most was that those things which I could tangibly prove were only the tip of the proverbial iceberg," Sharp went on to say. "An incoming wave of harrowing anecdotes and new evidence from friends and allies throughout the city is vindicating that sad suspicion, but I cannot speak to those here. Not yet."

In response to the lawsuit, Fluet told†Instinct†that "There are a lot of false allegations that are being made and I didn't know where from until I found out where from. I obviously did all of my leg work to make sure that nothing is real, which it wasn't."