Bankers Will Score No More at Scores

Sad news for fans of plastic body parts, overpriced beer, and $18.50 ATM surcharges: Scores is in serious financial trouble. Longtime lapdancer lovers may be aware that Scores' West Side branch shuttered late last year. But now it seems the East Side outpost may suffer a similar fate, thanks to a softening economy and a decline in the number of obnoxious investment bankers who can get away with expensing $6,238 in "meals and entertainment" to their Amex cards on a random Tuesday evening. But it's not just bad news for the men who will no longer get to retreat to the champagne room with "Phoenix" or "Skye," or the celebs who make occasional appearances like Russell Crowe, Queen Latifah, Jim Carrey and Lindsay Lohan. When men stop paying for women to rub their sweaty, glitter-covered bodies on them, there can be no other explanation: the recession is in full swing.

It's worth noting that it isn't just the economy that's responsible for the mess in which Scores now finds itself. They haven't exactly been operating on the up-and-up.

Customers have long complained that the club added charges to their credit cards, adding insult to injury to the already-steep prices. (In addition to those $18.50 ATM fees, the cover is $30 and cocktails cost $19 a piece.) The most notorious example of this took place in 2003 when a CEO visiting town racked up $241,000 over the course of one night. (He later lost his job.) And Scores has been known to cheat in the other direction, too. In June, the club was accused of skimming dancers' tips.

Then there's the whole "champagne room" thing. In January 2007, seven Scores West employees were arrested on prostitution charges. Perhaps the clearest evidence that "extras" were on the menu was offered up by this former employee who, it seems, didn't realize what her job consisted of when she first arrived at the club. "What is Stevie Wonder doing in a strip club where there's no touching? I just thought that was the weirdest thing ever."

That Giant Sucking Sound? [Observer]