Denver- Troy Lowrie calls it the changing of the guard.
Lowrie’s VCG Holding Corp., an owner and operator of adult nightclubs nationwide, is acquiring Denver’s well-known Diamond Cabaret & Steakhouse, 1322 Glenarm Place. The deal ends the club’s ties to Bobby Rifkin, who spent three decades developing and operating clubs locally before succumbing to cancer last year.
“Bobby Rifkin was the king of nightlife in Denver forever, and we will always miss him,” said Lowrie, who is spending $6 million on the 33,000-square-foot, strip-and-steak house. “I appreciate the opportunity to try to continue what he did.”
The sellers are Rifkin’s estate, business partner Jerry Kernis and the family of developer Michael Cooper, Lowrie said.
The deal will give the publicly traded VCG, based in Lakewood, its eighth adult nightclub in six states. The company joined Penthouse magazine owner General Communications Inc. earlier this month in a licensing agreement that will hang the Penthouse name on VCG strip clubs across the country.
VCG currently owns five operating strip clubs in Indianapolis; Memphis, Tenn.; Brooklyn, Ill.; Denver; and Glendale. It owns one club in Phoenix that is being renovated and is nearing the purchase of a Minneapolis club.
The company’s subsidiary, International Entertainment Consultants, manages 15 clubs, including the five owned by VCG. Lowrie, VCG’s chairman and chief executive, owns the other 10 nightclubs, including the All Stars Sports Cabaret in Sheridan and the 25-year-old PT’s Showclub in Denver.
In all, the Diamond Cabaret deal gives VCG control of five adult clubs in metro Denver.
Rifkin and business partner Kernis created the Diamond Cabaret in 1991. Kernis, who still owns the Fresh Fish Co. on East Hampden Avenue with the Rifkin estate, did not return calls.
Mani Isler, spokesman for the Diamond Cabaret, declined to comment.
Lowrie, 39, said the deal closes Sept. 28 pending local approval to transfer the club’s liquor license. The acquisition does not include the property, but VCG will get a 25-year lease on the club near West Colfax Avenue and Glenarm Place.