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Scores to Shut Down before End of the Year

It’s the last lap dance for Scores, the strip club empire whose comely babes attracted A-list celebs and money-burning execs.

Once the highest-grossing strip club chain in the world and a hangout for Madonna, Howard Stern, Russell Crowe, Jason Giambi and countless others, Scores will shut down before the new year, company officials said.

“It’s over; it is what it is,” said Scores lawyer George Weinbaum. Co-owner Elliot Osher confirmed the closing.

A weak economy, the loss of the W. 27th St. Scores’ liquor license and the possibility the E. 60th St. joint would lose its booze ticket all helped do in the flesh factory.

A new strip joint with a liquor license will open at the East Side location, “but it won’t be Scores and the owners will be different,” Osher said.

The West Side Scores has been closed since May, when the State Liquor Authority took its license after a prostitution bust.

Founded in 1990 with one club at 333 E. 60th St., Scores grew into a national chain of seven clubs, including Scores West on 27th St., which took in as much as $400,000 a night, according to sources.

In its heyday, the East Side club was a mecca for sports stars like Giambi and Mark Messier, actors like Crowe and of course Stern, who talked up the club on his radio show. The Knicks held parties there, and eventually Scores became a publicly traded company.

The clubs were honey traps for out-of-town businessmen, who blew expense accounts on lap dances and champagne magnums, only to have their hangovers worsened by mind-boggling tabs.

A CEO of a St. Louis company sued the club when he racked up a $241,000 tab on his corporate American Express card in one blurry night.

He settled for an undisclosed amount.

Scores was the target of several criminal probes over the years, with allegations of silent underworld partners and tax evasion charges.

On Wednesday night, at the E. 60th St. location, a lone customer downed a half-price beer as club employees kept promising dancers would take the stage “any minute.”

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