It could be a mega modern day version of the Studio 54 story with the gay club in Austin, TX. Well this is not just one club that was shut down in Austin but a network of clubs owned by the same Yassine Enterprises. This also included another gay bar that recently opened known for its more stand and model type scene called Hyde. Federal agents say the bars are being investigated for money laundering and drugs.
We received confirmation that the raid by federal and state agents, TABC has suspended the liquor licenses for all of Yassine Entertainment’s clubs, including Kiss & Fly Nightclub and Hyde Upscale Gay Lounge. FBI agents raided the offices of Yassine Enterprises, which operates several downtown nightclubs, collecting documents as part of an investigation. Agents were spotted hauling boxes into the Yassine offices at 213 W. Fourth St. In addition to the money laundering charge, Mohammed Yassine is accused of distributing 500 grams or more of cocaine and transferring a firearm knowing it was going to be used in a drug-trafficking crime. The remaining defendants are accused of distributing cocaine. One case involved as much as 5 kilograms, which is about 11 pounds of the blow. This makes ten people who were arrested who owned a total of 10 bars in Austin.
Posts from Facebook regarding the closing of the club include:
“This breaks my heart! So sad”
“if no kiss & fly…where to go now? Tonite specifically …omg!”
The Feds waited until after SXSW but not a minute after those parties closed down did they come in taking computers and seizing most everything they could get their hands on. Perez Hilton was posing in photos just a few nights before during the SXSW and Bravo’s Andy Cohen posed with two strippers at Kiss and Fly Gay Club in Austin that same night. Those arrested will remain in federal custody, a spokesman for the U.S. attorney’s office said, until a hearing set for 10 a.m. Tuesday. They face maximum prison sentences of 20 years to life if convicted.
Bobby Cervantes, who spent a year and a half as manager of Kiss & Fly, told the American-Statesman that he suspected something was amiss at Yassine Enterprises, prompting him to quit in September 2010.
The VIP room even has the sounds of Studio 54 at Kiss N Fly according to the Austinist. “At Kiss N Fly, the secret room down below was basically a freebie room for [the Yassines’] friends to get messed up on booze, blow (it didn’t matter), have their own personal bartender. I’m pretty sure the only room without a camera, “ stated a former bartender. When asked for a description of the keypad-entry room, a former patron said, “It’s like a ‘70s swingers’ den with a horseshoe couch and a table in the middle. It’s the real VIP room for naughty, debaucherous activities.” While this room also served as a backstage area for the occasional musical guests, it was described as “a drug-induced sex den” for VIP’s on a regular basis.
Some of the bartenders have not been paid who have worked for Yassine Enterprises. They are also under investigation from a class-action lawsuit from 200 former employees.
Qua Bottle Lounge has 19,000 gallon tank glass dance floor is an aquarium filled with dangerous sea creatures including sharks and sting rays. This bar is next door to Rain and OCH which used to be the location of the Boyz Cellar the Twink club with an after-hours several years ago. Maybe this could become a gay club once again right in the middle of the other bars. It is a bit much to take up so much space with such a big fish tank anyway why not just have a dancefloor?
Personally, I was assaulted inside Kiss and Fly and tried to get security involved and they would not respond. I had a feeling that there was something clearly wrong with a club that you could not get security to respond to anything inside.
Gay Nightlife Options in Austin, TX
Not only will this go down as one of the biggest club busts of all time it will really hurt the Austin nightlife scene. It will leave the gays left with only a few options in clubs in the downtown area such as Oil Can Harry’s or OCH, Charlie’s and Rain.
Most of the gay clubs or bars do offer 18 to enter on certain nights and Kiss and Fly was their first choice behind Rain. Rain which has been open for seven years offers a Friday Night Fix w/DJ Dallas all night long. VIP card holders can use the back door for speedy entry. They supposedly have a dress code and it is “enforced” we are not sure what that means and they would not verify on their Facebook page. DJ Filthy is one hardcore house dj for Saturday nights but it is a mess trying to get in with the huge line outside and good luck getting a drink. Bobby Cook’s All Male Strip off on Thursdays.
If you have any information on Kiss and Fly or Yassine Enterprises or are a former employee please email us at email@example.com. We are interested in this story!!