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Ask Eater: What Kind of Clubs Allow Smoking and Membership Fees, Nude Table Service?

Have a restaurant or nightlife question that you'd like the Eater readership to tackle? Send it in to and it may just get the "Ask Eater" treatment.

rene-pujol-restaurant-new-york.jpgThe following email is way too technical for us to comment upon, so we're throwing it out to you restaurant owners, real estate experts, and interns at the DOB. Maybe someone will even make a deal out of it (here if you're interested):

"I just landed the exclusive rights to market 321 W 51st Street, the old Rene Pujol space, and I have question for you: the 5000 square foot restaurant has a certificate of occupancy on the second floor for a 'non-commercial club'. I have heard from different people that it means you have to charge a membership fee to get into the second floor, you can smoke inside, and that if there is a 'PRIVATE' sign on the door, there are certain authorities who can not enter.
Does anyone know what "non-commercial club" actually entails? DOB hasn't responded to my calls and 311 is useless on this item. And while we are on the topic...I a 2500SF restaurant for sale in midtown east with an 'unlimited entertainment, group 12' certificate of occupancy: I've heard this allows for nude table service... any ideas?"
Whatever the answer is, we're now even more baffled by the DOB than ever, and we're excited for the restaurant and private smoker's club (where authorities can't enter?) that will be replacing Rene Pujol down the block from a bar with naked waitresses.
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