Cynthia Thomas-Dicks, a public school administrator and former math teacher, hopes to save Paris Burlesque, a troubled Red Hook nightspot. The club, which opened under the auspices of being a burlesque venue, drew fire from neighbors when it began featuring the trappings of a straight-up strip club–lap dances, softcore porn played on TVs, and the like. Paris Burlesque closed in october, and since then, Thomas-Dicks and her husband have worked to reestablish the venue as Con Amore Cabaret, and to bring the kinds of entertainment Paris Burlesque offered but failed to deliver, including performances of jazz music and burlesque dance. Con Amore Cabaret’s liquor license application will be reviewed next week. “There will be a variety of entertainment — and we’re definitely catering to a 35-plus crowd,” Thomas-Dicks told the Brooklyn Paper. “In a sense, we’re giving back to the community.”

Since announcing plans to open the new club, Thomas-Dicks has faced embattlement from some locals who fear it will become yet another strip joint. Sal Reale, the owner of the building that housed Paris Burlesque and the potential home of Con Amore Cabaret, believes the new tenant will make a good addition to the neighborhood. “Believe me, there would never be anything seedy, because that’s not what I want to do. I want it to be part of Brooklyn, something where you go, ‘If you’re looking for something that’s out of the way, that’s a little bit funky, try this place.” he told DNAinfo. “To me, it’s just part of the character of Red Hook.”

(Photo: Dustin Wax/Flickr)