The only publicly traded chain of topless and swinger's clubs is expanding into Manhattan with the acquisition of a topless bar near Madison Square Garden.
Rick's Cabaret — a club where Anna Nicole Smith met her millionaire husband — is traded on the Nasdaq and operates a dozen upscale adult clubs in Texas, Minnesota and New Orleans.
The chain said yesterday it will pay $7.62 million for Paradise, an adult club on W. 33 between Fifth Avenue and Broadway, just a block from Madison Square and behind the Empire State Building.
Its shares rose 3 cents to $2.50. The company said it would remodel the club into a three-level, 10,000-square foot playland using its Rick's Cabaret format, to open early next year.
The company also operates swingers' clubs under the "Encounters" brand, and a sports bar format called "Hummers."
CEO Eric Langan, who says the clubs strictly forbid any sexual contact, plans to expand all the club formats elsewhere in New York but gave no details.
He said the buxom celebrity Anna Nicole met her rich spouse while dancing at the Houston flagship club.
"Thirteen performers from the clubs have become Penthouse Pets . . . and three became Playboy Playmates," Langan said.