Club Castaway getting ‘back to basics’ with Wednesday reopening in Whately

  • Club Castaway, located at 226 State Road in Whately, is slated to reopen Wednesday. STAFF PHOTO/CHRIS LARABEE

  • Club Castaway, located at 226 State Road in Whately, is slated to reopen Wednesday. STAFF PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

Staff Writer
Published: 9/28/2023 8:11:23 AM
Modified: 9/28/2023 8:10:36 AM

WHATELY — After more than three years in the dark, the lights will flick back on at Club Castaway in just a few weeks, as its owners are getting “back to basics” at Franklin County’s only strip club.

The long-dormant club, located at 226 State Road at the intersection with Christian Lane, closed in 2020 as a result of pandemic shutdowns, but remained closed once restrictions were lifted, while co-owners Nick Spagnola and Julius Sokol determined the future of the business.

Plans were made to sell the club in early 2022 to a Boston-based entertainment group, and in February of this year, Spagnola and Sokol floated the novel idea of opening what would likely be the country’s first-ever topless marijuana dispensary. At this moment, though, Spagnola said their goal is to “get back to basics.” Club Castaway is slated to reopen on Wednesday, and will be open Wednesday through Saturday from 4 p.m. to 1 a.m.

“The reopening process has been exciting,” Spagnola wrote in an email. “We have explored many different paths and directions to take our business since closing in 2020. However, our plan is to get back to basics and offer the best of erotic dancers.”

Over the past several months, the club has been given a facelift with a newly painted exterior, while the interior was renovated prior to the club’s shutdown with improved sound and lighting, along with new TVs. Spagnola said they will also seek a Keno license from the Massachusetts Lottery.

In anticipation of the club’s reopening, the Select Board opted to stick with the license conditions it had placed on the club before its closure in 2020, which required a four-month period in which the business needed to hire a police detail on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 9:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. and submit written reports to the board.

Given that Spagnola and Sokol took over the club on Oct. 29, 2019, the club has about 45 days left on its “probationary period” once it reopens. The board opted to keep the regulation in place because it has been several years since the business has operated.

“I would be in favor of the probationary period,” Select Board member Julianna Waggoner said in February. “Since the somewhat waning of COVID, we haven’t see what this looks like.”

In a separate endeavor from Club Castaway, Spagnola has been planting more roots in western Massachusetts over the last year through his real estate business. He recently acquired 22 studio apartments on Dwight Street in Holyoke for $1.1. million and he said he is getting ready to close on an additional 24-unit complex on Hampden Street in Holyoke.

The Wednesday reopening is a “soft” relaunch of the club, according to Spagnola, who said the first big ticketed event will be on Oct. 13 and 14 with adult film star Sara Jay performing two shows each night. Beyond that, he expects they’ll host one or two special events each month.

Chris Larabee can be reached at


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