A New Jersey strip club where The Sopranos was filmed has been shut down by local authorities.

In the hit US television crime series, Tony Soprano, an Italian American Mafia boss played by James Gandolfini, conducted some of his most important business at the fictitious Bada Bing! club.

Hits on rivals were ordered at the bar, alliances were made and bonds broken in its booths, and money changed hands in the back room, which doubled as Soprano's office.

For all six series of the show, which ended in 2007, the Satin Dolls strip club in Lodi, New Jersey, served as the setting for the Bada Bing! - and it capitalised on its fame.


But last week the club was closed after its owner Anthony Cardinalle, who was accused of Mafia links and under-the-table accounting, was convicted of racketeering.

Christopher Porrino, the state Attorney-General, said: "Illegal activity was glorified at the Bada Bing! in the fictional world of Tony Soprano, but it has no place in modern-day New Jersey. It's time to shut it down."

The venue has until January 4 to sell or transfer its liquor licence.

Cardinalle, 65, had a history of run-ins with the law. In 1995, he admitted evading income tax derived from strip clubs in Secaucus and North Bergen. His father, Anthony snr, who died in 1988, introduced his son to the Mob, according to Alan Silber, Cardinalle's lawyer.

In 2013, he was one of 32 reputed mobsters and associates charged in a federal crackdown on Mafia control over commercial waste disposal in New York and New Jersey.

Federal prosecutors in Manhattan charged him with participating in a racketeering enterprise in which members of several mob families exercised illegal control over waste hauliers, mirroring the business that the fictional Soprano gang operated as a cover.

James Gandolfini as Tony Soprano.
James Gandolfini as Tony Soprano.

Cardinalle was caught on a wiretap collecting protection money and, later in court, a witness said he "essentially held court" at the bar of the Lodi club.

He pleaded guilty in December 2013 to racketeering and extortion and, faced with 40 years in prison, became a "turncoat", and cooperated with federal prosecutors. He was sentenced instead to 30 days' jail and fined US$10,000.


His 2013 convictions disqualified him from running his strip club businesses, but last week prosecutors in New Jersey said he continued to manage the company, despite it officially being run by his daughter, Loren.

"The Cardinalles may have wanted to keep the business in the family, but that's not how it works," said Porrino. "Their continued flouting of the law cannot and will not be tolerated."

A man answering the phone at the club told the Telegraph: "No comment."