Monroes Girls


Monroe’s of Palm Beach “wasted no time” in prepping for life with its doors closed and made sure its staff and entertainers were taken care of.

When the COVID-19 shutdown was imposed on Florida bars March 17, Jennifer Cartwright, President of Monroe’s of Palm Beach, wasted no time in rising to the occasion. Cartwright researched available resources and created the club’s COVID-19 Emergency Action Plan to equip Monroe’s 300 employees and independent contractors with tools for what was ahead.
Within a day, Cartwright had already hunted down most of the information needed to keep Monroe’s people afloat. Via email blast and text, she provided them the contact information necessary to file for unemployment benefits, re-employment opportunities, bartender relief grants, how to manage and defer bills of all sorts, other essential survival tips, etc. She also posted the information on the club’s employee Facebook page and hosted online video meetup sessions with staff to answer questions and allow employees to vent, a welcome exercise with current social distancing requirements. The fact that Cartwright and Monroe’s owner Scott Lizza have been entirely transparent and available to Monroe’s people during the shutdown has helped to maintain calm.

“If they get stalled and frustrated with the application processes, I do a screen share and, within 10-15 minutes, we’ve got them through the hurdle, which brings them peace and comfort,” explains Cartwright. Monroe’s owner Lizza recruited Cartwright to run the club two years ago, after 20 years in radio broadcasting. “As long as we maintain open lines of communication, we will remain healthier and re-open easier.

“Scott and I wanted to provide our people as much information as possible and communicate that we’re trying to get stable and get them back on board as soon as possible, so they don’t panic,” adds Cartwright. “We’re doing renovations and cleanup of the club and restaurant and can provide extra work to some employees who are willing and able.”

Monroe’s Joe Bee and
Jennifer Cartwright at Expo

Monroe’s is also providing food for its workers and their families. “We had a lot of food left and didn’t want it to spoil,” says Cartwright. “So we’re cooking lunch for the workers here and are handing out fresh produce for as long as we can.”

Long before the COVID-19 shutdown, Monroe’s implemented an entertainer liaison, club manager Junior Santana, who stays in close contact with the club’s entertainers and is there to help get their needs met. In this time of need, maintaining a reliable support system for entertainers is all the more critical.

Santana has been at Monroe’s five-and-a-half years and worked his way up from floor host to club manager. For the past six months, Santana has been exclusively acting as the liaison to the approximately 150-200 entertainers who regularly work at Monroe’s. The club has a mix of American and Latin entertainers, and the fact that Santana speaks Spanish makes it easier for him to bond with the Cuban and other Spanish entertainers. Santana’s typical pre-shutdown responsibilities involved giving dancers who were experiencing a rough week moral support and pep talks. He’s had to field queries on the dramatic shifting of operational gears.

“Scott (Lizza, Monroe’s owner) and I wanted to provide our people as much information as possible and communicate that we’re trying to get stable and get them back on board as soon as possible, so they don’t panic. We’re doing renovations and cleanup of the club and restaurant, and can provide extra work to some employees who are willing and able.”  – Jennifer Cartwright

“They’re curious, they want to know when they can get back to work,” explains Santana. He notes that many have expensive apartments and car payments. “Most have no savings, and they’re going crazy. Some are trying to work with virtual online clubs to pay bills.”
Santana and Cartwright are sharing a lot of information and articles with the entertainers these days. Included is a recent BuzzFeedNews article on how adult nightclubs nationally may be denied government bailout funds because of the allegedly “prurient sexual nature” of the entertainment. The article focuses on how Monroe’s and other clubs are fighting any denial.

Monroe's of Palm Beach's Scott Lizza
Monroe’s of Palm Beach’s Scott Lizza

“It opens their eyes that we’re fighting for them; to keep this industry alive,” explains Santana, who video chats with several entertainers a day and reaches out to each one at least weekly to check up and explain the club’s re-opening plan.

Cartwright noted the club is also maintaining email contact with guests to communicate that when the shutdown ends, they will host a phenomenal re-opening party.

“People realize through all of this how much this industry created more than just joy and happiness,” says Cartwright. “People need to get out and burn off some steam. It’s about relationships, fun, excitement, looking forward to the weekend. Once it’s safe, we’re eager to do that for our guests and employees.”

Bobby Mac and Staff
Jimmy Boucher (L), Annie Lane and Bobby Mac

DJ Bobby Mac, an industry veteran with 25 years in Florida clubs, is very much at home at Monroe’s.

“Working at a club that’s owned by one family is a gift,” explains Mac. “Our owners are very much on the scene; very hands-on people which makes a huge difference, especially now.

“I get calls from others in the company daily just to see if we need groceries or anything else,” continues Mac. “I’m truly blessed to work for a company that treats its employees like family.”

Larry Kaplan has, for 19 years, been the Legal Correspondent for ED Publications. Mr. Kaplan is a business broker in the sale and purchase of adult nightclubs and adult stores and the Executive Director of the ACE of Michigan adult nightclub state trade association. Contact Larry Kaplan at 313-815-3311 or email

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