Melissa Gorga’s Former Co-workers at Lookers Gentlemen’s Club Could Could Get Their Own Show
February 12, 2013 81 Comments
In the final edit of the season 4 finale of RHONJ, Teresa and Kim D will get the blame for Angelo being at the fashion show. Angelo has several conversations with female guests and a conversation with producers that gets edited into one conversation that implicates Teresa and Kim D in setting up Melissa. The truth is, Angelo was just trying to impress these other guests (by saying) that he was part of the show and had filmed with Teresa earlier in the day. They (the producers) got lucky: he outright lies to impress a woman and says to her that he is a vital part of the finale and was asked to be there by the producers; and that audio track is what is heavily edited and used to incriminate Teresa. Everyone who had ever worked with Melissa happened to be there and so did past friends, old roommates, the list went on and on. Everyone knew she was a dancer and it was no big deal — all of this was edited out. – Former RHONJ Post Production Supervisor, September 17, 2012
Chris Kontos, owner of Lookers Gentlemen’s Club in Elizabeth, NJ, where Melissa Gorga worked in 2003, is hoping a network picks up on the pilot, “Real Barmaids of New Jersey”.
The pilot is being shot at Chris Michael’s Steahkouse, Lounge and Sports Bar in Woodbridge, which Kontos opened six years ago.
“The concept of ‘Real Barmaids of New Jersey’ is five mid-to-late-30s bartenders, all super good-looking, who have been doing this for many years and now are trapped in this world, trying to get out. But the money is too good, and due to life circumstances, they can’t get out, even though they would like to.”
According to an article by Asbury Park Press on February 6, 2013 (see below), some of the barmaids featured in the pilot also worked for the Kontos family at its two go-go bars, Breathless The Men’s Club in Rahway and Lookers. The go-go bars would be among the locations should one of several interested networks pick the show up.
In November 2011, when rumors that Melissa was a “dancer” surfaced, she released ‘payroll’ registers which listed her as a “bar servant” at Lookers during the entire 2003 calendar year. In December 2011, Melissa’s lawyer obtained a “sworn affidavit” from Chris Kontos that stated she “worked solely in the capacity as a bartender” at Lookers. Melissa continues to deny she was ever a ‘dancer’.
“They are not pay stubs. I worked long enough in corporate accounting to know what I’m looking at. They are a print out of her employee pay history showing the check detail that goes along with her pay stubs from that calendar year. Basically, this information is exported from an employee’s pay history into a report that can be either saved to a file or printed. But if you are crafty or desperate enough, it can also be easily replicated in an Excel spreadsheet. Meaning, this could be a check detail report but it also could still just be a bunch of numbers on a piece of paper.” [Cara, January 9, 2012, AllAboutTRH.com]
“The ‘affidavit’ from Chris Kontos is about as kosher as Melissa’s ‘pay stubs’. Kontos is not the most trustworthy character either. In 2007, he was charged with breach of contract and fraud (trying to skip out on $250,000 in the purchase of the restaurant that he names himself the owner of ).” [Cara, January 9, 2012, AllAboutTRH.com]
“So the former Lookers employee is doing promotion for the ex-manager of Lookers Chris Kontos. The same man who signed a sworn affidavit corroborating those claims that she was not a dancer. By the way when the former Lookers DANCER tried to sue Angelo he supplied PROOF that she did dance and Ms Lookers dropped her lawsuit.” [old NJ girl, May 14, 2012, AllAboutTRH.com]
On May 11, 2012, Melissa hosted Friday Night at Chris Michael’s Steakhouse and Club:
“I heard a rumour MeHo did an appearance at Chris Michaels’ bar the other night. This bar is owned by none other than her former employer at Lookers Chris Kontos who also happened to supply her with those “pay slips” to prove she was a bar girl when all the stripper rumours surfaced. I wonder why she wasn’t paid for her appearance at Chris Michael’s bar? Anyone? Anyone? Okay, I’ll tell you. She made a deal with Chris if he gave her those pay slips then she would make free appearances at any bars he owns. Win win for him because it gives his bars free advertising and exposure and she can continue to live her lie of a life. [MeHo Gorga, May 14, 2012, AllAboutTRH.com]
By Bob Makin
February 6, 2013
Five scantily clad women walk into a bar …
That is no joke to the producers of the latest reality TV show to take aim at Middle America’s fascination with brash New Joisey. But creators Steve Stanulis and Nick Papandrea Jr. said they hope “Real Barmaids of New Jersey” also will be funny.
The pilot is being shot all week at Chris Michael’s Steakhouse, Lounge and Sports Bar in Woodbridge.
The nutty antics of the five main “characters” are expected to attract the audience of “Jersey Shore,” which recently ended its run on MTV. “Real Barmaids” would be the sixth recent Jersey-based reality series. Others include “Cake Boss,” “Jersey Couture,” “The Real of Housewives of New Jersey,” “Jersey Shore” spinoff “Snooki and JWOWW,” and “Jerseylicious,” which also is shot in Central Jersey at a Green Brook hair salon.
“The concept of ‘Real Barmaids of New Jersey’ is five mid-to-late-30s bartenders, all super good-looking, who have been doing this for many years and now are trapped in this world, trying to get out. But the money is too good, and due to life circumstances, they can’t get out, even though they would like to,” Stanulis explained. “They’re all nutty as the day is long. They’re good-looking ladies who still party like they’re 19 years old, still getting into fights with other groups of chicks and themselves on a daily basis. Some don’t like each other, so there’s a lot of infighting, which makes for interesting reality TV.”
All hot-blooded Latinas, Italian-Americans or both, the barmaids are:
• Gina Marie Rabo, 37, of Clark.
• Carmen Guerrero, 39, of Carteret.
• Sandra Bolanos, 40, of Linden.
• Milli Rylez, 35, of Perth Amboy.
• Tina Schiro, 36, of Union.
Rabo’s father’s family hails from Italy, and her mother is from Spain, she said.
“My mother’s name is Juanita,” she said, “and my father is Joey.”
They said they all have dreams that they hope “Real Barmaids” helps make come true.
Rabo said she would like to own her own bar. A native of the Dominican Republic, Guerrero works part time as a massage therapist and said she would like to build a bigger practice. A native Colombian, Bolanos said she would like to be a full-time makeup artist. Rylez, from Peru, is a personal trainer whose clients include Miss New Jersey Libell Duran, a Keasbey resident readying for the Miss USA pageant in June. Mainly of Sicilian descent, Schiro recently graduated from nursing school and plans to pursue a career in that field while continuing to write promotional material for publicity clients.
“I watch a lot of reality shows, and I saw the opportunities and the doors that open,” Bolanos said. “I’m the type of person who is very ambitious.”
Valentino Kontos, co-owner of Chris Michael’s with his father, Chris, and brother, Michael, said he too hopes the show’s exposure pays off.
That has been the case for Hoboken’s Carlo’s Bake Shop after “Cake Boss,” Gatsby Salon after “Jerseylicious” and the Diane and Co. bridal shop in Freehold after “Jersey Couture,” he said.
“We want people to see what Chris Michael’s is all about,” Kontos said.
Both Stanulis and Papandrea hail from Staten Island and became friends with Rabo and Bolanos while working at Chris Michael’s. All but Rylez also have tended bar there since the Kontos family opened the nightspot six years ago.
Some of the barmaids also have worked for the family at its two go-go bars, Breathless in Rahway and Lookers in Elizabeth. The go-go bars would be among the locations should one of several interested networks pick the show up, the barmaids said.
“This industry has been so amazing, so good to us, but back in the day, where we used to make a grand or two a week, now we’re lucky if we make $500 a week,” Rabo said. “The money is very easy. The hustle is very easy, but it’s very hard to get out of it, because it’s such quick money. This show is basically the story of our struggle to get out of the hustle and pursue our dreams, our careers, our relationships and personal lives.”
Director Stanulis is a former New York police officer who has turned retirement into a successful stage and screen career in front of and behind the camera. Executive producer Papandrea is a real estate agent who is used to “putting deals together.”
After a year and a half of hearing that the barmaids’ lives would make a great reality TV show, Stanulis and Papandrea put all five women in a room together to see what would happen.
“It was dynamic,” Stanulis said.
“The reason they can’t get out of this bartending scene is because they love the money, they love the nightlife, and they enjoy all the excitement, the going out, the guys’ attention. People want to see that, especially with ‘Jersey Shore’ gone,” Papandrea added.
“That’s what makes it so interesting,” Stanulis continued. “At the end of the night, if one gets more attention than the other, they want to go at it with each other. They’re 38 going on 19.”