Panhandling in front of New York “gentlemen’s club” Sapphire 39 has paid off for a local “famous homeless” man, named Julio — who we’re told “made thousands” after performing at the Herald Square jiggle joint on Monday night.
“Mondays Only” nights at the strip club are typically reserved for popular ’90s musical acts, such as Kid N’ Play, 702 and Flava Flav — who have all recently performed there.
But this week, the owners allowed Julio to bring the vaudeville comedy act that he usually does on the street outside to the actual stage.
Owner Richie Romero told us he’s known Julio for over 15 years.
“You know your night is great if Julio is there, because he has his ears to the street,” he told Page Six.
“He knows what venues, what nights and he entertains guests. Everyone knows him and gives him money to help him out,” Romero said.
This time, however, he brought his street act indoors thanks to the staff at Sapphire and Romero, who told us, “we created it, did a photo shoot, got gear, got him clothes and did a one-on-one interview with him.”
Two of the club’s strippers escorted Julio onstage. He used a Target basket to collect his tips, and told clubgoers, “put your money in the basket bitches!”
As for his act?
“He tells jokes and he did a one-handed push-up contest. His famous joke is ‘Who wants to go home with a homeless guy? We’ve gotta go to your place though,’” the club’s creative and programming director, Jonas Young-Borra, told us.
“He was one of our biggest draws on a Monday. We had more turn-out from New York hospitality people, and regulars, than we’ve seen in a long time. There wasn’t one person in the club who didn’t [tip him],” Romero added.
Kevin Hart visited the club last summer and was so impressed by Julio’s comedy act, that he gave him $500 before he entered the club.
Young-Borra interviewed Julio, a former marine, after Monday’s performance and the club plans to release the video this week. He said Julio is a “native New Yorker, who served in the military — and got into some sideways business, as a lot of us do, out of necessity — and now he’s one of many who need work.”
“It’s a very unique and special story about a homeless New Yorker, someone who served our country, a nightlife character and aspiring entertainer, who finally gets his chance,” Young-Borra added.
Time will tell if Julio will take his act to other clubs. For now, he has Sapphire’s support.
“He’s the pulse of New York. Even in hard times, he’s still there entertaining people and exposing the fact that we should be more accepting,” Romero concluded.