Strippers at the Bada Bing were portrayed by extras including Elektra, Justine Noelle, Kelly Madison Kole, Luiza Liccini, Marie Athanasiou, Nadine Marcelletti, Rosie Ciavolino and Sonia Ortega. The "Bada Bing Girls" appeared in a photo spread in the August 2001 issue of Playboy magazine.
The club's title is a stereotypical Italian-American expression, also rendered as "bada bing bada boom" or "bada boom bada bing". Alison Lyon, a British teacher of African drumming, notes that "Bada bi; Bada ban" is an expression in Malinke, meaning "it is done, it is good," and suggests that the phrase bada bing, bada boom may have been picked up originally from African-Americans by Italian immigrants.
The use of Bada Bing as the name of the club and elsewhere in the series popularized the catchphrase such that it was added to the 2003 Oxford English Dictionary as an exclamation to emphasize that something will happen effortlessly and predictably. Bada bing is imitative of the sound of a drumroll or rim shot, or may also derive from the "bada-bing" sound effect that James Caan's character, Sonny Corleone, makes to describe an up-close shooting in The Godfather.
Alcohol and nudity
Being a topless go-go bar selling alcoholic drinks, Bada Bing represents a deviation from reality insofar as real-world New Jersey state law prohibits topless or nude dancing in establishments that sell alcohol. However, New Jersey strip clubs without liquor licenses may opt to permit patrons to bring in their own alcoholic beverages, while full bars with liquor licenses are allowed to feature non-topless or non-nude go-go dancers (i.e. "bikini bars").
Reviewer Paul Levinson heralded the Bada Bing, and its background of nudity, as a key setting for the series:
"The Sopranos's brilliant solution is to situate most of its nudity in the Bada Bing! strip joint run by Tony Soprano's aide-de-camp, Silvio Dante. The setting is an eminently logical place to frequently find Tony and his crew discussing business, and the naked women need no further motivation than that they are dancing in the club...Bada Bing! is an ideal locale – doing for The Sopranos what the diner did for Seinfeld, and the bar owned by Munch, Meldrake, and Bayliss did for Homicide – but with a physically illicit explicitness that gives sexual energy to whatever other story is unfolding.”
The Bing is where:
Tony Soprano and his crew find out Jackie Aprile, Sr. has died from his illness. One of the dancers vows never to forget where she was the day Jackie died.
Tony Soprano cancels the hit on Don Hauser, his daughter's soccer coach and an uncovered statutory rapist.
Tony and Sil agree to have Richie Aprile killed, but are preempted by a deadly domestic dispute involving Richie and Janice.
Ralph Cifaretto beats his pregnant girlfriend Tracee, a Bing dancer, to death in the parking lot just outside the building.
Johnny Sack informs Tony that he is prepared to reconcile with Ralph following an insult to Sack's wife, in turn allowing Tony to cancel a planned hit on him.
Christopher Moltisanti threatens Tony with a gun for allegedly having an affair with his fiancée, but he has already emptied his gun of bullets by shooting Tony's old SUV in the parking lot, a burgundy 1999 Chevrolet Suburban, which Tony presumably is back to driving since totaling his black Escalade.
Silvio Dante arrives at the club to open it in the morning and finds Christopher Moltisanti, coming down from a heroin binge vomiting heavily in the toilet, his hair in the toilet water. He later brings this up at Christopher's rehabilitation intervention.
Effect on film location
All interior and exterior shots of the Bada Bing were filmed on location at Satin Dolls, an actual go-go bar on Route 17 in Lodi, New Jersey. (Occasionally the neon "Satin Dolls" logo can be seen on an interior wall of the club.)
The popularity of the series and the notoriety of the Bada Bing! resulted in economic benefits through tours and souvenirs for the real-life club.
After the series finale, the owners of the real bar decided to auction off the furnishings.