Friday, June 18, 2010

Ozone Park Nightclub Ordered to Shut Down by Stephen Geffon - Queens Chronicle...

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Chemistry Lounge in Ozone Park was ordered to shut down last Tuesday for serving alcohol to minors, police said.

Employees of the club, located at 98-07 Liberty Ave., allegedly served alcohol to a minor on the evening of June 12 — one day after state Supreme Court Justice Orin Kitzes ruled Chemistry could temporarily reopen after the club was shut down on June 8 for violent episodes and allegedly violating liquor laws, according to a police spokesperson.

The authorities, who had taken action under the city’s nuisance abatement laws, alleged that employees of the nightclub sold liquor to minors three times during the past year. In addition, police said that last year there were reports of fights, a shooting, stabbing, assault and a robbery at the location.

On Oct. 30, 2009, a large fight broke out at the bar and two club bouncers were stabbed, police said. Cops issued four summonses to the nightclub for the sale of alcohol to an intoxicated person, disorderly premises, overcrowding and a locked exit door.

Three months later, a wild brawl near the club ended with one man shot, two slashed and a fourth in custody, police said.

Police said the shooting victim was a bouncer who tried to break up the fight. However, club manager Mike Singh told several newspapers the victim did not work for the club and that the fight, which prompted bystanders to run to the club for safety, started in a nearby CVS pharmacy parking lot.

Police said 19 people were arrested — five for assault, thirteen for disorderly conduct and one individual who had an outstanding warrant.

A man who answered the phone at Chemistry Lounge said that he had no comment when asked about police closing the club.

State Sen. Joseph Addabbo Jr. (D-Ozone Park) said, “Our nuisance laws are set up to be enforced by our police for the sake of our people. It’s good to see the process works when the facts exist and everyone works together.”

Chemistry Lounge first opened its doors to the public in December 2008. According to its website it has a capacity for more than 600 people and features ’80s, latin, hip-hop, top 40, merengue and salsa music.

NYPD Assistant Commissioner Robert Messner, who heads the department’s Civil Enforcement unit, said police have been using the city’s nuisance abatement laws to target problematic clubs since 1991.

“Nuisance abatement is a tremendously successful tool,” Messner said.

Club owners are expected to return to court on June 24.