Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Police Shut Down Problem Club in Ozone Park, Queens by Stephen Geffon - Leader-Observer

Read original...

Clientele of Chemistry Lounge in Ozone Park will have to look elsewhere to party and dance. The club has closed its doors.

After a hearing held on June 24 before Supreme Court Justice Orin Kitzes, the owners of the club and the police department reportedly entered into a stipulation whereby Chemistry agreed to close and turn the lease back over to the landlord. As of press time, the exact details of the stipulation have not been made public.

Reportedly, the landlord is now looking to rent the premises at 98-07 Liberty Avenue to a restaurant or restaurant chain such as Applebee’s.

Chemistry Lounge was originally padlocked on June 8 by officers of the 106th Precinct under the direction of Special Operations Lieutenant Joseph Salvato for violent episodes and allegedly violating state liquor laws, according to a police spokesman.

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 October 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.

Chemistry Lounge first opened its doors to the public in December of 2008. According to its website it has a capacity for more than 700 people and has a 5,000-square-foot dance floor.

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.