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The NYPD and the state are at loggerheads over the fate of the 93 Lounge, a controversial Bay Ridge nightspot residents claim is a haven for crime and violence.
Police from the 68th Precinct claim they are routinely called to the lounge, located in a storefront space inside the Prince Hotel on 93rd Street, to break up fights, but State Liquor Authority officials say they have no record of any violations or complaints that would make them pull the bar’s liquor license.
“We have no record of violations at 93 Lounge,” Authority spokesman Mike Smith said, noting that the last tenant of the space, the Roxbury Lounge, had a lengthy rap sheet.
The 93 Lounge’s liquor licence is up for renewal, and Community Board 10 voted last month to urge the state to reject the bar’s application.
Cops agree, claiming that the bar is on its list of trouble spots.
“We know about that place. It’s not good. We’ve had to stop by there plenty of times to break up fights,” one cop from the 68th Precinct said.
Another cop backed up his brother-in-blue’s story.
“We’ve responded to complaints about drugs, noise, disorderly premise, and we’ve issued summonses there,” the other officer said. “They’re a place that’s decided to make trouble. It’s a problem location.”
The policemen’s remarks echo accusations from members of CB10.
“There’s a memory of how this place has been run,” former Police and Public Safety Committee chairwoman Susan Pulaski said at the board’s April 16 meeting. “They’re known for bringing in third-party promoters and illegal activity. We all know about the drug situation in there.”
But 93 Lounge owner Ronald Coury insists that he’s just an honest businessman who regularly hosts benefits for the FDNY and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
Coury says he keeps a top-knotch security team on site at all times.
“Everything I do is by the book,” Coury said, adding that he felt CB10 was visiting Roxbury Lounge’s sins on his bar.
But a police source suggested that the real reason that the state has no violations on file for the 93 Lounge is a sluggish state bureaucracy.
“The state’s really slow. They only have about four guys working in the office for all of New York City. They might just not have processed the citations yet,” the officer said.
A brawl broke out at the 93 Lounge on April 15, according to Zuriel Hoyte and a friend who were dancing the night away at a birthday party in the club.
“This girl started screaming and everybody started rushing toward the door, and you could see from the lights that the cops were outside,” Hoyte said, whose wallet was stolen in the chaos and turned up empty two days later in 93 Lounge’s bathroom.
Hoyte said one of her fellow revelers — who couldn’t be reached for comment — was badly beaten in the fracas, but another friend of Hoyte’s didn’t fault the bar for what happened.
“The 93 Lounge itself was good,” Hoyte’s companion said. “The fault lies with the people who couldn’t control themselves.”
©2012 Community Newspaper Group
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