King of Clubs's second application turned down
In a breakthrough for Hunts Point residents who have fought to see an end to the proliferation of strip clubs on the peninsula, the state’s Liquor Authority ruled not to grant an alcohol permit to a club owner who recently re-applied.
The agency on April 24th voted down an application submitted by King Oak Corp., which announced in 2010 that it planned to open a topless bar on Oak Point Ave., to be called King of Clubs. The club’s application was turned down in 2011, and again last April.
When the owners approached Community Board 2 in 2010 requesting a letter of support that would have strengthened their liquor application, the board turned them down, instead opting to send a letter to the Liquor Authority urging authorities to reject the application.
Hunts Point residents, members of Community Board 2 and police from the 41st Precinct argue the neighborhood’s topless bars significantly increase local violence due to the patrons they attract and drain police resources as more officers are deployed nearer the bars.
In a letter notifying community board members of the agency’s most recent rejection of King of Clubs, district manager Rafael Salamanca wrote “This is a big win for the community, but it must not end here. We as a community must continue to keep the pressure on the NYSLA” to ensure future applications are rejected, Salamanca wrote, and added topless bars are “not in the public interest.”
In addition, State Senator Ruben Diaz Sr. has drafted legislation that would require the Liquor Authority to invite community boards to present oral testimony at hearings where liquor license application hearings.
Board members were disappointed when they received news in April the agency had granted a liquor permit to another applicant, Platinum Pleasures, despite residents’ and business’ pleas they reject that application.
In nearby Mott Haven, a string of violence and car break-ins and around Sin City, a topless club on Park Ave., has that community on edge, while police from the 40th Precinct comb the area near the bar in large numbers to combat crime and violence they say has been brought in by the bar.