Last weekend, a multi-agency operation that included the NYPD, FDNY, Department of Health and the State Liquor Authority (SLA) paid a visit to Rumba Night Club in Rego Park and cited the club for 40 violations.
Those violations include unauthorized alterations to the bar, safety violations including a failure to maintain fire extinguishers, an obstructed exit, exposed electrical wiring; a number of health code violations including no food protection certificate holder and mildew in the ice machine.
The FDNY found that the club has no public assembly permit and no explosives permit even though four cases of fireworks were found. Other violations include the use of unapproved trade names, failing to conform to application ― the club falsely indicated that its legal occupancy is 202 when the actual number is 74 ― and a slew of other violations.
Councilwoman Karen Koslowitz on Monday sent a letter to the SLA asking commissioner Vincent G. Bradley what an establishment must do to be shut down.
“I have never received as many complaints about a business as I have received about Rumba,” Koslowitz said in the letter. “You cannot imagine my surprise when the State Liquor Authority recently renewed their license, despite opposition from the local community board, violations on record and numerous arrests made at the location by local NYPD.”
Though the club is located at 67-63 Woodhaven Blvd., it was cited for falsely representing its location as 67-53 Woodhaven Blvd. The club also presented its name on the license as Rumba Supper Club Corp.
The SLA renewed the club’s liquor license in August. According to Frank Gulluscio, district manager of Community Board 6, the club, which was previously a restaurant and became a nightclub about two years ago, has been a problem since it opened.
“It’s a major nuisance, major problem to the community, particularly to the residents of that block,” Gulluscio said. “From building problems to quality of life problems, noise, urination, fights, [being cited] this weekend for over 40 violations and they just don’t care.”
The owners of Rumba Nightclub have not reached out to Community Board 6 or Rego Park residents to try to alleviate their concerns, Gulluscio said. He wants to see the club “closed, end of discussion.”
“My hope is that the SLA does there due diligence on this because that’s how serious it is,” he added.
Though the SLA is in control of renewing liquor licenses, the NYPD legal bureau is responsible for shutting the club down. According to a spokesperson for the SLA, the club’s only major offense was the sale of liquor to a minor in 2013.
“Unless there is good cause shown, the SLA cannot deny the renewal of a license,” spokesperson William Crowley said. “In this case, the only adjudicated adverse history associated with this license dates back to a sale to minor on Nov. 27, 2013. However, the SLA does have pending charges against this licensee.”
The pending charges include altering the licensed premise, using the trade name Rumba Night Club without the permission of the SLA, maintaining a disorderly premise and five other violations. The club owner, listed in documents as Jeyson Segovia of Maspeth, offered to pay $8,000 for the violations but was rejected by the SLA board.
The SLA will hold a meeting on Jan. 5 to discuss the pending violations.
The Courier reached out to Rumba Night Club and is awaiting a response.