Rego Park nightclub losing its liquor license due to community complaints

THE COURIER/ Photo by Angela Matua

Just two weeks after Rego Park’s Rumba Nightclub received 40 violations from a number of city agencies, the State Liquor Authority (SLA) will  move to revoke the club’s liquor license.

The nightclub, which has received a number of complaints from community members, elected officials and the 112th Precinct, was visited by the NYPD, FDNY, Department of Health and SLA on Dec. 18 and Dec. 19, 2015, when each city agency found several violations.

Those violations include unauthorized alterations to the bar; safety violations including a failure to maintain fire extinguishers, an obstructed exit and exposed electrical wiring; and a number of health code violations including no food protection certificate holder and mildew in the ice machine.

According to a letter written by Deputy Inspector Judith R. Harrison, commanding officer of the 112th Precinct, between Jan. 1, 2015, and Dec. 27, 2015, there have been 90 complaints about Rumba via the 311 system.

“Rumba continues to operate their business in a disorderly manner,” Harrison said in her letter to the SLA that The Courier obtained. “The management [and] owners have been invited to meetings in my office as well as to the Borough’s Night Life Best Practices meetings in an effort to provide them with information and guidance as to how they should be operating. Things have not gotten better.”

Harrison added that the patrons are “loud and disorderly” and that they create “dangerous parking conditions along Woodhaven Boulevard.”

At a hearing Tuesday with the SLA, an attorney for Rumba Nightclub voluntarily offered the cancellation of his client’s license. This was done primarily to avoid the stigma that comes with a canceled license and the legal consequences that would proceed, according to a spokesperson for Councilwoman Karen Koslowitz, who has written letters to the SLA asking them to revoke the club’s license.

Frank Gulluscio, district manager of Community Board 6, said previously that the club has been a problem since it opened about two years ago.

“It’s a major nuisance, major problem to the community, particularly to the residents of that block,” Gulluscio said in The Courier’s previous report about Rumba. “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.”

It will take the SLA two to four weeks to process this cancellation request. Once it is processed, the cancellation order will be served upon Rumba and they will not be allowed to sell liquor.

“Let today’s event serve as notice upon businesses that they cannot just come into our neighborhood and be a disruptive presence without consequences,” Koslowitz said in a statement issued Tuesday.