About a dozen residents who live near the club, located at 32-10 37th Ave., attended the monthly Community Board 1 (CB 1) meeting at Astoria World Manor on Tuesday to ask the board members to contact the State Liquor Authority (SLA) and call for a permanent shutdown of the gentlemen’s club.
According to Captain Peter Fortune, commanding officer of the 114th Precinct, a man was shot in the foot outside of the club on May 14 at about 3:20 a.m. At the meeting, he assured the public that his officers would “do what we can to keep this place safe.”
“The one common denominator in these events is that it doesn’t involve those of us that are sitting in this room and that’s what troubling for me,” Fortune said. “Nobody that was in that club had anything to do with the 114th Precinct or Astoria.”
A suspect has been identified and Fortune said he feels confident that an arrest will be made but residents remain concerned about their safety and quality-of-life issues.
James Woods, who lives on 32nd Street between 37th and 38th avenues, said that four to six squad cars are parked at every intersection surrounding the club from 2 a.m. to 4 a.m. every night. He said patrons stop in front of his building to urinate or vomit on the sidewalk before going into their cars to “do drugs or have sex.”
“I strongly suggest y’all do something and fix it because I’m sick of living in a pool of urine surrounded by used condoms and discarded woman’s undergarments all over my sidewalk,” Woods said.
The club, which was formerly called System, opened under a new name in January 2016. John Katsanos, chair of the board’s Consumer Affairs Committee, said the board has sent a letter to the SLA outlining the issues with the club and that CB 1 had previously recommended that the city agency deny an alteration to its liquor license.
“There seems to be alleged that they are in violation of their certificate of occupancy and it doesn’t allow adult use,” Katsanos said. “And that’s typical of a lot of these establishments.”
There are at least three other night clubs within the vicinity of ACES New York including Club Purlieu, Palladium Club and Club Mist. Club Purlieu was also the scene of several violent incidents and is in the process of being shut down, Katsanos said. According to Fortune, the 114th Precinct has nine gentlemen’s clubs within its confines.
Joseph Dougherty, who lives on 32nd Street between 36th and 37th avenues, said that though System was a nuisance, this club is “ominous” and “dangerous.”
“[Captain Fortune] is right, those guns that are coming in, are coming into us,” Dougherty said. “They’re not in the neighborhood and they’re coming in nightly with the patrons in this place. You need to do what you can to get this place shut down.”
Another resident who lives in the vicinity said he was woken up at 3:45 a.m. on May 14 by cops who were looking for the shooter.
“I had, at 3:45 a.m., police officers come uninvited through my home looking for this shooter so I want you guys to put yourselves in my place,” he said. “I’ve lived here all my life and I’m seeing something that is only referred to as the ’90s coming back again. Recommend beyond a shadow of a doubt that these places no longer open up.”
QNS has reached out to the SLA and ACES New York and is awaiting a response.