Strip club with troubled history in Long Island City officially shuts down after losing liquor license

Photo courtesy of Aces New York

A strip club in Long Island City that was described by nearby residents as “dangerous” and “ominous” had its liquor license revoked earlier last week and has officially shut down, the Daily News first reported.

Aces, located at 31-10 37th Ave., was the scene of a shooting in May 2016. That some month, about a dozen residents who live near the club attended a Community Board 1 meeting to ask that the board take steps to shut it down.

James Woods, who lives on 32nd Street between 37th and 38th avenues, said at the May 2016 meeting that four to six NYPD 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.”

Deputy Inspector Peter Fortune, the commanding officer of the 114th Precinct, assured residents that the NYPD would “do what we can to keep the place safe.”

The club, which was formerly called System, opened under the new name in January 2016. According to state Senator Michael Gianaris, 252 “911” calls were placed in 2016 alone to report issues and criminal activity occurring at the club.

Aces also failed to display its license and employed unlicensed security guards among other violations. The nightclub was shut down several times but community leaders and police were never able to convince the State Liquor Authority (SLA) to revoke their liquor license until March 2017.

The SLA revoked the club’s license on March 9 after Gianaris wrote a letter outlining how Aces contributed to quality-of-life issues in the area. But a state judge granted a stay on the same day, allowing the club to keep its license.

Gianaris held a press conference in front of Aces one week later with community leaders and the 114th Precinct to “encourage” the court to follow the SLA’s recommendations.

Photo by Angela Matua/QNS
Photo by Angela Matua/QNS

According to  SLA records, Aces was fined $11,500 in November 2013 by the SLA for failing to keep up with fire and building codes and for selling alcohol past 4 a.m. An inspection in 2016 found that the club had altered its interior without notifying the SLA including adding a DJ booth and an additional bar.

The SLA officially revoked the club’s liquor license on Aug. 31 and the cancellation took effect on Sept. 12, a spokesperson for the SLA said.

“It is a success for our neighborhood to get this source of community unrest shut down, but we must remain vigilant,” Gianaris said in a statement. “I will continue making sure our streets are safe, and our neighbors live in a community with a robust quality of life.”

The club posted a thank you note to staff and patrons on its Instagram page on Sept. 15.

Aces Runs New York

A post shared by AcesNewYork (@acesnewyork) on

But in subsequent posts, the club seemed to hint at a comeback.

“A few emotional words for my aces #family @acesnewyork to all those who supported us we love you,” a caption to an Instagram video read. “#acesnewyork we will be back soon!!”

On Sept. 16, a famous scene from the movie “Wolf of Wall Street” where Leonardo DiCaprio’s character tells his staff, “I’m not f—–g leaving” was posted with the caption “meeting went well today #preshift @acesnewyork management be like #imnotf—–gleaving#werenotf—–gleaving it’s gonna take a #wreckingball to get us out!!”

Phone calls to the club went unanswered.

More from Around New York