Double shooting leads state to suspend this Richmond Hill nightclub’s liquor license

Photo by Mark Mellone

Rose Lounge in Richmond Hill gained a liquor license back on March 6, but it didn’t take very long for the club to lose it for having a thorny reputation in the community.

On April 20, the State Liquor Authority (SLA) suspended the club’s liquor license indefinitely; the emergency decision came less than a week after a double shooting outside the establishment located at 89-25 130th St. that left two patrons injured.

Since opening and receiving its liquor license, the SLA said in an April 23 announcement, Rose Lounge quickly became a hot spot for trouble that required regular intervention from the 102nd Precinct.

“In less than two months in operation, this licensee has already demonstrated he is unwilling or incapable of running a lawful establishment,” Counsel to the SLA Christopher R. Riano said.

Just three days after getting its liquor license, on March 9, the club hosted a birthday party for a deceased gang member — ignoring police warnings that such gatherings at other venues led to disorderly conduct and arrests.

Cops wound up responding to a fight there on March 25 that required additional units to bring under control. Two weeks later, the SLA reported, cops came to the location on April 8 and found it crowded with more than 1,000 patrons — well above the maximum capacity of 347, creating a fire hazard.

In yet another incident, on April 14, police had to break up a fight between the Rose Lounge valet staff and an angry patron, the SLA noted.

Then, early on the morning of April 15, two men were shot near the lounge following an apparent dispute that began on the dance floor. Law enforcement sources said that Demetrius Williams, 27, of Central Islip was seen on club security video pulling out a gun and confronting a 27-year-old man before both individuals exited the lounge.

Moments later, Williams allegedly shot the 27-year-old man in the head, critically wounding him. He allegedly also opened fire on a second individual, striking him in the leg, hip and left hand. Both victims wound up being hospitalized for their injuries, and Williams was arrested later that day.

The SLA and the NYPD Vice Enforcement Unit then brought the hammer down on the Rose Lounge during an enforcement operation. On April 17, the NYPD issued nine criminal court summonses for violations including employing unregistered and untrained security guards, existing electrical hazards and having numerous fire safety violations.

Three days later, on April 20, the SLA issued 16 violations to the lounge’s management, including operating a disorderly premises, inadequate supervision, sales to intoxicated patrons, unlicensed bouncers and becoming a focal point for police attention.

As with similar emergency suspensions, the licensee is entitled to an expedited hearing before an administrative law judge. The suspension remains in effect until the SLA or a reviewing court may modify the order.

It’s the second time in as many months that the SLA suspended a Richmond Hill club’s liquor licenses on an emergency basis. Last month, Zen Lounge lost its liquor license more than two weeks after three men were shot outside the premises.

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