Series of violent incidents prompts liquor authority to revoke Astoria bar’s booze permit

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You can’t go “Home” again for a drink in Astoria, according to the State Liquor Authority.

The authority announced on Oct. 5 that it suspended the liquor permit of the Home nightclub located at 28-49 Steinway St. The emergency suspension came after the NYPD responded to 17 violent episodes at the bar dating back to January, including patrons being slashed and a bouncer being assaulted with brass knuckles.

As of Oct. 4, Home can no longer sell alcohol, nor allow booze to be consumed on premises. The SLA plans to seek a permanent cancellation or revocation of the establishment’s liquor license.

“Despite being licensed for just over a year, this licensee has demonstrated an inability to comply with the law and has taken zero measures to provide for the safety of their patrons,” said Christopher R. Riano, counsel to the SLA. “The SLA is compelled to take emergency action as this licensee has failed to take any actions to prevent these violent incidents, despite clear and repeated warnings.”

The most recent violent incident at Home took place on Sept. 30, according to the SLA. That’s when a bouncer allegedly brutally assaulted a heavily intoxicated patron, breaking the man’s jaw and causing other substantial injuries.

It’s not the first time a Home bouncer went wild on a patron. On Jan. 8, the SLA noted, a bouncer punched a man in the face while wearing brass knuckles, causing lacerations and head swelling.

Throughout 2018, the 114th Precinct frequently responded to trouble at Home, according to the authority.

On Feb. 11, cops had to break up an altercation involving at least 10 patrons. Twelve nights later, on Feb. 23, they were back at the club responding to a 911 call from a woman who claimed a man inappropriately touched her. When they arrived, they found the man, who was highly intoxicated and had been served a few too many drinks by bar staff.

In a March 18 incident, officers observed a violent altercation in front of Home and spotted one of the participants exiting the premises and removing what appeared to be a firearm from the trunk of a nearby vehicle. The officers stopped the man, searched the vehicle and found a BB gun along with an expandable baton, a gravity knife and a radio that could pick up NYPD dispatchers. Police learned that the individual had been working at Home as an unlicensed bouncer.

Cops were back at Home on April 22 to assist an intoxicated man who lost consciousness after stepping out of the club. On June 10, police came to the aid of a female who had been attacked at the bar by a male patron, and on Aug. 18, they responded to a reported assault and found that a male patron had been slashed with a broken bottle.

The precinct, SLA and the NYPD Vice Club Team worked to abate the problems at Home. During a joint inspection on March 7, the NYPD issued 19 criminal court summonses after 25 separate violations were found.

On Oct. 3, a day before the SLA board voted to suspend Home’s license, the SLA charged the licensee — JJK & LK Corp. — with three violations of the ABC Law, including operating a disorderly premises, failure to confirm with their application and lack of supervision. There are three additional cases pending before the SLA on charges that include serving intoxicated patrons, employing unlicensed bouncers and becoming a focal point of police attention.

It was noted that the licensee may seek an expedited administrative law hearing before an Administrative Law Judge about the matter. The license suspension remains in effect until the SLA or a reviewing court chooses to modify it.

Home was one of three Queens establishments that had its liquor license suspended in emergency fashion by the SLA on Oct. 4. Angels Strip Club in Flushing lost its permit over a series of violent episodes just three days after a patron was shot to death as a result of a dispute that began inside the establishment. Central American Restaurant in Far Rockaway also had its license suspended for violent incidents.

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