2016-06-01 / Front Page

Cops: ACES Out In Temporary Shut Down

By Liz Goff
Police at the 114th Precinct orchestrated a multi-agency raid at the ACES New York Gentlemen’s Club on May 20, where owners of the club were slapped with 58 violations and notified of several licensing issues that resulted in the temporary shutdown of the violent nightspot.

Police, city fire officials and inspectors from the Department of Consumer Affairs, Department of Buildings, the Department of Finance, the State Liquor Authority and other municipal agencies raided the club at 32-10 37th Avenue in Long Island City after a violent dispute between two Bronx street crews ended in gunfire on May 14.

Dep. Inspector Peter Fortune, commanding officer of the 114th Precinct, said the one common factor in clubs like ACES is that the violence that spills from the clubs has nothing to do with the surrounding communities. Fortune said he finds it “troublesome” that the violence is always sparked by people who do not live in the area.

Police officials said ACES is one of many clubs that open in residential neighborhoods in New York City that buy performances from promoters who pay big bucks for venues located close to public transportation. “The promoters don’t care about the reputation or history of violence associated with the performers,” police officials said. “They sell the performances to greedy club owners who don’t give a flip about the neighborhood, and are only looking to cash in on the profits,” officials said.

ACES opened on 37th Avenue in January, after the owners of Club Systems were forced by the city to shut down at the same location.  When ACES applied for a liquor license in December 2015, Community Board 1 sent a letter to the State Liquor Authority that detailed violent incidents at Systems, and asked the agency to deny the alteration of the name on a new liquor license. The SLA disregarded the letter and issued a liquor license to ACES under the name Systems, authorities said.

That decision backfired on ACES during the May 20 raid, authorities said. The club was cited for failure to obtain a new liquor license under the name ACES New York, authorities said.

A spokesperson for the Department of Consumer Affairs said inspectors issued a number of violations at ACES, including failure to obtain a Cabaret license for the club. Dancing by patrons is prohibited unless clubs have a current Cabaret license, the spokesperson said.

“It appears that the Club Systems name still appears on a number of municipal permits and licenses, a law enforcement source said. “That must change.”

Information on ACES New York is available online, the source said. “But when you call 411 for information, operators still have to look under Systems for a phone number for the club. That’s not a violation, but it is definitely a sign of how the club is being operated,” the source said.

The club also has some serious issues regarding use of the building under its current Certificate of Occupancy, a law enforcement source said. “The club could remain closed for some time if the owners fail to straighten things out with the Department of Buildings,” the source said.

ACES remained closed through May 25, pending the outcome of a meeting between the club owners and officials at the State Liquor Authority. It is unclear if the club opened for late night patrons over the Memorial Day weekend.

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