2017-04-12 / Front Page

Community Awaits Judge’s Ruling On ACES Shutdown

By Liz Goff
Neighborhood residents said they would gladly help dismantle stripper poles inside the ACES Gentlemen’s Club if a State Supreme Court judge strips club owners of their liquor license, forcing the violent establishment to close for good.

State Sen. Michael Gianaris said club owners may have charted their own demise by failing to show up at court hearing on April 5, where a judge was prepared to hear arguments on the State Liquor Authority’s (SLA) decision to revoke the club’s liquor license.

Following Gianaris’ March 10 call to shut down the ACES Gentlemen’s Club at 32-10 37th Avenue in Long Island Coty, the Astoria lawmaker and community leaders called for a state court to affirm the SLA decision to revoke ACES liquor license.

The SLA agreed on March 9 to revoke ACES’ liquor license, but on the same day, a state judge temporarily reinstated the license pending arguments that were to be presented at the April 5 hearing.

Attorneys for the club pleaded for a stay of the SLA ruling that terminated the liquor license. The SLA pulled the license because ACES owners had accrued massive fines for city and state violations dating back to 2012.

Records indicate the club has amassed more than $40,000 in fines since 2013 for violating fire and building safety codes, storing alcohol in unmarked containers, failing to obtain a valid cabaret license, failing to post their liquor license in a visible place, failing to employ security guards and selling alcohol after 4 a.m.

“Police reports indicate a disproportionate number of disturbing incidents from ACES, including gang related shootings, arrests and summonses,” Gianaris said. On May 14, 2016, a gang-related dispute erupted inside the club and spilled onto the street. A club patron was shot in the foot during the melee and a club bouncer suffered a serious head injury, Gianaris said.

Police were forced to regularly monitor ACES following the May 14, 2016 incident, Gianaris said. In 2016 alone, police responded to 252 “911” calls reporting violent, criminal and civil incidents related to ACES.

ACES was temporarily shut down in 2016, after a raid by local police, city and state agencies uncovered a number of licensing and paperwork issues.

Gianaris is urging the New York State Supreme Court to approve the SLA ruling and shut down the adult establishment once and for all. The case is now pending and the community is waiting to hear the decision, Gianaris said.

“ACES is a menace in our neighborhood that poses a danger to our community,” Gianaris said. “It would be in everyone’s best interest for this establishment to be closed, and I hope the judge agrees.”

Spokesperson for Aces replied to the above story with the statement below:

“The purpose of Wednesday’s court date was simply to submit papers which are now in the process of being sent to the Appellate Division. Aces’ attorney made this submission in a timely manner in accordance with Court rules and procedures. As a small business that employs several dozen Queens residents, Aces has always taken the health and safety of its neighbors and patrons very seriously. We look forward to an open and honest dialogue with the community.”

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