Disruptive Nightclub Loses Liquor License

Jeffrey D. Klein

October 16, 2009


Contact: Abby Ross – Office: (800) 718-2039, Cell: (479) 283-3505


Kleins Wins Fight to Cancel Liquor License for Café Dardania Inc.

NEW YORK- After nearly a year of battling the troubling establishment known as Déjà vu Bar and Grill, State Senate Deputy Majority Leader Jeff Klein (D-Bronx/Westchester) won his case. After a meeting held at the end of September, the SLA decided to cancel Déjà Vu’s liquor license because it says the establishment was not acting like a restaurant. The cancellation will go into effect Friday, October 9th.

“Déjà Vu has continued to thumb its nose at my community, misleading neighborhood leaders about its intentions and now it’s time to face the repercussions” said Klein. “I have fought long and hard on behalf of my constituents to get the club’s liquor license cancelled. This past August, the SLA fined Déjà Vu management $3,000 in Civil Penalties and now, authority leaders are giving my constituents what they truly wanted—the club’s inability to sell alcohol.”

Klein initially called Déjà Vu management in the fall of 2008 after several community associations complained the establishment was disrupting the neighborhood. Klein called on management to surrender their liquor license due to the fact they were operating a night club in a residential community even though they were licensed as a restaurant/bar under the name Café Dardania, Inc. In response, the owner of Déjà Vu promised to change the nature of the establishment, claiming he would make it more of a family restaurant. Months later, nothing changed as Déjà Vu continued disrupting the community.

In March, 2009, the establishment received a violation from the SLA for distributing alcoholic beverages during prohibited hours of sale. In April, 2009, police arrested a man in front of Déjà Vu for disorderly conduct and attempting to affect an orderly arrest. During this time, Déjà Vu also changed its name to Insomnia Lounge and continued promoting itself as a nightclub hiring disc jockeys and hosting concert performances. Managers promoted the establishment in a way to attract large groups of people, even thought the maximum occupancy level was 70.

Klein wrote a letter to the SLA’s Supervisor of Enforcement, requesting the SLA takes more action to reign in the club’s behavior. The SLA implemented the $3,000 fine this past August and Klein continued talking with SLA representatives, asking for increased enforcement. The SLA announced this week it was cancelling the club’s liquor license.

“The Senator put a tremendous amount of time helping us close down this establishment and I hope it brings a better quality of merchants to the area,” said Robert Ruggiero, President of the Morris Park Alliance.

“I think it’s a great thing. Through the diligence of the Senator’s office we were able to get their license cancelled which is a plus for the community. It also sends a message to anyone else who wants to dump on the community and not show any respect for our residents,” said Al D’Angelo, President of Morris Park Community Association.

If an establishment continues serving liquor without a liquor license, it could face a misdemeanor charge and a fine between $200 to $1200 or jail time.

* * *