Today’s news:

SLA nixes club

After more than nine months of controversial operation, Karma is now being forced to turn off the tap.

On Wednesday, August 6, the State Liquor Authority answered the community’s prayers and voted unanimously to suspend the nightclub’s liquor license, effective immediately.

“We flexed our muscles and we delivered the knockout punch,” Community Board 11 member Joe Bombace said. “This is a victory for the little people.”

The Morris Park and Van Nest communities have been fighting the 1907 White Plains Road establishment since its disruptive behavior began when it opened in November.

“These people broke every law they could think of,” Community Board 11 district manager John Fratta said about Karma’s continuous dance parties, despite having neither a Cabaret nor a Permit to Assembly license.

Even after an undercover SLA investigation revealed 11 violations earlier this year, Karma’s owner, Marcia Bridgett, continued to throw wild late night parties that generated lewd public behavior and immense community concern.

“We’re hopeful with the State Liquor Authority finally taking action that this will mean the end of operations here,” Councilman Jimmy Vacca said about the decision that could be the final nail in Karma’s coffin.

As for continuance of the club’s previous gatherings, “It goes to reason that without the liquor license, many people may not want to patronize the establishment,” Vacca commented.

Senator Jeff Klein agreed, stating that while he’s no expert on nightclubs, he knows that without alcohol they tend to lose their appeal. “So hopefully this will be the end of Karma,” he said.

Whether or not the end is near, he added the recent decision is definitely a large step on the right direction.

“I think it’s a tremendous victory for the community,” he said. “And that once again proves that when we come together we will win.”

The decision came just three weeks after SLA chairman Daniel Boyle negated the recommendation of both SLA counsel and commissioner Noreen Healy and voted to sustain the license.

Upon expediting Bridgett’s hearing, which was scheduled for the end of the month, Boyle reconsidered his judgment and united with his colleagues on the matter.

“Yesterday’s Emergency Summary Suspension of Karma shows the members of the State Liquor Authority will take swift and decisive action against bars that pose a threat to public health and safety in our communities,” William Crowley, Jr., SLA director of communications, said.

Upon hearing the news, Fratta said, “We’re ecstatic, however we’re not finished.” He continued, “We’re going to stay on top of this until we close down this place completely.”

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