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Déjà vu owner fights liquor license cancelation

The Déjà vu saga continues as the local night spot owner is fighting the cancelation of the establishment’s liquor license in order to remain open for business.

On Wednesday, October 7, Senator Jeff Klein held a press conference outside of 778 Morris Park Avenue to announce what was considered to be a win for the community, the cancelation of Café Déjà vu’s liquor license, registered with the State Liquor Authority as Café Dardania Inc.

According to the SLA, the cancelation was issued on Wednesday, September 30 and was to go into effect on Friday, October 9, ending owner Rob Karagi’s ability to distribute alcohol in the establishment.

The decision came after nearly a year of disruptive incidences linked to the establishment and numerous violations.

“Déjà vu has continued to thumb its nose at my community, misleading neighborhood leaders about its intentions,” said Klein, referring to Karagi’s promise to turn the establishment into a family restaurant.

Recently, during a SLA Full Board meeting held on August 26, the establishment, now operating as Insomnia Lounge, was issued a $ 3,000 fine for distributing alcohol beyond the legally allowed time.

Community leaders and residents were thrilled at the announcement of the cancelation, however, the next day Karagi filed for a temporary restraining order against the state’s decision for cancelation.

“This is highly disappointing, but we will do whatever we can to see that when the judges hear this case they will rule in favor of the community,” said Al D’Angelo, president of the Morris Park Community Association.“It’s just a desperate attempt on his part.He had opportunity to do right thing from the get go, to do what was good for the community, but instead he wanted to make money at expense of the community.”

The temporary restraining order will allow him to operate until the parties appear in court on Monday, November 2.

In an effort to resolve the issue as soon as possible, Klein’s office contacted the SLA to request they file a motion to rehear the argument before Karagi is granted the temporary restraining order.

“Given that the time and date was set for November, we don’t want the community to have to wait that long,” said Klein.

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