First, it was dancing without a cabaret license. Now, pictures of something akin to a striptease show have surfaced on the Facebook page of Pompeii Lounge. Locals in the community are not pleased.
After a shooting down the street from Pompeii Lounge, located at 3133 E. Tremont Avenue, the community has kept a watchful eye on the club. Elected officials have contacted city and state agencies, which have visited the club. Violations have been made by the Department of Buildings and the Fire Department.
Pictures of a woman dancing in a bra and panties, with dollar bills hanging out of her underwear, have sparked even more concern. The pictures were posted on the club’s Facebook page, and are from a Valentine’s Day celebration at the club.
“I think it is a disgrace,” said Mary Jane Musano of the Waterbury LaSalle Community Association. “I am saddened that something like that took place at this club. Pompeii Lounge needs to be scrutinized by every agency.”
Musano said that she had heard nothing negative about the night spot until the shooting in April. Then members of the community began to come forward with stories about patrons leaving the club and causing havoc on nearby streets. This includes patrons having sex in their cars, fights on the street near the club, and loud-noise complaints.
The pictures, which include women in their underwear, have caused controversy in the community. Several woman can been seen on the club’s Facebook page under the title “V-Day Celebration.”
“The pictures look vulgar,” said WLCA member Andrew Chirico. “I saw the picture of the girl with the dollar bills, and that suggests something in your mind: What was she doing for the dollar bills? The responsible adults living in the community have come to a consensus that we would like to see this club disappear. It seems to be bringing an unsavory element into the surrounding couple of blocks.”
Chirico said that he thought the fact that everyone entering the club needs to be searched for weapons is telling about the type of clientele that Pompeii attracts. He thinks that it is exactly the opposite of what the community is all about.“We do not want the fights, gun play, and general rowdiness outside the club,” Chirico said. “The pictures on the Internet depicting the activities in the club do not reflect in a good way on Pompeii.”
Councilman James Vacca said he has been in touch with the 45th Precinct. Because of his efforts, the precinct has been monitoring the club during closing time on the weekends. Vacca has also grilled owner Jose Torres about an incident when the FDNY visited the club and the lights mysteriously went out in May. It turned out there were ten more people in Pompeii than their public assembly permit. The club was also cited for not having a copy of their public assembly permit on the premises, as required by law. The community will continue to voice their concerns, but for now, the club continues to bring in heavy business.
Reach reporter Patrick Rocchio at (718) 742-3393 or procchio@c
©2010 Community News Group