Insomnia Lounge keeps neighbors up all night

After promising to benefit the community as a family restaurant, Café Déjà vu is once again causing trouble for neighbors, advertising as Insomnia Lounge. Photo by Amanda Marinaccio

Does Insomnia Lounge evoke a family-friendly environment to you?

Months ago, after numerous violations had been issued and complaints poured in from the community, owner of Café Déjà vu met with Community Board 11 and the 49th Precinct promising to turn over a new leaf, replacing the notoriously troublesome night spot with a welcoming family restaurant.

Since the promise was issued in December 2008, residents have found no improvement, still burdened by excessive noise and the rowdy crowd outside the late night lounge.

“As the head of the Morris Park Business Alliance, they are not part of our merchant group, nor do I feel they are an attribute to the community,” said Robert Ruggiero. “On a community level, I have gotten a significant number of complaints from residents. There are so many legitimate directions he could take, I don’t know why he is focused on creating a problem for the community.”

The community complaints warranted a visit from the 49th Precinct on Saturday, August 1 at approximately 2 a.m. Two safety violations were issued for no CPR kit sign displayed and no certificate of occupancy. The precinct will continue to monitor the location closely.

Additionally, flyers are promoting the location under the name ‘Insomnia Lounge.’

“It’s unfortunate that we tried to work with the owner and now he’s not returning our phone calls and this is not the family-oriented restaurant he promised,” said John Fratta, district manager of CB11. “Now we just have to do what we have to do to get this license revoked.”

Senator Jeff Klein has sent a letter to the State Liquor Authority urging the liquor license, operating under the name Café Dardania, be revoked.

“This establishment’s liquor license identifies it as a restaurant/bar which will not have music louder than a jukebox, no dancing and is not to be open past 2 a.m. Yet they are promoting DJs and dance parties on a weekly basis and advertising their nightclub activities all over the Internet, a far cry from a family restaurant,” said Klein. “This type of behavior is no longer acceptable.”

During a SLA full board meeting held on Wednesday, August 19, the penalties for 778 Morris Park Avenue will be addressed. The public is welcome to view the meeting live via web cast on the SLA’s website.

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