Pompeii talent contest nixed over assembly permit, promoter

It was a hip-hop flop!

An east Bronx bar with a turbulent history with the community and authorities, was forced to cancel a rap talent show set for Sunday, September 9 after it failed to produce a permit for the event.

The Pompeii Bar and Lounge canceled the “Super Star Sunday’s All Start Artist Showcase $1,000 Gladiators of the Mic 2” rap talent contest show after a visit that Friday from the local precinct commander and the FDNY, confirmed Pompeii owner Jose Torres.

Residents reached out to Senator Jeff Klein and Councilman Jimmy Vacca when they saw ads for the contest on local TV and online, said Vacca.

He was planning a multi-agency operation with the NYPD, FDNY, and the Department of Buildings on Sunday night and Monday morning. That was before Captain James McGeown, new commander of the 45th Precinct visited with Pompeii management on Friday.

“We were successful some time ago in fighting the public assembly permit,” said Vacca, who explained that anytime more than 74 people were found to be in the premises, it would have to be vacated.

An outside promoter has been working with Pompeii for the past six months, and that promoter had billed the contest as a concert in error, Torres said. That mistake, he said, was the reason he had to cancel the planned contest.

McGeown confirmed that he had spoken with a Pompeii manager and asked to see the Assembly Permit, which he found to have expired in July.

“He tried to give me the old ‘check was in the mail’ story,” said McGeown, who said that he guessed in this case the warning worked.

Torres said that he had worked without incident for six months with the current promoter, but that the television ads were not authorized.

The community will remain vigilant about Pompeii and everything that is going on there, said Vacca. Klein also was unrelenting.

“In this fight to take back our community, I won’t give an inch to the owners of Pompeii,” said Klein. “Fortunately, law enforcement and Captain McGeown feel the same way.”

Klein added: “Pompeii’s operators have carried on with their business as if they are above the law. Well, I have got a message for them: not here, not now, not ever. If they continue on their current path, the consequences for disrespecting our community will only grow larger. And if that is the case, I will be here to ensure that the consequences are severe.”

Pompeii currently has State Liquor Authority violations from 2011 pending before an Administrative Law Judge, after being fined for sustained charges from 2010 earlier this year.

“They deserve not only to be stiffly fined, but their liquor license should be revoked,” said Waterbury LaSalle Community Association board member Mary Jane Musano. “That will send a strong message to every other club in our area. Work within the guidelines of law, or your business will be no more!”

Additional reporting by David Cruz

Patrick Rocchio can be reach via e-mail at procchio@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 742-3393

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