Pompeii’s permit under scrutiny

Residents and public officials continue to wonder: Is it just a restaurant,, or is it a night club?

A special investigation unit of the NYC Buildings Department has written a second round of violations at Pompeii on East Tremont Avenue, and the agency is now investigating whether the owners, 3133 Enterprises LLC., are operating something akin to a club.

In July, after numerous complaints from neighbors and elected officials, the Mayor’s Office of Special Enforcement entered Pompeii, which is at 3133 E. Tremont Avenue, for an inspection and issued two Environmental Control Board violations for “place of assembly contrary to approved permits,” and for “work that does not conform to approved construction plans.”

The ECB violations indicate that, in layman’s terms, inspectors suspect that Pompeii may be at least partly a cabaret, with dancing, as opposed to merely a restaurant where patrons sit to eat and drink.

The Special Enforcement Unit also requested an audit of the assembly permit, which is currently underway at the DOB.

“The department was referred to this case for potentially operating illegally as a club,” said DOB spokeswoman Ryan Fitzgibbon. “A hearing to adjudicate the violations has been scheduled for September. We will take the appropriate actions based on the findings of the audit.”

Fitzgibbon noted that Pompeii is officially licensed as an eating and drinking establishment only.

If the owners of Pompeiia are found to be in violation of their DOB filing from when they first opened more than six months ago, they could be subject to fines or revocation of their DOB permits.

Senator Jeff Klein and Councilman Jimmy Vacca both requested that the Special Investigation Unit conduct sweeps due to the controversy swirling in the community around Pompeii.

After a shooting a block away from the restaurant appeared to be linked to the establishment in April, and pictures surfaced of what appeared to be a stripper dancing inside of the establishment at a Valentine’s Day party, there has been a multi-agency response.

Of special interest to Senator Klein is that the assembly permit may be different than what was submitted to the State Liquor Authority when Pompeii applied for a liquor license.

“I have been continuously monitoring the situation at Pompeii with law enforcement officials at the New York State Liquor Authority,” Klein said. “My office is following up with DOB for the findings of the audit, and will immediately report any irregularities to the State Liquor Authority.”

Vacca said that he has been watching the location as well..

Through the efforts of his office, Pompeii’s plan to expand into a vacant store, previously a deli, located next door, was also quashed.

“I am please that the Buildings Department agreed with my analysis that the expansion of Pompeii could not take place under existing building codes,” Vacca said. “The thought of it expanding struck me as outrageous. I continue to question many issues related to Pompeii’s operation.”

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