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Community says enough after last Vapor Lounge incident

Vapor Lounge is located at 3758 East Tremont Avenue in Throggs Neck.
Bronx Times
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Community leaders and residents are calling for the New York State Liquor Authority to revoke Vapor Lounge’s liquor license.

Vapor Lounge, which is located on East Tremont Avenue in Throggs Neck, has had its fair share of problems.

The latest incident occurred on March 7 when NYPD responded to reports of an altercation at the hookah bar around 2:30 a.m.

They discovered a man had been slashed and beaten unconscious, with surveillance cameras capturing the brutal episode.

“After this last incident the board said enough was enough,” said Community Board 10 district manager Matt Cruz.

On Thursday, March 15, during their general board meeting, CB 10 agreed to formally contact the NYS Liquor Authority to take action.

In the two weeks prior to the meeting, Cruz said the board received five or six emails from concerned residents asking for action to be taken on Vapor Lounge.

“This establishment has worn thin on the community,” said Cruz.

Troy Perez, who is referred to as Toby, owner of Vapor Lounge, indicated he would restructure the establishment into a more family-friendly business and surrender his current liquor license, according to Cruz, who confirmed Perez was present at the March 15 meeting.

Perez has already begun restructuring the current operation by shortening its hours of operation on weekdays and weekends, implementing a new security team and brain storming new ideas for the establishment, according to president of the Throggs Neck Merchants Association, Bobby Jaen.

“Everybody deserves a second chance,” said Jaen.

“The Throggs Neck Merchants Association does not sanction or agree with anything that happened at Vapor Lounge,” continued Jaen. “But I am taking the stand as president to work together to try to keep businesses open in our communities instead of closing them and try to make places more conducive to the needs of our community.”

Jaen also said he suggested to Vapor Lounge management that the establishment be converted into a jazz establishment with wifi and live musicians.

In tandem with the correspondence, local legislators Senator Jeff Klein and Assemblyman Michael Benedetto drafted a letter to the SLA calling for the suspension of the bar’s liquor license.

“We expect bars and restaurants to be good neighbors, however the behavior that has taken place at the Vapor Lounge is unacceptable in our community,” they wrote.

“Things have gone from bad to worse there and it is time for the State Liquor Authority to take immediate action against this establishm­ent,” Klein said.

Vapor Lounge’s indiscretions can be traced back to 2016, when the business was hit with a $10,000 fine for having unlicensed bouncers and a number of assaults that occurred inside the establishment.

The SLA Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control had a pending revocation against Vapor Lounge, which was filed coincidentally on March 7 based on an assault that occurred at Vapor Lounge on January 12.

The SLA is still investigating the March 7 assault according to an SLA spokesperson.

Reach Reporter Sarah Valenzuela at (718) 260-4584. E-mail her at svalenzuela@cnglocal.com.
Updated 10:17 am, April 4, 2018
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