Albany, NY – The New York State Liquor Authority (SLA) summarily suspended the license of 3758 E. Tremont Rest Corporation, doing business as “Vapor Lounge” at 3758 East Tremont Avenue in the Bronx. The suspension was ordered by Chairman Vincent Bradley and Commissioner Lily Fan at a meeting of the Full Board on December 5, 2018. Effective immediately, no alcohol may be sold or consumed on the premises. During the suspension period the SLA intends to seek the permanent cancelation or revocation of the license.
On November 17, 2018 New York City Police Department (NYPD) officers responded to large fight directly in front of Vapor Lounge, finding a man bleeding from his head. The victim reported he was punched, kicked and beaten with an unknown object inside the bathroom of the establishment by two bouncers, which security footage obtained by the NYPD confirmed. The victim suffered fractures to his neck and ribs and was transported to Jacobi Hospital by EMS. Also on November 17th, a female patron reported to police she was pepper sprayed by bouncers working for Vapor Lounge. In both instances, the NYPD report management were uncooperative in their investigation.
According to the NYPD, the bar has become a drain on police resources, requiring 78 directed patrols since January of 2018, with incidents including:
• On July 25th, a patron leaving the premises was beaten and robbed directly in front of the premises;
• On March 7th, a patron was kicked, punched and struck with an unknown object inside the bar and treated at Jacobi Hospital for lacerations;
• On January 12th, following the slashing of a patron inside the bar, a manager from Vapor Lounge participated in a brutal beating of the slasher in the rear of the premises, resulting in the man suffering a broken eye socket. Following this incident, the SLA imposed a $10,000 fine and mandated changes to the bar’s method of operation, including replacing their security company.
On December 3, 2018, the SLA charge Vapor Lounge with three violations of the ABC Law, including operating a disorderly premise, failure to supervise and operating a non-bona fide premises, as the location has been closed since November 26th according to the NYPD, with plans to open on December 6th under a new name not authorized by the SLA.
“Despite promises to the SLA and the community to clean up their act, this bar has only regressed with continual violence and disorder stemming from the premises,” said Counsel to the Authority Christopher R. Riano. “Making matters worse, the very managers and security personnel entrusted with protecting the public health and safety were seemingly involved in these brutal assaults, compelling the SLA to take emergency action before someone else gets severely injured or worse.”
The State Administrative Procedure Act authorizes a State agency to summarily suspend a license when the agency finds that public health, safety, or welfare requires emergency action. When the SLA summarily suspends a license, it also serves a Notice of Pleading alleging one or more disciplinary violations. In invoking a summary suspension, the SLA has deemed the violation to be sufficiently serious upon initial review to warrant an immediate suspension. The SLA’s decision to summarily suspend a license is not a final determination on the merits of the case. The licensee is entitled to an expedited administrative law hearing before an Administrative Law Judge. An order of summary suspension remains in effect until such time as it is modified by the SLA or a reviewing Court.