Sept. 19, 2016 By Christian Murray
Secrets, the crime-plagued strip joint located at 49-19 Queens Boulevard, was shut down by the police earlier this month and the chances of it reopening are uncertain.
The police closed the club on September 9 following a series of violations, such as the sale of narcotics inside the establishment, a robbery near the premises, failure to comply with state liquor authority rules and not providing its employees with workers compensation.
The club was also in the news last November after a murder took place outside the premises following a dispute between club goers.
Deputy Inspector John Travaglia, commanding officer of the 108 Precinct, said at a Woodside community meeting Thursday that there is a 50-50 chance that the premises will not reopen.
Travaglia said the precinct is currently working to impose conditions on the premises—such as limiting its hours of operation and requiring security changes—before permitting it to reopen.
The new conditions would need to be approved by a Queens County Supreme Court judge.
Robert Mari, the club’s manager who is trying to reopen the venue as its new owner, spoke to Community Board 2’s City Services & Public Safety Committee on Wednesday.
Mari’s attorney said the club didn’t fight the closure when the police action was brought before the court. “I feel that given the history that we should give something to the community and police, and get our house in order,” he said.
Pat O’Brien, chairman of the committee, didn’t take too kindly to this rationale. “When you say you want to give something back to the community that is a new tack for a gentlemen’s club to take,” he said.
O’Brien, who is an attorney, said that the reason the club did not fight the closure was because it had no defense against the case the police legal team had put together.
Mari claimed the club had become a police target due to its reputation and said violations such as workers compensation were unfair and that the narcotics were sold by a bad dancer in January.
O’Brien countered that “bad management hires bad dancers” and that the club admitted to the violations by not defending against them in court.
Mari said the police want him to close at 2 am for the first six months that it reopens and to be closed on Sundays and Mondays. He said that in total the police want him to agree to 15 changes.
O’Brien said that Mari should come back to Community Board 2 once they clear up the violations with the court. A court date is schedule in late October, according to the attorney for the club.
Travaglia said that the conditions the police put on the club cannot be overly harsh. He said that the courts have to agree that the terms are fair.
However, Travaglia said, that if the club is unable to make big changes then the police will suggest that they not be allowed to reopen.
Meanwhile, O’Brien told the new owner, “You have an uphill fight to keep this open.”
— NYPD 108th Precinct (@NYPD108Pct) September 10, 2016