A Bay Ridge panel urged the state to shut down a 93rd Street nightspot they say has become a violent haven for drugs dealers and neighborhood hoodlums — but the owner insists he’s doing nothing illegal.
Community Board 10 members said the State Liquor Authority shouldn’t renew the 93 Lounge’s liquor license — and take even stricter action against the club — claiming that the nightspot between Third and Fourth avenues is plagued with problems.
“There’s a memory of how this place has been run,” former Police and Public Safety Committee chairwoman Susan Pulaski said. “They’re known for bringing in third-party promoters and illegal activity. We all know about the drug situation in there.”
Pulaski said 93’s owners told CB10 years ago that they were planning to open a piano lounge, and feels that the club might be trying to get their liquor license renewed without community input.
Board member Jeannie May, who lives down the street from 93, said that the bar and its patrons have shown a blatant disrespect for the neighborhood.
“When the bar closes at 4 am, the customers go stringing down the street screaming profanity and getting into fights,” May said. “And the next morning the sidewalk’s covered with so many cigarette butts it looks like it snowed.”
But 93 Lounge owner Ronald Coury denied the charges and claimed that CB10 has never given him a fair chance.
“They were complaining about me before I even purchased the place,” he said. “I think they had some bad experiences with the last owner. I went to two meetings and just gave up. But everything I do is by the book.”
Coury admits that he leases Club 93 to outside promoters about twice each month, and that he only mentioned piano music to CB10 as one type of music that could be found there.
Coury and his security chief Akram Elsaman claim that there is no drug dealing in the club. The establishment, they say, caters to an “upscale crowd” that doesn’t misbehave.
Yet there are those who would disagree with Coury.
On the weekend of April 14, patron Zuriel Hoyte and one of her friends were attending a birthday party at the club when a brawl broke out inside. Hoyte said the fight forced everyone outside. During the mad dash, someone made off Hoyte’s wallet, she said.
“This girl started screaming and everybody started rushing toward the door, and you could see from the lights that the cops were outside,” Hoyte said. “I felt somebody reach into my pocket and take out my wallet.”
Hoyte said that she approached a security guard matching Elsaman’s description about the theft and received a brusque brushoff. She also said that another member of the birthday party attendee was badly beaten during the chaos.
“He had a black eye and he was all cut up,” said Hoyte.
The victim could not be reached for comment.
Elsaman admitted that departing customers might get rowdy after they exit the bar.
“I can’t control the customers as the go up the street,” Elsaman said.