City shuts Williamsburg nightclub Brooklyn Mirage — again

You can’t dance if you want to: A screengrab from www.iscityfoxshutdown.com features a morose Richie Hawtin.
www.iscityfoxshutdown.com

Record scratch.

The city on Friday closed massive Williamsburg pop-up nightclub the Brooklyn Mirage for the second time in the past month, after it once again deemed the venue unsafe.

The abrupt shutter forced the outdoor club’s organizers to cancel a Saturday show with Canadian techno legend Richie Hawtin, and one ticket-holder and longtime attendee said he felt let down.

“We expect there to be an unwritten law between the promoter and the customer that a warehouse or venue that is rented out and built on will be safe for all of us,” said the party-goer, who has attended events run by Mirage organizer City Fox for three years, but asked to remain anonymous due to fears of being blacklisted at future raves.

The city’s Department of Buildings first pulled the plug on the 6,000-person dance floor at Stewart Avenue and Meserole Street at the end of May, after firefighters found fire hazards — including “combustible material” and locked exits — but allowed it to reopen a week later, claiming City Fox had fixed all of the issues.

But the agency turned party pooper once again on June 17 when it found that dancing platforms the club had installed since it reopened were shoddily built and made out of flammable plywood that had not been cleared by the Fire Department, according to a spokesman.

Additionally, the city found the venue had done gas piping and electrical work without the necessary permits, and had no evacuation plan on the site, he said.

The club-goer said he believes it — the structures that were there during the club’s opening party in May didn’t look up to scratch, he claims.

“I stayed on the ground level — no way was I going into the structures they built,” he said. “I looked at them and deemed them unsafe.”

The Fire Department also closed a City Fox party in Greenpoint on Halloween last year that was slated to take place in a toxic warehouse with no sprinklers.

The promoter’s troubles are now so notorious, someone created a website called www.iscityfoxshutdown.com that currently features a picture of a sad-looking Hawtin accompanying the word “Yes” and a frowny face.

And the closures aren’t the Mirage’s only woes — police busted its bartenders serving booze without a liquor license at its opening night on May 21, and it has been running dry parties ever since while it tries to secure a permit.

But Williamsburg’s Community Board 1 last week voted to advise the State Liquor Authority against giving it one, with several members arguing that City Fox has now made one too many mistakes.

The board members also believed the venue was made out of unstable materials.

“Construction materials are merely theatrical backdrops, creating an illusion of sturdiness, not unlike a house of cards,” wrote board chair Dealice Fuller its recommendation to the authority.

A spokesman for the Department of Buildings said the Mirage will be allowed to reopen as soon as promoters fix the new problems.

But it doesn’t look like anyone will be partying in the industrial oasis anytime soon — ticketing company Ticketweb sent out an e-mail to guests of a show planned for this Friday with electronica group Thievery Corporation, informing them the event is off.

City Fox did not return requests for comment.

Reach reporter Lauren Gill at lgill@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260–2511. Follow her on Twitter @laurenk_gill

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