Closing time — controversial lounge shut down • Brooklyn Paper

Closing time — controversial lounge shut down

Ninety-three problems: Police sources and Community Board 10 claim that this nightspot is a hotspot for violent crime.
Photo by Elizabeth Graham

Call it Al Capone 2.0.

Police raided and closed a nightclub accused of being a hive of violent mayhem and drug activity Saturday morning and hauled its owner away in handcuffs — for failing to provide insurance to his employees.

Police and the New York State Workers Compensation Board alleged that Ronald Coury, Jr. cancelled the 93 Lounge’s employee indemnity plan on April 21, leading the agency to spring into action.

Coury’s bar was also closed in December 2012 for failing provide coverage to his six workers, in violation of a state law requiring employers to provide employees with insurance for injuries received on the job. He had to purchase a policy to re-open.

“We have been keeping an eye on this establishment,” said Workers Compensation Board spokeswoman Rachel McEneny.

Coury was released without bail on April 28, and his trial is scheduled for June 18. He faces up to four years in prison if convicted.

McEneny said all Coury has to do to re-open 93 Lounge is take out another policy. He pulled the gates back up on his club three days after the board shut him down last year.

The 93 Lounge has been locked in a battle for its life — or at least its liquor — since it went before the State Liquor Authority in March to answer for allegations ranging from lying on its alcohol permit application and allowing brawling inside its doors to serving booze out of mismarked bottles and making illegal renovations to its premises. The accusations echo long-standing complaints from neighbors, the police, Ridge politicians, and Community Board 10, which have all called for state action against the establishment.

On last New Year’s Eve, authorities claim a drunken couple attempted to murder four fellow revelers outside the bar by driving their car up onto the sidewalk and mowing down the other partygoers after a brawl indoors.

The 93 Lounge’s co-owner, Ron Coury, Sr., declined to comment for this story. The younger Coury’s court-appointed attorney, Donella Green, did not respond to repeated calls for comment.

The club’s next hearing with the State Liquor Authority is scheduled for May 8.

Reach reporter Will Bredderman at wbredderman@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-4507. Follow him at twitter.com/WillBredderman.

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