Greenpoint club has an ‘Exit’ strategy

Greenpoint club has an ‘Exit’ strategy
The Brooklyn Paper / Andy Campbell

Greenpoint’s Club Exit — notorious for its rowdy crowds, short skirts and violence in and outside — suddenly closed on Friday night after 15 years as a nightlife epicenter.

“We’re just tired with the scene,” manager Mariusz Kupiec told The Brooklyn Paper on Monday. “We had a lot of people, but people didn’t translate to money. The pretty girls want free drinks, but the fun of giving away free drinks wears off.”

And the fun wore off fast enough that little notice was given to long-term patrons, except for a sign on the door and the club’s Web site:

“We’ve had a great run,” it reads. “Fifteen years is a very long time in the life of a night club, there are limits to any venue, and it’s time for Club Exit to retire.”

Diehard fans were sad to see Club Exit go, but admitted that they’ve come to expect a punch or two thrown by closing time every weekend. The fights sometimes escalate past punches, too — gunfire was reported twice in 2008 outside the venue, which is on Greenpoint Avenue between Manhattan Avenue and Leonard Street and is surrounded by apartment buildings and a McDonald’s.

Kupiec said the site was also rented out by third parties, bringing in a variety of trouble-making crowds from Queens to Manhattan.

He didn’t deny that scuffles had broken out since the he built and opened the club, but he maintains that its death spiral had nothing to do with police. Others had different theories.

“There’s always people screaming at each other outside,” said Heather Gordon, a Greenpoint resident who called the club’s drinks too expensive. “Cops were here just last weekend.”

It’s true — a fight between at least nine people spilled out onto Greenpoint Avenue on Jan. 2, right in front of our reporting staff. The drunken melee, which began with a loud argument, resulted in two people unconscious, some bloody noses and plenty of police scrutiny — though the group of about seven attackers jumped into a van and left before cops arrived.

Kupiec said he was out of town, but confirmed the incident.

“People get hot at any club,” he said. “There are a lot of rumors going around that we’ve had drug charges, liquor license problems and the like, but it’s all drama that we don’t have. We’re just tired.”