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City shuts controversial Williamsburg club Brooklyn Mirage

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Now it really is a mirage.

The city pulled the plug on controversial Williamsburg pop-up nightclub the Brooklyn Mirage on Friday, revoking its right to party after the Fire Department found it was a disaster waiting to happen the night before.

New York’s Bravest shut the decadent outdoor venue on Stewart Avenue and Meserole Street around midnight on Thursday after finding it was full of “combustible material” and other fire hazards, and didn’t have enough staff on hand to ensure the place was safe from going up in flames, a Fire Department spokesman said.

A Department of Buildings then revoked the Mirage’s temporary place of assembly permit — which was otherwise valid through June 19, according to an agency spokeswoman — slapping a vacate order on the venue’s entrance that describes it as “imminently perilous to life.”

The venue’s organizers say they were blindsided by the eviction, claiming the venue had passed safety inspections with both the agency and Fire Department in the past, but that it would work on getting the permits back to open the doors once again.

“We look forward to learning how we may resolve new but unknown concerns,” they said in a statement on the Mirage’s Facebook page.

But it was just the latest run-in with law enforcement for the Mirage’s organizer City Fox — police busted the outfit selling booze without a liquor license at the Mirage last Saturday, and the Fire Department also shut the company’s Halloween party at a toxic Greenpoint warehouse last year after deciding it, too, was a fire hazard.

An official source claimed the venue was once again selling alcohol when firefighters closed it on Thursday, but several people in attendance said it was a totally dry event.

The State Liquor Authority denied the nightclub’s application for a series of temporary alcohol-slinging permits for the site earlier this month, on the grounds that the venue isn’t all that temporary.

The venue had taken the first steps towards applying for a full license, recently appearing before the local community board, though an authority spokesman said Saturday’s bust could affect its chances of scoring one.

Reach reporter Lauren Gill at lgill@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260–2511. Follow her on Twitter @laurenk_gill
Updated 10:17 pm, July 9, 2018: Updated to clarify the status of the venue's liquor license application, and add additional comments on the alcohol sale claims, and from the venue.
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Reasonable discourse

Matt from Greenpoint says:
Maybe, not being from around these parts, they did not know the right people to pay?
May 27, 2016, 4:14 pm
Alicia from Wburg says:
They were not selling alcohol Thursday, this is false information. The bar provided juice, water and mixers but no alcohol. Maybe you should speak to more than one "source"
May 27, 2016, 4:26 pm
Abe says:
Um they absolutely didn't sell alcohol Thursday. Nice hack job
May 27, 2016, 4:54 pm
Alecia from Park slope says:
After googling the holloween location and learning it was a superfund site.. I decided not to attend any more cityfox parties. They're all about making their money. They don't care if we get cancer from the toxic waste dump they let us dance in - not to mention all the vibration from sound really stirs the dust. No surprise there was dangerous/flammable stuff here.... And they were selling alcohol. Just because I didn't go doesn't mean I don't know people that did. They were cheap enough to want us to dance at a superfund site (by the way, Cityfox has mega $$$) instead of paying the bucks for their lovely patrons to be at a NON-TOXIC warehouse. They definitely would do other illegal/dangerous activities without concern of laws or safety. Pathetic.
May 27, 2016, 5:07 pm
Dave from Manhattan says:
No alcohol was served last night. You might wanna recheck your sources.
May 27, 2016, 5:07 pm
Sam from Bedstuy says:
Just to re-iterate: There was no alcohol for sale whatsoever.
May 27, 2016, 5:10 pm
Sarah from Greenpoint says:
This is a prime example of what is called "yellow journalism." Lauren Gill, you should be ashamed to call yourself a real journalist who seeks out facts. Instead, you spew completely false statements. The venue was not serving any alcohol whatsoever, even when I was on stage, the artists themselves were not drinking any liquor either. They had coconut waters and juices.

Also, if the Fire Department deemed the place unsafe, why did they wait until 11:00pm to shut it down? I'm sure they've been on many walk throughs of the building site. If anything it's on them for not doing their jobs properly by failing to realize the venue was unsafe before it opened.

This is what our tax money is being wasted on...

If you didn't study the history of journalism, "yellow journalism" is journalism that is based upon sensationalism and crude exaggeration, used by newspapers in the 1900s to attract readership. What a low level to sink to...
May 27, 2016, 5:10 pm
Aleksey from 1PZ says:
If you are interested in a possible class action vs. CityFox and related entities, please email me aleksey cityfox@nydea.org.

Include a brief description of your experience.

Your accounts of overdoses and security encounters are particularly important.
May 27, 2016, 5:12 pm
Mac from Jersey City says:
FDNY will shut down/say anything is "hazardous" if they show up and leave "empty handed". Maybe it's because these promoters are not NYC natives, but it's becoming painfully obvious that they don't know whose palms to grease. Let's not be so naive to think that this is *all* about public safety.

Also, there was absolutely no alcohol sold last night.
May 27, 2016, 5:27 pm
Joey Bodega from Williamsburg says:
WOW. What a bullsh*t article. I was there the whole day when the fascists FDNY (aka pay to play or else we shut you down squad) came in and closed the joint. There was no alcohol on tap anywhere in the venue. They were selling pizza , soda, juice , mixed non-alcholic drinks and water. My take is that the right people weren't payed off or got the pressure put on them. the NYPD and FDNY . This is what happens when you try to open up a great place for people to get together and have fun in Brooklyn. Shame on the city .
May 27, 2016, 5:40 pm
John from Nyc says:
Someone get Aleksey off this page. Overdoses and security issues? Have you ever been to a city fox event? Nothing of the sort. Talking about someone trying to make a dollar jeez.
May 27, 2016, 5:42 pm
Someone who was there says:
They absolutely sold alcohol that night. They started the night not selling any but then opened briefly before being raised by police and shut back down.
May 27, 2016, 5:56 pm
frankie from NYC says:
www.fcsdp.com
May 27, 2016, 5:57 pm
frankie from NYC says:
Call Fire control solutions @ 888-853-FIRE
www.fcsdp.com
May 27, 2016, 6 pm
Jason from Tribeca says:
The fact that patrons were OPENLY commenting about security not checking bags and being allowed to bring their own alcohol into the venue is grounds for breaking the law.

You must have a license or permit to ALLOW patrons to enter your venue with alcohol.

If one person was viewed drinking inside of the venue by sneaking in alcohol, the venue is still liable.

SLA law: https://www.sla.ny.gov/bring-your-own-bottle-byob

The fact that people were discussing this openly on social media has jeopardized CityFox. Not to mention the amount of undercover cops inside of the venue.
May 27, 2016, 6:01 pm
Mark B from FLATBUSH GARDENS says:
Stop blaming the 'fascist' nypd and fdny. Let's place blame were it belongs.
1st laws are set in place for a few purposes, to make sure patrons are safe, to protect establishments from lawsuit by providing building codes they have to abide by. If this organization is just going in and taking over locations to throw a party, I'm all for it as long as they adhere to building codes. Why? Again safety. There are numerous instances throughout past history where people have DIED because of fires, smoke, getting trampled on at locations that were NOT up to code, hence NOT safe!
May 27, 2016, 6:02 pm
frankie from NYC says:
Call FIRE COTROL SOLUTIONS @ 855-853-FIRE (3473)
May 27, 2016, 6:03 pm
P.c. SJW from Crown Heights says:
Look at all the little millennial cry babies! Always looking to cut corners, looking for shortcuts. I could care less if any of you got hurt at one of these illegal, unsafe parties. But when something goes wrong at one, ie a FIRE, who ya gonna call? So now fdny and nypd have to come to save you? And risk their lives because you all wanted to cut corners? Learn some respect. That is all, now you can retreat to your safe space to ponder responsibility.
May 27, 2016, 6:09 pm
A from Y says:
Liers, cheaters, haters trying to tear down the arts, a community, a movement. FALSE accusations - all of the above.

We believe in Cityfox.
May 27, 2016, 6:40 pm
Greg says:
Oh yea, look at all those fire hazards.....worse case a palm tree catches on fire? This had nothing to do with safety. Get a grip.
May 27, 2016, 6:40 pm
A from Y says:
Ps CITYFOX
May 27, 2016, 6:41 pm
JJ from ——ty NYC says:
Now would be a great time to change name and switch locations. Everything great always comes to an end once too many people find out. Very unfortunate that it had come to this and ruin everything. Some food for though though, Europe allows their dance music scene to thrive, yet somehow manages to have a substantially lower violent crime rate than the U.S. It's about time our tax dollars were used for more important matters besides shutting down a club in the middle of an industrial neighborhood with NO residents for miles to complain. I personally can't seem to remember one instance where someone got shot or raped at ANY cityfox event. The U.S. truly is a damn joke.
May 27, 2016, 7:40 pm
Zach from Does it matter? says:
First of all, cityfox is no movement of the arts. They capitalize on trending sounds and overcharge patrons. There's absolutely nothing new or novel about them or what they bring to the table. Quite frankly they're the Ultra of New York. People need to get a grip. Support the real innovative underground that bring in artists that have never been to New York. Not people who push the status quo. If you try to run operations like you're underground but keep booking the Britney Spears of electronica, you deserve to get shut down.
May 27, 2016, 7:57 pm
I from BK says:
Whaaaa...my party was shut down by fascists!!! Get over your cry baby selves, funny how the first numbers the a-hole millenials call when their pansy asses are in trouble is 911.
May 27, 2016, 8:49 pm
James says:
Zach, I love the true "underground" and local artists as much as the next person, but let me know where I can see Dixon spin at an incredible outside venue until sunrise. Ultra? Status quo? You sound like a next level hipster douche.
May 27, 2016, 11 pm
House from Williamsburg says:
If you are interested in offering Aleksey a tall cool glass of Shut The F-ck Up, by all means be our guest.

Sincerely,
The Underground
May 27, 2016, 11:46 pm
will from greenpoint says:
So many self-absorbed, narcissistic people revealed in these comments-signs of the times I guess . No concern for the general welfare of others; only their own tiny agendas. We are talking about safety and responsibility here so stop whining
May 28, 2016, 7:24 am
Sarah from BK says:
The "club" scene or music scene doesn't have to be one fueled with drugs or alcohol. From the outside looking in that's the general publics consensus based on bad press from OTHER events where unfortunate things have happened. Whether the mirage is trying to make a buck or not, they've put an insane amount of work and money into a facility for patrons to go and ENJOY themselves. It's unlike anything in the five boroughs and is run by a company that has had international success. There's never been an over dose or violence. Just because they're facing some hard times in NYC doesn't mean —— about their history. It's so sad to see bored people calling our "millennials" like that is even relevant. It doesn't matter what age you are, this is unfortunate for all walks of music lovers. Before reading an article and judging a scene, brand or individual you should experience it first.
May 28, 2016, 11:29 am
Shaun from Park slope says:
Seeing people complain about entitled millenials or rip cityfox is a joke.

Considering the amout of money invested in this, do you really think the fire department didn't do a walkthrough?

Considering the amount of promotion, do you think they were trying to keep this a secret from authorities?

But oh, the FDNY shut it down at 11 pm? It's a joke and a shakedown.
May 28, 2016, 1:18 pm
Shaun from Park slope says:
Seeing people complain about entitled millenials or rip cityfox is a joke.

Considering the amout of money invested in this, do you really think the fire department didn't do a walkthrough?

Considering the amount of promotion, do you think they were trying to keep this a secret from authorities?

But oh, the FDNY shut it down at 11 pm? It's a joke and a shakedown.
May 28, 2016, 1:18 pm
Shaun from Park slope says:
Seeing people complain about entitled millenials or rip cityfox is a joke.

Considering the amout of money invested in this, do you really think the fire department didn't do a walkthrough?

Considering the amount of promotion, do you think they were trying to keep this a secret from authorities?

But oh, the FDNY shut it down at 11 pm? It's a joke and a shakedown.
May 28, 2016, 1:18 pm
Trumpinator from Queens says:
Bill de Blasio lets bums and criminals roam free. Ended the very effective Stop and Frisk but is doing a great job of closing a wonderful place and arresting people inside. These patrons pose no threat, are well behaved, and of all ages. There was no alcohol being served also.
Maybe if it held rap concerts it would still be open. What a BS mistake of mayor. Hope the voters put in someone with real qualifications. All you need to know is that he worked in the Dinkins admistration when NYC was still a ——hole.
May 28, 2016, 1:22 pm
Christopher Wallace from Bedford Stuyvesant says:
To all the people praising the FDNY, NYPD for a "great job" closing this venue for "public safety" is full of sh** . I was there Saturday may 21 when FDNY inspectors were doing a walkthrough while the party was going on (never raised any flag from what I saw) and I have no doubt they did a couple before it was open. Ive dealt with local governments in the past when opening up a small business before and I can tell you it's corrupt , doesn't matter what city your in if you don't pay the right people in your district , forget about it. People believing ever word from this ——** reporter is funny.
May 28, 2016, 1:47 pm
Jess from Bedstuy says:
The city lets allows hip hop parties where there is violence, murder and drugs, but pulls every trick in the book to shut down a great venue in a crappy neighborhood because I guess people don't like electronic music? BS
May 28, 2016, 2:34 pm
Angie from Spanish Harlem says:
That place I'm sure did have toxic flammable materials inside - and everyone should be crying for NYPD/FDNY if a (very common) electric fire broke out and there was a major fire, like has happened countless times and hence the reason we have laws. Get a grip on reality.
CITYFOX TRIED TO RENT OUT A SUPERFUND SITE for holloween. Thank god no one went inside!.... Except for the event staff and security (who didn't know until FD told them), have to feel sorry for them.

Btw, A Superfund site is any land in the United States that has been contaminated by hazardous waste and identified by the EPA as a candidate for cleanup because it poses a risk to human health and/or the environment. These sites are placed on the National Priorities List (NPL).

So how dare anyone try to say FDNY wasn't doing their job.

Case & point: if they wanted us to spend our holloween inside of there- there's no doubt this place also had toxic material- they come from Europe with loads of cash but wouldn't think twice when it comes to book a curiously cheap event space that turns out to be extremely dangerous. THEY DONT GIVE A —— ABOUT US. Someone run them out of BK along with all their crybaby millennial followers.

And the rest of us will stick to warehouse parties where we won't breathe in toxic dust or risk getting blown up.
May 29, 2016, 8:23 am
Angie from Spanish Harlem says:
And Christopher Wallace, you are not from Bed-Stuy I can tell. Go back where you came from. No one cares about your knowledge of "local governments" and "districts" - we have buroughs and precincts... This is NEW YORK CITY, kid!
May 29, 2016, 8:28 am
Jess from Bedstuy says:
Angie, please stop with the superfund nonsense. The entire town is on a superfund site. Condos are built on them, playgrounds are built next to them...this is not new. The real danger is the soil and putting plumbing through it, not dancing on it.......you sound stupid.
May 29, 2016, 10:03 am
Alice says:
a pack of cards
May 29, 2016, 10:12 am
old time brooklyn from slope says:
Rock on Angie

Yes kiddies this is NYC so put on your big boy and girl panties

It speaks volumes when so many maintain palm greasing is the way of life - that ship sailed a long time ago thanks to Serpico.

A hazard was shut down - good.

Imagine the outrage had there been a fire etc
May 30, 2016, 12:07 pm
Elijah from Bed Stuy says:
Listening to all these whining white yuppies is priceless! "The musicians only drank coconut water"
Waaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!
May 30, 2016, 12:41 pm
Christopher Wallace from Bedford Stuyvesant says:
@Angie from "Spanish Harlem" stfu you just moved to Harlem. You're probably one of the people that's white washing the historically ethnic community with crappy hipster cafés playing shiitty "folk" and "indie" music . Go back to Seattle with your Starbuck latte and wayfarer glasses. This city doesn't want you. Your dumbass doesn't know how "boroughs" or "neighborhoods" are broken into districts with their own jurisdictions , Chiefs and lawmakers. And it Halloween not "holloween". Go blow a paper pushing bureaucrat.
May 31, 2016, 7:05 am
Patrick from Sunnyside says:
If it was really a building code issue, why was it overlooked last year? Or did something change?
May 31, 2016, 8:41 am
Mike H from Bushwick says:
Funny how the article forgot to mention 10 narcotic arrests and the summons issued to unlicensed security guards. Do your homework people. Too many corners were cut here. They need to go back to Austria and Australia and run parties where laws don't have to be followed.
May 31, 2016, 10:21 pm
Samir Kabir from Downtown says:
“immanently perilous to life.” What does "immanently" mean? Do you have proofreaders over there at Brooklyn Paper? Send one over to Lauren Gill. Just a suggestion.
June 1, 2016, 6:47 am
Eric says:
The misinformation in the article is bad, but these comments really make me sad about where this city is heading. Cityfox parties do not harm society, they do not hurt anyone in these neighborhoods. They actually make use of generally unusable space like warehouses and industrial sites. I always marvel at the "tipping point" that causes people who have no reason to care about where I go dancing to all of a sudden pipe in as the white knights of society, saving us from ourselves. I have lived through the Guiliani administration and I have watched this city's nightlife reignite through DIY warehouse parties. The party will go on whether you want it to or not. That's what makes NYC special.
June 1, 2016, 10:17 am
Mike says:
The comments here are pathetic. These parties are pure and total win and haters need to learn some respect. Have to agree though that they have gotten too popular... but if that's what it takes to build something as awesome as this new Mirage then I'll take it.

Here's exactly what happened on Thursday night, in case it's uncear: the NYPD walked through the ENTIRE time and witnessed hundreds smoking weed and dozens doing drugs. They arrested a few. They didn't like what was happening so they checked into security "licenses" and found something, along with the drugs, that gave them pretense to shut things down.

As for the "imminent danger to life" fire hazard and the DOB occupancy permit, both of those could reasonably be construed to be related to the lack of thorough security. Both pat downs and presence inside. One actually cited reason was not enough security to PREVENT a fire had one broken out. There's a lot of wood so this is not a wholly illegitimate concern... however we all know this was not about fire. It was about open drug use.

SO. People who want this "scene", however nebulous it may be, to survive - stop doing hard drugs in the open IN THE LIGHT in a non-packed crowd you trashy ——s. We all like them as much as you but have some respect for yourselves. I hope the 10 of you that got arrested are rich ——s with mommy's and daddy's that make it go away or pay for it. Otherwise, maybe you'll actually learn a lesson. Too bad there are plenty more of you out there to ruin things for us in the years to come such that it won't matter one bit. Futility, all of it. You make me sad.
June 1, 2016, 8 pm
Mike says:
Open unlicensed alcohol use and bragging about it on Facebook was surely a factor as well, but it's probably harder to convince people to keep that —— on the DL and in an unmarked bottle. Why, I'll never understand.

Entitlement? Nah, maybe it's the just the false belief that we don't live in a police state.
June 1, 2016, 8:02 pm
Peter Gatien from Gramercy Park says:
Another club closed by thugs in uniform. That's nothing new.
June 2, 2016, 7:43 am
Jtodd66 from Louisville says:
Okay I fabricated and sold a lot of the materials you see at the Brooklyn Mirage. Just for record the panels you see have a fire rating that meets code and all materials were even sent to lab for testing. Everything was to spec.
June 13, 2016, 6:35 pm
Resident several blocks away from Brooklyn says:
Thank god that's over. Though it was kinda funny seeing f'd up folks wandering the streets aimlessly as though water had been poured on an ant pile, it'll be nice to have our parking spaces back.
June 29, 2016, 2:08 pm
George from Bushwick says:
I was less than thrilled when the shipping container club popped up last summer, because within 4 hours every Sunday, trash would start creeping up our street from the area.

It blows my mind how anyone would want to build an outdoor venue 2 blocks from waste management, but whatever's... Try winter when the smell of festering dirty diapers isn't so great.
June 29, 2016, 2:23 pm
William from Williamsburg says:
They were definitely not serving alcohol that night; but to say there are no drugs or an overdose there is not speaking the truth. I attended many parties there and witnessed plenty of drug use and perhaps even indulged in some. The truth is that it also happens in any bar or club in the 5 boroughs; so not much of a difference there
However; this mainly has to do with economics and someone not knowing or paying the right people... plain and simple
July 17, 2016, 10:40 am

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