City Prevails In Lava Lounge Appeal, Problem Night Club Shut Down Indefinitely
Saturday, July 7, 2012 • 1:41pm
PATERSON, NJ – City officials last week scored a major victory in their enforcement efforts against a popular 6th Ward night club that has drawn numerous complaints from neighbors for the past 21 months.
The Passaic County Board of Construction Appeals on July 3 upheld Paterson’s use of the state’s “punitive closure” regulation to shut down the Lava Lounge. City officials initially had said the troublesome club would be closed for two months, starting June 22, but now it appears the shutdown will be longer than that and could become permanent.
Under the regulation, the club must get a new certificate of occupancy before it reopens and officials said that would be difficult for the club’s owners considering their track record of violations.
The Lava Lounge owes the city more than $15,000 in fines. Among the charges levied against the club and its staff are gun possession, serving alcohol to minors, illegal sales of alcohol and the illegal smoking of hookah pipes.
Neighbors repeatedly have complained of rowdy crowds that urinated on their streets, left debris on their lawns and woke that at all hours of the night.
The clubs owners could not be reached for comment. The lawyer who represented the club when it applied for its music licenses in the winter said the club’s owners were no longer his client.
Even after the City Council rejected the club’s application for its music licenses, the Lava Lounge continued to feature live bands and DJs, and even advertised them on Facebook, according to city officials and residents.