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Queens Chronicle

Temple gets closer to evicting caterers

Judge denies request to toss case out

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Posted: Thursday, January 16, 2014 10:30 am | Updated: 12:03 pm, Thu Jan 23, 2014.

The Rockwood Park Jewish Center has moved one step closer to evicting its caterers, who are accused of holding raucous parties on Saturday nights without the congregation’s knowledge that caused friction between the synagogue and nearby residents.

On Dec. 20, a judge in the state Supreme Court denied a request by J&M Catering, the parent company of Crown Royale Caterers, which operates in the Howard Beach synagogue at 156-45 84 St., to toss out a case the temple’s lawyers have filed seeking the eviction of the caterers and the voiding of the contract between the two sides.

Gary Rosen, Rockwood Park’s lawyer, said the decision now allows them to move forward with the eviction.

“It’s great for us,” he said. “It allows us to file against J&M and have the caterer evicted.”

Rosen had been trying since news of the parties broke last May to get the caterer evicted. He said court arguments on the eviction case were to begin this week.

The court battle stems from a series of parties in 2012 and 2013 held at the synagogue on several Saturday nights. Many of the parties were Latin-themed, featured scantily clad dancers and were advertised on Facebook. Some of the fliers named the location as “Rockwood Park Center,” not mentioning that it was a synagogue. At least one of the parties also served alcohol despite the caterer not having a liquor license.

Residents complained about partygoers hogging parking spots and causing a ruckus on residential blocks late at night. One resident said a patron urinated on his lawn after one party.

The problems appear to have ceased after a party on Nov. 17 ended with a visit from police. One of Crown Royale’s owners, Josh Gurell, received two summonses for unlicensed sale of alcohol and not having a liquor license posted.

The caterers did not respond to a request for comment.

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