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Queens Chronicle

After-hours spot raises concerns

Systems Dance Club vows reform; 5 after-hours consumption summons

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Posted: Thursday, April 11, 2013 10:30 am | Updated: 10:45 am, Thu Apr 18, 2013.

When the clock strikes 4 a.m. you don’t have to go home at Systems Dance Club — and that has Community Board 1 concerned.

The nightspot at 32-10 37 Ave. in the northern section of Long Island City has varied hours, about 15 security guards, an occupancy of 540 and a playlist centering on dancey house music — nothing too out of the ordinary. But the sector of the business that is keeping Systems afloat is its after- hours parties, and that’s not a business model every club has its finger in.

“People get up at 6 a.m. and dance — this is the fad,” said Jarrad Seuferling of Precision Security Agency, who was contracted by owner Dimitri Beylis a month ago to revamp the club’s security.

The 114th Precinct has asked the State Liquor Authority to not renew the club’s license. Community boards receive all SLA applications a month in advance — although a law penned by Assemblyman Francisco Moya (D-Jackson Heights) aims to increase that to two months. The board submits suggestions to the SLA, but does not have the authority to deny or accept.

The community board has received complaints about excessive vibrations, passed out patrons and altercations outside of the club.

During these after-hours parties, which drag out until noon or later, bartenders cannot legally serve alcohol. But that doesn’t mean they haven’t.

“We are not supposed to serve alcohol after hours,” Beylis said, but when asked directly by CB 1 Consumer Affairs Committee Chairman Joe Risi on Tuesday, Beylis added, “We have had an issue with that.”

Beylis and Seuferling told the committee that it will not be a problem anymore. The SLA put the club on a six-month probation and issued it a court-appointed monitor, a retired police officer named Tony who watches the club for illegal activity.

“I understand you are trying the after-hours thing to make ends meet, but you have problems in every spectrum,” 114th Precinct Community Affairs Officer Eddie Negron said. “You are the worst of the worst.”

Police have issued the club five summonses for after-hours consumption of alcohol during the last 12 months, a figure that Negron said, as community affairs officer for the last five years, he has never seen before. There have been six assaults at the club and 42 noise complaints.

The excessive noise complaints come with only some validity. Risi agreed with Beylis that some of the calls could be exaggerated. Beylis also alleged the complaints could be phoned in from competitors.

The only residential building on the block is a six-family complex on the corner. Each of those residents have Beylis’ number, he said, adding that when he gets calls directly to him he buys the complainant dinner.

“It’s too loud,” Negron said. “You are playing with fire.”

The club said it plans to buy a decibel monitor and is looking into further sound- proofing of the establishment — a $200,000 to $300,000 investment, said Seuferling.

“I was in my car outside the club and I could feel the vibrations,” said Seuferling, who played the devil’s advocate role at the meeting, pledging he would turn the club around or he would leave.

On Tuesday the committee met with representatives from Pure, a dance club next to the adult entertainment venue Perfection, owned by the same individuals, and the bikini bar Racks, which has been trying to open for about a year. The group also met with the ownership team from La Boom, which has double the crimes as Systems — mostly thefts of purses and phones. The owners there have been working with the police and have agreed to up their security guard and camera presence.

Systems Dance Club was still worse for the committee.

“If someone was to have their liquor license taken away, it would be you,” Negron said. “For me they are way worse than the crime, because they show a blatant disrespect for the community.”

“It seemed to me that the after hours and the apparent lack of contrition were working against Systems,” Assemblywoman Aravella Simotas’ Chief of Staff Samantha Darche said. “In the absence of a major shift it looks like the board is going to recommend against renewing their liquor license.”

Welcome to the discussion.