The old Midville Hardware store at 73-02 Metropolitan Ave. isn’t the only place in Queens where pop-up parties have become a nuisance, but neighbors say it has become a real problem.
“They’re there all night,” said a resident who did not want her name published. “There’s so much noise. There are bad people in there.”
Another woman said her friend has firsthand experience with the problem.
“I didn’t know about it until I read about it on Facebook,” said Lisa Nino, who lives a few blocks away. “But my friend who lives nearby started recording the noise. Neighbors tell me fights have spilled outside into the street.”
Councilman Bob Holden (D-Middle Village) said in a statement released Monday that he and his staff are working with the NYPD’s 104th Precinct, city Department of Buildings and State Liquor Authority to “put a stop to the noisy, illegal parties that take place at the former Midville Hardware store location and will not stop until they are gone.
“These dangerous gatherings have brought violence into our district, including a recent shooting and they must be stopped immediately.”
Holden said authorities are aware of other pop-up party venues in the district, especially on Metropolitan and Myrtle avenues, and that they are working to shut them down, as well.
“Residential areas are not appropriate locations for these fly-by-night events that intrude upon our quality of life,” he said. “I will not allow this dangerous, disturbing, illegal activity to continue.”
A spokesman for Holden did say, however, that while the councilman is working on legislation, he also wants to avoid unforeseen consequences that could harm legitimate businesses.
Typically, the spokesman said, one could address the problems with zoning remedies or through the SLA.
“But that’s a layover zone, so if you crack down there you could hurt a legitimate bar, or a legitimate business than hosts children’s parties,” he said.
Alcohol could theoretically be served at a pop-up event by a professional caterer with a liquor license, or at an event that has obtained a one-day permit.
While Holden’s legislative remedy is in its early stages, it could focus on things such as increasing a fine for violations already on the city’s books.
One example given was for an event employing security personnel without the required license.
City tax records say the property is owned by an entity named Rong Hui LLC, which has an address on 72nd Street in Woodside. The Chronicle could not find a telephone number to contact the firm.
Records also state that DOB inspectors visited the building on Aug. 26 and 31 in response to a complaint on the 18th of that month alleging that it was being used for illegal parties. Both times the inspector was unable to gain access and the rolling security shutter was down.
A visit from the Chronicle on Tuesday found work being done in the 73-02 half of the building. Above the door for 73-04 was a temporary sign announcing that a new hardware store soon would be occupying the building.