Follow-up: Gallery Bar Shuttered by NYPD

Late last night we reported the Gallery Bar, 120 Orchard, had been shut down by the NYPD. Eater has more details this morning:

We spoke with Gallery Bar owner Darren Rubell last night who confirmed the news, saying that the PD, as is their wont, got a court order declaring the bar a public nuisance on Friday afternoon. Then 15 to 20 uniformed officers walked into the bar early Friday evening and forced them to shut down right as the weekend was getting started, a severe loss of income for any operation and leaving Gallery Bar’s 20 employees without a job for at least one week. Rubell says the bar has a court date on Wednesday afternoon and they are still figuring out if they are going to fight the charges or look to settle. Rubell says that Gallery bar has been under investigation since September 2010, and the complaint includes four instances of an undercover and underage agent getting inside. Apparently these agents were once able to bribe a security guard to get inside, and also had a few instances of an undercover agent showing up at 7 PM and never getting carded, things that seem a bit weak to shut a business down. Rubell believes that he may have been a target after he spoke up at a meeting last week between over 20 Lower East Side business owners and the local precinct. His main beef was that police enforcement of “problem bars” seems to ramp up from 0 to 60, with an end result of bars being shut down… Rubell said that both Hi Fi and Common Ground went through the same thing last weekend, except the judge who gave the order to the NYPD in those cases did not force them to close. Gallery Bar was not so lucky…

For more background, see the story we posted back in December on the 7th Precinct’s crackdown on nightlife establishments on the Lower East Side.