Police and other city and state officials were out in force on the Lower East Side last night, inspecting several nightlife venues for possible violations. Tammany Hall (152 Orchard), Boss Tweeds (115 Essex), Leftfield (87 Ludlow), The Suffolk (107 Suffolk), Fat Baby (112 Rivington), La Caverna (122 Rivington) and Recoup Lounge (210 Rivington) were all targeted.
The raids were part of an initiative known as the Multi-Agency Response to Community Hotspots (MARCH), in which the NYPD, State Liquor Authority, Department of Environmental Protection, Department of Health and Department of Buildings pay periodic visits to nightlife establishments that have been the subject of complaints. The task force was created by the Giuliani administration following the tragic Happy Land fire in 1990. Mayor Bloomberg has stepped up use of the raids.
Several bars were issued violations last night for failing to maintain emergency lights. In at least one case, an operator was cited for watering down booze. The State Liquor Authority came down on two bars for “operating contrary to their methods of operation,” meaning they are required to serve food but were not doing so. There were also citations for underage drinking. But overall, a source told us, there were few glaring violations. At Boss Tweeds and Recoup Lounge no violations were found at all.
Thursday night, police slapped restraining orders on two bars, PKNY and Lolita, for alleged underage drinking. Those establishments were not closed down but must appear in court to face allegations in civil lawsuits. The Thursday and Friday night operations were not connected in any way.