The 7th Precinct shut down two more Lower East Side bars tonight. Shortly after 8pm, police converged on Mason Dixon, 133 Essex, and Los Feliz, 109 Ludlow. Numerous nightlife establishments have met the same fate in recent months, as the precinct takes a hard line on crowd control, late night noise, underage drinking and other issues.
Late this evening, signs were posted on the bars’ doors saying “closed by court order” and restraining order.” They accuse the establishments of serving liquor to minors and (in the case of Mason Dixon) serving liquor “after hours.”
Mason Dixon and Los Feliz are owned by Rob Shamlian, one of the highest profile nightlife operators in the neighborhood. Bar owners have complained about the 7th Precinct’s crackdown, which they believe is victimizing responsible owners by focusing on legal technicalities. Police officers, on the other hand, say the tactics are not only intended to address “quality of life concerns” but also to make sure the problems don’t escalate and lead to violent incidents.
Last month, the NYPD shut down the Gallery Bar on Orchard Street. It reopened a week later, after owners agreed to hire licensed security guards and look into improving soundproofing.
We’ll have more on the Los Feliz/Mason Dixon situation after we have a look at court documents.