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NYPD Nightlife Crackdown Turns to “Foundation”

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At 10:30 Friday night, two bouncers on duty at Foundation were checking IDs and admitting patrons, who had to walk through a door plastered with three restraining orders.

Last night we were at Foundation, 137 Essex Street, the latest target of the 7th Precinct’s Lower East Side nightlife crackdown, which was slapped with three bright orange restraining order stickers citing underage drinking, overcrowding and safety hazards.

But The Lo-Down’s Jennifer Strom reported the bar was open for business as usual, with bouncers checking IDs of cheerful patrons who pushed past the stickered door to go inside. “It’s just a court date,” one of the bouncers answered in response to her inquiries about the police visit. Bar management declined comment.

Three restraining orders plastered on the door of Foundation last night cited the bar for selling alcohol to minors, overcrowded conditions and endangering the public.

This evening, we have new details. Foundation is due in civil court this coming Tuesday, at which time a State Supreme Court judge is expected to strongly recommend city attorneys and Foundation’s owners reach an out-of-court settlement. In the past, LES bars in similar predicaments have signed “stipulations” agreeing to hire extra security and take other steps putting a stop to underage drinking. Unlike several other establishments caught up in the NYPD crackdown, we have confirmed Foundation is not being forced to close before Tuesday’s court date. They should be open for business, as usual, tonight.

The 7th Precinct action is not Foundation’s only problem. In April, the State Liquor Authority imposed an $8,000 penalty on the bar in connection with underage drinking violations. According to this month’s Community Board 3 agenda, Foundation is coming before the SLA Committee, asking for its support for a new liquor license at 137 Essex Street.

Last year, several nightlife blogs reported that proprietors Ronnie Kaplan and Jay DeLalla had taken over the business (which was formerly called “Rewind.”)  State records, however, list two other men (Joseph Torres and Eric Mejia) as the holders of the license. We’re working on finding out more about the status of Foundation’s liquor license. .

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  1. It is a disgrace that businesses, such as this one, that break the law are allowed to remain open. Establishments that break laws and bring such blight to the neighborhood should be shut down permanently, and certainly should be forced to cease business in the time between a violation and a court date. The CB3 licensing committee should be reminded of this the next time they vote in favor of yet another bar opening under the false claim of “the applicant can demonstrate public benefit or substantial support from the surrounding community.” 

  2. What does it take to close down these problem bars and clubs.They are temporarily  closed down for underage drinking,noise and or over crowding,but always manage to open up after they agree to hire security,which does little to keep down the noise.After the second violation,they need to be closed permanently!

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