16 FEBRUARY 21, 2019 RIDGEWOOD TIMES WWW.QNS.COM
Maspeth strip club loses liquor license after stabbing
BY EMILY DAVENPORT
The New York State Liquor Authority
(SLA) has suspended a liquor license
belonging to a Maspeth strip joint
that has a long history of violence and
Eff ective on Feb. 16, no alcohol may
be sold or consumed on the premises
of Rouge, also known as Cityscapes
Gentleman’s Club, located at 55-60
58th St. Additionally, the SLA intends
to seek the permanent cancelation or
revocation of the license.
“This licensee continually disregards
their obligation to adequately
supervise the premises, and is clearly
a threat to the safety of the public,” said
Counsel to the Authority Christopher
R. Riano. “Failure to cooperate with
law enforcement and attempting to
conceal crimes on the premises are
unacceptable offenses. I thank our
partners in law enforcement and the
Authority for taking swift action in
shutting down this establishment.”
According Special Operations Lt.
Braumann of the 108th Precinct, the
club has become a focal point for police
attention. Aft er multiple reports of
individuals with gang affiliations,
violent incidents at the bar and the
ongoing threat to the surrounding
community, a police presence outside
of Cityscapes has been required.
On Dec. 30, 2015, former New York
Knicks forward Cleanthony Early was
reportedly shot during a robbery aft er
leaving Cityscapes. At 4:30 a.m. that
day, Early and an unidentifi ed female
were riding in an Uber cab moments
after leaving the club when three
vehicles blocked the car in. Four of the
six suspects then demanded that Early
hand over his property. Early complied,
however the suspects shot him once in
the right kneecap.
The next day, Cityscapes was hit
with two Molotov cocktails at 5:34 a.m.
The cocktails were thrown through the
club’s windows, setting a fi re within
More recently, at 3:35 a.m. on Jan.
31, the NYPD initiated a car stop
where the motorist stated that an
acquaintance was stabbed inside
Cityscapes. Following an investigation,
police discovered surveillance
footage that had the suspect, who
is still at large, entering the bar
through a side door, bypassing
security procedures. Interviews
with bar management and staff by the
NYPD revealed that an incident did
take place, but they failed to report
it to authorities.
On Feb. 9, an SLA investigator and
offi cers from the 108th Precinct, NYPD
Citywide Vice Club Team and Queens
North Vice Enforcement Team
conducted a compliance inspection
of the Cityscapes premises. During
the inspection, 44 compliance issues
were identifi ed, 26 NYPD criminal
court summonses were issued, and
one arrest was made.
Violations that were issued included;
failure to produce books and records
upon request, locked exits, presence
of a DJ and promoter which is in direct
violation of an agreement with the
community board, illegal operation
of a kitchen in the basement, which
is prohibited in the Certificate of
Occupancy, and purchasing and
refi lling from an unauthorized source.
Offi cers from the 108th Precinct after a recent visit to Cityscapes Night
Club in Maspeth. Photo via Twitter/@NYPD108Pct
Board gives nod to renewal of four-day Fresh Pond Road fest
BY MARK HALLUM
Ridgewood’s Fresh Pond Road
Street Fair will be restored to its
four-day glory this September after
Community Board 5 voted in favor at
its Feb. 13 meeting.
Long-t ime organizer of
Ridgewood’s Fresh Pond Road Street
Festival, Tony DiPiazza, asked that
the full scope of the street fair be
restored on the grounds that it has
a history of being well-managed
and could be an economic boon to
DiPiazza, who helped found the
Italian American festival, said the
four-day bash in the streets has been
scaled back to two days in recent
years due to road work projects on
Fresh Pond Road.
Now that it’s completed, he called
on Community Board 5 at the Feb.
13 meeting to approve the full
five blocks to be provided for this
“The first two years were very
contentious, needless to say, but we
proved after the first couple of years
that we would be able to stage the
festival in a peaceful, joyous manner
of sharing our pride and heritage
with the community,” DiPiazza said.
“In the last five-six years, things
started to change... But a two-day
festival is just not financially viable...
I respectfully ask that you reinstate
the five days, four blocks for
The street fair, managed by
Federazione Italo-Americana di
Brooklyn and Queens, was first
proposed in 1995 and requested
approval from CB5 to take place on
Fresh Pond Road between Woodbine
and Grove Streets, but the board
members held concerns that the fourday
event would impede traffic.
CB5 voted against reinstating the
four days of festivities in February
2017, as they had the previous three
years, citing traffic jams and it has
remained a two day deal.
Empty storefronts and businesses
that may be struggling could also be
in for a boost, Joseph Reina who owns
JRX Pharmacy on Fresh Pond said, if
it is allowed to go the full length.
“I’ve seen a lot of empty stores in
recent months,” Reina said. “I think
the festival has always been great
exposure for Fresh Pond Road. It
brings new people to the avenue
who can see what Fresh Pond Road
has to offer. It may bring a new
entrepreneur to the avenue that sees
an empty store and sees it as a great
place to open the business.”
If given final approval by the
city, the Fresh Pond Road Street
Fair will make its comeback on Sept.
5, 6, 7 and 8.
The Fresh Pond Road Street Festival in Ridgewood will be back to a fourday
celebration this September. File photo