Strip Club That Lost Liquor License Sells Booze in Soda Bottles, Cops Say
HUNTS POINT — Though Platinum Pleasures lost its liquor license earlier this year, the strip club still manages to keep thirsty patrons quenched — by secretly serving vodka, rum and other alcohol in water and soda bottles, police said.
The Hunts Point club, which locals had tried to keep from opening last year, also fills past capacity, stays open later than allowed and has patrons and staff who park in an off-limits McDonald’s lot, according to police and the local community board.
“Since the minute they opened up, they were a problem,” said Capt. Philip Rivera of the 41st Precinct.
Officers have issued the club summonses on three recent weekends for allowing overcrowded conditions and illegally serving alcohol, Rivera said.
Platinum Pleasures’ owner, Felix Cuesta, could not be reached after multiple calls to the venue.
The club at 1098 Lafayette Ave. rests a few blocks from a charter school in one direction and the police stationhouse in the other.
It opened in spring 2012, but lost its liquor license this May due to a technicality — the owner had improperly kept the license active during a multiyear construction period when the club was not open, according to Community Board 2 District Manager Rafael Salamanca Jr.
The owner then promised the board and the precinct he would only sell non-alcoholic beverages until he restored his license, Salamanca said — a vow that appeared to have been broken.
“It’s ridiculous,” Salamanca said. “I guess they just really don’t care.”
Salamanca added that local parents have complained about seeing crowds exit the club around 7 a.m. or so as the parents are walking their children to the charter schools in the nearby BankNote building.
The board last year sought to stop the club’s opening, since the building’s previous occupant was a strip joint called BadaBing, which had seen multiple stabbings, shootings and arrests for drug sales and prostitution when it operated from 2006 to 2009, the board said.
Last October, the same month that Platinum Pleasures hosted its official launch party, some community members and police spotted club-goers parking in the McDonald’s lot across the street — including some patrons who were “horsing around” in their cars and dancers who were getting dressed there, witnesses said at the time.
Though the club previously promised to keep its people out of the lot and the McDonald’s said it would have non-customers towed, the problem has resurfaced, Rivera said.
“They’re parking in that lot again,” he said, “and [McDonald’s] isn’t calling up the tow company, like their sign says.”
Toli Management Corporation, the company that operates that McDonald’s, did not return multiple calls.
But when the problem first arose in October 2012, a representative said at the time that employees could not check the lot without leaving the building, which could present a safety risk at night.
The board is now considering joining with a local pastor to stage a protest outside the club in the coming days, said CB 2 liquor-license committee chairman, Robert Crespo.
“We’re trying to revitalize that whole area,” Crespo said, which makes a club like Platinum Pleasures, “a real pain.”