By Carla Zanoni
INWOOD — After more than a year of false starts, Cairo nightclub is one step closer to opening its doors in Upper Manhattan.
Despite a "no" vote from the board on a previous liquor license application, Community Board 12 voted to recommend the owners receive a license to serve alcohol at the club's 400 West 202nd St. location.
The board had previously voted against the license back in June 2009, citing too many complaints about established bars, restaurants and clubs in the area.
Although Cairo sits in a largely industrial stretch of Inwood, it is situated near TBA and Umbrella, two controversial clubs that have had problems with fights, noise and traffic.
The 34th Precinct once again raised concerns about its proximity to the other nighttime establishments, but officials stopped short of objecting to the license.
Cairo’s owner Abraham Ogando assured the Economic Development Committee his club would have a significant security presence and that he had contracted with neighborhood garages to ensure parking would not become an issue. A shuttle will bring patrons to and from their cars.
Ogando said the establishment will have two components, in the front a restaurant serving Spanish and Mediterranean food will operate weeklong from 5 p.m. until 4 a.m. and a rear area of the space will function as a banquet hall, which will only open for hired parties.
Cairo's attorneys hesitated to call the 5,600 square-foot space a nightclub when discussing the space in September, despite ads on the Internet and messages on Twitter and Facebook that refer to the space as a club.
The full board voted 25 in favor and seven against the liquor license recommendation, which now goes to the State Liquor Authority for review.
In August of 2009, the SLA initially approved the club’s liquor license, but it was rescinded earlier this year after the authority learned one of the bars owners was arrested for allegedly driving drunk.
Although the owners appealed the decision, the application expired in mid-August and had to be refilled.
Club’s owners did not immediately respond to requests for comment, but said at the board’s committee meeting that they hope to open by the end of the year.