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Huge Latin Club to Open in Hell's Kitchen

By Mathew Katz | December 9, 2011 7:27am | Updated on December 9, 2011 9:50am
La Boom, a giant Latin-themed club and performance space, plans to open in this building at 605 W. 48th St.
La Boom, a giant Latin-themed club and performance space, plans to open in this building at 605 W. 48th St.
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DNAinfo/Mathew Katz

HELL'S KITCHEN — It may not be the Copacabana, but a group of enterprising entrepreneurs are hoping to turn an industrial building near 12th Avenue into the hottest spot north of Havana.

At a meeting on Wednesday night, Community Board 4 gave its approval to La Boom, a three-floor, 600-person Latin music and culture club that aims to give the city's Latino community a place to enjoy arts, music, food and dancing. The club is planned to open at 605 W. 48th Street.

Owners said the club aims to be what the Copacabana, now located in Midtown, was in the 1960s and 1970s.

"We used to have the Copa, but the Copa's no longer Latino," said club spokesman Louis Nunez. "This will be a venue for us."

La Boom is the brainchild of Pedro Vamara, who owns a popular Latino-oriented nightclub with the same name in Queens.

Owners said the club will likely not open for at least a year, since the building it's housed in needs extensive renovations.

Current plans for the club include a traditional dance club on the first floor, as well as a performance space for concerts. Nunez said the club hoped to attract popular Latino musical acts like Shakira and Ricky Martin.

The second floor will include a mezzanine with some food. A restaurant with a mix of traditional Latin and Spanish cuisine will be on the third floor. A covered rooftop lounge will also serve food and drinks.

"We have no Latin venues in Chelsea or Hell’s Kitchen, so my family needs to go out to Queens or Jersey for Latin music," said Community Board 4 member Miguel Acevedo. "Now we can go somewhere closer to home."

For those coming from outside the neighborhood, the club will offer two round-trip "exclusive" shuttle buses from major subways and train stations to La Boom, which is west of 11th Avenue.

"Basically, it will get loud party revelers from the venue off the street and to the subway stop," said Paul Seres, co-chair of the board's Business Licenses and Permits Committee, before the board voted to recommend that the State Liquor Authority grant the club's license.

The club's owners approached the board with detailed security and traffic plans, but some board members were still concerned that even a well-run club could cause problems in the neighborhood.

"I'll use two words: One Oak," said board member Joe Restuccia, referring to 1Oak, the Chelsea nightclub that many neighbors complained was excessively loud and disruptive.

"The best operators sometimes lose control of their operations."

Editor's Note: A previous version of this article incorrectly attributed a statement regarding 1Oak to Jean-Daniel Noland.