CHELSEA — The fate of the Juliet Supperclub, known for raucous parties and celebrity guests may rest on whether a judge believes that they're not a nightclub.
Juliet's owners will argue at a hearing in Manhattan Supreme Court Thursday that it's officially a Mediterranean restaurant, not a nightclub. If a judge agrees, that distinction would mean Juliet is not in violation of a lease with Edison Properties, the landlord that's trying to evict them after two people were killed in separate incidents outside the club.
"There's a distinction between a nightclub and a supperclub," argued Shari Laskowitz, a partner at Nesenoff & Miltenberg, the firm representing the Juliet. "The Juliet opens at 6 and has a full dinner menu."
Laskowitz also pointed out that Juliet's menu is listed on MenuPages.com, where it's listed as a Meditteranean restaurant.
The popular venue at 539 W. 21st St. has become infamous after two violent incidents in late 2011. In September, a man was fatally stabbed outside of the club. In November, a gunman killed one and wounded several others.
A lawyer representing Edison said that it would continue to argue that the Juliet was a nightclub, and that it promoted an environment of lawlessness and violence.
"Random acts of violence happen all throughout the city, every day," Laskowitz said in response. "This one just happened to occur at the Juliet."
Several recent reports have said that the club would be closed forever, or even closed for good, and that the case would be adjourned, delaying Thursday's hearing.
"It's not shuttered or closed indefinitely," said Andrew Miltenberg, another lawyer representing the beleaguered supperclub. "What [those reports] say to the world is that we're out of business, which is not the case."
Milteneberg said the Juliet was currently closed for maintenance renovations, but was unsure when it would re-open.