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Cairo Nightclub Tries Again to Open in Inwood

By Claudio Cabrera | September 20, 2012 8:57am

INWOOD — An Inwood nightclub which had its liquor license yanked after the state learned of its owner's drunken driving conviction is trying to open once again, this time with a new owner.  

Cairo Nightclub on 400 West 202 Street has been closed for close to three years, ever since the State Liquor Authority discovered that one of its owners had been convicted of driving drunk and had not alerted the agency before applying for a license.

The SLA yanked its initial approval upon learning of the infraction.

Community Board 12 voted against the liquor license application in 2009, on the grounds that they had concerns that the nightclub was situated too close to other raucous clubs in the neighborhood.

But the board's licensing committee gave a preliminary nod to Cairo's new license application after hearing a presentation by new owner Ethan Amano, who said he has no relation to the previous owners.

The more than 5,500-square-foot establishment, which stretches almost half a block and would fit 60 people in its restaurant and 300 in the nightclub, would serve food between 11 a.m. and 10 p.m, Monday to Wednesday, and 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Thursday through Sunday. The nightclub would be open 11:30 a.m. until 4 a.m. Thursday through Sunday, according to the owner.

The establishment got a nod of approval from the 34th Precinct and local elected officials.

"I am here…to throw my support behind a liquor license for Cairo Nightclub," said Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez.

Both Rodriguez and State Sen. Adriano Espaillat said they submitted letters of support to the board, urging its members to give Cairo a chance to open and run their business in the neighborhood.

"I support Cairo nightclub's application for a liquor license," Espaillat wrote to the community board which met earlier this month.

Cairo owner Amano said he is working with the owner of local business Flair Beverages to find solutions to parking and congestion issues that may arise. The beverage company has offered two parking lots next to the store at 3857 Ninth Avenue, which the owner says can fit 140 cars.

Amano also promised he would look to the community to fill open jobs and hopes to hire "75-120 locals from Washington Heights and Inwood to work in our venue."

CB12 will vote on the economic development committee’s resolution during its full board meeting on Sept. 24. The SLA will then make a final decision.