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Inwood Nightclub Gets Community Board Nod for Liquor License

By Carla Zanoni | September 26, 2012 8:59am

INWOOD — Egyptian-themed nightclub Cairo is one step closer to opening its doors uptown after a three-year rocky start.

After having its initial liquor license yanked when a prior owner's drunken driving conviction came to light, Community Board 12 voted Monday to approve a new liquor license application for the 280-seat establishment during its general board meeting Monday.

The club is located one block away from Umbrella, a club police say can be raucous, and proposed nightclub Vacca, which was denied a liquor license after its owners said they wanted to open in a style similar to the restaurant chain Applebee's.

The recommendation to the State Liquor Authority came after discussing whether the 4 W. 202 St. will create gridlock along the eastern edge of the neighborhood.

New Cairo owner Ethan Amano said he is working out a plan with local business owners 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.

Community board members voiced their concern that despite the owner’s intention to deal with parking at the existing lots, traffic may become problematic.

“My concern is that those parking spots are already in use overnight,” said CB12 member Angelo Ortiz.

“I have to address whether there is capacity,” Harlan Pruden said of the potential for an additional influx of traffic on the eastern end of Dyckman Street, which sits on the opposite end of Inwood from the area’s second largest venue La Marina.

According to CB12 member Ariel Ferreira, Amano purchased the club from its previous owners who attempted to apply for a liquor license in 2009 and 2010. The SLA retracted its initial approval of the application after learning that one of the owners had been convicted of DWI and not reported it to the authority.

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, but later voted in favor of the club receiving a liquor license when a new application was presented in 2010.

Cairo's new owner Amano told the board that he plans to operate the restaurant portion of the 3,000-square-foot establishment from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Wednesday and 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Thursday through Sunday. The club will be open 11:30 p.m. to 4 a.m. each night, with last call at 3:30 a.m. and will feature D.J. music.

Although the community board voted in favor of the resolution supporting the club, the SLA will have final say on the application as community boards serve an advisory role.