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Owner Looking to Sell Troubled Shadow Nightclub in Chelsea

By Mathew Katz | December 4, 2012 10:02am

CHELSEA — The owner of the embattled Shadow nightclub has given up fighting attempts by the city to shut it down and plans to sell the lease at his West 28th Street hotspot.

Owner Steven Juliano said that the 17-year-old club at 229 W. 28th St. has been under assault by neighbors and officials who want to close it down.

"Fifteen of these 17 years, we didn't have any neighbors — then they put the luxury building on the corner of Eighth Avenue," said the 54-year old, who added that he has stage-3 pancreatic cancer and only months left to live.

"I'm at the point now that I don't care — I'm going to sell the lease and lay off 26 people."

The move comes after yet another incident of violence that was linked to the club.

Early Saturday morning, a woman was reportedly grazed in the leg by a bullet after shots were fired near the address. A security guard told the New York Post that the gunfire came after a fight broke out in the club, though police later told the Post that the gunmen mugged a 26-year old woman leaving the nightspot.

In January, a man was stabbed and hit in the head with a bottle at the club. In March, police and neighbors said that shots were fired as the club let out after last call.

The State Supreme Court shut down the 500-person venue in June, claiming that it operated "in a manner as to endanger the safety or health of a considerable number of persons." 

The club reopened a few days later, and so far no arrests have been made in any of the incidents linked to the club., police sources said.

"We've had no arrests," Juliano confirmed.

"Yes, we have a lot of people in the street. Yes, it's really busy. But is it a crime to be busy?"

On Monday, fed-up neighbors started an online petition asking cops and elected officials to shut the club down for good and lobbied Community Board 5 with their complaints about the hotspot. 

"It has become almost unbearable to live on 28th Street because of the club on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights," the petition says.

"The police have been trying their best to control the situation but recent crowds and the violence and mayhem have overwhelmed their efforts."

Jodi Seiff, the club's general manager since it opened in 1995, called the complaints about the club "slander" from people who have moved to the block only in the past few years.

"These neighbors have just moved into the neighborhood, they just don't want to see black people on their streets at night," she said. 

"We've been here for 17 years, but we've never had a problem until this year."

She added that she was upset someone tried to mug one of her customers, but that Saturday's shooting had nothing to do with the club.

Juliano said he's had several offers for the lease, but has yet to work out a deal with any potential buyers.

"I just don't want to deal with it anymore," he said.

"I'm dying and I'm tired."