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Club Hive Shut Down After Fatal Shooting for Operating Illegally, NYPD Says

By Katie Honan | November 10, 2014 1:37pm

ELMHURST — The Queens Boulevard club where three people were shot, one fatally, after an early-morning brawl broke out on Halloween has been shuttered for operating illegally, according to the NYPD and the State Liquor Authority.

Police officers slapped stickers saying Hive at 79-21 Queens Blvd. has been closed by court order on Nov. 6 after the space was found to be in contempt of court. 

And on Monday, the State Liquor Authority suspended the license for The Hive Sports Bar & Grill, operating as “Club Hive," citing the Halloween shooting, according to an agency spokesman.

The club was given five violations, including failing to disclose an agreement the owners had with the NYPD to not operate as a nightclub when they were originally awarded their license on Aug. 19. 

The previous tenant, Club Exotics, was shuttered in 2013, according to the NYPD, and the building’s owner was barred from opening a club inside the space.

But The Hive Sports Bar and Grill opened in August, billing itself as something different.

"The landlord was given stipulations that they weren’t allowed to operate as a nightclub," said Deputy Inspector Ronald Leyson, of the 110th Precinct.

"The new owners of Hive...were also instructed on that and they violated it."

Despite advertising itself as a sports bar and grill, The Hive featured VIP areas, a DJ booth, bottle service and held events similar to those held at other nightclubs, according to the NYPD.

The current tenants called their space "Club Hive" on social media posts, and hosted parties similar to other clubs — including an after-party for a Power 105.1 concert on Oct. 30 where a fight broke out inside and later turned deadly. 

Police responded to the club around 4 a.m. on Oct. 31 to help disperse an unruly crowd inside, and later shots were fired into a large group outside on Queens Boulevard.

Tamar Sermons, 20, was shot and killed near the corner of Queens Boulevard and Barnwell Avenue, and two other people were struck by gunfire. Police are currently looking for a suspect.

After the shooting, officers had enough evidence to show that the space was acting more as a nightclub than a bar, violating the rules.

“They’re not working with the stipulations that were placed on the landlord of the building,” Leyson said.  “It’s a violation of their liquor license. They were operating as a cabaret.”

The landlord of 79-21 Queens Blvd. could not immediately be reached for comment.

An email to Club Hive was not immediately returned.