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'When in Robe' Late Night Sauna Dance Party Has Neighbors Steamed

By Janet Upadhye | November 20, 2014 7:24am
 Residents who live near "Body by Brooklyn" say their spa parties are out of control.
When in Robe Spa Party
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CLINTON HILL — The "When in Robe" spa parties, which combine booze, blow up toys, live DJs and saunas, has neighbors heated — with late night music and hordes of robe-clad party-goers smoking cigarettes and talking loudly outside their windows at all hours.

Health spa Body by Brooklyn launched the party earlier this year in the ground floor of The Chocolate Factory on Park and Waverly avenues — a former warehouse-turned apartment building where hundreds of residents, many with small children, live.

The party takes place every other Sunday from 9:30 p.m. to 3 a.m. and features rotating DJs, food from nearby Fresh Fanatic, booze, access to the sauna, steam room, hot tub and robe rental for $25.

Photos of the event show people dancing in bathing suits covered with robes in dark sunglasses, hula-hooping in bikinis, strumming blow-up balloon guitars, chugging beers and riding an inflatable whale in the pool.

Organizers call the Sunday night bi-weekly bash a chance to "decompress and rage at the same time," on the event's Facebook page.

But the spa parties have neighbors who live above the venue seeing red. Some describe late-night gatherings of robed individuals stumbling around, smoking cigarettes and making noise on the sidewalk or in the courtyard outside their windows.

"That spa is basically ruining my life," one Chocolate Factory tenant, freelancer graphic artist Jeremy Carrow, 36, quipped. "I'm kidding but seriously every other Monday I am exhausted from lack of sleep and livid about the noise."

Carrow said the cigarette smoke carries into his apartment and the music from the ground floor can be heard on the upper levels.

Another resident, who declined to be named, confirmed that last Sunday's party lasted until 3:30 a.m. Monday morning.

Since the event launched in January there have been more than 90 complaints through the city's 311 system of "loud music/party" and "loud talking" near the corner of Park and Washington Avenues, where Body by Brooklyn is located.

The result of those complaints ranged from "police observed no evidence of the violation at that time" to "police took action to fix the condition."

It was unclear how many times police were called to the address.

The venue's general manager, Crystal, who declined to give her last name, said they are aware of the problem and are considering several measures — including changing the party night to a Friday or Saturday or making the events less frequent.

"We are trying to create peace and a good balance between our clients and the people who enjoy the spa and its events and the residents who are getting caught in the crossfire," she said.

The venue has a full liquor license that expires in September of next year and there has been no disciplinary history by the State Liquor Authority.