LOWER EAST SIDE — A controversial club with a hard-partying reputation and a history of violence is being scrutinized by law enforcement and state liquor law officials after a brawl erupted outside the bar Sunday evening — the second violent incident connected to the club within the last two months, according to the State Liquor Authority.
Police have released surveillance footage of a violent scuffle outside the bar at 95 Delancey St. they say occurred around 11 p.m. — the footage shows two women engaged in a physical altercation among a crowd of partiers. At one point, one of the women strikes the other, causing her to fall to the ground.
The venue was throwing a party the 7th Precinct had discouraged management from hosting, according to the precinct's commanding officer, Deputy Inspector Steven Hellman, who said events connected to the party's promoter had bred trouble in the precinct in the past.
"They came to me and my staff and intimated they want to use this promoter again. I said, 'Listen, I can't tell you what to do, but I strongly recommend that you don't — unless you're going to hire more security, it's too much,'" said Hellman.
Bar management initially agreed to cancel the event, then went on to throw the party without notifying the precinct, according to police.
"I'm upset to say the very least," said Hellman, who said he would "seriously focus" on the club going forward.
'They don't have the best interest of the community in mind," he added.
The 7th Precinct was not immediately able to name the promoter in question.
The 7th Precinct emphasizes constant communication between police and liquor-serving establishments in order to curb unruly behavior, said Hellman, while also resorting to enforcement for bars that do not comply with state laws.
The precinct had conducted 55 bar inspections this year as of April 17, resulting in 80 referrals to the State Liquor Authority and 70 criminal court summonses, according to data supplied by the precinct.
To carry out enforcement, the precinct deploys a squad of one sergeant and five police officers to the bar-packed cluster of blocks known as "Hell's Square," bordered by Broome, Clinton, Houston and Allen streets.
Two 311 calls complaining of noise and two 911 calls were placed in regards to the fight, said Hellman — but by the time police showed up, the brawlers had dispersed, he said. The incident remains under investigation, but so far no formal complaints have been filed with the precinct and no arrests have been made.
The incident was referred to the State Liquor Authority and is currently being reviewed by officials at the agency, according to a spokesman.
The bar was already in hot water with the authority due to an fight on the premises Feb. 26, according to the agency — the SLA on April 21 charged The DL with allowing the premises to "become disorderly," which is a violation of state liquor laws, according to the document notifying bar management of the charge.
Management has until May 17 to respond to that charge, according to the SLA. The maximum penalty for the charge is revocation of the premises' license, according to the document.
The 7th Precinct was not immediately able to provide details on the February incident.
In addition to the February fight, The DL has been the site of several other documented incidents — a similar brawl erupted on Ludlow Street in May of last year, as reported by Bowery Boogie.
That incident was not referred to the SLA, according to a spokesman.
Community activists say they have been pushing officials to crack down on The DL and its sister establishments, which they feel have been permitted to create chaos in their neighborhood for too long. The State Liquor Authority should revoke the bar's liquor license, said the leader of a local activist group.
"After years of residents complaining and reporting problems at Delancey, the DL and Delilah, we believe it is long past time for the liquor license to be revoked," said Diem Boyd of the LES Dwellers. "In any other neighborhood, they would not be able to operate with impunity like this."
A bar brawl at The Delancey, run by the same proprietors who oversee The DL, last May resulted in a stabbing outside the bar.
The DL did not immediately respond to a request for comment.