Market Hotel | NYPD Raid 2HRS After Denied A Liquor Permit
— NYPD 83rd Precinct (@NYPD83Pct) October 7, 2016
Newly re-opened venue Market Hotel has been operating as a 501(c)3 non-for-profit. When hosting nights of local music, they have worked diligently to attain the temporary liquor licenses afforded year-round for non-profits to host events at their Bushwick location.
Friday, October 7th seemed routine, they were awaiting permits for that evenings event, but they were denied the permit needed at 1pm the same day, (which they have received for every event since opening day) within 2 hours, the NYPD showed up and issued a criminal summons, confiscating their liquor stock, and subsequently forcing the venue to move shows for the safe-gaurding of further infractions. Does it sound like a gotcha moment? Well, we’ll get to why the answer might be yes, but tweeting about it after certainly casts the wrong attitude, as NYPD posture over an establishment that has operated and meticulously communicated within the strict rules, you know, as if it were a shady enterprise! Look to the “Risky business” comment above, tweeted by the 83rd Precinct after the raid.
Can anyone say fermentation- follow the rules or you’ll lose the booze. pic.twitter.com/dKGCDnikbm
— NYPD 83rd Precinct (@NYPD83Pct) October 7, 2016
Before I dive into what troubles me most about this, I should point that owner Todd Patrick has done a great job of running this venue. Both in terms of public enrichment and by the book practice, this is especially significant when we think of venues sprouting up like weeds in Bushwick and the cultural-erasure they potentially possess, (and often within their naivety to simply live out the dream of opening a music venue, however in a rapidly gentrifying neighborhood with detachment to the unintended contribution to said matters amongst others) knowing Patrick’s awareness and practice of the lines between occupation and contribution, make this situation more infuriating. Market Hotel hosts regular community classes, after-school groups, workshops, and important neighborhood meetings. Market Hotel’s mission statement even calls on us to find common ground between nightlife, culture, and community service, certainly beats Blackbear bar.
When the NYPD showed up 2 hours after the permit was denied and considered the alcohol stored there as grounds for the raid and evidence for breaking the Warehousing Of Alcohol Without SLA Permits law, (denied for the 1st time just two hours before) it sends the wrong message, obey the laws, enrich your locale, and we will swoop down on you the minute we have an opening, and tweet about it as if they found Escobar’s stash, just to gain high fives. It hurts business and muddies reputations, as a rule-breaking non-player in the locale it belongs to, maybe on the casual readers end anyways, whom might catch the headlines floating around. This is of course a single issue, let’s take their decision to close temporarily to avoid further intimidation and risk their long-term goals of achieving permanent liquor licensing. The only reason why the venue had the money to apply for their permanent liquor license was because they were operating weekly and using their allotted 1-day liquor licenses. You see how this game works? It’s built for you to fail, but If we’ve seen Patrick’s hand in NYC’s music scene stay a-float during all the tumultuous changes our city has seen over the last 10 years, i’m sure this is a hiccup he’ll work hard against. It infuriates me personally because as a New York native, there was a time police and local bars and establishments had a much deeper relationship, a sort of first-name-basis, “Hey, I don’t want to have to shut you guys down, but you can’t have this here, move it by 4pm, and you’ll be fine.” Where is the Courtesy? Where is the Professionalism? Where is the Respect?
On a final note, Mayor DeBlasio recently made an attempt to begin research into the rampant shuttering of iconic DIY venues amongst legendary recording studios in New York that made way for high rises and condos, reaching out to leaders in the music industry. I look to him to wonder how any of this research looks at the relationship between the NYPD and venues. Do your research there, because if rising rents are the only causation of closure, you’d miss a pervasive nuisance with the boys and girls in blue.
Here is the official statement from Market Hotel owner Todd Patrick:“I understand and accept that the way Market Hotel is perceived by people in enforcement authority might be colored by who I am and what my own history is as an organizer of underground events in New York City for many years. I can see how that might breed skepticism of our motives. But I’m a much older man now and a father of two, and my commitment to show that you can follow the rules and you can do good culturally relevant work with the right licenses and permits is real.
Market Hotel is a project about showing that we can do good work and have a positive impact on our community and the cultural landscape of the City in a fully legal space, and built with the kind of modest funding and budgets accessible to regular people. The fact that Market Hotel was issued 15 or so Special Event beer licenses a month for the last 10 months is not evidence that were trying to circumvent the law, it’s evidence of our commitment to follow the law. Special Event one-day permits are a common method for not-for-profit organisations like Market Hotel to host events, and it’s been the only way we could make there improvements we had to make within our modest budget. The Precinct reviewed and approved every permit we have received.
For the past 11 months, Market Hotel has followed the letter of the law and has worked hard to maintain open and respectful lines if communication with the Precinct. Market Hotel has done good work in our community by hosting classes and community meetings, and at the same time has created a vibrant concert and art space without generating complaints from our neighbors or any kind of nuisance for the community. We’ve never had a 911 call and we’ve had remarkably few 311 calls, far fewer than many bars in the Precinct. We’re proud to be an example that good and relevant work can be done within a commitment to follow the rules.
It’s a shame that this incident mis-characterizes Market Hotel as somehow attempting to circumvent the law — the truth is exactly the opposite.”
Most of Market Hotel’s relocated shows are going to Williamsburg’s Villain. Here’s what we found thus far:
- The Cloud Nothings show on Tuesday (10/11) (sold out)
- The SALES/Harmony Tividad/Chaos Chaos show on Wednesday (10/12) (tickets).
- The Juliana Huxtable/Chino Amobi/Elysia Crampton / Them Flavor DJs show on Friday (10/14) (tickets).
- The White Lung show on Saturday (10/15) (tickets).
- The Clipping/Youth Code/World War show on October 26 (tickets).
Detailed List From Market Place after the news story broke:
“We have good news and we have complicated news. Firstly, our full on-premises liquor license application is finally pending at the NY State Liquor Authority. Unfortunately this means that we can’t get any more one-day beer permits and also that we are liable if any alcohol is found in the building, even if it’s snuck in. We’ve made the tough decision to move all events for the time being to be prudent.
Also, there are a couple of news articles that talk about this situation, and the involvement of the local police, which unfortunately have some erroneous information. Here are the facts, to set the record straight:
Firstly, Market Hotel understands and respects the NYPD’s authority and duty to enforce the law.
1) Market Hotel applied for a one-day special event beer and wine permit for last Friday evening and only got emailed final disapproval of that application at 1pm Friday afternoon. Our Operations Manager arrived at the building a little over an hour later on Friday afternoon in order to prepare for the night’s event, which we intended to run dry with no bar. Police officers were on site in the building when he arrived. They charged us with “warehousing” alcohol because the night’s permit had been denied.
2) Market Hotel’s one-day beer permit for Friday evening was denied by the New York State Liquor Authority only because the SLA has finally acknowledged receipt of Market Hotel’s application for a permanent on-premises full retail liquor license. Once a permanent license app is pending at the SLA, a location isn’t allowed to get more one-day permits — and is liable for any alcohol found on the premises (even if it’s snuck in). The rule is very strict.
3) An organisation that applies for special event permits to sell alcohol is not attempting to circumvent the law, it is attempting to follow the law.
4) Market Hotel is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization. Not-for-profits are exempt from the SLA rule that limits locations to four one-day beer permits a year. Many not-for-profit cultural spaces routinely operate with these one-day permits.
5) Every bar at every event at Market Hotel for the past year has had a one-day beer permit. The local NYPD police precinct reviewed and explicitly approved each special event one-day permit that Market Hotel was issued. The Precinct has the authority to deny permits at any time if it feels that permits aren’t appropriate for a location or an applicant.
6) The local Precinct approved a one-day event permit for Market Hotel as recently as Monday of last week, 4 days before this incident. One week before this incident, the Precinct sent an email to Market Hotel reminding us to submit permit applications for Halloween weekend. Market Hotel has worked hard to maintain frequent and open communication with the local Precinct.
7) Market Hotel has never had a 911 incident in a year of operating, and has received remarkably scant 311 complaints — notably fewer than most bars in Bushwick. We have had no underage drinking incidents and no reports of fights or unruly customers. Market Hotel hosts regular community classes, afterschool groups, workshops, and important neighborhood meetings. Market Hotel’s mission statement calls on us to find common ground between nightlife, culture, and community service. Market Hotel enjoys a good relationship with our neighbors and the greater community. We have not been subject to complaints from our community.
8) Though the NYPD filed an “emergency” complaint to the NYC Department of Buildings claiming “dormitory” use and blocked fire exits, the Department of Building inspector who arrived with the police found no such thing. Nobody has lived at Market Hotel for many years, and Market Hotel’s exits are fully up to code, as is the entire facility.
9) Market Hotel maintains a valid Certificate for Temporary Public Assembly issued by the FDNY and the DOB. This certificate permits us to host large events and gatherings and is renewed every 90 days. The building gets inspected by FDNY at every renewal as well as is subject to routine inspection by DOB.
Thanks to the last 9 months of events, Market Hotel has been able to afford to finish installing our sprinkler system, fire alarm system, and elevator, and is finally eligible for permanent Certificates of Occupancy and Public Assembly, which were prerequisites for filing for the permanent liquor license.
Everyone at Market Hotel loves music and wishes we could continue hosting concerts and events, dry or not. Unfortunately, this incident has made it clear that being open in any way while our full on-premises liquor license is pending is a risk and would not be prudent, and so we have moved all events for the time being.
Thank you for your understanding.”