Thursday, May 31, 2018

SLA says live music and DJs can return to Club Cumming

The live music and DJ programming are returning to Club Cumming starting tonight.

Yesterday, the State Liquor Authority (SLA) signed off on a license alteration for the bar-cabaret on Sixth Street between Avenue A and Avenue B.

Alan Cumming, one of the bar's owners, announced the news on Instagram:

We just left the State Liquor Authority meeting and they ruled in our favor so @clubcumming is allowed once more to have live performances and DJs!!! Rejoice!!! Thanks to everyone who supported us. We have only tried to comply and make good since we discovered the license error, and finally we have been allowed to go on as before.

Ironically our dealings with our community board — us wanting to protect and preserve the @clubcumming community — has made us all realize just how passionately people feel about our little bar and the inclusive, non-judgmental merriment we try to create.

As previously reported in March, the SLA was investigating Club Cumming for its live music programing, including piano and cabaret nights, which was happening without the proper permits. The bar suspended its live music and DJs until they could apply for the appropriate license.

Last month, CB3’s SLA committee (four members present) unanimously voted to grant the license alteration, though with stipulations — "provided they are not scheduled and that there are no ticket sales or entrance fees."

However, a few weeks later, the full CB3 board voted to recommend a denial of Club Cumming's alteration. This is where it gets a little granular.

We'll let The Villager explain from a recent article:

Susan Stetzer, the district manager of CB3, said at the SLA Committee meeting ... that DOB issued a statement to her explaining that the club was in Use Group 6 — a specific zoning group that does not allow scheduled performances, ticketed sales or events with cover fees, according to Stetzer’s statement in the meeting minutes.

But a DOB spokesperson told The Villager otherwise. Because the building was constructed before 1938, it does not have what is known as a “certificate of occupancy” — which is what sparked the whole debate after a 311 complaint was lodged over the club lacking a valid “C of O.”

The building also has a so-called nonconforming commercial use, specifically, a commercial use in what is technically a residential zone — in this case, a bar on a residential sidestreet. However, because the building is pre-1938, it does not need a certificate of occupancy, according to DOB. Additionally, the “nonconforming commercial use” is allowed because of the building’s age, according to a DOB spokesperson. A 311 complaint about “no C of O” led DOB to send an inspector to check out the address on Dec. 22, 2017. The department found no violation that day. A spokesperson added that the department has no jurisdiction over issues related to live-performance ticketing.

However, despite DOB’s finding of nothing amiss, the SLA issued a violation at the end of February. That, in turn, sent Club Cumming to the community board for approval of a liquor-license modifcation.

In any event, the SLA apparently sorted through the various DOB bureaucracy and approved the amended license for Club Cumming, which opened last September in the former Eastern Bloc space.



Anonymous said...

It's not bringing art and culture back to the EV, it's bringing sacrosanct Broadway.

Anonymous said...

Of course people would complain about one of the few places in the EV that is trying to do something interesting, instead of just being a bar full of drunken bros.

Anonymous said...

Thank you to everyone involved for wading through the bureaucracy to bring the music + performances back!

Anonymous said...

Let's be honest, the only thing that matters is the bottom line and by being able to offer an expanded format of live music and dj's means a healthier bottom line. If he could offer tap dancing dolphins and make twice as much money, he would.

Anonymous said...

Live on the block and can't sleep from the noise, well at least you are suffering for "culture", and that's "inclusive culture" which justifies it even more.

Anonymous said...

With all the problems in the neighborhood, Corey Johnson, Carlina Rivera and Espinal, who doesn't even live here, used the resources of the city council to investigate the zoning for one bar to determine if scheduled musical performances were allowable, when they don't do anything else about real problems. The zoning interpretation protected residential side streets from being inundated with bars, so as a favor to one individual, they have potentially opened the floodgates. It's good to be rich and famous.