Sunset Park

Sunset Park bodega illegally operating as nightclub, ‘drug den’ loses liquor license

April 17, 2017 By Scott Enman Brooklyn Daily Eagle
The New York State Liquor Authority issued an emergency suspension on Wednesday for the Fourth Avenue Mini Market Corp. at 4113 Fourth Ave. for operating an illegal nightclub. Photo data © 2017 Google
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A grocery store known as the “disco bodega” had its liquor license revoked last week for allegedly operating an illegal bar and drug den in the shop’s basement.

The New York State Liquor Authority (SLA) issued an emergency suspension on Wednesday for the Fourth Avenue Mini Market Corp. at 4113 Fourth Ave. for at least 20 violations ranging from Oct. 22, 2016 to March 28, 2017. 

“This illegal bar and drug den, masquerading as a corner market, has racked up a vast number of egregious violations of the law a mere six months after opening,” said Counsel to SLA Christopher R. Riano. “The Members of the SLA sent a clear message that these illicit operations that threaten the health and safety of local residents will be closed down immediately.”

NYPD officials have monitored the store for several months and have said that a known narcotics dealer has used the illicit nightclub to sell drugs.

NYPD officers reported drug arrests on Oct. 22, 2016 and on Feb. 10, 2017.

 On March 11, 2017, authorities received a 911 call for an unresponsive and unconscious individual. Responding officers found a man in the basement of the bodega dead from an apparent overdose.

In an incident on Jan. 25, 2017, a man high on drugs attempted to commit suicide inside the store.

There have been at least four 311 calls for complaints for dancing and alcohol consumption on the premises.

The licensee’s name on the Notice of Pleading is Marte, Marino D.

“Illegal night clubs are a threat to public safety,” Councilmember Carlos Menchaca (D-Sunset Park-Red Hook) told the Brooklyn Eagle on Monday. “They encourage illegal drug activity, underage drinking, chronic noise and fire danger. The one recently shut down by the State Liquor Authority on Fourth Avenue in Sunset Park was especially dangerous.

“I encourage residents to report illegal night clubs with a call directly to the local NYPD precinct. I encourage residents to attend a precinct community meeting where time is always set aside for people to point out dangerous and illegal activities.”

Sunset Park resident Alexis Nieves told the Eagle that while the law always needs to be obeyed, bodegas are an instrumental part of the neighborhood, which lacks upscale supermarkets like Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods.

 “The rule of law always needs to be followed,” said Nieves. “If there are illegal events that are happening in a bodega — I understand that bodegas are very special to what makes these communities what they are, but there is also law that needs to be followed. 

“However, with gentrification and a lot of the displacement of people who have been in these communities for so many years, we also need to consider the way that law enforcement can sometimes go about shutting down what makes some of these communities special. There needs to be more collaboration between police officers, local community organizers and residents of Sunset Park.”

Fourth Avenue Mini Market Corp. could not be reached for comment on Monday. 

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