Nightclub owner disputes claims of excessive noise

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The owner of a Kew Gardens nightclub said he plans to eventually close down because of neighbors’ consistent complaints of excessive noise and late-night brawls at the establishment.

Jay Chatarpaul, owner of the Caribbean-themed nightclub and restaurant at 120-29 83rd Ave., said residents were too conservative and sensitive to noise coming from his club. He denied their claims that there have been recent noise violations and violent fights outside his club.

“They do nothing but complain there,” he said of people in the neighborhood. “My plans are not to stay there for another two years.”

Community residents publicly aired their complaints against Coconuts at an Oct. 8 Community Board 9 meeting when they spoke against the nightclub’s bid to renew its liquor license. They said patrons leaving the club were loud, sometimes getting into fist fights, urinating on the streets and leaving beer bottles on nearby doorsteps.

Community Board 9 Chairman Paul Sapienza said the board did not have the authority to deny the renewal but would instead write a letter to the State Liquor Authority outlining the residents’ complaints. Community Board 9 District Manager Mary Ann Carey confirmed the letter had been written and mailed to the SLA.

The state agency will ultimately decide the fate of Coconuts’ liquor license.

Deputy Commissioner of the State Liquor Authority Mark Anderson said the community board’s letter speaking for angry residents could jeopardize Chatarpaul’s ability to renew his liquor license.

“We would definitely take the letter into account,” he said. “It serves as the rationale for an investigator to be assigned.”

Anderson said if local police received any complaints of excessive noise or violence, they are required to then file them with the SLA as a formal referral. Upon receipt, the legal unit at the SLA would then examine the referral and determine whether to grant a renewal of the liquor license or start an investigation of the complaints, he said.

Anderson also said the club may be in violation of the Alcoholic Beverage Control Act for the alleged noise and unruly actions and that his agency has the authority to not renew the Coconuts’ renewal application.

“If it becomes a focal point of police attention, that is an ABC Law violation,” Anderson said.

Chatarpaul said there had been no complaints from either residents or police for the last eight months and that police have never issued him a summons for disorderly conduct. He did say that police issued a noise violation ticket two years ago but said Coconuts has been free of police summons for noise violations since.

“Not every day is going to be perfect. This is a bar-lounge — sometimes people do come out here to drink,” he said. “These things are bound to happen. If there were lots of problems, we would then have problems with the liquor authority.”

Chatarpaul said he plans to install soundproof glass on windows that face the residents living across the street from Coconuts on 83rd Avenue. He said he voluntarily turned the volume of the music down, hired security guards to quiet down loud customers, and now closes the doors while the club is in operation to prevent noise from escaping and irritating residents.

Reach reporter Alex Davidson by e-mail at or by phone at 229-0300, Ext. 156

Posted 7:25 pm, October 10, 2011
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