Main | Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Cops Close Major Clubs On Pride Weekend

The big story buzzing through the crowds on Pride Sunday was the Friday night closures of some major Manhattan nightclubs - including Pacha, which was to host the official Heritage of Pride closing party, an event which was promoted here on JMG.
The NYPD shut down two of the city's most popular clubs - in the middle of Pride Week festivities - after spending nearly a year posing as partying druggies, police said. Undercover vice investigators spent months working in the dark rooms of Pacha and Marquee nightclubs buying an array of narcotics - including marijuana, Ecstasy and Special K, court records showed.

Pacha was set to hold the official after-party of the Gay Pride Parade on Sunday night. Promoter Stephen Pevner said he spent more than $40,000 on the event, but cops stopped him from going into the shuttered venue.

"The timing couldn't have been worse," said Pevner, 48, who had to "scrounge around" for another home to quickly slap together a mega-dance. Capitale in the Bowery took him in. Police said they closed the two hot spots on Friday night, a day after the department's legal team sued the clubs' owners.

"We don't check the schedule of the clubs," NYPD Assistant Chief Michael Collins said about the raids, which have caused ire among the city's gay community. "I am not surprised," said Michael Musto, the iconic gay columnist with The Village Voice. "The cops are not overly sensitive to gay issues. When they want to make a statement against a club, they raid it before a big event, by hitting the club where it hurts - the wallet."
As noted above, the Saint-At-Large found a last minute home for their event at Capitale in the Bowery. "Where the hell is Capitale?" seemed to be the most common question of the day. I've heard the party was well-received nonetheless. Other popular bars such as Splash and G Bar were rumored to have been raided or fined as well, but not closed (although I've found no confirmation of that.)

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