Controversial Hempstead nightclub closes
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A bar in Hempstead Village has closed after one of its patrons was killed near the club on New Year's Day and the facility's liquor license was canceled this week.
Community activists and village officials have complained that Seduccion Bar, on 306 Main St., a few blocks north of Village Hall, is a magnet for criminal activity. They cited what police have classified as two murders near the club in the past two years, including the Jan. 1 fatal shooting of village resident Andre Graydon, 26. No arrests have been made in the case.
"There is a long history of violence with this place," Hempstead Village Police Watch Commander Lt. Edward Hayman said.
Since July 2011, shots were fired in six incidents near the bar that advertises itself as a "gentlemen's club," including the two fatal shootings, Hayman said. About 30 police calls in the past two years were related to disturbances near the bar, which opened in 2006, he said.
The State Liquor Authority board voted Tuesday at its meeting in Harlem to cancel the Seduccion Bar's liquor license, authority spokesman William Crowley said Wednesday.
The license-holder, identified by the state as Robert Florio of Mount Sinai, could not be reached. George Jaghab, who sold the bar in 2009 and remained 1-percent owner, said he surrendered the liquor license because his business partner "was nowhere to be found." The bar has been closed for two weeks, he said.
"I canceled it [the liquor license] and returned it to my lawyer. I no longer want the business," Jaghab said.
He said the bar isn't responsible for violence around it, including Graydon's shooting. "It has nothing to do with Seduccion," Jaghab said. "It didn't happen inside my place."
But residents say the bar attracted violence. "There are members of the community that are outraged that there have been multiple shootings at that location," said the Rev. Kirk D. Lyons Sr. of the anti-violence group Brothers Keepers.
A protest was held outside the club on Jan. 3. and "the major concern was the lack of, or loose, at best, security measures at the club," Lyons said.
Hempstead Mayor Wayne J. Hall Sr. said he is looking into revoking the bar's business and cabaret license.
Graydon's mother, Stephanie Draine, 46, of Hempstead, said her son attended a party at Seduccion after celebrating New Year's Eve at home and was killed near the club. Graydon, who had a 16-month-old son, worked installing residential elevators and lifts.
"This place needs to be shut down," Draine said. "It's a tragedy what happened to my son. My heart is broken. I am pleading for someone to please come forward to get this person off the street . . . I wouldn't want another mother to go through what I went through."