The Curry Club recently relocated to the Indian restaurant SaGhar...

The Curry Club recently relocated to the Indian restaurant SaGhar in Port Jefferson. Credit: Randee Daddona

Seven people were arrested and charged during a weekend raid of a well-known Port Jefferson restaurant and nightspot, police said.

Suffolk police also issued summonses for fake IDs to eight underage patrons and closed the establishment for the night, saying it was at three times capacity.

At 12:15 a.m., Saturday, police said there were 454 people in the bar of Curry Club at SāGhar at 111 W. Broadway. The legal capacity for restaurant’s ground floor is 146 people, according to the village fire marshal.

Reached by phone Monday, Curry Club at SāGhar manager Indu Kaur, whose family owns the restaurant, said she left about 9:30 p.m. Friday but returned about 1 a.m. Saturday after a bartender called to report that Suffolk police and representatives from the Port Jefferson Village Constable, Port Jefferson Fire Marshal’s Office and New York State Liquor Authority were on the premises. 

When Kaur arrived, she said she saw police talking to security guards. 

Police charged six security guards  with not being licensed, a misdemeanor: Ryan Byank, 25, of Mastic; Justin Dennis, 24, of upstate Vestal; David Denson, 33, of Hempstead; Wayne Dowell, 52, of Freeport; Michael Spanarelli, 25, of Mastic; and Nicholas Werner, 26, of Mastic.

Kaur, 47, of East Setauket, was also charged with employing unlicensed security guards, a misdemeanor.

The guards worked for Extreme Security Measures of Miller Place. Nate Richardson, who owns the firm, said that 13 guards and three additional staff were on premises that night, and that the six guards who were charged were properly licensed by the state. Richardson, who has worked in security for 20 years, said the state database officials used to look up their licensure was not up to date.

A statement Monday from the New York State Liquor Authority said the business accepted a $5,000 penalty from the agency on Feb. 16 for other violations.

Curry Club at SāGhar is a merger of two family-owned businesses. In 1996, Kaur’s father, Kulwant Wadhwa, opened the northern-Indian restaurant The Curry Club in East Setauket, and it also hosted a late-night scene inside the adjacent Velvet Room. That business closed in mid-February and moved to SāGhar, a bi-level Indian fusion restaurant with a rooftop patio facing Port Jefferson Harbor that the Wadhwa-Kaur family opened in spring 2020. It was included on Newsday’s 2021 list of top 100 restaurants for dishes such as mussels masala and Kashmiri-style lamb shank.

Kaur said the location had long hosted a late-night scene, which Curry Club at SāGhar continued via live music, DJs and other events. The restaurant, which remains open, became busier after the two businesses merged, Kaur said, adding that she remains unclear on the standing capacity of the space.

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