Volume 74, Number 17 | August 25 - 31 , 2004

It’s goodnight for Nocturne club, source of complaints on Bleecker

By David H. Ellis

Burdened by a series of resident complaints and summons, the Bleecker St. nightclub Nocturne was forced to enact a permanent twilight when it closed for business in early July.

Situated among a mixed-use block of businesses and residences, the club with blackened windows located at 144 Bleecker St. near LaGuardia Pl. was forced to close last month, said Officer Tim Duffy, a Sixth Precinct community affairs officer.

“The complaints did not stop,” said Duffy about the 7,000-sq.-ft. club. “It was a continual problem spot for us.”

Nocturne suffered salvos of criticism since its inception last October. Apart from complaints by residents in bordering apartments frustrated with the noise level both inside and outside the club, Nocturne’s brief history was also marked by an alleged rape of a woman by three men in the club’s bathroom in January.

The State Liquor Authority is still reviewing a laundry list of charges against the club, including sale of alcohol to a minor, four unspecified health-code violations and two separate noise infractions in November and February.

Mark Anderson, S.L.A. deputy commissioner of administration, whose agency had no knowledge of the July closing of Nocturne, said that the club was facing a cancellation of its liquor license. According to Anderson, the S.L.A. had planned to scrutinize charges against the Bleecker St. club on Sept. 1.

A phone call to the club’s co-owner, Frank Ferraro, was not returned by press time.

While residents were encouraged by promises in November by Ferraro to make adjustments, including removing heavy bass speakers and installing sound-insulating equipment, residents and neighboring businesses indicated that improvements were slight inside the 335-person capacity club.

“I’m just glad it’s gone,” said a clerk, declining to give his name, at Kim’s Underground Video store, which shared a wall with the club. “It was noisy and they played bad music.”

Charles Wolf, former co-chairperson of the Bleecker Area Merchants’ and Residents’ Association, said since the club’s closure, the block’s quality of life has improved.

“All we know is that people in my building are certainly pleased and the landlord is certainly pleased,” said Wolf. “It was just bad news all around.”

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