Judge: Franklin strip club cannot serve alcohol while fighting for liquor license

A Columbus judge has denied a motion that will keep a Franklin strip club from selling any alcoholic beverages until its liquor license appeal works its way through the appellate courts.

After the Ohio Liquor Control Commission denied the renewal of New York New York Cabaret’s liquor license on Oct. 31, the club owners sought to continue serving alcohol while appeals are heard.

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Franklin County Common Pleas Court Judge Kim Brown on Thursday denied the motion.

Columbus attorney Kurt Gearhiser said the judge’s decision to deny the stay was not appealable. He said the owners, N.Y.N.Y., Inc., indicated that they wanted to continue their appeal.

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In its Oct. 31 notice to the club owners, the commission said it found “the appeal was not well taken and affirms the order of the Division of Liquor Control.”

Franklin City Council issued objections to the renewal of the club’s liquor licenses for 2017-2018 and 2018-2019 due to the state investigation that resulted in two arrests and several citations against its liquor permit in 2017.

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The club is also waiting on a new date in Warren County Common Pleas Court, where the club is fighting the city of Franklin to keep its license to operate as a sexually oriented business. These proceedings have been continued pending the resolution of the state liquor license appeals.

Franklin attorney David Chicarelli said that the new date has not been set as of Tuesday.

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Franklin police have been to the club 63 times since Jan. 1, including bar checks, reports of people selling drugs, overdoses, fights, break-ins and intoxicated individuals, according to dispatch records.

City officials say that New York New York has operated in a manner that demonstrates a disregard for state laws and regulations, city ordinances, and constitutes a nuisance. The strip club and its employees have faced challenges from the city and investigations since it opened more than two decades ago.

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The club was charged with drug sales and improper conduct following a three-month investigation by the Ohio Investigative Unit. OIU agents, Franklin police and the Warren County Drug Task Force made the arrests on March 31, 2017.

Last spring, a Warren County judge previously found the corporation not guilty of any criminal liability for felony charges stemming from a local and state investigation that started in December 2016.

Brown also granted a motion for the Ohio Attorney General’s Office for an extension of time to file the administrative record due to an unforeseen delay in obtaining the final transcripts. That extension will be until Jan. 15.

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