A year after Drake and Chris Brown made headlines for allegedly fighting at New York City’s W.i.P Club, new reports claim the nightspot can finally serve liquor again.
According to reports, a judge’s previous ban on liquor due to last summer’s notorious incident was demolished this week.
An appeals court today overturned a Manhattan judge’s decision to revoke the liquor license at the SoHo club that played host to a bottle-service brawl between Chris Brown and Drake over Rihanna last summer. The Appellate Division found that Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Geoffrey Wright’s termination of a booze permit for W.i.P Club in November, 2012 because of fights and drug dealing at the hotspot “was not supported by substantial evidence.” The judicial panel ruled that the club could not have anticipated the problems because the fights were “sudden or spur of the moment acts of violence committed by club patrons.” The decision said nothing about the well publicized feud between Rihanna’s lovers or charges that club managers shouldn’t have seated the parties next to one another. (New York Post)
The owner claimed a loss of liquor would not only stop the celebrities from coming in but ultimately put him out of business.
The liquor authority had turned off the spigot at W.i.P. shortly after the June booze brawl, only to have that ruling reversed pending appeals. Club owner Barry Mullineaux had complained to the Appellate Court that “he’d be out of business” and his 300 employees out of work if the court didn’t return his liquor license. If W.i.P. closed its doors, “New York will lose a bright night light in its entertainment crown,” Mullineaux said in court papers at the time. But the liquor authority shot back that the venue was “a drain on police resources and a danger to public health.” The Appellate Division sent the case back to the lower court to dole out “an appropriate penalty.” But the legal hits will keep coming for W.i.P– it’s battling least a half dozen civil suits in state court by patrons injured in the big-name brawl. (New York Post)
Last year, San Antonio Spurs guard Tony Parker filed a lawsuit against the club that made nationwide headlines last June.
The club is also facing a $20 million lawsuit from NBA star Tony Parker over injuries he sustained in the fight. The suit centers around many of the same charges the club is facing from the liquor authority: they didn’t do enough to stop the fight, they didn’t have enough security working when the fight started, and they should have known better than to let two guys who’ve publicly feuded for the same girl into the club at the same time. Parker was in the V.I.P. section when the fight broke out, and suffered an injury to his cornea in the ensuing melee. An injury to his eye, the suit argues, isn’t exactly great for Parker’s basketball career. Therefore, $20 million please. (The Atlantic Wire)
The NBA sensation claimed he nearly lost an eye at the hands of Brown and the nightclub’s insufficient security.
NBA superstar Tony Parker said Friday he was hit in the eye by shards of glass when bottles started flying and exploding at the W.I.P. club. The 6-foot-2-inch point guard said he was living it up with pals at the SoHo nightspot “when a fight broke out” early Thursday between the posses of rapper Drake and R&B star Chris Brown. Parker, who is supposed to play for France in the Summer Olympics next month, said he could have lost an eye. (New York Daily News)