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Strip Club A Magnet For Violence, Neighbors Want It Shut


March 14, 2016 By Michael Florio

Local politicians and community advocates rallied Monday in front of an Astoria strip club with a violent history.

Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer scheduled the rally in front of Club Purlieu, located at 36-04 34th St., after it was temporarily shut down last Thursday.

Van Bramer, who was joined by Councilman Costa Constantinides and other community activists, is now calling for its permanent closure due to a string of violent incidents related to the club.

“This club is a clear and present danger to the people of this community,” Van Bramer said. “We are calling for the State Liquor Authority to revoke their liquor license and shut it down.”

Two weeks ago, a livery cab driver, Roberto Castillo, was shot in the head in front of the establishment. Castillo, a father of two, was dropping off patrons at the club.

“You don’t have to be a patron of this club to be shot,” Van Bramer said. “Every night this club is open, people are living in fear.”

Club Purlieu was temporarily closed last week following an investigation by the Department of Consumer Affairs that found multiple violations, Capt. Peter Fortune, the commanding officer of the 114th Precinct, told the Astoria Post at the time.

However, the club reopened Friday night according to Piero Dimatteo, owner of 36th Avenue Coffee Shop located across the street.

There have been five criminal reports and 12 criminal court summonses issued at Club Purlieu since last summer, accordingIMG_4449 to 114 Precinct information released by Van Bramer’s office.

Van Bramer emphasized that these are just incidents that were reported.

“Imagine all the incidents that we don’t know about,” he said.

“This establishment is a drain on our community,” Constantinides said. “On the nights it is open the 114 [Precinct] constantly has to keep tabs on it. This is police resources that could be used elsewhere.”

Dimatteo said his car windshield was shot last June when it was parked in front of the club.

“I left my car parked overnight and the next day my windshield was shattered,” he said. “Police found a bullet shell next to my car.”

Mark Hoffman, who lives across the street from the club, said it is not uncommon to be woken up in the middle of the night from shouting or car horns.

“There are fights all the time,” he said. “Residents here really have to be cautious when they go out at night.”

“It is dangerous to go out alone,” he said.

He added that empty beer and liquor bottles are regularly found scattered around the block.

Van Bramer also stated that the club has become the hangout for a number of gangs from all around New York City.

“We have very reliable sources that let us know that multiple gangs have chosen this as their spot,” Van Bramer said. “I can almost guarantee you that if this is their spot, the drugs are almost certainly present and maybe being dealt.”

In addition to calling upon the SLA to revoke the liquor license, Van Bramer and Constantinides said they will continue to work with the 114 Precinct to take measures to get the club shut down.

“It is time for us to reclaim our quality of life and permanently close down this club,” Constantinides said.

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Level this place to the ground and build something nice for the mid-west transplant…. like a Whole Foods. Our new neighbors don’t go to strip clubs… they want artisan cheese and white bread.


It would be nice if the astoria post would do a little research and include in the article the conditions that must be met to (a) get a liquor license and (b) lose a liquor license.

Seems like this club must have checked off a bunch of the (b) boxes. How many more until they are gone?


while your at it close every kfc , popeyes , red lobster . also ban all sales of grape soda , grape drink , grape juice and ban all sales of watermelon . that should do the trick !!!!!!!!!! almost forgot any tobacco products containing menthol !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Exposing Astoria

Let me guess, you go to church on Sundays too? Racism is not tolerated, keep your ugly thoughts to yourself. Nobody likes the smell of trash. Let’s ban wholefoods, starbucks and salads because of the slasher a few days ago then?

Anonymous visitor

It is beautiful to see local politicians working together in order to ensure a better community. That is what they should be doing because it is the community that voted for them. It is exceptionally disturbing to know that there is a night club and bar so close to a school. Who allowed that?
In the words of the politicians in the article, the club poses certain issues such as:

“clear and present danger to the people of this community”
“There are fights all the time,” he said. “Residents here really have to be cautious when they go out at night.”
“It is dangerous to go out alone,” he said.
” empty beer and liquor bottles are regularly found scattered around the block”
“imagine all the incidents that we don’t know about,”
“It is time for us to reclaim our quality of life”

Why weren’t and why aren’t those sentiments being expressed when dealing with the situation at Westway and perhaps other homeless shelters. Why is it that that doesn’t interfere with people’s quality of life? Why is it that the residents don’t matter then?

Pete J.

It’s a little bit of a stretch to compare gang violence and alcohol to trying to help an indigent population. Look at Women in Need ( the organization with home the city contracts Westway. Homelessness is an epidemic in this city (and most cities), god forbid we try to help them. F**cking NIMBY.

Ben Dover

Why don’t you try to help them?? Possibly take on a few of them in your own home. As the title says, Ben Dover

Pete J.

I do indeed help as many as I can through charity work and homeless outreach volunteering. What are you, a 14 year old with your first computer?


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