Last week, the Voice reported on former Roc-A-Fella Records mogul Damon Dash’s recent troubles with the law. The city brought a restraining order against the owners of 172 Duane Street, which used to house Dash’s club/art gallery/rehearsal space DD172, as well as against Dash himself. They claimed six violations of the liquor code, namely storing and selling alcohol without a license. While DD172 had vacated the spot back in June, the city didn’t serve the property with papers till last Wednesday.
Yesterday at the courthouse in Lower Manhattan, the judge, Cynthia S. Kern, signed a stipulation settling the matter as long as 172 Duane Street Realty abides by the liquor laws in future and agrees to provide security guards when holding events, agrees to warrantless inspections by police, and abide by their certificate of occupancy. In other words, the property is agreeing to not break the law.
A source close to the proceedings told the Voice that if Dash had still been the tenant at the time the city served the papers, there would have been more of a chance of his having to pay fines. As it stands now, no one has to pay anyone anything.
Dash’s lawyer Joshua Seidman told us that the city had never served his client any papers and that “selling liquor was never a part of the business model of that location.” (Two police documents from April and May obtained by the Voice list Dash by name on reports of an illegal bottle club/alcohol warehousing.) Seidman added that “the company hasn’t operated out of that premises since the beginning of summer.”
The owners of the property, and their representation, didn’t appear in court yesterday. It still isn’t clear why the city chose to take action when it did, a full three months after DD172 moved out.