“Rock club” owner coming to Hoboken
Here’s story about a Pompton Lakes bar owner a Hoboken411 reader thought you guys might be curious about. What “existing business” do you think they’re referring to?
Mainstage owner says he’s done with Pompton Lakes
His legal problems continue, and Joseph Spinella, owner of the Mainstage rock club, is also through with doing business in the borough.
Spinella was arraigned in Municipal Court today on a charge of disorderly conduct for allegedly advertising a BYOB — bring your own booze — party at the club and faces a fine of $1,000 for the offense. Spinella waits to be notified by the court for a return date and said he will argue the charge before the judge.
“It’s the wrong offense for the violation,” he said. And it is an offense that he denies.
“Nobody really advertised for it,” he said after the arraignment. “It was a comment on My Space someone else made that there would be a party, but it was never held.”
Spinella said he wanted to “settle it today.”
“We are not returning to town,” he added. “The place is cleared out.”
The 23-year-old entrepreneur said he and a partner are taking over an existing business in Hoboken instead, and “I’m looking to open a place in central Jersey, too.”
Contrary to Mainstage, which drew a youthful audience ranging in age from 14 to 25, he said the new business “will deal primarily with those 21-plus, and the entertainment will be roughly the same.”
His rocky experience opening a rock club in Pompton Lakes has brought a change in thinking, he continued.
“I’ve learned to deal just with municipalities more experienced with night life and able to handle it,” he said. “Sixty-five percent of businesses in Hoboken is through nightlife. And it opened up new opportunities for me.”
It’s been a rollercoaster ride for Mainstage, ever since the popular rock band club off Wanaque Avenue opened its doors in June 2007. It was a place for youths to perform outside of their garages and for thousands of them from all over North Jersey — Bergen, Morris, Passaic, Hudson counties — to hear professional groups play. In its first year, it had attracted some 42,000 patrons.
See the rest of the story after the jump…
(Mainstage rock club owner coming to Hoboken, continued…)
Most who attended are too young for alcohol use and the club doesn’t permit drinking. But trouble began soon after it opened. There were reports of noise, urinating in public, illegal drug use and underage drinking in he parking lot. Police said they reported the disturbances to Spinella, but nothing was done to rectify problems. That led to undercover surveillance. Numerous arrests were made for simple and aggravated assault and possession of marijuana and alcohol. Spinella said he added more security guards to patrol the lot. But borough officials threatened to yank his license if things did not improve.
Additional security arrangements were imposed and arranged, and after an extended probationary period, the Borough Council in early June renewed Mainstage’s license until year’s end but with a warning: The bands could play on only as long as licensed security guards continued to patrol the parking lot and keep trouble out.
Spinella, happy at that point, said he had employed licensed, bonded guards and has canceled heavy-metal shows that might present problems. Things seemed to be going well, and police agreed that the beefed up security seemed to be working.
But when the license renewal for Dec. 31 was discussed, the council didn’t renew it. Its reason: Liquor was served at the club, which has no liquor license.
Spinella vows to fight the case: “It was a private party for a band, the public was not invited … the public was not invited. And it never happened … the event was cancelled.”
“Lawyers are looking into it,” he said. “A violation hasn’t been proven yet.”
At that time, Spinella expected the council decision would leave him in a financial fix. But today he said “We were able to move the majority of events to other venues.”