Posts Tagged ‘Michael Papanicolas’

From the April 2015 edition of the Glover Park Gazette:

A breach-of-contract lawsuit against the owners of the defunct JP’s Lounge (2412 Wisconsin Ave.) was dismissed on March 11 because the plaintiff couldn’t locate the defendants, court records show. The plaintiff, Michael Papanicolas, is himself a former owner of the strip club.

Last July, Papanicolas filed suit against the company he sold the club to—Wisconsin Ventures, LLC—as well as its representative, Paul Kadlick. His complaint alleged that the defendants still owed him $375,000 from the 2012 sale of the club. (Two months after the August, 2012 sale, ownership of the club was transferred to a company called The Vice Group, also represented by Kadlick.)

The court granted Papanicolas two extensions of the deadline to prove that he had served the defendants with summonses, but he was not able to do so. The case was dismissed without prejudice, meaning that Papanicolas can re-file the suit if he discovers a way to serve papers on the defendants.

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From the February 2015 edition of the Glover Park Gazette:

On January 5, a judge ordered that the liquor license for JP’s Lounge (2412 Wisconsin Ave.) be turned over to the federal government as part of a plea deal in a cocaine trafficking case. The defendant, Lawrence Carl Nelson, pled guilty of conspiracy to distribute cocaine and of being a felon in possession of a firearm. Nelson, a co-owner of the license, is believed to have bankrolled the club’s 2012 purchase by a partnership known as The Vice Group. Also seized by the feds was a $1 million promissory note from The Vice Group to Nelson, according to the judge’s order.

The strip club was evicted from its building last July for nonpayment of rent, and the building has been vacant since then. The landlords found the original liquor license on the premises and turned it over to the Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration for safekeeping.

Meanwhile, the club’s former owner, Michael Papanicolas, is suing The Vice Group and its spokesman, Paul Kadlick, for breach of contract. Papanicolas claims he is owed at least $375,000 from the 2012 sale. There was a hearing on the case held January 9, but no defendants showed up. Another hearing has been scheduled for March 27.

As for the building, the owners of The Mason Inn (2408 Wisconsin Ave.) are in talks to move to the larger JP’s space. Although neither the landlords nor the Mason Inn owners are talking publicly about the negotiations, the Georgetown Current has reported that the Mason Inn owners are interested in purchasing the building.

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From the November 2014 edition of the Glover Park Gazette:

Last month, we told you that the former owner of JP’s Lounge (2412 Wisconsin Ave.) was suing the man he sold the strip club to. Michael Papanicolas claims that Paul Kadlick still owes him $375,000 on the sale. (Wisconsin Ventures LLC, a corporation with which Kadlick is affiliated, is a co-defendant in Papanicolas’s suit.) On October 17, Papanicolas appeared in court to say he hadn’t yet been able to find Kadlick to serve him papers in the lawsuit.

Too bad Papanicolas wasn’t at the courthouse the day before: Kadlick was there in person for sentencing in an assault case. That case sprang from an incident in March of 2013 when Kadlick and two of his business associates—including Phil Mathew, the managing partner of JP’s—broke into a rental house in Southeast and punched its resident in an attempt to get him to move out. According to court documents, they called the victim a “squatter,” though he told police he paid rent. (Ironically, JP’s was evicted from its building in July of this year for nonpayment of rent.)

Kadlick pled guilty to the assault and, on October 16, received a 45-day suspended sentence and was ordered to complete six months of probation. Mathew also pled guilty, but at press time had not been sentenced.

That’s the misdemeanor portion of this month’s JP’s news. In the felony portion: it turns out that one of the club’s financial backers, Lawrence Carl Nelson, was indicted in Maryland last year for conspiracy to distribute 5 kilograms of cocaine and for possessing two firearms as a former felon. The federal government identified the JP’s liquor license as one of Nelson’s assets. His indictment stated that, if he were convicted, the government would seize the license. In a restraining order, it forbade Kadlick, Mathew, and their associates from disposing of it.

On May 9 of this year, Nelson pled guilty to both of the charges against him. His sentencing hearing is set for Monday, January 5. Several parties, including Kadlick, Papanicolas, and the Alafoginis family—the stiffed landlords of 2412 Wisconsin Avenue—may try to lay claim to the license.

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From the October 2014 edition of the Glover Park Gazette:

JP’s Lounge (2412 Wisconsin Ave.) may have closed, but its drama lives on. In July, the strip club’s former owner, Michael Papanicolas, sued the company he sold it to, Wisconsin Ventures LLC, for breach of contract. (Two months after the August, 2012 sale, Wisconsin Ventures turned the club over to The Vice Group, a different company with some of the same owners.)

Papanicolas’s complaint alleges that Wisconsin Ventures still owes him $375,000 from the deal. Paul Kadlick, a principal of Wisconsin Ventures and spokesman for The Vice Group, is named as a co-defendant in the suit. According to the complaint, the total purchase price for the club was $600,000, and Papanicolas received a hefty down payment, as well as scheduled monthly payments of $1,500 through last September. “Since October 1, 2013, and through the present, Plaintiff has not received any payments whatsoever,” the complaint states. Neither Kadlick nor Wisconsin Ventures has formally responded to the suit, according to court documents. JP’s has been closed since July, when its operators were evicted for nonpayment of rent.

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From the November 2011 edition of the Glover Park Gazette:

JP’s Night Club (2412 Wisconsin Ave.) finally has a new owner: as the Gazette foretold, a man named Brian Petruska now controls the dormant strip club’s liquor license. The original JP’s building was destroyed in a January 2008 fire, and the replacement structure has sat vacant for more than a year. But on October 19, the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board approved an application to transfer the club’s recently renewed liquor license from BJ Enterprises—a company held by longtime JP’s owner Michael Papanicolas—to Wisconsin Ventures LLC, a company held by Petruska, who is identified on the application as President/Secretary and Manager of Wisconsin Ventures.

According to the application, the business will not change substantially with the transfer: when it reopens, JP’s will be a restaurant serving sandwiches and burgers and featuring “non-sexually oriented nude dancers,” whatever those are. In September, the ABC Board ruled that neighbors would be allowed to formally challenge the liquor license before the club reopens. A recent neighborhood challenge to the license’s renewal was unsuccessful, though it did result in a later start time for nude dancing.

The phone number listed on the transfer application as the JP’s “business telephone” was not in service, and we have been unable to locate Petruska for comment.

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From the June 2011 edition of the Glover Park Gazette:

The potential new owner of JP’s Night Club (2412 Wisconsin Ave.) has been revealed. At a May 11 hearing about the dormant strip club’s liquor license, Brian Petruska was introduced as the would-be buyer of the club. Attorney James Charles, who represents the club’s current owner, says that in the spring of 2010, Petruska signed a contract to buy all of JP’s corporate stock. That contract was contingent upon Petruska’s signing a lease with the owners of the vacant building, which replaced a building gutted by a 2008 fire.

Last fall, Charles says, Petruska walked away from the deal, but later returned to the bargaining table with new conditions, including that the club prevail against two parties now protesting the renewal of its liquor license: the Advisory Neighborhood Commission and a group of neighbors represented by attorney Milton Grossman.

A protest hearing on the license renewal was scheduled for May 25, after our press date. (See the Georgetown Current’s report on the hearing here.) The protesting parties were set to argue that the strip club is no longer appropriate for increasingly kid-centric Glover Park. Charles says the charge is without merit. “The business has been there for 22 years,” he says. “The neighborhood hasn’t changed as far as I can see. There are no new schools, libraries, or churches.”

But even if the JP’s license survives that challenge, there may be another in store. The license is currently in an escrow-like state called “safekeeping,” and the protesting parties argue that a second protest hearing should be held when the license is removed from safekeeping—that is, when the club’s interior is fully finished and the club is ready to open. According to Charles, Petruska won’t invest in the building’s interior if there’s another protest looming, which means the wrangling could end with a stalemate that would keep JP’s closed.

The Alcoholic Beverage Control Board is expected to rule within three months on the current protests, and within two months on whether a second protest period will be needed. Our efforts to reach Petruska for comment were not successful.

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From the May 2011 edition of the Glover Park Gazette:

More than three years after a fire shuttered JP’s Night Club (2412 Wisconsin Ave.), the owners of the property have signed a lease that would bring strippers back to the building, according to James Charles, attorney for JP’s owner Michael Papanicolas.

The new lease, also signed by Papanicolas for the JP’s corporation, is contingent upon the club’s liquor license surviving a current challenge to its September 2010 renewal, Charles says. Two parties—the Advisory Neighborhood Commission and a group of neighbors represented by attorney Milton Grossman—have filed protests to the renewal. They argue that the club, founded in 1985, is no longer appropriate for an increasingly kid-friendly community. They also question Papanicolas’s fitness to operate the club, based on statements he made at an ANC meeting that seemed to contradict statements his attorney, Charles, had made to the Glover Park Gazette. (At issue is whether the club was, or is, for sale.) An Alcoholic Beverage Control Board hearing on the protests is slated for May 11.

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