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Posts Tagged ‘Milton Grossman’

On August 13, two men—Jason K. Daniel and Philip M. Mathew—applied to the Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration to take over the liquor license for the dormant JP’s Night Club (2412 Wisconsin Ave.). On their application, the men listed themselves as the president, secretary, and managing member (Daniel) and vice president and treasurer (Mathew) of Wisconsin Ventures, LLC, the corporation that owns JP’s.

Last year, Local Man of Mystery Brian Petruska identified himself to ABRA as the president, secretary, and manager of Wisconsin Ventures. Now that Daniel holds those titles, where does that leave Petruska—let alone Paul Kadlick and Gokhan “Jake” Akkus, who in May represented themselves to ANC 3B as having bought a 90 percent share of JP’s?

We spoke to Kadlick, and he tried to explain the matryoshka doll of holding companies that now surrounds the strip club. Due to unspecified business and tax considerations, Kadlick says, he and Akkus did not end up purchasing the club directly. Instead, a partnership called The Vice Group purchased 90 percent of the shares in Wisconsin Ventures. The remaining 10 percent of the stock in Wisconsin Ventures was retained by Brian Petruska. Wisconsin Ventures owns a company called BJ Enterprises, which owns the JP’s license.

Kadlick is the authorized spokesperson for The Vice Group, but he insists that he does not hold an ownership stake in that group. Daniel and Mathew, who do hold ownership stakes, are both area nightclub promoters and managers who “are longtime associates of mine,” says Kadlick. They will be responsible for the club’s day-to-day operations, he adds. We asked Kadlick how he stood to gain from JP’s without being an owner, and he told us that the business is part of a larger structure of deals he could not discuss.

Last week, several Glover Park civic leaders sent a letter to ABRA chief Fred Moosally expressing concerns about the transfer application. In the letter, ANC commissioners Jackie Blumenthal and Brian Cohen, Glover Park Citizens’ Association president Sheila Meehan, and attorney Milton Grossman called upon ABRA to transfer the JP’s license only to “people who have demonstrated their qualification to run a legal, above-board operation.” The liquor board seems likely to go ahead with the transfer, though. In response to our inquiry, ABRA spokesman Bill Hager reminded us that, no matter who holds the license, JP’s will have to survive a public protest period before it’s allowed to reopen.

Kadlick plans to attend the September 13 ANC meeting, where he will discuss the club’s security and valet parking arrangements. He says the ANC should be reassured by his knowledge of the neighborhood and its needs. “I’m not embarrassed to tell you I’ve been a patron of JP’s for 20 years,” he says. “It’s an upscale neighborhood, and we’re going to cater to that customer.”

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From the April 2011 edition of the Glover Park Gazette:

A mediation session between the owner of JP’s Night Club and representatives of two groups protesting the club’s liquor license renewal was “contentious,” says Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner Jackie Blumenthal. The March 18 session, called by the Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration, was intended to address the protestants’ concerns about the strip club, shuttered since a 2008 fire, but “nothing was resolved,” Blumenthal reports.

The protestants—the ANC and a separate group of 16 neighbors represented by attorney Milton Grossman—have questioned the club’s appropriateness for its location and the stability of its ownership. An attorney for club owner Michael Papanicolas has said that someone last year signed a contract to purchase all shares of the business, but the attorney has declined to publicly name the buyer. That deal was contingent upon the would-be buyer’s securing a lease for the reconstructed building at 2412 Wisconsin Ave., which hasn’t happened, as far as we can tell.

The Alcoholic Beverage Control Board will hold a protest hearing on the matter on May 11.

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From the February 2011 edition of the Glover Park Gazette:

The strip-club standoff has ended. When last we reported on 2412 Wisconsin Ave—the former and potential future home of JP’s Night Club—the vacant building was at the center of a stalemate. The club has been shuttered since a 2008 fire, and the Advisory Neighborhood Commission sought to prevent it from reopening by challenging its recent liquor license renewal. According to the Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration, though, the license renewal could not formally be challenged until the club reopened its doors. And according to an attorney for the club’s owner, that wouldn’t happen until its would-be buyer secured a lease on the rebuilt property. But no lease had been signed after months of waiting: the buyer seemed reluctant to commit to the deal in the face of a certain challenge to the club’s license.

Now, however, after additional legal direction, ABRA has decided to allow the ANC’s protest to go forward before the club reopens, a spokesman says. A group of nine neighbors represented by attorney Milton Grossman has filed a separate protest, and the objections of both groups—along with those of anyone else who files a protest by the February 14 deadline—will be aired at a hearing before the Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) Board on February 28.

Both the ANC and the Grossman group question the club’s appropriateness for its location, given its proximity to the Guy Mason playground and ball field, as well as other areas where families with young children congregate. They also raise questions about the identity and plans of the would-be buyer, whom the owner’s attorney, James Charles, has never publicly named.

Charles, who has been representing such clubs for 30 years, says any protest against the license will fail ABRA’s stringent tests for denial. “It’s a waste of time and money for everyone,” he says. “There aren’t any legitimate grounds for a protest.”

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