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Posts Tagged ‘Philip Mathew’

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 April 2013 edition of the Glover Park Gazette:

JP’s Night Club (2412 Wisconsin Ave.) will reopen sometime in May, according to managing partner Philip Mathew. “We have not planned for an open house, but welcome all our neighbors to attend our grand opening once a specific date is finalized and posted,” Mathew says. The strip club will open at 4 p.m. daily, with live entertainment starting at 5 p.m., he adds.

The club’s liquor license has been in a dormant status called “safekeeping” since its original building was destroyed in a January 2008 fire. As soon as the license is reactivated so the bar can open, the Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration will allow neighbors to challenge its suitability to operate through a formal hearing process. Advisory Neighborhood Commission 3B, which has sought to end the club’s license in the past, is expected to make a formal protest.

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On October 3, the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board OK’d a controversial license transfer, approving the application of Jason K. Daniel and Philip M. Mathew to take over the liquor license for JP’s Night Club (2412 Wisconsin Ave.), an ABRA spokesman tells us. Last month, Advisory Neighborhood Commission 3B had requested that the ABC Board make no transfer until they held a public hearing to assess the fitness of the two young men to revive the strip club, which has been closed since a January 2008 fire. No such hearing was held, but the board has already committed to scheduling a public protest hearing before after allowing the new owners to begin operating the club. Building permit applications to construct interior walls, bars, and stages are pending.

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At the September 13 meeting of ANC 3B, commissioners unanimously resolved to request a formal Alcoholic Beverage Control Board hearing into the ownership of JP’s Night Club. The strip club, which has been closed since a January 2008 fire at its 2412 Wisconsin Ave. home, is in the process of reopening under new management, but the identity of the reopeners keeps changing.

“ANC3B is seeking a more open process at this point due to a series of actions, representations, and misrepresentations that have occurred in recent months pertaining to the ownership of JP’s,” the resolution states. Referring to the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board’s rapid approval of one new owner—Brian Petruska—last year and a series of  putative new owners who have presented themselves since then, the resolution states that “the actions of ABRA initially and the contual restructuring of owners and partners” in the club’s holding company, Wisconsin Ventures LLC, “do not give us confidence that when JP’s reopens it will be managed well enough to protect the community from the secondary impacts associated with nude dancing establishments.”  ABRA has already promised to hold a protest hearing before the JP’s license is reactivated. The hearing requested by the ANC would occur prior to that.

An August 13 application to transfer the JP’s license to two new owners of Wisconsin Ventures—Jason Daniel and Philip Mathew—is “still pending the submission of additional documentation,” says ABRA spokesman Bill Hager. The ANC’s request for an ownership hearing “will go before the ABC Board for their review and consideration,” Hager added.

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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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