Visana pizzeria and cocktail lounge (Photo by Sabina Mollot)
By Maria Rocha-Buschel
The owners of troubled First Avenue cocktail lounge Visana got a break on Tuesday when an administrative law judge granted an adjournment during a hearing at the State Liquor Authority to give them time to get an attorney. The adjournment for the two owners, David Jaffee and Ross Rachlin, came despite objections from the attorney for the SLA.
Margarita Marsico, associate general counsel for the authority, objected to Judge Ann Cullen’s adjournment because, she argued, Jaffee and Rachlin have had more than enough time to get legal representation. She said that prior to scheduling the hearing, the owners no longer had an attorney but Jaffee had indicated that he would be representing himself.
“We proposed this date ahead of time and he’d had ample time to get a lawyer,” she said. “He’s had an attorney (previously) and said that this date was okay. He had ways of meeting me and getting in touch with me about this.”
Marsico added that, due to the serious nature of the charges over noise, a number of residents had come to testify and they had agreed to appear under the presumption that they would actually get to testify at the Tuesday hearing.
“I have an 83-year-old resident who’s sick who came to testify,” she said. “It’s unusual to have residents testify in a case like this and I have four who came today. I respect everyone’s right to representation but he knew how to hire a liquor lawyer to apply for the license and he acts like he doesn’t know what to do now.”
This is to compliment Stuyvesant Town Public Safety Department and specifically Officer Brooks and the Public Safety Officers who were sent to my aid upon request. Also, this is an alert to your readership.
With illegal calls from the “supposed IRS” and recent alerts about phony Con Edison representatives making rounds, both scams having had been brought to my attention by Town & Village, there is another concern that I would like to share with our neighbors.
Last week, a would-be inspector from the Department of Buildings rang me from the intercom downstairs and wanted me to let him in to inspect my apartment. I advised him I had not requested his visit, I did not know who he was, if he had authority to inspect my apartment I should not have to buzz him in, and I would not do so.
Within minutes, he was ringing my bell and again I told him I would not let him in without a management escort. I immediately called Public Safety and spoke with Officer Brooks, who stayed on the phone with me while sending two Public Safety officers to come and escort the man into my apartment. Though this man had ID, it could have been fake.
Though he supposedly had had a complaint, it was not applicable to my apartment. He spent less than a minute in my apartment.
I want to thank Officer Brooks who was very thoughtful, staying on the line with me, the Public Safety Officers who responded so quickly and efficiently, and especially management for providing us with a safe environment.
Also, I wanted to alert all tenants to not ever open their door to someone uninvited and to call Public Safety at (212) 598-5233 for an escort for “the visitor” if there is ever any doubt that someone has authority to enter their apartment.