M2, the troubled mega club on 27th Street, was shut down by the NYPD early Friday night by the city's 100 year old nuisance law. This law was originally used to shut down massage parlors, brothels and speakeasies in the 1920's, and has long been a tool used by the police to shut down nightclubs. An NYPD representative told City Room that they shut M2 "for selling marijuana and narcotics to undercover officers, having unlicensed security guards, and because of numerous assaults that have occurred in the area", and under the law, these three violations were enough to shut M2 and its sister club Pink down for the weekend, ruining Cash Money Baby's birthday in the process. M2 had recently been targeted by the Department of Health in the most recent smoking crackdown, and has been fighting the city in court to remain in business. Might this latest raid be an effort to keep the pressure on M2 and its owner Joey Morrissey? Eater tracked him down last night, just hours before he was to appear in court to fight these latest charges.
Joey Morrissey says he heard rumors that the police would be paying him a visit, but he had no idea it was coming that night. It's common knowledge in the nightclub business that these types of raids happen on a Friday night because you can't get in front of a judge until Monday at the earliest, costing a weekend of business. In M2 and Pink's case, Morrissey says this means losses in the low six figures and his 300 employees missing out on several paydays.
Mr. Morrissey said that he was offered a deal that would have allowed his club to reopen in time for several big events this week, but that involved paying a fine and agreeing to several stipulations that he believes would restrict his ability to compete and be successful. These include restricted hours of operation, a dress code, and halting bottle service. So instead of taking the deal, Morrissey will appear before a judge and get his day in court, believing that the law is on his side.
Besides hurting his bottom line, it's also is a major blow to Mr. Morrissey, who has been enjoying a rare third act in the nightclub game. Morrissey owned an eponymous lounge almost twenty years ago, but wound up selling out after the crackdowns following the Happy Land disaster. He stayed involved in the industry by becoming a successful promoter, and decided to roll the dice by buying the failed Mansion and Pink Elephant spaces and, from what we hear, making oodles of money from them. Mr. Morrissey says, "if I has known what I know now, I would have never have done it, saying, "I spend more time with my lawyers than running the clubs." He thinks M2 and Pink may be closed for as long as a few weeks, but feels confident that both space will reopen relatively quickly. Stay tuned for updates.
· M2 Club Closed by the Police [City Room]
· Following Crackdown, City Moves To Shut M2 [~ENY~]
· M2 Coverage [~ENY~]