The ending of Juliet Supper Club's story is well known. The popular nightclub was shut down after a stabbing and shooting occurred within months of each other in 2011, with the suspect in the shooting still on the NYPD's most wanted list. But what about what led up to those incidents? Page Six Magazine delves into the back story today, detailing how Juliet's downfall began when original owners Jon B. and Barry Mulineaux managed to pawn the costs and headaches of running the club off onto nightclub rookie Vincent Miceli, a former banker who had invested money in the club. After allegedly spending most of their investors' money getting Juliet opened, Jon B and Mulineaux decided to get out while the getting was good and focus on their other nightclub, Greenhouse, selling the "business" to Miceli, who struggled to keep the place profitable.
Apparently Miceli paid more than $1 million dollars to take over Juliet and owed $17,000 a month in rent, but Jon B. retained the lease and liquor license, knowing that if Juliet failed (a normal thing in Clubland), he could just grab new partners and start all over again. Miceli was soon in over his head, as the rich and "glamorous" customers who showed up for Juliet's opening soon disappeared.
Needing money, Miceli got desperate and hired "DJs and promoters who glorify a gangster entourage culture where cash is king." A different crowd soon showed up. Former doorman Ruben Rivera said "it wasn't black [AmEx] cards [anymore]. It was cash in rubber bands," and former employee and nightlife veteran Mark Baker says "I could no longer bring my crowd to that venue," and that "cash invites a different element of customer. "It's not racially generated-it's green." You know the ending.
But this is a familiar story. Nightclub and restaurant investors are lured in by the glitz and glamour of being an "owner" of the hottest spot in the city, and after seeing the initial money pour in after the opening think they should not only invest, but run the place themselves. So savvy operators are more than willing to let a place go, knowing they can take the cash and find another investor group willing to fork over some money to be a part of the good life. Just ask Greg Struck.
· The Last Supper [Page Six Mag]
· Juliet Supper Club Coverage [~ENY~]
· Nightlife Coverage [~ENY~]