By now you've likely heard all about what went down at Santos Party House on Thursday night, but just in case: A few hours before Ninja Tune's scheduled 20th anniversary celebration was set to start, cops raided the club and eventually shut it down, citing "criminal sale of possession of controlled substances." Early Friday evening, the venue released an official statement.
Yesterday was one for the books at Santos Party House. We had been working since the morning in preparation for the 20th anniversary celebration of the legendary record label Ninja Tune, in addition to the string of amazing Halloween events we had been working on for months. At around 9:15pm, the mounting excitement was crushed when the NYPD barged into the club and informed us that we were to cease operations until further notice. Needless to say, we were shocked.
The summons we received lists a few minor incidents that occurred months ago for the most part, all involving people not under the direct employ of the club. While many of the allegations listed in the order are simply untrue, we take most offense to the argument that SPH promotes behavior that causes “ irreparable harm to the City of New York, its residents and visitors.” Our intentions are exactly the opposite. We are a mom-and-pop business that strives to maintain the cultural and creative traditions that make this city such a miracle. SPH does not condone any illegal activity and has always gone above and beyond recommended security protocol to ensure a safe environment for patrons and staff. Spontaneously closing an independent business that has continuously cooperated with authorities (on one of the most profitable weekends of the year) is not the answer. It’ s absolutely ridiculous. Steve Lewis succinctly wrote today, “ Has anybody been in Madison Square Garden during a concert? Drugs are in schools, playgrounds, offices, parks and, quite possibly, every building—commercial or residential—in town. Nobody thinks of closing these places down, only the clubs.”
We have a hearing on Monday and are confident that we will be cleared of any wrongdoing and will resume business as usual shortly. Until then, we encourage our allies in nightlife to remain vigilant and protect your businesses. We are deeply appreciative of the outpouring of support in the press and on the internet. Our apologies go to the incredible event planners and customers that we intended to share the weekend with; we wish you a killer Halloween. Please bear with us as the best is yet to come.
Santos Party House
The Voice's SOTC blog got a copy of the summons, and they report that the three incidents in question involved selling or the intent to sell drugs. There are a lot of very good arguments to be made for this being a giant waste of the police department's resources—that's a given. But here's another thing to think about: If you've somehow come into more drugs than you need and you're looking to unload the excess, or even if you're an honest-to-goodness drug dealer, perhaps consider doing your business outside of establishments that don't belong to you. It's sort of selfish, no?
Photo from The Village Voice