In the latest chapter in the saga of
controversial mighty morphin’ 4th Avenue nightclub Amnesia, it seems the nightspot’s owners have found yet another way to get around applying for a cabaret license.
Owner Frank Sofia, who recently rechristened the business “Club Cats” said that he is now “lending” the property to Sandy-displaced Sheepshead Bay restaurant New Cats Cafe. Sofia’s promising – among other things – a more subdued space, as well as employment for Hurricane Sandy victims, as reported by Will Bredderman for Brooklyn Paper.
From Brooklyn Paper:
“They were all unemployed, so I hired them,” he said. “We became Club Cats because people know the name already.”
But residents fear more of the same old problems.
“We got a number of calls from people living in that area,” said Community Board 10 district manager Josephine Beckmann said of he club between 100th and 101st streets. “Residents didn’t know what it was, and wanted to know why it hadn’t come before the community board.”
Sofia, who also owns Sofia Ristorante Italiano on Third Avenue and Sofia’s in the Theater District, said his Fourth Avenue club would no longer have DJs and all-night ragers, and would instead cater to an older crowd with a pan-European menu and soothing background music.
However, Sofia was singing a similar tune back in March when he told Community Board 10 he was converting Amnesia into an Italian restaurant. Shortly afterward, fliers for a rowdy dance club with the same name turned up on car windshields.
So while Sofia says he’s cleaned up his act after one of Amnesia’s other incarnations – a Brazilian steakhouse-turned-nightclub, was shut down by the state in September for failing to pay workers’ compensation, the name Amnesia remains listed on State Liquor Authority records.
“They haven’t requested approval for that from our office,” SLA spokesman Bill Crowley told Bredderman. “We would have to look into it.”
Sofia maintains that his attorneys have submitted the request, but the state just hasn’t processed it yet.
Meanwhile, neighbors remain unimpressed with the *ahem* “eatery’s” new name.
“Club Cats? It sounds like a strip club,” said one resident.