NYPD Still Harassing LES Bar Owner

by Mara Siegler · July 6, 2011

Culturefix, the half boutique/half gallery/portion booze dispensary which opened a year ago, was served with a temporary injunction after underage auxiliary police were sent to the bar. They fought back against the cops and won, hearkening what many thought would be the beginning of the end in the battle between NYPD and LES bar owners. Not even close!

The cops have been rejuvenated by the mini riot at Tammany Hall during the Smif N Wessun concert.  Though details of what happened are hazy, it seems like the NYPD responded to a call placed by the club's security a little after midnight and allegedly entered the venue in hopes of clearing out some unruly patrons.  When they turned to pepper-spray, things got out of hand.  Fans of the group claimed that although the show was overcrowded, it was peaceful before the cops showed up.

[Pepper Spray & Alleged Police Brutality At Tammany Hall]

Not that it matters.  The cops now feel they have reason for alarm. They even called co-owner of CultureFix, Ari Stern, to ask when Smif N Wessun was going to perform at the space. He tells the Village Voice:

"Obviously, we responded with a resounding, 'NEVER,' and despite the fact that we sent the police a schedule of our events for the month, which included manners classes and a knitting circle (as part of the current performance art exhibit with BabySkinGlove), they continued to come to our bar with thuggish intimidation asking us when this hardcore gangsta rap group would be here."

It seems clear the cops have a blind agenda. When it comes to staking out places that hold manners and knitting classes no one is safe. Before you know it, they'll be showing up at your grandma's apartment and asking to see her music collection to check if she has any Master P.

[Bar Fights Back Against NYPD Crackdown In LES]