In response to another incident at Karma Lounge on March 14, Licensing Commission Chairman Philip Antonelli suggested that patrons begin leaving the establishment at 12:15 a.m., 45 minutes prior to closing. “We’re getting out of control again,” he said during the commission’s April 11 meeting.
In addition, Antonelli said that, despite a number of operational changes, Karma has never presented a modified business plan. “It’s become more of a nightclub,” he said. “We’ve never gotten a change of a business plan.”
According to the police report provided by Sgt. David Butler, approximately 50 individuals were overserved in Glendale Square as Karma was closing. The report also stated that a number of female patrons were “yelling and screaming” in front of Eastern Bank. In addition, Butler was informed that a physical altercation had broken out between and a male and a female before police arrived.
However, Attorney Mark Rotondo, counsel for Karma, disputed Butler’s report. “There’s no video showing these incidents,” he said, adding that there was no entry in the police log to support Butler’s statements. “I think Sgt. Butler may have been confused.”
Licensing Commission Member Philip Arloro asked if any other measures could be taken to assist with crowd control. “The area is saturated with people,” he said, adding that many patrons seem to stay at Karma until the establishment closes at 1 a.m. “I don’t know if 12:15 is going to work. The bottom line is we’re trying to fix this problem.”
Therefore, Karma’s owner Varun Punj promised to meet with his team in the coming weeks to create an in-depth security plan.
In other news, the commission addressed an incident that took place at La Perle on March 17.
Attorney John Cornell, counsel for La Perle, said a young man came into the restaurant who was clearly impaired. According to the police report, the man, who was under 21, was “screaming, yelling and crying.” “This guy wandered in off the street completely intoxicated,” said Cornell.
He said the staff at La Perle responded by giving the man food and calling the police. “They were trying to help him,” said Cornell. “They did everything they were supposed to do.”
Although Arloro agreed that La Perle’s employees did the right thing, he said the incident could have ended much differently if the man started choking. “It could’ve been a liability as well,” he said.
Revolution Axe Throwing
The commission voted unanimously to approve an all alcohol license for Revolution Axe Throwing.
Attorney Andrew Delory, counsel for Revolution, said the establishment has been open since 2018 without incident.
However, Antonelli was initially leery about granting an all alcohol license given the nature of the business. “An ax is still an object; it’s still a weapon,” he said, adding that alcohol could only be served in cans. “I don’t want any glass.”
In addition to agreeing that alcohol would only be served in cans, Delory was able to alleviate Antonelli’s concerns. “You don’t have free reign to be firing axes,” he said, adding that while throwing patrons are accompanied by a coach while secured in a caged-in area. “It’s remarkably safe.”
Delory also said patrons do not stay at Revolution for extended periods of time. “You’re only there for whatever your throwing slot is,” he said.