Michael Shah’s Controversial Liquor License for Rochelle’s Renewed Without Community Input

Posted on: July 31st, 2014 at 6:00 am by
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The liquor license of Leave Rochelle Out of It is set to expire after today. Or so we thought.

The license was mysteriously renewed without first appearing before Community Board 3 for input. As such, our research shows that Matt Levine remains listed as co-licensor for a business in which he has no ownership. Indeed, the local nightlife fixture hasn’t been part of 205 Chrystie (aka 19 Stanton) since the falling-out with Michael Shah and subsequent closure of Cocktail Bodega.

This very minute detail – that of Levine’s 50% license ownership – is one of the allegations brought forth in his $20 million lawsuit against former partner, Michael Shah (of DelShah Capital).

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Snapshot as of mid-July

Something rather sketchy is probably happening behind the scenes, though. The State Liquor Authority seemingly rubber-stamped the renewal, even though the agency is currently moving to revoke their OP privileges. (The motion also extends to Sons of Essex and BFB Highline/The Raven). Why would they do that?

We contacted District Manager Susan Stetzer a couple weeks ago about the potential expiration. She stated the following: “We do not contact businesses for new licenses. The state process is for applicant to notify CB. I know the sla is aware of issue with principles names on license, and this investigation is under their jurisdiction.”

What’s the point of having community boards then?

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