Rochelle’s Whiskey Bar Adds Neons, Remains Controversial

Posted on: September 17th, 2013 at 6:10 am by
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Despite messy backstage legal wrangling between DelShah Capital and Matt Levine, Rochelle’s Whiskey Bar is on track to open inside the former Cocktail Bodega. As we first reported, the new nightlife concept at 19 Stanton Street will focus on whiskey upstairs and operate a basement club called 205 Club, an obvious nod to the mid-aughts predecssor. The latest news, however, is that neon signage was affixed to the Chrystie exterior over the weekend, which reads, “Leave Rochelle out of it” (?).

The whole operation is rather controversial, though. Principal Michael Shah, who also owns the building, is proceeding with plans to use a liquor license that also carries Matt Levine’s name and co-control. He owns 50% of the license and never granted approval for any transfer. So basically, Shah is ignoring Community Board 3 and the SLA, and is apparently operating under all of the agreed-upon stipulations which Levine signed back in May 2012. Not to mention the possible ownership link to convicted felon Victor Jung alleged in the recently-filed court papers, who served time for stealing $1.3 million from NBC Universal.

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According to the lawsuit, 19 Stanton itself is also the subject of landlord neglect. The building reportedly had no hot water, and many flooding issues, which is very similar to Shah’s other properties recently in the headlines. It’s also worth noting that mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio was in some hot water over accepted discounts at campaign fundraisers at Jung’s establishments, an item that Bill Thompson was quite vocal about.

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