For the second time this spring, Bijou Nightclub on Stuart Street found itself before city Licensing Director Patricia Malone to explain why police found people perched on top of couches near the club dance floor.
To be sure, this time police detectives found only three people upright on couches - although an alleged wiseass jumped up on a couch when police ordered the initial three down - and the club said they were only standing there, unlike an earlier incident involving close to 50 people actively gyrating on the tops of couches, Malone heard at a hearing this morning.
But a grim Malone told club officials and its lawyer they're skating on thin ice. She said she's getting tired of patrons disrespecing the police and asked a club manager why she shouldn't take the latest incident, around 1:05 a.m. on May 6, as an act of "defiance" over the earlier hearing. Both Malone and the two police detectives at the hearing said public safety really means keeping possibly soused people off high spots like the backs of couches.
Both a club manager and attorney Karen Simao declared their contriteness. The club has since hired three bouncers just to keep people off couches and the club shouldn't be penalized for the actions of some ignorant patrons, they said, adding the guy who jumped on the couch after police arrived was promptly escorted out.
They added patrons are now informed of the no-couch-dancing rules as they are walked to their tables and that the club DJ, who has a bird's eye view of the dance floor, has a direct line to security to alert them of any potential couch dancers. The manager said he's so eager to keep people off the tops of couches now that he finds himself going up to tall people to make sure they're just tall and not parading around on couches.
Simao said keeping people off the backs of couches will, unfortunately, take some time, and is similar to ongoing efforts to keep people from smoking inside clubs - some people just refuse to hear the message until its repeatedly hammered into them.
Separately, the Bar Rooom on Broad Street also had to explain itself today - a police detective found ten or so people dancing on the second floor, in violation of its license, which clearly prohibits dancing. A bar manager apologized, said the staff who allowed the people to get footloose were reprimanded and that he's put up signs all around the place that clearly state "No Dancing."