With no sign and no obvious entrance, the empty storefront looks like many others in the fashion district in downtown Los Angeles.
But behind the metal pull-down gate at 1114 South Main St. is an underground nightclub that has broken COVID-19 restrictions under the cover of night, city lawyers say.
After months of documenting evidence of activity on the site, including multiple shootings, the city filed a lawsuit against the LA Party Society manager and others associated with the venue. City of Atty. Mike Fire said Monday.
“Aside from the bullets and the attacks and other criminal activity, I want to stress that putting people in an indoor space – an unlicensed club – during the pandemic is the height of irresponsibility,” Feuer said at a livestream press conference.
The lawsuit, alleging violations of public harassment and unfair competition laws, was brought against nightclub manager Yves Oscar Jr. and two limited liability companies listed as owners of the property and controlled by real estate investor David Taban.
City lawyers are calling for the venue to be closed indefinitely and for any unfair competition violation to be fined $ 2,500 per day – up to $ 3.65 million per defendant.
Taban, who has dozens of properties in his portfolio, is being prosecuted on two separate criminal cases, including one allegedly involving an illegal marijuana dispensary next to the club. He is not a named defendant in the city attorney’s lawsuit filed in late November.
Oscar was arrested outside the club in August on a pending warrant for sexual assault. More than a pound of marijuana was recovered from his backpack during his arrest, the lawsuit said.
Taban and Oscar could not be reached for comment.
An Instagram account was reportedly linked to the parties advertised by illegal clubs after the coronavirus restrictions banning nightclubs and large indoor gatherings began in March.
A November 13 flyer for “Freaky Friday” featured a woman in an insightful swimsuit and stated that doors were open from midnight to 6am
Rap artists and exotic pole dancers performed at a few events, and guests could smoke water pipes and buy alcohol from a full bar, depending on their suit.
One person who replied to a message on the Instagram account inquiring about the lawsuit wrote, “Is this real?”
According to the lawsuit, guests entered the club through a back door and an enclosed parking lot along the public alley that runs east of Main Street between 11th and 12th Streets.
A brightly colored mural on a wall in the parking lot shows the club’s name and pictures, including a marijuana shop and a liquor bottle.
An Instagram post from early November contained a photo of Oscar who, according to the lawsuit, was counting money in front of the mural.
At least five violent incidents have occurred at the venue in the past few months.
In mid-July, a bullet hit a bouncer in the neck in the parking lot and in the alley, and another bullet hit a second victim in the leg. Less than two months later, a security guard was shot dead after court proceedings broke up an argument between two club-goers.
When asked why the city is suing instead of ordering police to shut down the venue, Fire said its goal was a permanent closure.
He added that the city is in talks with the police department to save electricity and water in the facility.