The name of the club is Greenhouse, but it might as well be called Mayhem House.
In the latest incident tied to the crime-plagued Hudson Square hot spot, early last Friday, two former University of South Carolina football players were reportedly involved in a vicious beating, while a third was stabbed.
When this eco-chic club opened at Varick and Vandam Sts. in 2008, it seemed it would be the antithesis of a violent trouble spot. There were thousands of tiny, glittering energy-efficient LED lights arrayed around the place. Lounge areas were made of recycled materials.
But appearance and reality haven’t meshed.
In the latest violence, Victor Hampton and Kelcy Quarles, both 22, are wanted for questioning after a brutal attack inside the club.
The two were allegedly involved in an assault that left a 28-year-old man with severe injuries that required four hours of facial surgery at a hospital, police said.
The victim, a club promoter, said he was inside Greenhouse around 3 a.m. when he entered the V.I.P. section, where Hampton and Quarles may have been sitting, according to witnesses. Someone — possibly one of the football players — argued with the promoter and told him, “Get the f— out my section,” after which the promoter was whacked over the head with a hookah pipe and then beaten by several men.
Less than an hour later, another former South Carolina football player was stabbed near Greenhouse, after a dispute police said they believe is not connected to the first beating.
Chaz Sutton, 24, told cops he was in Greenhouse around 3:45 a.m., and got into a beef with an unidentified man.
According to police, Sutton said he left the club to avoid a fistfight with the other man, and began walking back to his Trump Soho hotel room. The antagonist allegedly followed, and confronting Sutton near the hotel, at Spring and Varick Sts., pulled out a knife and stabbed him in the left shoulder, before fleeing up Varick St., police said.
W.i.P., Greenhouse’s underground space, is the site of the infamous June 2012 bottle-throwing bar brawl between hip-hop stars Drake and Chris Brown, who were feuding over singer Rihanna. Eight people were injured, including NBA star Tony Parker, who suffered a potentially career-threatening scratched cornea. Greenhouse and W.i.P. were shut down for a while, but reopened.
Last year, a woman received multiple fractures to her face and eye socket after being attacked with a broken bottle at Greenhouse. Earlier this year, a fight there left a woman blind in one eye. Again, the State Liquor Authority suspended the place’s license. Again, the club eventually reopened.
According to police, in 2013 alone there were 32 larcenies, eight misdemeanor assaults and five felony assaults, among other offenses, at the premises. In the first three months of this year, there were at least five assaults there.
We’re told there are 35 lawsuits currently lodged against Greenhouse.
Meanwhile, the club is seeking a renewal of its liquor license, which expires April 30. Community Board 2 has recommended the renewal be denied. State Senator Brad Hoylman, Assemblymember Deborah Glick and Councilmember Corey Johnson have all written S.L.A. Chairperson Dennis Rosen urging the agency to reject the application.
The S.L.A. has — in a “notice of pleading” — started a proceeding to revoke the license. Greenhouse will get to “plead” its case for its license renewal.
However, this operator has already promised too many times to change its ways, yet each time without any change.
We hear a prominent board member of the Hudson Square Connection business improvement district is the club’s landlord. We sincerely hope he’s working to get this bad operator out. The only reason this place is allowed to remain under Hudson Square’s new rezoning — which bans large clubs — is because it’s grandfathered.
The S.L.A. should do the right thing and pull the plug on Greenhouse, its LED lights and its violence. This Greenhouse long ago went rotten, and is not sustainable.