Icon Nightclub Continues to Struggle with Community Support with Outstanding Violations

By Beth Treffeisen

Icon Nightclub, known from hosting President Obama to the best D.J. in the world, has been hit with five outstanding violations for underage drinking.

One of the owners, Shahrokh Reza, of Pasha Entertainment known for hosting hip and vibrant parties, in their many establishments attended the Bay Village Neighborhood (BVNA) planning sub-committee on Feb. 27.

In hopes of gaining the neighborhood trust back, Reza updated residents on his upgrades to the Icon Nightclub’s safety and security.

“At the end of the day the club wants to be a productive part of the community,” said Chris Tracey the senior director of the public relations firm O’Neil and Associates.

The appeal date with the City’s Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission for the outstanding violations is expected to happen sometime in late March. The club will be able to stay open until that appeal date occurs.

Pasha Entertainment also owns the adjacent Venu Boston and nearby Cure Lounge, Abby Lane and Trattoria Newbury.

Tracey said that the owners have met with the Mayor’s Office to learn about things that they can do to mitigate issues within the neighborhood.

Reza said that they are active in the Bay Village neighborhood meetings and hopes to work out their violations with added security.

Members of the BVNA responded by saying that their general manager Miller Thomas does not attend very many neighborhood meetings.

Currently, Reza said that between the Icon Nightclub and the next-door affiliated Venu club they have anywhere between 45 to 60 security guards. Each club has a capacity of 460 people with a total of 950. They currently have over a hundred full-time and part-time workers.

Between 11:00 p.m. and 3:00 a.m. Pasha Entertainment supplements funds to have eight A-1 police officers. Although the spots are not always filled they have the ability to use any police officer in the area if need be.

Reza said that the police detail is in reaction to what has happened in the past.

“The technology on what we have for detecting fake ID’s has taken a 180 in the last couple of years,” said Reza.

Their check is a two point system Reza said. There is a trained staff member that matches the photo with the person and than a scanner that can identify fake ID’s but isn’t full proof in identifying old ID’s. In addition, he said, they have staff members who scan the crowd for anyone who may be too intoxicated to enter.

Reza said in any given night they probably turn away 150 people from entering.

“I’m not going to stand here and tell you 100 percent that it will stop underage drinking,” said Reza. “But as someone who has kids myself I’m going to try my hardest to not have anyone drinking who is not 21 or over to take place.”

BVNA members shared concerns of the noise level each weekend and how it prevents them from being able to fall asleep along with the crowd control at the end of the night. Although they already have staggered closing times by 20 minutes, residents said that couldn’t be enough time to fully empty over 400 people from each club.

“We as an establishment are trying to do everything that we can do,” said Reza. “We’ve been here 35 years and want to continue hosting everything from comedy shows, Sweet 16’s to Bar-Mitzvah’s.”

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