Jefe's House

Terrific News: La Esquina Raided and Closed

by on Aug.23, 2007, under NYC, The Press

Online gossip says the temporary closing happened because they don’t have a Certificate of Occupancy which means they’re going to have to apply to get one, which, if NYPD would do its job, ought to be more difficult if besides leaky pipes and code violations they are also in violation of the Bouncer Act* and have a history of assault, battery, menacing and drug trafficking. Keep the pressure on the cops, your local politicians and your community board to take action against illegal, unsafe bars and unlicensed bouncers.

La Esquina’s true owners are James Gersten and Derek Sanders.  Their business partner Serge Becker poses as the owner, and also duped international drug smuggler Cordell Lochin into believing he was also a co-owner.

* In August ’06 the New York City Council introduced the “Bouncer Bill” (now the law) to illegalize the hiring of a bouncer who lacks a state-issued security guard license verifying that he has undergone a background check and has no criminal record. This was already illegal but only the understaffed State Liquor Authority had the power to enforce it. In November ’06 the new law went into effect allowing the city, not just the State Liquor Authority, to shut down establishments that hire bouncers who have not undergone required background checks. Violations can be reported to NYPD, the Department of Consumer Affairs or the Department of Buildings. Clubs are also required now to keep a log of which bouncers are on duty each night.  Want to find out whether a bouncer is a licensed security guard like the law requires? Go here.

James Gersten with his interior decorator wife Analisse Taft. Photo via


Standup guy: Derek Sanders with his wife, Calvin Klein Collection president Michelle Kessler-Sanders. Photo via



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