The party may soon be over at the nightclub made famous by “Jersey Shore,” with its last call potentially coming from a superior court judge.
Seaside Heights officials said they will seek an injunction to shut down Karma nightclub because of alleged violations of borough ordinances, most notably the lack of a restaurant on the premises, which is required as a condition of Karma’s liquor license.
Jean Cipriani, the borough attorney, has been instructed to “seek an emergency injunction against the operator of Karma nightclub preventing the nightclub from continuing to operate.”
The nightclub, located at 401 Boulevard, is already for sale, with the property being marketed toward residential developers. It is owned by John Saddy, who also owns the nearby Bamboo nightclub, which is also for sale. Saddy is facing additional legal troubles over his stake in the former Merge nightclub property, which could be subject to demolition after being left largely abandoned and deteriorating for the last six years.
At the heart of Seaside Heights’ case for the injunction are a number of issues that are alleged to have surfaced over the Memorial Day holiday weekend, including six drug overdoses and underage drinking citations. But the legal reasoning surrounds the liquor license. In order to operate, the Karma property must also have a restaurant on premises. This spring, Savor restaurant, which was located on the opposite end of the property from the nightclub, announced it was closing. Sources have told Shorebeat the restaurant closed after Saddy was unwilling to offer its owner a formal lease. Without the restaurant portion, officials charge, the nightclub portion is operating illegally – outside the bounds of the restrictions on its license.
A borough ordinance allows nightclubs on the Boulevard to operate “only with on-premises restaurant facilities ‘whose primary purpose is to regularly and principally provide restaurant meals to the public as an integral part of the operation,'” Borough Administrator Christopher Vaz wrote.
“The operator of Karma recently announced its opening on Memorial Day weekend as a nightclub through social media with a dance party on Saturday night and a Hyperglow party scheduled for Sunday,” Vaz said.
The town publicly released a court filing on its website.
There was no immediate reaction to the borough’s announcement, but the nightclub posted a message thanking first responders for their service over the holiday weekend.
“Memorial Day Weekend was amazing and we never wanted it to end!” a Facebook post said. “Thank You to our wonderful team of EMT’s, licensed security, crowd managers, and event organizers for providing a secure event. We look forward to bringing you more in the near future!”