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Auction for Two Seaside Heights Nightclubs, Liquor License Back On

Karma nightclub, Seaside Heights, June 20, 2019. (Photo: Daniel Nee)

Karma nightclub, Seaside Heights, June 20, 2019. (Photo: Daniel Nee)

After being derailed in the early days of the coronavirus outbreak in March, an auction to sell the bankrupt properties of the Bamboo and Karma nightclubs – as well as a liquor license – in Seaside Heights will be held next week.

The June 24 auction comes with minimum bid $300,000 higher than the March auction for the buildings, at $1.5 million. The liquor license, likewise, will have a higher minimum bid of $500,000, compared to $450,000 the first time around.

“There is a chance the liquor license will be sold separately from the buildings,” said Mayor Anthony Vaz, who is hoping the new owners of the infamous raucous nightclubs will build a mixed-use property or higher-end restaurant in their place.

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The bankruptcy auction is being held by the court-appointed trustee of the assets of Saddy Family LLC, the one-time nightlife empire that was controlled by local businessman John Saddy. Much of MTV’s hit show “Jersey Shore” was filmed inside the two clubs, especially Karma, but the businesses also gained a poor reputation in the following years and were the subject of various violations issued by the town for underage drinking and frequent police calls. The borough banned the clubs’ “18 to party, 21 to drink” nights after an EDM show under that policy reportedly ended with medical assistance calls. Ultimately, the borough refused to renew the liquor license, leading to litigation.

Seaside Heights has also focused heavily on marketing to bring families to the resort, somewhat curtailing its long-running bar culture.

The auction will be held June 24 at 1 p.m. outside Bamboo Bar, located at 201 Boulevard. Bidders must pre-register and be ready to place a deposit down immediately following the auction, which will be held outside in the courtyard of the nightclub. The auction is being run by The Auctioneers Group of Neptune and Lanoka Harbor.

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