The stark difference in crowd behavior is so, um, black and white as to warrant entirely different security procedures.
“Weapon scanning (inadequate) is only occurring on Sunday and Monday nights (hip hop/ rap),” the report states. “Stereo strongly believes that their patrons from Tuesday through Saturday are generally not into fighting or carrying weapons. It’s a very upscale white collar and professional crowd. This is in fact what we have observed. We are still recommending that weapons searches are not necessary on Wednesday to Saturday providing the crowd remains the same. We would not object to a selective weapons search on these days rather than all patrons.”
To hear police tell it, the venue with the boom-box motif, which Mr. Satsky originally conceived in 2005 as “like Yankee Stadium for D.J.’s,” has operated more like an overpriced Philly Blunt factory, with patrons, entertainers and occasionally even club employees openly smoking marijuana inside the premises on a regular basis.
Undercover cops, who, according to court records, were routinely passed blunts themselves, have made at least 10 drug-related arrests at the club since August 2006, confiscating pot and other drugs, including cocaine and Xanax. If you believe the consultant, the pot use, in particular, is strongly connected to the hip-hop crowd.
“The nights where marijuana smell is detected is on the hip hop/rap nights,” according to the report, which describes the dank herbal odor in the club on these specific evenings as “constant.”
On one particular Monday night this past July, one of the consultant’s covert operatives counted as many as 20 patrons openly smoking weed inside the club.
On an Sunday evening, one of the club’s own security managers was spotted playing puff-puff-pass with hip-hop recording artist Cassidy, an incident that ultimately resulted in the employee’s firing, according to the report. “We do not have this issue on the other monitoring days,” the consultant states.
Recent police reports, also included in court records, dispute that assertion, however. The Police Department’s own undercover operatives observed pot-puffing patrons on a recent Saturday night in August and also arrested a weed dealer inside the club on a following Thursday.
“We really haven’t done an empirical analysis as to when these incidents occur—we’re very cautious every night,” Mr. Bronster, Stereo’s lawyer, told The Observer. “Hip-hop night may be a misnomer. We play hip hop and a great assortment of music every night.”
What’s different about the Sunday-Monday crowd? “Can’t answer that question,” he said. “We bring out a great crowd every single night.”