Commission Issues Warning to Merritt Club

There will be no Men in Motion allowed at Chelsea function halls.

During last week’s meeting, the Licensing Commission handed a warning to the Merritt Club for allowing someone to rent the hall for a general admission exotic dance show.

The club was also brought before the commission for not having its video surveillance equipment up to date.

Robert Connors, the bar manager for The Merrit Club on Webster Avenue, apologized for allowing the hall to be rented out for the Men in Motion show, and said he canceled the contracts for future shows by the troupe at the hall. He also said he installed the proper video equipment, capable of keeping up to 30 days of video, at the establishment.

Connors said he was initially not aware of the entertainment license restrictions for function halls.

“The way that function halls are licensed is that they rent it to somebody who throws parties for themselves, but it is not open for the general public,” said City Solicitor Cheryl Watson Fisher.

Watson Fisher said the city was informed that there were online advertisements for ticket sales and VIP packages for a Men in Motion show at the club.

“These are all the things we don’t allow in Chelsea because we don’t do nightclubs,” she said. “This is entertainment that’s not allowed in the city, whether it is Men in Motion or Women in Motion, we don’t allow any striptease.”

Licensing Commissioner Gladys Vega said she was concerned that management was not aware of the type of entertainment taking place in the function hall.

“You are responsible for who you are renting the club to,” said Vega.

Watson Fisher said the city is trying to be vigilant about all function halls in the city knowing and abiding by the proper entertainment regulations for function halls.

“It’s like whoever rented it was going to run their own nightclub at the Merritt Club,” said Watson Fisher. “It wasn’t the Merritt Club doing it, but they were having it at the Merritt Club. They were really taking advantage that you have a nice room and parking, so we have to be careful about who is renting out the hall.”

Following the incident, Watson said the police did a check of the Merritt Club’s video surveillance system and found it only retained videos for seven days, not the 30 required by Chelsea.

Police Captain Keith Houghton said he knows the club has been working on the surveillance issue and installing a system that meets the city’s requirements.

The Licensing Commission didn’t take any action on the Merritt Club’s license, but did issue a warning.

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