Springfield officials send warning about pop-up nightclubs, bars - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

Springfield officials send warning about pop-up nightclubs, bars

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Springfield officials are cracking down on illegal underground bars and clubs that try to open in the city.

A flyer was sent around Springfield promoting an event called Summer Nights.

It reads, "18+ to party, 21+ to drink."

The event was supposed to be held on June 7 under the name Ambrosia Lounge, but the city said there is no record of the lounge existing.

"There's no entertainment license, there is no pouring liquor license," Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno said. 

"They don't have anything legal to operate as a lounge, as a place of entertainment," Director of Licensing Alesia Days said. 

Organizers first tried to set up shop at a building located at 143 Main St.

When the license commission got wind of it, they ordered a cease-and-desist.

However, that didn't stop the planners from still trying to hold the event.

They then secretly moved to a new function hall on State Street, but once again were slapped with another cease-and-desist.  

Sarno said these events can likely draw in thousands, and without the proper permits can become both a health and safety hazard.

"We don't want any type of tragedy from occurring," Sarno said. 

He said this is a new occurrence in the city, and the promoters are booking halls for smaller parties like birthdays.

By the time owners figure out what's really happening, it's too late.

David Rothenberg is one of the building managers duped by the promoters.

"It was supposed to be a quiet jazz thing. I had no idea," Rothenberg said. 

And as summer kicks off, Sarno is telling parents to keep a watchful eye out on their children and warn them about these illegal pop-up clubs.

"You have to know where your kids are. Plus it's graduation season. Someone says lets go to a party, then something bad happens," Sarno said.

Building managers where the events were scheduled to be held are fully cooperating with both the police department and the city to make sue these nightclubs and bars don't spring up anywhere else.

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