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June 15, 2017

Worcester to evict Union Station night club

Grant Welker Union Station tenant Lava Lounge and Night Club's lease is in the process of being terminated.

The Worcester Redevelopment Authority has started the process of terminating a lease for Lava Lounge and Night Club, a Union Station tenant previously subject to a number of citations for overcrowding and not adhering to liquor laws.

The authority’s board voted unanimously Friday to end the lease.

Lava Lounge ran into legal issues several times, including just this month, when the city's License Commission suspended the club's liquor license for 22 days. The club allegedly was serving liquor from an unapproved vendor, illegally had full bottles of liquor on tables, failed to appoint a crowd-control manager and changed or diluted the context of alcoholic drinks, according to a police report.

Police also reported multiple fights at the club in the early hours of May 20, and in other incidents last September and October.

The club has been violating its lease with WRA because it operates only a few days a week and not as a full-service restaurant as it was intended to be, said Deputy City Solicitor Jennifer Beaton, an attorney for the city.

“We have a tenant who is troubled, not performing in accordance with the lease,” board member Michael Angelini said.

The board, Angelini added, should be “guided by whether the activities of this tenant enhance or enrich the value and dignity of the building that we want it to be enriched or enhanced.”

“It seems to me that this is not this tenant,” he said.

Lava Lounge did not respond to an email and calls seeking comment. The club, the former GD Lounge and Byblo's, operates every Thursday through Sunday, or sometimes less often. Its lease was to run through May 31, 2019.

Board member Jennifer Gaskin criticized Lava Lounge’s poor fit with the authority-owned train station.

“I don’t think that we’d ever intend to have a club in that area,” she said. “It doesn’t fit with what we’re trying to do with Union Station.”

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