Tryst Gentlemen’s Club charged by state liquor authority

Cheektowaga Police investigate a report of shots fired outside of Tryst Gentlemen's Club on October 29th. (Jim Herr/Cheektowaga Chronicle)
Cheektowaga Police investigate a report of shots fired outside of Tryst Gentlemen's Club on October 29th. (Jim Herr/Cheektowaga Chronicle)

CHEEKTOWAGA – The New York State Liquor Authority has formally charged Tryst Gentlemen’s Club with three violations of the state’s alcoholic beverage control laws following an investigation prompted by the Cheektowaga Police Department.

The liquor authority says the Aero Drive strip club has shown a sustained pattern which impacts the health, welfare, or safety of the public.  It also charges that the club has become a focal point for police attention and that its principals and employees failed to exercise adequate supervision over the business.

The ruling follows several visits to the club by the Cheektowaga Police Department over the past year.  Police data shows that they attended to 18 serious calls at the strip club from January through October of this year.  While fight and assault calls are not uncommon at establishments which serve alcohol – a pair of gun calls highlighted the issues at the strip club.

Two times in four months police officers responded to the strip club to investigate what is called a “shots fired” call.  These calls involved someone firing a gun, but no one is shot.

Cheektowaga Chronicle reported on both of the shots fired calls when they happened on July 2nd and on October 29th.  Each time, authorities found casings near the strip club.

Cheektowaga Police investigate a shots fired call on Aero Drive July 2, 2017. (Jim Herr/Cheektowaga Chronicle)
Cheektowaga Police investigate a shots fired call on Aero Drive July 2, 2017. (Jim Herr/Cheektowaga Chronicle)

While on patrol near the strip club on July 2nd an officer heard several gunshots and saw a car peeling away at a high rate of speed.  The police stopped the car and found two handguns inside.  Five people were arrested and charged with criminal possession of a weapon.

Four months later on October 29th, a man attempted to enter the club with a handgun around 3 am but was not allowed in.  He began running through the parking lot and shot several rounds at the corner of Rein Road and Aero Drive.

“This is not the only establishment we had a gun call, but certainly when we start to see that sort of activity, it’s going to get our attention much quicker than anything else,” said Chief of Police David Zack.

The police met with club management and notified the state liquor authority following the July 11th incident.  Police calls to the club were reduced between July and October – a reduction the police department ties to a decrease in promoted events at the club.

“That seems to be the pattern,” said Chief Zack.

An Instagram post promoting rapper Jada Kiss at Tryst on October 28th.
An Instagram post promoting rapper Jada Kiss at Tryst on October 28th.

Police say it appears the club started hosting promoted events again after the initial liquor authority investigation died down.  The second shots fired call was during the night of a promoted event at the strip club with rapper Jada Kiss.  It’s not clear if the rapper was at the club during the early morning hours of October 29th when the shots rang out.

The Cheektowaga Police met with the state liquor authority following the second shots fired incident.  It was during this meeting the police were able to provide additional crime statistics related to the strip club.

“Some of the problems that have occurred have not occurred inside the establishment but outside, which goes beyond the scope of what the (state liquor authority) can investigate,” said Chief Zack.

The added information following the second incident allowed the liquor authority to build their case against the strip club.

Cheektowaga Chronicle was not able to get ahold of anyone from Tryst Tuesday evening.  Calls to the strip club were immediately sent to voicemail.

The owner of Tryst will answer to the three charges on December 19th – two of the charges could ultimately cause the club’s liquor license to be revoked, canceled or suspended.