Tryst surrenders liquor license ahead of hearing

Chronicle file photo of Tryst Gentleman's Club.
Chronicle file photo of Tryst Gentleman's Club.

BUFFALO – The operators of Tryst Gentleman’s Club pleaded no contest earlier this week ahead of a scheduled hearing.  The Aero Drive strip club was to defend themselves against charges brought against them by the New York State Liquor Authority this past December.

The no contest plea allows the establishment’s petitioner, Buffalo Rebirth, LLC, to give up their liquor license voluntarily.  Buffalo-based counsel for the authority, Jaime C. Gallagher, tells Cheektowaga Chronicle the plea does not prohibit the four principals – Michael Hamilton, Caine Finnerty, Michael C. Penfold, and Christian Battaglia – from applying for another liquor license at a later date.

“The current people could reapply, but given the history that led to the cancellation, I don’t think the board will grant them a license.  Everybody has the right to make an application,” said Ms. Gallagher.

The authority suspended the Aero Drive strip club’s liquor license at an emergency hearing on December 6th following an increase of police-related incidents at the club saying that the Cheektowaga Police were called to the club 77 times in ten months.

During that timeframe, the police attended to several gun calls, fights, and drug-related offenses. 

The day prior to the emergency suspension, the authority formally charged the club saying it has shown a sustained pattern which impacts the health, welfare, or safety of the public.  It also charged that the club became a focal point for police attention and that its principals and employees failed to exercise adequate supervision over the business.

With the amount of evidence against the club, Ms. Gallagher says it would have been expensive to defend themselves against a hearing of this magnitude.

“I’m sure [their lawyer] went through the evidence with them as I would have if it was my client and advised them how to proceed.  This was the conclusion that they came to that was in their best interest,” added Ms. Gallagher.

The matter will be brought before the authority’s board meeting on March 14th.

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