Jamaica's newly hot entertainment spot - Escape Closed

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escape-party.jpgNew Kingston is now without one of it's slamming nightclub after Justice Martin Gayle ordered popular teenage New Kingston nightclub Escape 24/7 closed after hearing that its owner had kept it open after an application for a club registration licence was turned down by Resident Magistrate Georgiana Fraser last November.

A number of persons were slapped with a variety of small fines arising out of illicit activities at the club.

Representatives from the Village Cafe, on Barbican Road, and Priscilla's Night Club, on Constant Spring Road, were also brought before the court to answer charges of operating without a spirit licence or a Place of Amusement licence. This follows last week's crackdown on illegal gas stations and nightclubs by the Agro-Environmental Enforcement branch of the Island Special Constabulary Force (ISCF).

Five Escape 24/7 workers were ordered to pay a fine of $3,000 or spend 30 days behind bars for selling alcohol without licences - a breach of the Spirit Licence Act - while the club's manager, Orville Bryan, in addition to being charged for selling alcohol without a licence, is facing charges of operating a club without a Places of Amusement licence and, aiding and abetting the club's operation since being ordered closed last year.

Robert Collins, manager of the Village Cafe and Abeng Stewart, manager of Priscila's Night Club, were also ordered to pay $3,000 or spend 30 days in prison when they appeared in court answering to charges of operating without a spirit licence and operating without a Place of Amusement Licence.

Keith Braithwaite, another manager at Priscilla's Night Club, and Richard Spence of The Deck, at Trafalgar Road, have also been convicted of both offences.

With the exception of Priscilla's Night Club, whose Place of Amusement licence expired in March of last year, none of the three mentioned nightclubs had ever operated with either licences. Apart from Escape 24/7, all these establishments had remained closed since last week's raid on them by the Agro-Environmental Branch. The drive to regularise the operations of the corporate area nightclubs began last October when the Kingston and St Andrew Corporation (KSAC) threatened to close down Escape 24/7, Coco Loco, JAVAA nightclubs because they did not have Places of Amusement licences.