NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Tuesday, December 22, 2015, 6:20 PM
Noel Ashman hosts the Rattlestick Playwright Players Closing Party at The Leonora in NYC.
The Leonora nightclub could use a little help from Santa Claus as it faces eviction from its W. 29th St. perch.
The celeb-trafficked club, which was founded by VIP investors including Michael Strahan, actor Luis Guzman and veteran nightlife kingpin Noel Ashman, is being pushed out by their landlords at PFJ Ltd., on the grounds that the late night venue has defaulted on an agreement to make good on past due rent.
The Chelsea boite allegedly fell behind on rent in early 2015 before reaching an installment agreement to keep the good times rolling. But according to The Leonora’s landlord, the club came up short again on September’s rent, and now, the party is over. [email protected] has learned that the Civil Court of the city of New York County recently sided with PFJ and rejected the club’s plea for another chance.
“(The Leonora) contends that the late payment was due to the medical condition of their bookkeeper’s husband and that its bank accounts were frozen because of a fraudulent judgment of confession,” Judge Alexander Tisch wrote in a two-page statement shooting down the club’s appeal for leniency on its most recent default. Tisch concluded that “The court finds PJF’s line of reasoning compelling and does not find (The Leonora’s) explanation for the default credible.”
A source close to the situation tells us that investors were notified on Monday that barring a Christmas miracle, marshals would bar the doors on Jan. 5.
ABC personality Michael Strahan attends at Beacon Theatre in November.
“It’s over,” our insider glumly predicts.
Since opening in September 2014, stars including Keanu Reeves, Dionne Warwick, Ice-T, Shia LeBeouf Julia Styles and Chester (Chet Haze) Hanks have darkened the club’s doorstep. But the club’s behind the scenes drama has been a series of run-ins with investors and city officials. And earlier this year, Strahan severed ties with the club.
On Nov. 29, the Workers Compensation Board issued a stop-work order on the club citing $ 18,000 in unpaid fines. The Leonora spent much of the summer doing damage control after a police inspection in March resulted in the club being charged with “permitting lewd and indecent conduct and/or lewd and indecent performances and/or exhibitions,” which included topless dancing. The club has also had to answer to a series of lesser complaints that appear to have been worked out with the city and the State Liquor Authority.
Attorneys for PFJ LTD did not respond to our request for comment. An attorney for The Leonora declined to comment.