ASHES CITED FOR OVERCROWDING
The second floor is off-limits for now at Ashes Cigar Club.
Turns out the Internet Café wasn’t the only joint in town to come under the scrutiny of Red Bank safety inspectors in recent weeks.
Ashes Cigar Club was shut down in the early hours of Feb. 2 after inspectors found the restaurant and lounge overcrowded by about 100 patrons, redbankgreen has learned.
The first-floor of the Broad Street facility has since reopened, but the second-floor bar remains off-limits until the reaturant’s owners obtain approvals for a number of changes made without permits, said Borough Administrator Stanley Sickels.
Among the violations: turning a pantry into a DJ booth, running television wires through a fire exit, penetrating a fire-rated stairway, installing a door that opened in the wrong direction and using open candles, Sickels said.
The business was also cited for failing to count patrons, said Sickels, who was present for the inspection in his capacity as fire marshal.
An estimated 550 people were in the building at the time of the early-morning inspection, Sickels said. The place is rated for a maximum occupancy of about 444, he said 360 on the first floor.
The first floor was allowed to reopen after the removal of some portable coolers that had not been shown on approved plans, Sickels said.
A nearby business owner who was at Ashes that night tells redbankgreen that customers first got an early “last call” at about 1a, and then shortly thereafter were hustled out by management in the presence of the inspectors.
“They’ve got a heavy hand in this town,” the merchant said.
redbankgreen put in a call to Ashes manager Telly Lekacos this morning but haven’t heard back from him yet.