HAMC Strip Club Shut Down

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Greg Carr

Jan 12, 2007, 11:34:15 PM1/12/07
Exotic nightclub fights for survival
Brandi's is in court battling indefinite suspension of its liquor

Keith Fraser
The Province

Friday, January 12, 2007

Police say gang violence is likely to occur at Brandi's nightclub in
downtown Vancouver because of a "serious rift" between members of two
gangs who hang out there.

"Our specific concern with Brandi's is that members of the Hells Angels
and the United Nations gangs are often in attendance and police
intelligence indicates a serious rift has occurred between these two
crime groups which will likely result in serious violence," says a
report from Vancouver police Insp. Adua Porteous.

Brandi's Show Lounge is fighting an indefinite suspension of its liquor
licence, imposed because of the concerns about gang violence.

The B.C. Supreme Court has stayed the suspension pending a full hearing
after club owner Brandy Sarionder said a closure would devastate the
club. A date for the hearing has not been set.

The Liquor Control and Licensing Branch suspended the club's liquor
licence on

Nov. 24 after police said they had been called to the premises at least
69 times in 2006 up to last Oct. 18.

A total of 29 police reports in 2006 were generated of which 15 were
directly related to the presence of identified gang members in the
club, Porteous said in his report.

With the "ongoing intelligence of rifts and tensions occurring in the
gang subculture" between certain groups, police were concerned about
clubs that cater to members of organized crime, he said.

Sgt. Larry Butler of the police outlaw motorcycle gang unit said a
person was assaulted with a champagne bottle by a member of a rival
gang at the club last July.

"This incident was not reported to the police by anyone involved in the
confrontation," Butler said in a report. "The staff at Brandi's was
aware of this fight at the time it happened and assisted in breaking it
up. This type of gang violence is cause for great concern in a licensed
premises with limited access such as the elevator up to Brandi's."

The club is on the fifth floor of a building at Dunsmuir and Hornby.

Liquor-branch general manager Karen Myers said in a report that Hells
Angel Gino Zumpano was directly involved in running the club.

"The potential for gang violence and the continued presence of Gino
Zumpano in the establishment, with the resulting threat to the safety
of innocent patrons, is further exacerbated by the physical layout of
Brandi's Show Lounge," she said.

Butler says Zumpano is a full member of the Hells Angels and has been
since June 13, 1995. He has been a member of the club's Nomad chapter
since 1996.

Sarionder says there's no reason for concern and says she has put in
place $20,000 in new security measures.

She said in an affidavit she was aware of only two alleged infractions
of the liquor rules, one in April 2006 when police identified a gang
member at the club.

She says she assured a liquor inspector that any troublesome patrons
would not be admitted.

Regarding a July incident allegedly involving the Angels and the United
Nations gang, she said a man who threw a punch was a Hells Angel, but
denied the matter was gang-related.

In an interview yesterday Sarionder, who is in her early 40s, insisted
there has been no violence between gang members.

"We have had no major violation or major infractions," she said. "We
have had an incredibly safe club. We have been at the forefront of
safety measures from the beginning.

"We took safety measures such as weapons checks long before any club
thought about it. We continue to improve our safety measures as we
continue on."

Sarionder said the police have "absolutely no proof" of any of their

She said Zumpano, the Hells Angel, is no longer employed by the club.

In a policy made effective Nov. 24, she said, the club's security
measures include:

n All patrons continue to be subject to metal detection and pat down.

n Mandatory ID checks unless the patron is a known celebrity or

n Mandatory checks of coats, purses, cellphones and cameras.

n Mandatory photo ID checks and upgraded security cameras.

n Security company to control entry to the lower lobby and the club.

She said the club has a "zero tolerance" policy for clothing with gang
or gang-affiliated identification, including jackets, hats, vests and
T-shirts. People who violate the dress code are to be refused.

The club opened in 2000 and employs about 50 people. It generates up to
$15,000 in revenues a night, according to court documents.

Sarionder told Vancouver Magazine in 2002 that she was born in Istanbul
in Turkey and grew up "a very sheltered Muslim woman, very repressed."

The family immigrated to Canada but at age 14 she was sent back to
Turkey and an arranged marriage to a 38-year-old man.

At 16 she ran away and gave birth to a daughter whom she said she
raised on her own. She told the magazine she no longer has contact with
her family.

Sarionder says that to her, exotic dancing -- stripping -- is an art

"It's so sad that these girls who put so much time and effort and
energy into what they do are reduced to a word such as peeler."


- - -


The Hells Angels are a well-known biker gang considered to be a
criminal organization with members involved in drug dealing,
strip-clubs and prostitution. The gang claims it is not a criminal
organization and is not responsible for individual members' actions.

In B.C. today, there are believed to be 95 members spread across seven
chapters: Vancouver, East End, Haney, White Rock, Mission, the Nomads
and Nanaimo.

The Hells Angels are a predominantly white organization, with roughly
2,000 members worldwide, with chapters in Canada, the U.S., Europe, New
Zealand, Australia, South Africa and South America.


The UN Gang is a relatively unknown quantity that surfaced in
Chilliwack and Abbotsford about four years ago. The gang takes its name
from the United Nations because of its members' diverse ethnic
backgrounds, including Indo-Canadians, Persians, Caucasians and Asians.
They are known to be violent and well armed. Police sources say the
gang has established a chokehold on the drug trade in the Downtown

The UN Gang is believed to have between 35 and 40 core members.

© The Vancouver Province 2007


Don't know anything about the UN gang but why would I. Wonder if there
are any Hispanics in it I see them dealing drugs from time to time. The
Turkish woman who is probably a prostitute should be deported. What
kind of Turkish Muslim allows his daughter to be raised by the manager
of a HA strip club? A life of pornography and sexual abuse awaits her.
These clubs frequently have drug dealing and prostitution and it is
great that John Les and company are closing this club down. When it was
Sneaky Pete's years ago I recall it being bombed if I remember
correctly. Keep fighting HAMC and good luck.


Apr 10, 2022, 6:59:51 PM4/10/22
On 12 Jan 2007 20:34:15 -0800, "Greg Carr" <greg...@yahoo.ca>
I'll bet you're glad it wasn't the gay strip joint you frequent

Steve Brown

Mar 2, 2023, 9:02:04 AMMar 2
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