The city of Philadelphia’s Department of Licenses & Inspections issued a cease and desist order to J’Excellence Event Hall, located at 5-7 W. Mt. Airy Ave., on Aug. 26.
The city of Philadelphia’s Department of Licenses & Inspections issued a cease and desist order to J’Excellence Event Hall, located at 5-7 W. Mt. Airy Ave., on Aug. 26 after the department observed the space host a book signing despite being denied proper zoning approval as an event venue at an Aug. 9 Zoning Board of Adjustment hearing.
Neighbors have complained about the business since it began operating in April, citing disruption in the form of excessive noise, litter and public urination. According to residents who live on the block, the business has held three events after it was denied zoning approval.
Terry Spross, a neighbor who lives across the street from the event hall, told the Local that right before the Aug. 26 event, someone had an altercation with at least one of the business’ owners. After the altercation, guests were turned away by the business.
“There was a lot of arm flailing,” Spross said. “It looked like there was a problem.”
One of the business’s co-owners, Shas Warner, told residents in an Aug. 2 community meeting that she believed the business was legally allowed to operate without zoning approval as long as it keeps gatherings to under 50 people, which is 25% of its full capacity.
L&I spokesperson Shemeka Moore told the Local that the business was not legally allowed to operate as an event space.
“No Business/Operator is allowed to operate until they have all required approvals in hand and inspections have been completed,” Moore wrote in an email to the Local.
The business did not return a phone call from the Local seeking comment for this story.