Weighing In on Quo’s Gary Malhotra

A call over the weekend came from a player over at Quo, that nightclub on 28th street that you people never go to. Quo is a club for outer borough non-hipster types who want a big city experience but can’t get into most places. It makes money for the owners, the staff and the food carts, as this crowd thinks meat on a stick is eating out. The caller was upset at me because of a comment in the New York Post that was attributed to me. According to the article the comment was in response to, Gary Malhotra, an owner of Quo, has been accused of coercing a waitress to allow her to let him snort cocaine off various body parts. The post article details allegations made in a lawsuit filed by the waitress. I did not make this comment and I assured the caller that if I had I would own up to it. He accepted this and told me he had a pretty good idea who used my good name.

The comment in the Post running under my name reads:

You heard it here first- this is the only the tip of the iceberg with this freak-show!!! Gary Malhotra is widely known as the most decrepit excuse for a human being in an already sleazy industry. People have been saying it was “only a matter of time” for him to be busted for YEARS. There are far more disgusting stories about him at Quo as well as his other club- Suzie Wong. Underage, drunk girls being forced to have sex and do blow for entry or work and plenty more. Watch how many girls will now come out of the shadows to tell their stories. NYPD and SLA should launch a full investigation! This guy is literally known as “Satan” within the industry.

Again, I did not make this comment, but I would be hard pressed not to agree with some of it. I received multiple calls from people I know applauding my “comment.” I told them I didn’t write it, but they continued with war stories about Malhotra. Gary Malhotra is not actually a bad person when he is sober and calm. I myself have been real close to blows with him on two occasions over this exact behavior. My ex, who was a waitron for him when the place was called Prime, called me in the middle of a night telling me he had demanded to use her in the manner the Post alleges. I went to his club with bad intentions. I was stopped inside by mutual and serious friends who assured me they would deal with him and it would never happen again. I was of course not satisfied and had intentions of meeting up with him at a later date to “clear the air.”

I debated writing this article because many of the people working at Quo are people I like. However, this column is dedicated to the truth, and the truth is that, from my personal experience, Malhotra does cross just about every line in the book in regards to sexual harassment of waitresses. I have seen it first-hand — he has admitted it to me. He needs help.

It is not as common as many would assume that waitresses and staff are harassed by owners or management. At Spa I fired a manager after he fired a bartender who refused his advances. When I ran joints I had a female employee with me during all interviews and interactions with employees. I always kept my office door open. To use fear of being fired to coerce inappropriate behavior is despicable.

Gary and I almost came to blows a few months ago when he confronted me at The Gates. I hadn’t seen him in over a year when he grabbed my arm and got loud. He objected to remarks made in this column about him; he said they were uncalled for. I said, “Gary, you tried to snort coke off my ex’s tits.” My tone was unfriendly and my eyes were glaring. Gary got into my face and loudly denied my allegations. My date stood with her mouth wide open as a crowd watched me move closer. I looked him hard in his eyes and said, “You’re a liar. You did it.” A long second passed and he slumped, got terribly sad and admitted it. He asked me to forgive him with much sincerity. I did immediately. He was embarrassed and broken and seemed truly remorseful. All the anger left me seeing him like this.

This is a sad situation, not an angry one. I’ve seen Gary picking his kid up from school and proudly wearing a suit after a day in court. He is a lawyer by day. He’s a guy you want to like. I am sorry to say that the allegations by the waitress probably will ring true. I feel obligated to share my experience even though I hold no grudge against the man. This is the kind of thing that can’t be swept under the rug, and I for one cannot remain quietly on the sidelines.

I’ve made it very clear very often that one of my favorite joints to hang my hat, put up my feet and shoot the breeze is Lit Lounge. The employees and regulars at the place are like a family, which is a feeling the the old clubs used to have and some of the new ones still do. Monika Piechoczek is a coat-check gal with an infectious smile and sharp mind. Tonight she is throwing a soiree called Animal House and will DJ for the first time. She says:

It’s my first time DJing ever! We’re trying to make it an awesome dance party ranging from old funk and disco hits to hip hop and newer indie dance. Drew, DJ SPlDIF, has been spinning for seven years. He’s new to New York, imported from Kansas and specializes in mash-ups. He takes the most awesome beats and makes them last. I just took the open night as an opportunity that needed to be seized, so I asked Foss. It’s like a leap into spring; make-out, dance, funk, anything goes. I’m hoping this will be a start of something epic and Monday night dance is the new business. Start your business days off right!

Anything goes? Well, no smoking for sure!

Image: Lit Lounge Via Supertouchchart

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