‘We’ve had enough’: Take 1 Lounge neighbors in Broward fear for their lives

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Cypress Creek Mobile Home Country Club residents in Fort Lauderdale said they fear that the lawlessness going on around the Take 1 Lounge could end up in tragedy if no one intervenes.

Surveillance cameras captured the sound of gunshots during a recent shooting. Iris Carrero was among the many residents who said patrons of Take 1 Lounge, formerly the Jesters Sports Bar, are to blame.

Carrero said the patrons leave behind used condoms and needles. Two stray bullets left holes in her room and another one in the bathroom. She moved her mattress to the floor just in case it happens again.

“It’s unsafe and my residents are tired,” said James Manoli, the property manager.

Other residents at the community around the lounge, at 801 NE 62 St., said they too fear for their lives. Some were afraid to talk on camera. Officers are familiar with the place. Since April of last year, there have been more than 150 related service calls, records show. Jesters Sports Bar had 37 service calls in one year.

There were three calls at Take 1 Lounge for shootings. One of the shootings was last year on June 13 and the other two were on Jan. 15 and May 13. In about 11 months, there were dozens of calls about disturbances related to either a public nuisance or noise.

Records show code enforcement officers have cited Take 1 Lounge for 11 violations since June 10, 2020. (Copyright 2020 by WPLG Local10.com - All rights reserved.)

Code enforcement officers have cited the lounge for 11 violations since June 10, 2020, including one case for operating a strip club without a license. Officials said the lounge owes the city about $17,850.

Lloyd Gerber is the registered agent and director of Take 1 Holdings, the owner of the licensed lounge. On Monday evening, Gerber and Dean Cohen said they do not owe the city anything. The majority of the code violations have been closed.

Cohen said he believes the attacks and criticism on the Take 1 Lounge’s nightlife are racially motivated since the majority of the patrons are Black.

Residents at the Cypress Creek Mobile Home Country Club have called police officers, commissioners, the office of Mayor Dean Trantalis, but they feel like nothing has been done to protect them.

“We have had enough here,” Manoli said.

The city’s attorney is researching the possibility of referring the case to the city’s nuisance abatement board, which has the power to render decisions to improve residents’ quality of life.

Related document: List of service calls


Local 10 News Assignment Desk Manager Kerry Weston contributed to this report.

About the Authors:

In January 2017, Hatzel Vela became the first local television journalist in the country to move to Cuba and cover the island from the inside. During his time living and working in Cuba, he covered some of the most significant stories in a post-Fidel Castro Cuba. 

The Emmy Award-winning journalist joined the Local 10 News team in 2013. She wrote for the Miami Herald for more than 9 years and won a Green Eyeshade Award.