SF Sues to Shutter SuedeApril 29, 2010 By: Emily Hanna Mayock
Someone in San Francisco may have finally found the power to shut down Suede, a nightclub that has been in the news because the city’s Entertainment Commission and the Board of Supervisors attempted to close the club after a string of violent events, culminating in a deadly shooting in early February.
As we reported in the last issue of Nightclub Confidential, the EC grants permits to venues but does not hold the authority to revoke them. Area residents and others had consistently lobbied the Commission to shut down the club, but the EC found their only power was to suspend the club’s license for 30 days. However, on April 15, City Attorney Dennis Herrera filed a lawsuit seeking a court order to permanently shut down the Fisherman’s Wharf nightclub, calling it a public nuisance and citing 15 separate violence incidents at the club since 2007.
The lawsuit also says the ownership company, Taliesin Entertainment Group, engaged in unfair and unlawful business practices, such as allowing patrons to smoke marijuana, exceeding occupancy limits and staying open and serving alcohol past 2 a.m., according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
One of the owners, Hanson Wong, said the allegations are untrue, calling the quest to shut down the club a “lynch mob” in an interview with the Chronicle.
Whether the city’s lawsuit will be successful remains unseen, but it certainly begs the question of why a simple revocation process was not put into place previously for violence-ridden venues.
“San Francisco should be known for having a vibrant nightlife — not a violent nightlife,” attorney Herrera said in a statement. “Going after reckless establishments like Club Suede isn’t simply about protecting club-goers and neighbors. It’s also about protecting responsible businesses.”