The San Francisco Chronicle ran a disturbing story this weekend on legally questionable new regulations the state of California’s Department of Alcohol Beverage Control (ABC) is trying to impose on some of San Francisco’s legendary all ages music venues. If enforced some of the City’s best music clubs – Bottom of the Hill, Great American Music Hall, Slim’s and Cafe du Nord – may be forced to close.
All of these businesses are able to operate as all ages venues because they serve food, as required by the ABC. Recently, however, the agency has decreed that at least half of the clubs’ revenue must come from food sales. The problem is that most of their income comes from alcohol and ticket sales. While the code makes no mention of a minimum sales requirement, some clubs are having conditions set on their license by the ABC contingent upon these new requirements – such as food sales exceeding alcohol sales.
Luckily the jurisdiction of the ABC is being questioned by elected officials, including San Francisco Supervisor Sophie Maxwell and state Sen. Mark Leno. Still, it can’t hurt for the community to get involved in the fight to preserve our best music venues – and a right of passage.
(Thanks Al for forwarding this story!)
What a perfect night of music last night at Cafe du Nord. Both the Cave Singers and Department of Eagles were fantastic. It’s impossible to get a good photograph in the dimly lit Cafe du Nord with my pitiful little point and shoot. But I had such a good spot I tried my hand at videotaping one of my favorite Department of Eagles song, ‘Phantom Other’. The sound certainly isn’t soundboard quality but it’s not bad. It gets a bit blown out when Chris Bear starts wailing on the drums, but you’ll get the gist. It was a good show!
Oh, and be sure to watch the video in high quality (HQ). The little button that appears when you mouse over the up arrow icon. Makes a big difference.