City Nightlife License Resurrected?
posted by July 19 at 18:17 PMon
A couple of sources in the club world report that Nick Licata and Richard Conlin, erstwhile opponents of Mayor Greg Nickels’s proposed nightlife license (which only Sally Clark, who authored the council version of the mayor’s proposal, and Jan Drago previously supported) may be changing their positions after the release of a list of the city’s “most violent” nightclubs that even Mayor Nickels’s office, which released it, has admitted is flawed. Licata met with club representatives in his office today; neither he nor others present at the meeting have called me back yet to confirm that Licata’s opposition to the license is wavering. Conlin, likewise, did not return a call for comment.
The mayor’s list was compiled using LiquorStat, a city system that tracks how many violations occur in and around clubs. One major flaw of the system is that it doesn’t distinguish between actual violations of liquor and other laws inside the club, mere complaints about the club, and violent or nuisance crimes that occur outside the club. So an incident that happens in a parking lot nearby a club can be pinned on the club—even if the perpetrators never set foot inside. If someone merely had a drink in a club, then committed a violation elsewhere, that counts as a violation too. And even if the bar itself calls in a violation —for example, someone who’s trying to use a fake ID—it still counts as a violation by the club. As a result, club advocates say, the system grossly inflates clubs’ violation numbers. According to a letter sent to council members by Last Supper Club general manager Darcy Hanson, the Last Supper Club was included on the mayor’s “most violent” list despite having no violations on record.
For the record, we have never had a liquor violation, firearm incident, or violent assault. We have consistently worked hand in hand with liquor control, police, and all other government offices to ensure a safe and law abiding operation. The Last Supper Club being added to the current list of “Problem Clubs” has left us in shock, to say the least. During my tenure, there has never been any notice of my venue being a problem club! It is of great concern to me that the Mayor can use “facts” that his office openly admits are provided by a city data base that “needs to work out the kinks”. It is highly unethical to use inaccurate data to slander these businesses to further an agenda. I believe this media barrage is clearly meant to rally support for this proposed ordinance and not to better the community or public safety. We have always prided ourselves with keeping an open line of communication with the neighborhood, city, and state officials. This current environment is threatening this type of communication on a city wide level. Ultimately it is contradictory to what the Mayors office, business owners, and the community wants: A safe and prosperous nightlife.