Nightlife More on All That Nightlife Craziness
posted by May 20 at 17:27 PMon
Last week, I posted an email from Neumos co-owner Steve Severin, which sparked a pretty lengthy debate in the comments over the safety of the club and the legitimacy of the city’s supposed crackdown on the venue.
In the last few weeks, the city has ordered Neumos to reduce their dance floor capacity, allowing only 223 people on the main floor. The club’s downstairs VIP room is also closed until Neumos’ owners and the city work something out.
It’s pretty clear that the city’s been amping up their presence on Capitol Hill—just as their last big nightlife operation goes kablooie—but it’s not clear exactly where the pressure on Neumos is coming from.
Department of Planning and Development spokesman Alan Justad says his agency was only brought after the fire department found overcrowding problems when they visited Neumos during the Tim and Eric show on May 2nd. “We haven’t changed the fire code or the building code, or how we enforce [it],” Justad says.
SFD spokeswoman Helen Fitzpatrick claims her department hasn’t been focusing on Neumos and only visited the club at the request of the police department. “In terms of their fire and life safety, [SFD is] completely satisfied with what [Neumos] is doing,” Fitzpatrick says. “They’re a model for nightclubs.”
SPD, meanwhile, has also dismissed claims that they’re giving Neumos any extra attention. So just where the hell is the increased pressure coming from? “I’ve got all my own conspiracy theories,” Severin says. “We were very active in fighting the music and nightlife license.” However, Severin adds that he’s not entirely convinced the sudden attention from the city is retaliatory.
Even if Neumos had misinterpreted the city’s capacity regulations, why is this happening now? The club’s been around for four years, so—despite any issues you may have with how packed Neumos shows are—the timing of the upped enforcement certainly is suspicious.
Neumos’ owners will meet with DPD sometime next week to figure out how to increase capacity. For now, expect to see plenty of half-filled shows until things get straightened out.