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Thursday, February 19, 2009

DNA Runs Afoul of ABC

Posted By on Thu, Feb 19, 2009 at 7:00 AM

click to enlarge Too Lewd for SF? Flame Cynders performing at the DNA's Hubba Hubba Revue - NEIL GIRLING, WWW.THEBLIGHT.NET
  • Neil Girling, www.theblight.net
  • Too Lewd for SF? Flame Cynders performing at the DNA's Hubba Hubba Revue

As first reported by SFist, on February 13th, the DNA Lounge's Jamie Zawinski revealed on the club's website that the venue is currently embroiled in a battle with the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC), who are "trying to permanently revoke our liquor license," according to Zawinski.

ABC's charges? ""lewdness", "discrimination", and "running a disorderly house injurious to the public welfare and morals" - a shocking accusation in San Francisco, to say the least. The citation arose out of two former monthly events, the gay-themed "Cream" and the lesbian-themed "Escandido," both of which were staked out by undercover ABC agents searching for illegal activities of moral turpitude.

Zawinski contends the citations were a retaliatory move by ABC resulting from the club's successful petition to change its liquor license from Type 48 (21+) to Type 47 (all ages/restaurant). In any event, the authorities documented several alleged violations, including fondling and/or exposure of bare buttocks, female breasts (during a lesbian wet t-shirt contest) and/or genitals; repeated pelvic thrusts and other "simulated sex acts"; as well as discriminatory pricing (apparently, women were charged a different rate than men by Escandido's outside promoters, which, Zawinski contends, was not immediately known by club staff).

While the DNA Lounge has indeed cultivated a sexually ambiguous, techy Goth crowd, and hosted numerous burlesque-themed events, like the Hubba Hubba Revue and Bohemian Carnival, we have to wonder: What's the world coming to when a lesbian wet t-shirt contest is no longer sacred?

Seriously, in a city where some clubs have much bigger problems than a brief nipple flash or cheek-squeeze among consenting adults, it's hard to understand what the big deal is. This certainly sounds like a vendetta against the DNA, or in the very least, selective enforcement, by the ABC.

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Eric Arnold

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