The bar's owner, Vimla (who doesn't want her last name printed) said
that the host of the 18-and-up party "Trauma" didn't want to pay the fee for additional security that the
new managers require -- $100 each for two guards, she said. We
contacted the night's host, the Doctor, by e-mail Wednesday, but
haven't heard back.
wouldn't go into details, but said, "It's drum and bass's choice
whether they want to be here or not." So tonight will be the
final "Trauma" event, with the bar paying for the security, Masterson
says. "If they don't pay security we have to end up having to pay to
clean up the place... I don't think it's an unreasonable request."
of the DJs of the event posted on an Internet message board that the
new managers were "ABC-approved," "to help run the place until the
changes are made and ABC can get out of their hair." ABC's spokesperson
John Carr says that the ABC regularly fingerprints and runs background
checks on owners and managers of business with liquor licenses, but
doesn't actually appoint staff to venues.
If the drum-and-bass
fans who frequented the night are angry about the end of "Trauma," it
won't be the only change that has gotten some resistance. The managers
say enforcing the club's new rules - like no smoking inside as mandated
by city law - haven't gone over well with long-time patrons used to
being able to do that. The changes have been slow to take. After the
club painted over the graffiti on the walls, the walls of the men's
bathroom were re-tagged on a recent night.
"We're taking over a place where people are used to a certain way for a long time," Wolfe says.
new managers are an unlikely duo: Wolfe is a bald and muscly Mr. T-like
dude with gold hoop earrings who works as a trainer at World's Gym. His
partner Masterson could play a frat boy in a campus flick, with
an argyle sweater and tousled blonde hair. Yet the two say they've
worked together before -- they wouldn't say where -- and Masterson said
they're hoping to bring the same "successful business model" to El
They sat with the owner in the empty club Wednesday
night and talked about their plans to make the bar "legitimate,"
Masterson said. They hope to be open for restaurant business Saturday.
They want to attract a professional happy hour clientele from
neighborhoods like SoMA and Mission Bay to the desolate corner of 16th
Street and Harrison. They're planning a benefit for a school in the
Bayview. "We're not trying to come in and be jerks about this,"
Masterson says. "If we have a facility we can do good for the community
as well as make the venue survive." He added that adults aren't
attracted to 18-and-up venues.
And, of course, 18-and-up nights
aren't as profitable since under-21 folks can't buy booze. That would
seem to conflict with another one of the goals of the new managers: to
make some money.
"You come in and we're trying to make the
business grow and make some revenue for the business," Wolfe says.
"It's either you want to comply to the changes or you leave."
And so goes another 18-and-up option for San Francisco nightlife, too.