SFPD Shuts Down Underground Nightclub

San Francisco police staked out and then raided a nightclub that appeared to be operating only in the wee hours (2 a.m. to 6 a.m.) and without any kind of license during the coronavirus lockdown.

Working from a tip, investigators reviewed surveillance video taken from across the street from the warehouse/club, which is located near a dead end at 2266 Shafter Avenue in the Bayview district. Videos showed more than 100 people entering and exiting on two different nights in March, with a security guard frisking them at the door, and a witness reported raucous activity at the property on April 4 and 5. Police then staked out the property on April 8 and observed many cars coming and going, and groups of people going in and out of a door without regard for any social distancing.

City Attorney Dennis Herrera explains in a release that his office sought a search warrant for the property, which it received on Friday, April 10, at which point police patrol cars were stationed outside the property, deterring would-be club-goers. Then on Saturday, they executed the search warrant, and found a DJ set-up, fog machine, gambling machines, two pool tables, bins of liquor, cases of beer, and $670 in cash inside.

"This pandemic is deadly serious. People need to treat it that way," Herrera said in a statement. "Cramming dozens of people into an illegal club during this outbreak is like dropping a lit match in the woods during fire season. Who knows how far the damage will spread? It’s the epitome of irresponsibility."

The initial tip about activity at the Shafter Avenue building came five rapid-fire gunshots were heard in the area around 3 a.m. back on March 15. Loud music was subsequently reported emanating from the space on multiple occasions. This suggests that the underground club had been operating before shelter-in-place orders arrived that shut down all legal bars and clubs citywide.

As the Chronicle reports, the owner of the property — whose name has not been released — cooperated fully with the city attorney, and it appears the illegal club may have been the work of a tenant who was operating a janitorial business in the space.

In addition to creating a public health risk by allowing over 100 people to congregate and socialize in the space, the operators of this illegal club were violating other laws. The building (obviously) had no entertainment permit or liquor license, and as Herrera explains, the space also lacked proper sprinklers and other fire-safety requirements.


By: ThisIsButter (44151.30)

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