Thursday, August 9, 2007
Tales of the Blue Monkey
I was sad to see that the great Blue Monkey on San Fernando recently shut its doors . As reported by Metro's The Fly:
Owner Jorge Sanchez, who also owns Chacho's in downtown San Jose, blames the city's bureaucratic hall of mirrors, which he was forced to enter when the police flagged him for noncompliance for an assembly permit (not to be confused with an occupancy permit, which was in order. How anyone can have occupants who are not assembling remains a mystery). With no grace period in which to comply, Sanchez's occupancy was reduced from 149 to 49 people. Thus hamstrung, he then embarked on a four-month epic paperwork journey full of hand drawings, fire inspectors, engineers, more hand drawings, building inspectors, planners, parking assessments, an address change, fees, more fees and time. Lots of time. Hemorrhaging money while on the cusp of renegotiating his lease, Sanchez made some last desperate calls to the city. "It wasn't a priority for a lot of people I was making comments to," says Sanchez, "so I just decided to close."
Now comes word that the city is leaning on Angels Ultra Lounge in the SoFA for underage drinking. Obviously, underage drinking shouldn't be tolerated, but it seems like any police citation, big or small, means a bureaucratic quagmire for downtown businesses. I don't think I've ever seen a city so actively try to kill its successful entertainment establishments. Meanwhile, San Jose Convention & Visitors Bureau's SanJose.org website proudly proclaims "The fun never stops." What a joke.