Sunday Commentary: Is a Boycott an Answer to the Downtown Puzzle?

Beer Bar Stock

beer-bar

There are individuals angry that the city council allowed Blondies to go forward with building their new establishment at the site that formerly housed Little Prague. I have seen calls for boycotting the Davis bar scene – arguing that since most of the bars are restaurants by day, if people want to limit their liquor sales, they should stop purchasing food by night.

However, I would argue against that approach for a number of very different reasons.

The first thing is that the bars are actually moving in the right direction now. As Darren Pytel, the Assistant Chief of the Davis Police Department, explained, “The problem was no one wanted to take the first step.” The bars were afraid that if they imposed new regulations and the others didn’t that would put them at a competitive disadvantage.

However, with the tragedy at KetMoRee, the pushback from the community and the city council, the bars are belatedly getting their act together. Already several have implemented wanding at their locations.

This has had some success as it has prevented several knives from going into the facility. As Darren Pytel put it, “So it’s larger than just Blondies. It’s about all the locations working together to improve safety and also send a message that weapons in downtown are not ok.”

Some places like Tres Hermanas are ending their late night dance clubs. The bars are getting together on bringing in some off-duty police officers on their own dimes to help better patrol the downtown.

A boycott would seem to be a legitimate response if the bars were doing nothing new about dealing with the problems – that seems to be far from the case.

Second, while the city council did narrowly vote to grant the exemption to Blondies, they did so imposing quite a few regulations on them.

Blondies will have to contract with a licensed armed security provider, or most likely the city of Davis, to provide supplemental police services on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 10 pm to 1:30 am (half an hour after the close of business).

The location will fundamentally change the way they provide service – they have to be equipped with adequate numbers of seats, and food will be made available at all times.

Mayor Pro Tem Robb Davis on Tuesday night called it “a shot across the bow,” or telegraphing how “things are probably going to go,” in terms of potential new permanent regulations.

He added, “I was actually thinking we’re not creating a nightclub if we set the conditions the way they’re set here. We’re pointing a direction to a future that’s going to be fundamentally different.”

As he pointed out later, “There’s a certain balance that should be struck.”

We asked earlier this week if the council went far enough in striking a balance – I would still like to see more in the way of patrol officers, but that seems to be the direction things are moving.

Moreover, other peripheral problems will hopefully be fixed as well. One huge problem has been the lack of accessible restrooms in the downtown. As a father of a small child, it is difficult to find a restroom in general during the day. I was told that we will be adding public restrooms, so-called Portland toilets, in the downtown next year, that hopefully will help reduce the problem of public urination – some of which may not be malicious so much as lack of access to bathrooms.

Again, people may not like the decision to allow Blondies to go forward, but clearly the council, while divided on that issue, is united on the idea that they will change the bar scene downtown through additional regulation.

Finally, a boycott can only work with a huge critical mass of people buying into the need for the boycott and staying away. The problem is that the people who are likely to boycott downtown businesses are probably not the people who are the core customers.

The Montgomery Bus Boycott ultimately worked after a year because the people boycotting the bus were the bulk of the customers. In this case, you have a downtown that relies heavily on lunch time sales, most of which are generated by people working in the downtown, people working at UC Davis, and students – none of these groups, for different reasons, are likely to join in.

Even if you could have an effect with a boycott, the reason a lot of these facilities went the late night route was to supplement their revenue because the normal day sales were insufficient.

Talking to Sergio Saenz of Tres Hermanas, he said that, as successful as his restaurant has been, closing down the nightclub is a scary endeavor and there are days when things are slow that doubts start to creep in. It might be ironic, but a boycott might make those businesses more dependent on the late night scene rather than more likely to change.

To me, however, the bottom line here is that the council is taking this issue seriously. From all accounts, the downtown bars are working together on solutions, and so we need to support them rather than boycott them – make it less scary to do the right thing.

What we have going forward is a compromise. No one got everything they wanted – instead it was a give and take. And that will be the real key as we go forward – the ability to keep the downtown scene going but make it safer for everyone involved and clean up the nuisance for the people who live in the core area.

—David M. Greenwald reporting

About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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84 Comments

  1. Barack Palin

    The supposed outrage over the downtown night scene is being blown way out of proportion.  I talk with many of my neighbors and not one is up in arms about this.  I think we have the same vocal minority stirring the pot as usual in Davis politics.  Now there’s talk of a boycott?  Good luck with that.

    1. Tia Will

      BP

      I talk with many of my neighbors and not one is up in arms about this.”

      And where is it that you live ?  Can you hear the music in your house with all your doors and windows closed?

      Do these inebriated young people walk up and down your street after 2 am trying to find the cars they parked there hours earlier gleefully tipping over your trash cans as they go on a Thursday night/ Friday am ? Do you find yourself debating at 2:30 am whether or not to call the police ( yet again ) to investigate screams coming from the vicinity of the tracks since you have not yet decided whether they are screams of distress or just someone whooping playfully ?

      If none of these scenarios pertain to you, I would not be so quick to dismiss the legitimate concerns of those who are so affected on a regular basis.

      1. hpierce

        Uh, until the stabbing I don’t recall OED folk writing op-eds, guest columns in the VG, standing up at public comment at CC meetings, etc.  How is it that only since the stabbing where the victims and the perp(s) were ‘out-of-towners’, that we’re seeing the righteous indignation?  Given that, your comment, starting with “And where is it that you live ?  Can you hear the music in your house with all your doors and windows closed?….” seems a bit aggressive towards someone stating a fact… the vast majority of folk in Davis were unaware, and pretty sure a 2/3 majority either “don’t give a rip” and/or think the response is disproportional.  We didn’t punch that doggie.

        I NOW understand the problem from your perspective, but I am not inclined to apologize for not acting on a problem that I was unaware/dimly aware of.  I am also disinclined to support radical changes.  Sorry (sort of), that’s how I think and feel.

        1. Tia Will

          hpierce

          How is it that only since the stabbing where the victims and the perp(s) were ‘out-of-towners’, that we’re seeing the righteous indignation? “

          I don’t think that you are seeing any “righteous indignation” from me now. I also do not think it is at all unusual for people not to speak up on any given issue until it is brought to the forefront of their concerns, often by a tragic event. I guarantee you that in my own practice, my attempts at preventing and mitigating the effects of binge drinking has not changed. But it is very, very hard to get any attention paid to our individual concerns or neighborhood concerns until something major and newsworthy occurs. Even now after the stabbing many people are saying that they think the issue is overblown. I realize that this is the reality for most of the city and do not expect anyone to apologize for having different priorities from mine. I would however, appreciate it if my priorities were not minimized by those who do not share them.

        2. Michelle Millet

          Uh, until the stabbing I don’t recall OED folk writing op-eds, guest columns in the VG, standing up at public comment at CC meetings, etc.

          To be fair, Alan Miller gave a memorable public comment regarding his concerns at a council meeting about 2 weeks(?) before the murder at KetMoRee took place.

        3. Alan Miller

          Uh, until the stabbing I don’t recall OED folk writing op-eds, guest columns in the VG, standing up at public comment at CC meetings, etc.

          I did public comment at CC meetings several times after the nightclubs opened in the range 5-7 years ago.  It yielded nothing.  I occasionally still call on the noise issues (to no avail) or when I see a safety issue downtown.  For example, a few weeks before the stabbing I called in when I saw a woman face-down, not moving, on the curb, passed out about 1:30am behind ACE Hardware.

        4. hpierce

          Alan… I’ll take your statements at face value as to your previous calls to PD, and previous public comments to CC.  They were completely off my radar.  I stand corrected.  As to my first two sentences.  I (yeah, anonymously, so that doesn’t count) stand by the rest of my post.

          Perhaps we should clarify what the ‘posting’ policy should be.  Perhaps (and I agree with this) anonymous posters should be more circumspect as to attacking folk who use their names.  Need clarification, does that include facts and/or opinions?

          Are you also reserving the right for posters, using their names, to attack anonymous folk?  I for one have no problem having my facts challenged, or my opinions.

           

      2. Mark West

        Do these inebriated young people walk up and down your street after 2 am trying to find the cars they parked there hours earlier gleefully tipping over your trash cans as they go on a Thursday night/ Friday am ? Do you find yourself debating at 2:30 am whether or not to call the police ( yet again ) to investigate screams coming from the vicinity of the tracks since you have not yet decided whether they are screams of distress or just someone whooping playfully ?

        What you are describing are common enough occurrences with the private parties around my neighborhood.  I’ve made a point of walking through the downtown late at night to see for myself what the ‘scene’ is like and on only one occasion have I found the music coming from a bar excessively loud (as in loud enough to hear beyond the block.  In fact, the last two times I made the trek the loudest events I found those nights were the parties located a couple of doors down from my house.

        From my experience, I believe there is more than a bit of exaggeration in the descriptions coming from some of the concerned neighbors of the downtown. I have no doubt there are issues that need to be addressed, but I don’t believe the situation is as bad as some here claim.

        1. Tia Will

          From my experience, I believe there is more than a bit of exaggeration in the descriptions coming from some of the concerned neighbors of the downtown”

          Well it is too late now as everyone has already started to tone things down. Too bad it didn’t occur to any of us on J street to invite you over between 12-2 am so that you could have heard the music coming from Tres Hermanas in our bedroom and the aftermath as people made their way home.

          If the situation is as bad or worse in your neighborhood, then that should be addressed too.

        2. Alan Miller

          I’ve made a point of walking through the downtown late at night to see for myself what the ‘scene’ is like and on only one occasion have I found the music coming from a bar excessively loud (as in loud enough to hear beyond the block.

          This is 100% incorrect; I hear the nightclub low frequencies every Thursday night, and usually on Saturday and Friday as well; I have no reason to make this up; the beat is so clear inside my house I have identified songs with all the windows closed just.  I have called well over 50 times on noise ordinance on downtown businesses over the last seven years.  I live almost 1/4 mile from the nearest nightclub.  I never once heard the bass from a live band in a bar downtwon, this only started when the nightclubs started with the subwoofers.  The only reason I haven’t called more is not once have the police done anything about it.  One officer told me he understood, and wanted to, but the meters don’t pick up the low frequencies.  If you are talking about recently weeks, since the murder the clubs have toned it down a bit, at least for a while.

        3. Barack Palin

          I agree with Mark West.  I believe some of these problems have occurred from time to time but from listening to some of the commenters they want you to believe these are nightly occurrences.  I’m sure things like screams coming from the railroad tracks happened maybe once.

        4. Alan Miller

          I agree with Mark West.  I believe some of these problems have occurred from time to time but from listening to some of the commenters they want you to believe these are nightly occurrences.  I’m sure things like screams coming from the railroad tracks happened maybe once.

          Barak, this isn’t an F-ing scientific study.  I live across from Tia, and what we are talking about is quite real.  You and West don’t live here, and you are now calling us liars.   Many bar hoppers come through the Amtrak parking lot, out the back and up I, J and K Streets in Old East Davis.  It’s garbage night, and sometimes they kick over garbage cans.  They are often loud.  A few weeks ago some decided to destroy a neighbor’s wood chair, and then took to kicking in a fence that had to be replaced.  Yes, it’s been going on as long as I’ve lived here, but the nightclub scene has brought in a different crowd and more of them.  They also like to park in Old East if they are drunk and know they will be driving drunk, because they are less likely to be pulled over because most of the police are in the core area.  You can’t “agree” with someone over this, you have no evidence.  Me and Tia F-ing live here, and I for one am up late most nights and keep watch when things get heated up.  Too often, calling the police is not effective, as they are too busy in the core. No it isn’t every Thursday – Saturday, but it happens way too much.

        5. Mark West

          “You and West don’t live here, and you are now calling us liars.”

          Alan Miller:  Please show where I have called you a liar.  If you cannot do so, I expect you to retract your statement.

          I  suggested above that some of the comments posted here have been exaggerated, which considering your penchant for public displays of hyperbole, and dare I say, histrionics, is a perfectly sound description of your discourse.  Exaggerating a statement to gain a greater reaction is not equivalent to knowingly making false statements. I do not doubt that the loud music and public drunkenness causes you and your neighbors some distress.  I am also fully in agreement that liquor laws should be properly enforced in our local establishments, both by the establishments and by the authorities. Where I differ from you is on your extreme descriptions of the situation, what I consider to be your extreme solutions, and your irrational responses to those who do not agree to your version of events, all of which tend to reduce the effectiveness of your efforts.

        6. Alan Miller

          West – you accuse us of “exaggerating” the situation.  I would say by that you are calling us liars.  Perhaps only partial liars since we are supposedly by your definition exaggerating, not lying.  I don’t know how either of us could prove “how” bad things are.  One would have to sit outside for weeks on end doing a scientific survey of clubber neighborhood incursions, and then someone measure and judge each violation.  That is impossible.  So our back and forth will go nowhere.

          Frank Lee – I do not live in the core by any definition.  I live in an adjacent neighborhood that is adjacent to and heavily effected by the core.  I have have lived both in and near the core for over 30 years, and though there have always been issues, the core has changed for the worse in the last seven years since the nightclubs began, and severely so in the last 2-3 years.

           

          This isn’t like moving in next to an airport and complaining about the airplanes.  The current downtown nightclub scene came to us decades later, for the profit of a small number, like 5-6, business owners.  I am not asking the the night scene be shut down, nor that businesses close early, just the nightclub scene.  That is what has made downtown ugly from 11pm – 2am Thursday – Saturday.

      3. Alan Miller

        If none of these scenarios pertain to you, I would not be so quick to dismiss the legitimate concerns of those who are so affected on a regular basis.

        Living near Tia, I back her up on all the activities she describes, and could add several more.

  2. ryankelly

    Change the entertainment, change the vibe of the crowd.  No need to completely shut down.  I’ve talked to a handful of 20-somethings who all said that they either never went to Ketmoree or went once and immediately left, saying it just wasn’t their scene.

     

    1. Tia Will

      ryankelly

      Agree. This is the message that I hear from my 20 something children and their friends. We heard from one student representative at the forum that there are 60 + thousand students who will want to go out and participate in this scene once they turn 21. It seems to me that this is quite an exaggeration and that there are probably far more students engaged in other activities and that this particular scene attracts a far smaller group. I would very much like to find a compromise solution that respects the needs of those who do like this environment, the owners of these businesses, the owners of surrounding businesses and those of home owners in the vicinity.

      I disagree that the concerns are being overblown….and I applaud our business owners, police, city council and residents for being willing to work collaboratively to find a solution that improves the situation without destroying any businesses or spoiling the “fun” while still keeping the situation as safe as is possible.

      1. TrueBlueDevil

        It is not overblown. There was a stabbing and attempted murder by car on New Years Eve, there was also a stabbing downtown a year or two back, I believe in mid day.

        I think stopping knives going into night clubs isn’t necessarily a sign for celebration. Look at who we are attracting to Davis! New security, off-duty police, more police, and knives may actually describe failure to some.

        Stop and Frisk might help keep away some of the gang element. Just sayin.

  3. Michelle Millet

    I rarely see the type of response to an issue that I’ve seen from my peer group (40 somethings). It is “blowing up” the Facebook pages of my friends who probably couldn’t tell you what a CFD is, or an MRAP for that matter. This is not the “usual” crowd up in arms.

    1. Tia Will

      Michelle

      I rarely see the type of response to an issue that I’ve seen from my peer group (40 somethings). It is “blowing up” the Facebook pages of my friends”

      Would you mind sharing either the preponderance or the range of the comments coming from the 40 somethings ?  I hear a great deal from the 20-30 crowd, and a lot from the 50 + crowd, but very little from the 30-40 somethings. Maybe because many of them are just too busy with careers and children to care very much about the wee hours on 3rd street….but maybe not from your post.

      1. Michelle Millet

        Sure, here is a sample of the post I’ve seen from my 40 something peer group:

        Ket Mo Rhee should have their liquor license pulled until the state can determine if they were negligent in the death of this out of town visitor. Now the city is contemplating a lite version of a strip club in downtown? WHAT?!?This is not Ft. Lauderdale or Lake Havasu. What the hell is wrong with the planning department that this case was even considered. Are we so desperate to find a tenant that our community is willing to sell its collective soul to a wet tee shirt promoter. Wake up Davis and fight for what’s right.

        These comments were in reference to a letter to written to the editor by a peer of mine opposing a Blondie’s coming to Davis:

        As a father of two daughters and an advocate for women in general, I greatly support this letter.. We had just talked about this Blondie’s situation as a family the other night and it opened a productive dialogue with our girls about societal pressures, making healthy choices and promoting healthy self-image. Your letter will help us keep that conversation going in meaningful ways. 

        We discussed the lingerie nights and having two young daughters were absolutely disgusted by it. Blondie’s claims they will not be doing the lingerie nights here in Davis but we don’t believe it for a second. Even if they live up to that word, I worry there will be other “themes” that  “dehumanize young women.” No thank you.

        They are pretty much all along this theme, except for a few people wondering where the outrage is over the male dancing that occurs at The Graduate on Wednesday nights (how have I missed this? I may need to go take a first hand look at the situation).

        1. Tia Will

          Thanks Michelle.

          I think that these comments should pretty much lay to rest the contention that it is only a bunch of prudish old fogies who have concerns about the current safety issues and appropriateness of encouraging this particular business model.

        2. Barack Palin

          I think that these comments should pretty much lay to rest the contention that it is only a bunch of prudish old fogies who have concerns about the current safety issues and appropriateness of encouraging this particular business model.

          What, all two comments?

        3. Michelle Millet

          What, all two comments?

          Technically I posted 3 comments (the last two were separate posts).

          These were a small sampling of what I’ve seen over the past week from my friends.

          I had no idea that after the age of 40 dance clubs transform from a fun place to hang out to place that we have to protect our young women from. Apparently I need to get with the program. I still view young women as individuals who are fully capable of deciding for themselves what to wear or not wear when they head out for the night, and choosing for themselves which establishments they decide to not wear clothes to.

          That being said, I’m not okay with people being killed in any establishment, regardless of the amount of clothing anyone is wearing. I’m also not crazy about the idea of downtown Davis becoming the party destination place for the surrounding area.

          It sounds like city council is on the right track, hopefully it won’t take another tragic event to keep the train moving.

        4. TrueBlueDevil

          Michelle, I’m not sure they’re on the right track. They just gave the benefit of the doubt to a club owner known for wet t-shirt contests being a staple of his business, coming into a city council meeting and saying his establishment was going to be the next Chuckie Cheese. Are they that naive?

          Now, he may not have wet t-shirt contests to start… but you know there will be cheap shots, drinking events, and other things to make $$$. When things slow down in the summer, all bets are off. Same for Picnic Day.

          And am I right – this place will be about as big as The Graduate? 5,000 square feet? It sound huge to me, when you add in the patios and downtown location.

          How many square feet is KetMos?

  4. Jim Frame

    The bars are getting together on bringing in some off-duty police officers on their own dimes to help better patrol the downtown.

    I’ve always wondered how the off-duty thing works.  Does the business contract directly with the city for the officers, presumably at full cost recovery?  Or do the officers operate as sole proprietors, albeit with the appearance of city authority?  Is the city on the hook for any uncompensated cost or liability?

    1. hpierce

      Darn good question, Jim.  Except for special events co-sponsored by the City, I believe (but do not know) that it is NOT via the City (liability, other issues).  Also, don’t know what “powers” an off-duty police officer has… pretty sure they can act if a crime they witness is in ‘progress’.  Suspect they are not “sole proprietors”, subject to paying employee and employer contributions to SS & Medicare.  They’ll never see SS payments as they are covered under a government pension.  [thanks to president Reagan].  Suspect it is “under the table payments”, but could easily be wrong, and I sincerely hope I am.

      Actually, DAMN good question, Jim.

      Phil C… do you care to weigh in on Jim’s question?  If not, no problem.

      1. TrueBlueDevil

        They probably pack heat, cuffs, and are defacto police. They probably can make a citizens arrest, and when the on-duty police arrive, they typically all know each other, have each others backs, know the protocols, procedures, and laws.

        My guess is they are paid as independent contractors.

  5. Anon

    I have seen calls for boycotting the Davis bar scene – arguing that since most of the bars are restaurants by day, if people want to limit their liquor sales, they should stop purchasing food by night.
    However, I would argue against that approach for a number of very different reasons.

    You can argue ’til the cows come home against any boycott approach, but you can’t tell people where to spend their money.  There is really no doubt in my mind the only reason bars/nightclubs are finally cooperating with the Davis Police Dept and agreeing to police themselves (pardon the pun) is because these business establishments are afraid of potential boycotting.  I am not particularly impressed with these bars/nightclubs suddenly “seeing the light” on the issue of improving their standards.  Let’s face it, they were very likely profiting from not enforcing ABC standards that were already in place.  If establishments that are restaurants by day and bars/nightclubs by night want my business, then they had better clean up their act – otherwise they are not getting my dollars.  JMO

      1. hpierce

        Main one (from what I’ve heard) is not cutting folk off from ‘service’ if they appear impaired [as I recall, a private party, not subject to ABC, can have that ‘violation’ used against the host, in a civil case, if their guest subsequently causes property damage/injury/death when the drunk driver leaves the private party… I recall the case law is “mixed” (pun intended)].  That said, there may be others that folk can enlighten us on.  Good question!

        1. Anon

          I’ll add to that list:

          1. Giving free drinks to customers for wearing skimpy clothing or for looking pretty enough.

          2. Selling drinks to over-inebriated customers; selling alcohol to minors.

          3. Having insufficient security inside the business establishment.

          4. Varying cover charge (to as much as $50), based on personal looks, or depending on who the bouncer is.

          5. Running a “disorderly” establishment, including but not limited to loud music, loitering, littering, urination, fights, assaults, narcotics, etc.

          See: https://www.abc.ca.gov/questions/enforcement_faq.html

        2. Michelle Millet

          Giving free drinks to customers for wearing skimpy clothing or for looking pretty enough.

          I was unaware that bars in this town give out free drinks to anyone. Does this happen in Davis?

          Selling drinks to over-inebriated customers; selling alcohol to minors.

          I’ve seen bars sell alcohol to people who probably need to get cut off, but I’ve also seen them cut people off.

          Selling alcohol to minors, from what I can tell, is a BIG deal. At 42, and looking it, I still get carded at bars in this town. I seriously doubt any establishment in this town is knowingly serving to minors.

          Having insufficient security inside the business establishment.

          In general I’ve been impressed with the security I’ve seen inside of bars in this town (although I’ve never been to KetMoRee). From what I can tell staff keeps a close eye on people they think may cause problems. I was having a drinks with a friend that other night at Sophia’s after we enjoyed a “Paint and Sip” class at Cork it Again (very fun BTW, who new I could paint a Van Gough). A somewhat drunk patron came over to our table and began talking to us and was making us uncomfortable, one of the bartenders was on it. He quickly came over to our table, and gave me the is everything ok look? When I gave the, “not so much look” he discreetly took action to get the patron to move along. When I talked to the employee as I was leaving, he informed me that they had been watching the guy all night.

          Varying cover charge (to as much as $50), based on personal looks, or depending on who the bouncer is.

          I have never experience this in Davis, if its happening then it is news to me. (or maybe I am just not good looking enough to get in for free, although I’m not sure I’ve ever been charged more then $5 dollars, so I guess I’ve got that going for me.)

          Running a “disorderly” establishment, including but not limited to loud music, loitering, littering, urination, fights, assaults, narcotics, etc

          This one, I agree, has some legs, and needs to be addressed.

        3. Alan Miller

          I don’t think Anon’s claims are helping “our side” as that’s not the issue, even though I agree with Anon’s take on the nightclubs.

          Michelle you have been out clubbing 11pm to 2am on Thurs – Saturday as a 43-year-old mother?  Assuming the answer is no, I assure you the scene is completely different from what you experience at other times.  That is the whole point:  these nine hours each week are when things get out of control.  Checking it now won’t give an idea of what the scene was like Pre-stabbing, because it is currently toned down a bit.

        4. hpierce

          Anon… your cite does not appear to support any of your bullet points (1-5).  I would be interested in seeing cites that do.  I seem to recall that a variation of #1 IS illegal, specifically giving free drinks to people who vote (particularly a particular way).  That goes back to the 1800’s in CA.

        5. Michelle Millet

          Michelle you have been out clubbing 11pm to 2am on Thurs – Saturday as a 43-year-old mother? 

          I think you might be surprised who you would find out clubbing on a Friday night here in Davis. Although, no, it wouldn’t be me, thump, thumping has never been my scene. But you may find some familiar faces that are yes, even older then me.

          I’m not doubting any of your claims Alan, and honestly, given what you describe, I don’t think I could handle living where you do.(I can’t handle the bass that  emanates from our TV when husband watches Top Chef)  What I am questioning is Anon’s assertions that ABC rules are being violated to extent that she claims.

           

           

        6. Alan Miller

          I’m not doubting any of your claims Alan, and honestly, given what you describe, I don’t think I could handle living where you do.(I can’t handle the bass that  emanates from our TV when husband watches Top Chef)

          What’s really annoying is the subwoofers are often cranked up even louder after 1am, and sometimes get really cranked from 1:45am – 2am.  I think the DJ’s are just getting hammered themselves and don’t care; not really sure why that is.

          What I am questioning is Anon’s assertions that ABC rules are being violated to extent that she claims.

          Anon is a “she”?  Hmmmm . . .

          Much as I agree with Anon on this issue, I agree with you on that point.

          I’m not surprised who goes clubbing, I go down and see the lines myself quite frequently.  There are not many folks beyond their 20’s Thursday – Saturday 11pm – 2am.

  6. Alan Miller

    a boycott can only work with a huge critical mass of people buying into the need for the boycott and staying away.

    I have boycotted the convertible restaurant-nightclubs for seven years and my boycott works just fine:  I don’t give my money to businesses that do business in a way I do not support.

    food will be made available at all times.

    Blondie’s “negotiated” it down to pizza slices.

    the reason a lot of these facilities went the late night route was to supplement their revenue because the normal day sales were insufficient.

    They did it because there is a lot of money in nightclub alcohol sales.  One place opened their nightclub three weeks after they opened their restaurant — not even enough time to look at a single months’ revenue/cost staement.

    we need to support them rather than boycott them

    “We” don’t need to support them if they keep running nightclubs.

    – make it less scary to do the right thing.

    The right thing is to shut down the nightclub scene.  I have not attended a group that meets regularly for several years now because they meet at Tres Hermanas.  If the nightclub there is shut down, I will make it less scary for them.

    make it safer for everyone involved and clean up the nuisance for the people who live in the core area

    We’ll let you know how that works out.

    Portland toilets, in the downtown next year, that hopefully will help reduce the problem of public urination – some of which may not be malicious so much as lack of access to bathrooms.

    Malicious Urination is the name of my new avante-punk band.

  7. TrueBlueDevil

    From an earlier article, the Blondie’s owner said they had spent $100,000 on this business venture. Where? I just don’t see that, unless he is counting their purchase of a liquor license.

    After they said their place was going to be like Chuckie Cheese, I have to take everything with a block of salt.

    1. Frankly

      $100K disappears very quickly opening a restaurant that serves alcohol.

      I think the “block” is a block of ignorance from some that don’t know s_ _ _ about other’s business but like to write s _ _ _ about other’s business.

      1. Alan Miller

        Having created and run a retail business, I understand.  I was initially sympathetic to Blondie’s on this point.  That is, until that pathetic Chuck E Cheese exchange with the mayor and looking at their website.  I don’t blindly support every business, just like I don’t blindly choose everyone as a friend, or choose a block of candidates in one party.  I pick and choose.   When someone clearly tries to pull the wool over our mayor and city’s eyes, and worse does such a pathetic job of it, they lose my support.  All business is not worth our support or sympathy.  Those with integrity are.

      2. TrueBlueDevil

        I was assuming that construction / remodeling had yet to start. Am I mistaken?

        Sure, if they are remodeling and doing structural work, and with overblown city regs, I can see $100,000 spent in a heart beat. I spoke with a small business owner who was forced to move from a small dilapidated building and decided to relocate to a newly renovated site in the middle of an uber upscale suburb. Mind you, the kitchen had been completely redone 3 years prior. The city (or state?) then changed what the kitchen plumbing code was, and she had to pay $75,000 just for one simple code change!! I believe the $75,000 was for one item, one change to code. As I ate my salmon, I wondered, how many entrees will she have to sell to pay for that one change? One of her previous advantages was competitive pricing, which was now gone … and I was saddened as I knew her baby would not survive. She was out of business in 6 months.

        If they had to buy a liquor license, I understand $100,000. But if construction or redecorating hasn’t started, where did $100K go?

  8. Tia Will

    BP

    I’m sure things like screams coming from the railroad tracks happened maybe once.”

    You may be sure of that, but Darren Pytel does not agree. When I mentioned the screams, shouting, and loud and sometimes angry conversations in our neighborhood, his comment was that is what the majority of calls that they receive during those time frames are about. While it is true that we have only called once…..others have called many times as Alan will attest.

    1. hpierce

      “You may be sure of that, but Darren Pytel does not agree. When I mentioned the screams, shouting, and loud and sometimes angry conversations in our neighborhood, his comment was that is what the majority of calls that they receive during those time frames are about.”  Was this in the context of the ‘workshop’?  Where I can see the video?

      Not meant as a challenge, meant for understanding…

  9. Davis Progressive

    i would point out that six people were stabbed at a quincienero in a rural part of yolo county.  while i understand that people believe that downtown contributed to the stabbing death of peter gonzales, i think stuff sometimes happens and damming up one area may open ew flows elsewhere.

  10. Anon

    hpierce: “Anon… your cite does not appear to support any of your bullet points (1-5).  I would be interested in seeing cites that do…”

    From https://www.abc.ca.gov/questions/enforcement_faq.html

    Q. 62. What are Retail Operating Standards?
    A. The law requires stores (license Types 20 and 21), bars, and taverns (license Types 40, 42, 48, and 60) to do the following:

    Post “No Loitering” signs upon written notice from the Department
    Post “No Open Container” signs upon written notice from the Department
    Prohibit consumption of alcoholic beverages on the premises of a Type 20 or 21 license
    Illuminate the exterior of the premises during all hours of darkness when open for business
    Remove litter daily from the premises, adjacent sidewalks and parking lots under the licensee’s control and sweep/clean these areas weekly.
    Remove graffiti from the premises and parking lot within 120 hours of application.
    Have no more than 33% of windows covered with advertising or signs.
    Have incoming calls blocked at pay phones upon request of local law enforcement or ABC.
    9. Have a copy of the operating standards available during normal business hours for viewing by the general public. (The above requirements do not apply to restaurants [License Types 41 and 47], convention centers, exhibit halls, auditoriums, ballparks, stadiums, coliseums, hotels, motels, a certain marine park, wineries, or beer manufacturers.)
    (Section 25612..5)

    Q. 65. What is a disorderly house?
    A. A disorderly house is a licensed premises that disturbs the neighborhood or is maintained for purposes which are injurious to the public morals, health, convenience or safety. For example, a licensed outlet that (a) disturbs the neighborhood with noise, loud music, loitering, littering, vandalism, urination or defecation by patrons, graffiti, etc.; or (b) has many crimes ongoing inside, such as drunks, fights, assaults, prostitution, narcotics, etc. The licensed premises includes the parking lot.
    Any licensee, or employee of any licensee, who keeps or permits such a disorderly house is guilty of a misdemeanor, and the license is subject to disciplinary action. (Sections 25601 and 24200)

    Q. 67. If a licensee violates the Pure Food and Drug Laws (Health and Safety Code), may his license be suspended or revoked?
    A. Yes. A violation of any penal provisions of law of California prohibiting or regulating the sale, exposing for sale, use, possession, giving away, adulteration, dilution, misbranding or mislabeling of alcoholic beverages is ground for suspension or revocation of licenses. (Section 24200)

    Q. 70. With regard to purchase, consumption or possession of alcoholic beverages, what is the age of majority?
    A. The age of majority for these purposes is 21 years of age. (Section 22 of Article XX, California Constitution)

    Q. 71. What is the penalty for a person who furnishes alcohol to a minor?
    A. A minimum $1,000 fine and 24 hours of community service. If a person buys alcohol and furnishes it to a minor who consumes it and causes great bodily injury or death to himself or others, the furnisher faces a minimum 6-12 months in county jail and a $1,000 fine. (Sections 25658(a), 25658(c) and 25658(e)(2)(3))

    Q. 72. Would the licensee be in violation of the Alcoholic Beverage Control Act for selling an alcoholic beverage to a person under 21 who appeared to be twenty-one years of age or older?
    A. Yes, the licensee is required to exercise the caution which would be shown by a reasonable and prudent person in the circumstances. (Section 25658)

    Q. 73. Is there anything a licensee or an employee may do to prevent selling to minors?
    A. A licensee is authorized to demand documentary evidence of the age and identity of any person prior to the sale whenever there is the slightest doubt of the age of the prospective patron. Proof that a licensee was shown bona fide identification of the age and identity of the person, and in good faith relied on the evidence, establishes a defense. (Section 25660)
    A 1999 amendment to Section 25659 says a licensee or an employee may seize an ID that shows the person is under 21, or that is false. A receipt must be given, and the ID turned over to the local law enforcement agency within 24 hours.
    A licensee or employee has the right to refuse service to any person whose majority is questionable. (Section 25659)
    A public premises licensee must post a sign visible from each public entrance and a similar sign inside reading “No Person Under 21 A1lowed.” (Rule 107)
    Training for licensees and their employees on how to prevent sales to minors and other violations is available through ABC’s LEAD Program, or a private training provider. Contact the local ABC District Office for more information.

    1. Anon

      Under ABC regulations, it is illegal to sell alcohol to minors, to sell to overly inebriated customers, to give our free drinks or to run a disorderly house that (a) disturbs the neighborhood with noise, loud music, loitering, littering, vandalism, urination or defecation by patrons, graffiti, etc.; or (b) has many crimes ongoing inside, such as drunks, fights, assaults, prostitution, narcotics, etc.  Cover charges should be posted, and not changed depending on the bouncer.

      Michelle Millet: “I have never experience this in Davis, if its happening then it is news to me.”

      Check out DavisWiki and Yelp for KetMoRee and Tres Hermanas as well as the Facebook page for Blondies in Vacaville.  This will give you a flavor of what really goes on in our downtown bars from customers who have experienced the problems.  It is anecdotal, but where there is smoke there usually is fire.  Secondly, we had a stabbing death at KetMoRee.  Don’t you think that deserves some investigation/introspection/changes in the way the bars/nightclubs do business?

      1. Davis Progressive

        there are a few problems with your comment.

        the first is that while you may establish illegal things going on in ket, illegal things go on in all bars.  the question is not whether those things happen but whether they are habitual offenders.  it takes a lot for abc to act – most of what abc does is provide guidelines for improvement which is what the city is doing anyway.

        second, you have repeated cited yelp and the davis wiki – but those aren’t just anecdotal accounts, those are accounts by people with reason to post them publicly.  that doesn’t give us insight into frequency and accuracy of the claims.

        1. TrueBlueDevil

          Kind of a blanket statement. I spent many a Thursday night at the Grad as a student, but I don’t really think there were any “illegal” things going on there, or in most or all of the places we went to (the few that there were). Is it possible someone sold $20 worth of pot out in the parking lot or did a line of coke? Sure. But my take was that that would have been rare, and I had a somewhat wide range of friends.

      2. Davis Progressive

        finally this all culminates in a stabbing death or does it?  does the presence of late night bars equate to stabbing deaths?  for instance, blondies in vacaville has never had a murder.  does the presence of lingerie parties, drinking, and other activities relate to the fact that those guys stabbed gonzales?  do we even know?  do we know they had drunk too much?

        we might solve some of this with wanding, but what’s to stop those guys from waiting until he leaves the bar, cornering him on the street, and killing him there?

  11. Alan Miller

    we might solve some of this with wanding, but what’s to stop those guys from waiting until he leaves the bar, cornering him on the street, and killing him there?

    Nothing.  Could have happened that way too.  I don’t think wanding solves anything, except protecting the convertible night-club’s asses.

      1. Frankly

        Both Chico and Davis are college towns with merchants providing services to the population of the community that the population of the community wants.

        Dixon does not have night clubs.

        Woodland does not have night clubs.

        The reason does not have anything to do with city ordinances, etc.  It has to do with their individual community demographics and the demand for certain services.

  12. Michael Harrington

    Everything Alan Miller is describing sounds a lot like my experiences on 400 block of D St, and on 7th and G St, nearly continuously since 1995.  I don’t get the bar thumping noise, but the patrons come tripping past until after 2 am, screaming laughing, kicking trash cans, etc.

    Why don’t all you middle-class suburban professionals who live outside the core and downtown areas get out of bed at 10 pm, and drive or walk around the bar scene until 1 am or later?  It’s a totally different experience.  The late night drunk halls that came in around 07–08 made it much worse.

    Brett should have demanded that the ending time is midnight.  I think Blondies should have been denied the exemption, but if the CC felt they had to give them something, then midnight is better.  And make all the drunk halls close at midnight.

    Everything after midnight when it involves young people, alcohol, and transportation devices is entirely negative.

    1. Alan Miller

      Apparently,the Alcohol Alley deniers just have to say you, I and Tia are liars, and that’s it for them, case closed, no problems here, let the nightclub owners continue to rake in their sin-fueled green.

      Problem with recommending people go down there and check it out is that currently it is quite a bit tempered.  It may be people avoiding the area temporarily after a murder occurred, I’ve definitely noted KetMo shutting down earlier on at least two occasions, and others may want to put on a good front for awhile at least.  I imagine it may slowly creep back to pre-murder levels, we shall see.

      One night I was on 6th Street on my bike up by the COOP at 1:30am, and heard thumpa-thumpa quite loud between 6th and 7th on G Street. I rode four blocks south and found the source to be KetMo. That’s a quarter mile.

      1. Frankly

        There is a noise ordinance?   Were they breaking the noise ordinance?  If so, did you file a report complaint with the PD?

        If they were not breaking the noise ordinance, I think it is possible that you are just hypersensitive to noise.

        I had a neighbor like that.  She would complain when the neighbor kids would wash their car in their driveway with their stereos on.  I told her she should move to the country because she wasn’t compatible with suburban neighborhoods.  She did.  I think she is much happier now.

        1. Alan Miller

          I think it is possible that you are just hypersensitive to noise.

          Yes, some noise, not others.  “thump-thump-thump-thump-thump-thump” is difficult to drown out with a fan, and I have difficulty falling to sleep to a beat because my brain keeps tracking with it.

          The first 25 years were fine living in or near downtown.  Then the nightclubs came.  I find it obnoxious when people move next to an airport and complain about the planes, or into our neighborhood and complain about the trains.  The nightclubs came to us, are 1/4 mile away, and due to a technicality don’t register, because no one had to deal with power subwoofers in Davis on a regular basis until the nightclubs came, long after the noise ordinance was created.  Time for an update to how Davis measures noise.

        2. Frankly

          The first 25 years were fine living in or near downtown.

          And then we added 25,000 people over that period of time.  And the demographic shifts from that added 25,000 people are also a root cause, as more of them are students that want night clubs, and older people that don’t spend much money eating out and go to bed early.

          Although I don’t doubt that you are impacted buy the thumpa-thumpa some nights, and from the drunk patrons leaving the downtown restaurants and bars, my thinking here is that most of what you are opposing is simply caused by there being many more young people here and they all don’t have anywhere else to go in town to have fun at night… except alternative house parties which then comes with many more impacts and challenges for the community.

          I think you and Tia and Mr. Harrington are going to be increasingly at odds with downtown commercial impacts to your residential life simply because of growing downtown student population density combined with all of our retail entertainment eggs being stuffed into a small 4-block basket that you live right next to.

          There is limited transition space because there is just limited space in general.

          I think the city should start to change the zoning in the core area residential to allow for the expansion of the commercial footprint.  This is going to cause more and more conflict with those wanting their peaceful residential downtown village lifestyle.

          That lifestyle – while historically available – is growing less and less feasible due to UCD growth combined with the lack of peripheral commercial development.

  13. Barack Palin

    Apparently,the Alcohol Alley deniers just have to say you, I and Tia are liars, and that’s it for them, case closed, no problems here, let the nightclub owners continue to rake in their sin-fueled green.

    I don’t think the deniers are calling anyone a liar as much as the deniers think that the problems are being somewhat exaggerated.  I think those that want the night club business curtailed or stopped are using the current situation to try  and push their cause while the skillet is hot.  Never let a crisis go to waste.

     

    1. Alan Miller

      hose that want the night club business curtailed or stopped are using the current situation to try  and push their cause while the skillet is hot.

      I won’t deny that accusation.  Attempting before yielded nothing.

  14. Anon

    BP: “I don’t think the deniers are calling anyone a liar as much as the deniers think that the problems are being somewhat exaggerated.  I think those that want the night club business curtailed or stopped are using the current situation to try  and push their cause while the skillet is hot.  Never let a crisis go to waste.

    Sigh… we don’t know if the anecdotal evidence is exaggerated or not.  What we do know is that there has been an uptick in violence and a murder according to the Davis Police Dept.  Why is it not reasonable to put some new regulations in place, that frankly (pardon the pun) are required by ABC anyway, to see if that won’t address the problems?  If these new regulations don’t improve things, after a one year probationary period, then it would be time to reassess the situation.  Explain to me how that is an unreasonable reaction/overreaction to the nighttime bar/nighclub violence/murder?

  15. Anon

    DP: “the first is that while you may establish illegal things going on in ket, illegal things go on in all bars.  the question is not whether those things happen but whether they are habitual offenders.  it takes a lot for abc to act – most of what abc does is provide guidelines for improvement which is what the city is doing anyway.

    second, you have repeated cited yelp and the davis wiki – but those aren’t just anecdotal accounts, those are accounts by people with reason to post them publicly.  that doesn’t give us insight into frequency and accuracy of the claims.

    Sigh… again… the Davis Police Dept and the owner of Tres Hermanas and the landlord who rents to KetMoRee have conceded there is increased violence and disorderly conduct taking place during nightclub hours.  Tres Hermanas’s owner indicated he was closing down his nighclub portion of the business because of violence towards his staff.  The landlords of the building that rents to KetMoRee had said things will change in what goes on in their buildings – they had no idea such disorderly conduct was going on.  These sources just verify the veracity of the anecdotal evidence from DavisWiki/Yelp/Facebook.

    1. Alan Miller

      The landlords of the building that rents to KetMoRee had said things will change in what goes on in their buildings – they had no idea such disorderly conduct was going on.

      Whoa!  Just read this.  Can you site the source of this, Anon?

  16. TrueBlueDevil

    Zero Cost SOLUTION to the Trash Can Problem in East Davis

    I can imagine the temptation of a trash can when met with an inebriated, testosterone-filled youth at 1 or 2 AM. Judgement goes out the window for many. They feel powerful (its the booze), maybe they got turned down by the fairer sex, you name it. They are walking down the sidewalk or street, and there it is, the trash can / temptation. So it gets tossed, or kicked over, or toppled, or bumped.

    SOLUTION: Have the garbage company change the pick-up days in town to make trash day the beginning of the week in Old East Davis.

    One less temptation, one less problem.

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