When Bottom of the Hill was first accused of not serving enough food, they filed a petition to get the "50%" condition removed from their permit, on the grounds that there was no legitimate reason for it to be there in the first place.
So, last week, Bottom of the Hill received two letters from ABC, in two different envelopes, both dated August 10th. The letter first granted the petition to remove the 50% condition... And the second letter "corrected" the first, denied the petition, and set a deadline for asking for a hearing.
Nicely done, ABC!
Here's the most likely explanation for how this happened: One of the ABC attorneys looked at the file and agreed that there were no reasons for the condition in the first place, and issued the first order. Then that first order reached someone's desk, who went ballistic and ordered it reversed.
ABC likes to maintain the fiction that they are just a bunch of bureaucrats whose hands are tied, who are simply obeying the law and have no room for discretion or rationality. But this kind of arbitrary and capricious behavior is a perfect example of how they really operate. Someone inside that organization is running a vendetta.
Incidentally, apparently in the midst of California's budget crisis, ABC is hiring, and just got an extra $1.5 million.
Your tax dollars at work.
In more local news, SF Supervisor David Chiu, who represents North Beach, is gunning to destroy the Entertainment Commission and give control of nightclub permitting back to SFPD. Because, you know, that worked out so well last time.
He was on the radio this morning talking about this. You can listen to it on KQED's web site (though frankly, I don't recommend it).
Apparently having an actual representative of the Entertainment Commission on this show would have been too much, so instead you can hear Chiu and SFPD's Captain Dudley gang up on Mark Rennie, an attorney who represents several embattled clubs that aren't even in Chiu's district.
Though at the very end of that radio show you can hear Dudley express his opinion that San Francisco's economy would be better off with no nightlife, because the cost of policing nightclubs is higher than the tax and tourism-related revenue that the clubs bring to the city. It's almost worth listening to it for that howler. Almost.
DNA Lounge's permit struggles from 1999 through 2001 were a direct result of SFPD's abuse of the permitting process when they were still in control of it, and the creation of the Entertainment Commission was in response to those and similar abuses.
Having their authority over permitting taken away apparently stung, and so SFPD has been trying to undermine the Entertainment Commission since its creation. Chiu is just their latest tool in this six year effort.
In case I haven't mentioned it enough lately: