Oakland Tribune Outtakes

Notes from Oakland, Berkeley and in between

Breasts, Booze and Oakland’s party police

By awoodall
Thursday, September 11th, 2008 at 10:58 pm in Night Owl, Oakland nightlife.

I didn’t even have space to get into half the details about the city’s no fun policies in today’s Night Owl backed up the “party police.” Sometimes Oakland seems to get in the way of its own success by making it hard for even its most popular venues to entertain us. First it was Oakland Metro, Oaklandish and 21 Grand that the Alcohol Beverage Action Team targeted. Last year, the squad cracked down on smoking inside and outside bars. Now it’s their attention to Mama Buzz Cafe that has people up in arms, even though the team tagged four other venues for combining DJs and dancing without having a $2,210.36 cabaret permit. It’s like we’re trapped in Elmore, Oklahoma in a scene from Footloose, as The DTO blogger Jonathan Bair put it. The situation is set to change because the law is too absurd. Even the city’s cabaret license chief Barbara Killey and ABAT’s rep agreed that something should change. (Maybe we should move fast because I heard the well-liked and respected Killey is set to retire.)
City Councilmembers, after all, changed the rule barring cabarets from operating 300 feet from a library, school or church (amen). They had to or else the Fox Theatre and Oakland School of the Arts couldn’t coexist and Cafe Trieste would have been banned from setting up shot on their spot on Piedmont Avenue. Of course, that has all been vented about on A Better Oakland. Now about the taxi problem here and that ordinance about breasts and booze…

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One Response to “Breasts, Booze and Oakland’s party police”

  1. jason Says:

    I work at Eli’s mile high club. I was there the night the officers came in to check on cabaret activity. The walked five feet into the club. saw our barback putting on a record over at our sound system setup which we have so people in the neighborhood can bring in a cd or record to listen too while they eat and drink, then proceeded to tell us that we have dj’s and we’re violating the cabaret law. I don’t get it? no one was dancing? we don’t have a dj? we just put on some music. hell! there was only 15 people in the place when they came in. Where is the line drawn between cabaret activity and just having some music playing for the customers?

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