Wednesday, January 7th, 2009 at 9:58 am in Uncategorized.
I’ve watched and written about the closure of a number of popular downtown nightclubs that catered to an African American clientele… Mingles, Simone’s, Zazoo’s, Sweet Jimmies, @17th. But it’s still a shock to hear that Geoffrey Pete, a well-respected Oakland insider who could operate a school in how to run a successful nightclub, is throwing in the towel.
He would only say Tuesday that Geoffrey’s on 14th Street is closing and he plans to lease the space to a church and non profit. For what purpose, he didn’t say.
Pete has been going back and forth with the Oakland police department over the unruly and sometimes violent crowds leaving his club after the monthly First Saturdays events, which tend to draw a younger scene. There have been fights and gunfire, and 30 cops plus Alameda County Sheriff’s deputies were called out early Sunday morning to stop fights and disperse a crowd of about 500 people in the intersection of 14th and Franklin streets in front of Geoffrey’s. At least that’s what the police log said.
Pete said “OPD didn’t do anything,” that his security team dealt with the incidents before the police arrived, and that he runs a safe club. That’s true. Nearly all the violence that led to Sweet Jimmie’s, @17th and Mingles closing down had happened outside, usually after large crowds converged at closing time.
Why is it that folks can get along inside, where the liquor is flowing and everybody is dancing, but forget about being a law-abiding citizen once they hit the streets?
Dorothy King from Everett and Jones Barbeque (her spelling) said that some of the younger people hitting the clubs nowadays don’t care and don’t respect the way things used to be.
If that’s true, then why is it that Kimball’s Carnival, Maxwell’s, Air Lounge and several other downtown caberets, including King’s own Q lounge, which showcases jazz and blues on weekends, manage to run their clubs and send their patrons out in a happy, not fighting, mood?