The latest static we are getting from Planning is about late night operation -- you know, during The Lord's Hours, those four hours between 2am and 6am every day. We all know that those are the hours during which the Great State of California has decreed that it is wrong to drink alcohol. And we're somewhat used to the idea that the Great City of San Francisco tends to prefer that you not provide entertainment or an outlet for dancing during The Lord's Hours. You'd expect that that's what they're giving us grief about, right? You'd expect that this is the City's traditional hate for late-night entertainment.
But no, it's even better. They are objecting to the notion that we might be serving pizza after 2am. They are telling us that we need to schedule a hearing to apply for special dispensation to serve food between 2am and 6am -- even if we were selling that food in total silence.
You wonder why you can't get food late at night in this podunk town? This is why.
The fun part about this is that we asked Planning whether they were going to give us grief about this even before we signed our lease, and they told us "no problem". Of course they will only ever tell you things like that verbally, with no paper trail, until they change their minds.
Not being able to serve food after hours completely fucks our business, of course, so we'll be fighting this, but this is another expensive and unnecessary pain in the ass.
San Francisco would truly prefer that you not try to run a business here. As always, they are coming to confiscate your ice cream cones.
Looks like it's been a while since I've done a photo dump. Here are the latest:
And today, this very large box was delivered. Witness our new oven! Shiny and Chrome! Oh what a day, oh what a lovely day. It's a Peerless 2348p four stone deck gas oven and it awaits you in Valhalla.
And more on this later (it was amazing), but here's the first video from our Second Annual Cocktail Robotics Grand Challenge on Sunday. Drone Shot delivers its payload to an eager bloodbag:
Wondering what progress we've made on CW in the last three weeks? None! Absolutely no progress. Arguably, negative progress. It's like there's a big pile of cash sitting there, and it's on fire, and all of these people are just standing around looking at it and yawning. It's not quite a bonfire but it's definitely simmering.
I just wrote a several-hundred-word blog post explaining the hows and whys of the nothing-happeningness of it all, but I can't post because the people I ridicule in it could still make our lives even more difficult if they felt like it. So you don't get to know. Smiles, everyone smiles!
We tore down some drywall and found this buried underneath it. I wonder how many years it has been hidden in there.
In just a week and a half, we're celebrating the coming war between man and the brotherhood of machines by going out for drinks! Did you get your tickets yet? Let me introduce you to our confirmed contestants so far:
Here is our panel of celebrity judges for this year:
- Doug Dalton is a craft cocktail expert, and co-owner of popular local watering holes Bourbon and Branch, Rickhouse, Local Edition and Tradition.
- Ryan Spurlock is the general manager of TechShop SF, and an enthusiast of both robots and cocktails.
- Terry Sandin is a robot builder and special effects expert known for his work on Hannibal, The Passion of the Christ, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and many others.
Have you noticed that we replaced the fluorescents in the big sign with LEDs? It's so much brighter than before. Ooooh, aaaaah:
May I particularly direct your attention to 04:26, where the manager of the brand new apartment building across the street says that we are "not a desirable member of their community", and to 07:42, where additional public comment is delivered in the form of song.
Today we were approved for our entertainment permit at CW, with utterly tolerable conditions! And there was much rejoicing. The next hurdles are the construction permit and liquor license, not necessarily in that order.
So I had this crazy idea.
Our new building has these enormous blank walls on it. I want to put murals on them.
Now, pretty soon there are going to be housing developments that completely obscure those walls, but you know how construction projects go: that's probably going to take years. The gas station side hasn't even broken ground yet. So if we did this, it would give us N years of Big Art instead of Beige Wall, where N > 0. That sounds worthwhile to me.
I haven't done any research into this sort of thing, or even discussed it with our new landlord, who is the actual owner of those walls, but.... what is involved in that kind of thing, anyway? Do you need a permit? If it was a sign or a billboard, I think the answer is yes, but for art? Also, assuming the artist doesn't work for free, how do I get someone else to pay for it? This seems like the sort of thing for which grants would exist. I know nothing about such things. And finally, what local artists do you like who work at this scale?
Ok, enough about architecture and morality, how about I tell you about some upcoming shows that you should attend?
The bad news is that you have some hard choices to make.
- Odd Salon, our bi-montly weird-history drunken lecture series, is in the big room instead of upstairs! It's really fun, you should come check it out. Because we put this one in the main room, that means that Tuesday night's installment of Sequence will be upstairs. Sequence, by the way, is our new-ish weekly 18+ Tuesday house-and-dubstep party. It's a bit lightly attended so far, but growing. We have high hopes for it. Odd Salon ends early, so I expect to see you at both!
- If you're an elderly goth, you're probably already planning on attending the Peter Murphy show, but if you aren't, I strongly recommend that you come check out Jesika von Rabbit (of Gram Rabbit) in Above DNA that same night. She's absolutely amazing and hilarious. Her openers, Night Club, Pretty, Handsome, and Vicereine are very good too!
- Hubba Hubba. Last weekend was the annual Burlesque Hall of Fame in Las Vegas, and as is traditional, Hubba Hubba Revue is bringing basically the whole damned convention back with them for the big Friday show. If you don't go to Hubba often, this the one to see, because it's packed with out-of-town acts you won't get to see very often.
Also this Friday:
- A pseudo-reunion of one of my favorite bands, Halou! You may also know them as Stripmall Architecture. Halou is their earlier project, and they don't play live in that configuration very often. Ryan hates it when you refer to Halou as "triphop", but let's face it, it's triphop.
So obviously I'll be seeing Halou, then the last half of Hubba. Sorry, Kingfish.
- A rare Friday, big-room installment of Turbo Drive, our periodic retrofuturism synth party, this time with Gosteffects. The 19A0s were my favorite imaginary decade.
One month from now, Sunday July 12:
- The Second Annual Cocktail Robotics Grand Challenge! This was so much fun last year. If you haven't watched the video, you gotta.
But, I'm in a complete panic about the number of contestants. It will probably be fine, but... panicking anyway. To be honest, last year I almost pulled the plug on the party because it was only a couple weeks out and we didn't have enough entries, but it turns out, absolutely everybody signed up their robots just a couple days before.
Please, people -- don't do this to me again. If you're planning on entering a robot, give me some peace of mind and do it soon!
Also, if you know anyone who builds janky Rube Goldberg contraptions and doesn't mind getting their hands wet (or getting drunk) please do encourage them to enter. Because who doesn't love weapons of mass intoxication? We need more. Mad science, onward and upward.
Apparently I don't travel in the right circles to harangue people who build robots. We tried canvassing at Maker Faire, but that was a complete bust. I know it's getting close to showtime, but if you know of people, groups, events or blogs we should be reaching out to for this, let me know! Surely some of your friends have a bar bot sitting in their storage unit that could stand to have its pipes cleaned.
Help us spread the word!
Here's a render of what is to be our new neighbor to the West. That itty-bitty building cowering and shivering in the lower left corner is CW.
As expected, this latest batch of condos are another hideous, soulless cubic monstrosity, a Lego set from Hell. It looks like a mall. It looks like Cold War Brutalism with a splash of pastel. Why do they keep making these condos so ugly? I suppose the answer must be, "That's what you get when spending the absolute minimum on construction materials is your top and only priority."
There will be 114 condos, but hey, a whopping fourteen of them will be "below market rate", which you qualify for if you make less than $81,000/year.
Their render shows ground-floor commercial, and they have optimistically sketched a cafe in there. Which I have seen actually happen in these kinds of developments approximately never. The ground floor "commercial" space in buildings like this seems to pretty much sit 100% empty for a few years, then it's an art gallery for 6 months until someone's trust fund runs out and/or the money is sufficiently laundered, then it sits empty again. E.g., the very similar looking condo development on 4th and Bryant: I think the whole ground floor of that block has been vacant for more than a decade. The whole of King Street is barely any better: all the condos conceded to "ground floor commercial" instead of putting in the parking lots they actually thought they could sell, but those turned into dozens of empty storefronts, where the only ones that are actually occupied are national fast-food chains.