Have you seen what happened at Paradise Lounge last week? The building is gone, except for the façade! SFist has a couple of great photos:

When I heard their plan to wedge a third floor on top of the building I thought: "There's no way that's going to happen! That building, like every other building on this block, is constructed primarily of cardboard and wishful thinking. They'd have to tear it down and start over." Well what do you know: they tore it down and started over.

I also loved this quote from the article:

The space was the home of a leather bar called Febe's from 1966 to 1986, and at least one neighborhood leather man came to a Planning Commission meeting last September to voice his objections to the massive alterations that are getting made to the space, which is not technically considered historic.

In other words: "Though I have literally not set foot in this business for twenty-nine years, I insist that nobody change anything about it at all, ever."

But that's not the former gay bar that is most of interest to me... We get the keys to CW next week! The interminable slog through the paperwork process has been going reasonably well:

  • Entertainment permit: applied for, 30 day clock ticking;
  • Liquor license transfer: applied for; neighbor notifications mailed; 30 day clock ticking;
  • Demolition permit: approved!
  • Walk-in refrigerator construction permit: approved!
  • Kitchen construction permit: not quite yet.
  • New pizza oven: we've decided which model we want, I think?

So it sounds like we're swinging hammers on Monday!

In honor of that, please enjoy this FLASHBACK TO THE YEAR TWO THOUSAND.

Also, I have to share with you one of the finer incident reports I've gotten recently. It begins with a long but not particulary notable story about a customer behaving extremely badly and being escorted out, and then:

REDACTED then attacked STAFF and they restrained him. We then decided that it was time to call.

After talking to REDACTED, SFPD decided that they would drive him home because he lives a couple of blocks away, but only after he apologized to everyone. The male officer informed him he was never to come here again, or he would personally take him to jail. REDACTED then stood up and began making a pass at the female officer. That is when we noticed he had shat his pants.

The officers decided at this time they would walk him home instead of putting him in their car.

I must say, that is some extremely tolerant police work. Bravo.

This batch of photos turned out to be all Hubba! That's because I recently back-filled a few galleries of some Monday Night Hubbas from earlier this year:



8-May-2015 (Fri)
Wherein there are photos.

Today I signed my name a whole bunch of times:

But really this post is just a photo dump:

Bootie: DJs From Mars
A Wilhelm Scream
Psychostick
Uke-Hunt

De/Vision
Covenant
David J
Death Guild
I am told that DJs From Mars are no longer wearing cardboard boxes on their heads: it's some space-age Kevlar thing that just looks like cardboard, like Kingpin has inside his suit. It's what the modern supervillain is wearing these days.

Also, I am utterly disappointed that nobody has sent me any photos of the 8+ Stormtroopers who were dancing on the stage at Death Guild on May the Fourth (Be With You). You have all failed us, and you should feel bad.

David J was awesome! He played a lot more Love and Rockets songs than usual. Kundalini Express with a sitar!

Oops, I accidentally bought another nightclub.

We just signed a lease on 917 Folsom, formerly known as Covered Wagon Saloon (1989?-2002), Cherry Bar (2002-2005), Annie's Social Club (2006-2010), and most recently Qi Ultra Lounge (2012).

We're going to sort-of divide the space into two businesses: one of them will be a second location for DNA Pizza, and the the other will be a new nightclub that we're calling Codeword. (It's initials are CW, see what I did there?)

I say we're "sort of" dividing them because they will have separate storefronts but still be connected internally, just like we do at DNA Lounge and DNA Pizza on 11th Street.

That means we're converting it from a 21+ bar to an all-ages restaurant! This is getting to be a habit.

So, step one, build a kitchen. There's not one in there right now. We get the keys on June 1. I would not be so foolish as to predict an opening date, because there is just so much bureaucracy between now and then. It depends on how many people write nasty letters and how many times we hear sentences like, "Well, why don't we just push this back to next month's hearing".

See, we're directly across the street from a brand new, massive condo development. And there's a massive condo development about to go in right next door. Not to mention the three stories of the SRO directly upstairs, the CW Hotel.

Anyway, a second location for DNA Pizza means that when one location is busy, we can stage deliveries out of the other. Right now on busy nights we have to choose between serving slices in-house and making pies for delivery, and it slows down both. Also, the new location is a much better spot for lunch business than 11th Street is, and it's two blocks from Moscone Center.

The tentative plan is for the nightclub side of the business to be primarily a dance club, somewhere around 200 capacity. We may end up doing live music there too, but it's roughly the same size as Above DNA, so at least initially, we're going to focus on live music here, and dance parties over there. It'll act as an incubator for smaller dance parties that can eventually graduate to the big room at DNA.

We need someone to design us a logo for for Codeword. Is that you?

In my last update, I busted on Facebook for their relentless -- yet halfassed and inconsistent -- morality policing. They had blocked a bunch of ads that Hubba Hubba Revue had purchased, claiming that the ads didn't follow the rules, when in fact they did. Eventually they relented -- who knows why. But some of the most telling responses I got were from several people who said, "I sent this to my friend who works at Facebook, and they said that that definitely should not have happened, and they probably could have fixed it, but they weren't going to because they didn't like your tone."

So let's get this straight: Facebook has a widely known, years-long reputation for capricious, fickle enforcement of their policies; a corresponding reputation for giving the victims of their inconsistencies no recourse; and despite this, when these fine employees of theirs hear of a problem, their response is, "Well, because that guy pointed out a bug without also blowing sunshine up my ass, I'm going to just leave our product buggy." They seem to love their company so much that they're willing to let their own product suffer, so that they don't have to open their eyes to the problem. It's the other kind of "tech bubble".

Say you're driving at night, and someone yells, "Hey jerk, your headlights are out!" Do you say, "That guy was mean, so I'll show him, I'm going to keep driving in the dark!"

I ended that post with:

Fuck Facebook. They really are just the worst.

If you work there, I implore you to quit. I'm sure you can find a job working for a company that you don't have to apologize for all the time. You can do it. I believe in you.

But, you know, maybe they have attracted exactly the employees that they deserve: the kind who care more about their feels than about shipping products that work.

Meanwhile:

Facebook remains the 800 pound gorilla in the room, and you've just got to hope it doesn't poop too much. And this brings me to a change I made to our web site recently that makes me feel really, really dirty. But I went and did it just the same.

You're probably aware that Facebook knows just about every single web page you've ever looked at. If you're logged in to Facebook, and you visit some other page that has a Like button on it, Facebook knows what page you visited, even if you didn't click the button. In fact, they probably know who you are and what page you visited even if you aren't logged in to Facebook at the time. There are ways, and they've been sued over that sort of thing before.

You've probably noticed this if you ever browsed something on Amazon that you've never looked at before, and suddenly Facebook has ads for it. That's how it happens. Facebook knows all about your dildos and hemorrhoids. (And the NSA has all your dick pics.)

(Google has just as much information as Facebook, not because of Like or Plus buttons, but because everyone in the world uses Google Analytics, which invisibly tracks you just as well as those buttons do.)

Anyway --

We buy ads on Facebook, because they work. When you buy ads, you try to narrow the scope to one that makes sense: geographically, and by using keywords like the band that is playing, or other bands that they sound like, and based on that, Facebook shows those ads to some random set of people that they think are most likely to click it. But buying ads is always kind of a gamble, because it's really hard to tell whether that ad turned into a sale.

Except, you can add "conversion tracking" to your checkout page, which basically means we added an invisible piece of Javascript similar to a Like button to the checkout page that says, "Hey Facebook, twenty bucks just got spent, ka-ching!"

We don't have to give them any identifying information about who spent the money, like name or email address -- because they already know, by virtue of the fact that you left yourself logged in to Facebook in another window.

So what this means is, the ad report now says things like: "This ad was shown to 500 people, 50 of them clicked on it, and shortly after those clicks, 20 of those same people spent a total of $300 with you."

So that's some pretty positive evidence of whether the ad was worth buying! Maybe those 30 people would have found out some other way and bought tickets anyway, but drawing a direct line between an ad purchase and a sale is not something you can often do.

It's so gross, though.

The first gross part is that it just highlights how heavily surveilled you are by Facebook, all across the web. Even before we put this checkout tracker on, we already had Like buttons, because everyone does it and those drive traffic. This new thing feels like snitching on our customers, but those Like buttons were already "game over".

The second gross thing is that we've given just one more piece of information about our customers to Facebook, but not in a way that is directly useful to us. Even though we're doing the leg work to build up this dossier on our customers, we don't actually get to look into the file. Only Facebook does. When Facebook eventually goes away, the information is gone. When Facebook becomes more extortionate, the information is gone.

The future of this looks a lot like all of those bands who spent years building up subscriptions to their Facebook fan pages, only to have Facebook turn around and tell them, "We've changed our mind, if you want to actually reach those fans, suddenly you have to pay."

Sigh.

I'm sure now someone in the peanut gallery is going to pop up and call me a hypocrite for despising Facebook's business practices, and yet still taking advantage of their services. Well, I don't like it, but I am pretending to run a business here, and that leaves you with something less than absolute moral clarity.

So I guess what I'm saying here is:

Run an ad blocker.


Bootie
QBert
Clan of Xymox
La Plebe
So Stoked

Pig Destroyer
Death Guild 22nd Anniversary
Death Guild 22nd Anniversary
Strung Out
Hubba History of the World

Kingfish buys Facebook ads for the Hubba Hubba Revue shows, and every few months, Facebook decides that the ad is porn and pulls it. Then he writes them and says, "What the hell are you talking about??" and they reinstate it. Well, not this time. He tried to run an ad with this image in it:

And they say,

Your ad content violates Facebook Ad Guidelines. Ads are not allowed to promote the sale or use of adult products or services, including toys, videos, publications, live shows or sexual enhancement products. Ads for family planning and contraception are allowed if they follow our targeting requirements.

Before resubmitting your ad, please visit the Help Center to learn more and see examples of ads that meet our guidelines.

If you've read the guidelines in the Help Center and think your ad follows the rules and should have been approved, please let us know.

Gorilla suits: providing quality family planning and contraception for decades.

So then he thought, ok, someone at Facebook has found a way to fap to Gorilla X. He tried several other images with only faces in them, and eventually tried one using a Facebook-provided stock photo.

All blocked.

Every time you submit, you get a different Facebook contractor in whatever Third World, Grim Meathook Future call center they use today, which is always a wonderful crap-shoot. But since it's happening all the time now, that suggests that Facebook has decided that one of these triggers a porn blacklisting:

  • The word "Burlesque"
  • The words "Hubba Hubba"
  • Kingfish's user account
  • Or maybe some random-assed other thing?

It's not DNA Lounge in general, because we're running other DNA ads currently without problems, so far.

So we could do a bunch more experiments to try and narrow down precisely what is getting Facebook so hot and bothered that they will not take our money, but come on, what a fantastic waste of time and effort (and one likely to solve nothing but our curiosity, regardless).

    Update: Remember I said that Kingfish tried posting the ad using one of the stock photos from the library that Facebook themselves provide for you to use in ads? It looked like this:

    And Facebook wrote back:

    Thanks for writing in. I'm here to help.

    Your ad was rejected because the image doesn't follow our ad guidelines. Ads and there pages may not use overly sexual images, suggest nudity, show a lot of skin or cleavage, or focus unnecessarily on specific body parts.

    It is their own photo! It is a face! Nary a gorilla to be seen.

Facebook is still, to this day, blocking people's accounts for not using their birth names -- I hear about another performer or DJ having their Facebook account locked for using their stage name pretty much daily.

Despite the fact that Facebook promised that they weren't going to do that any more.

Like I said last year:

Hey, remember when Facebook's hateful "real names" policy got a lot of press because they went nuclear on a bunch of drag queens? And then they put out a contentless, fawning press release with a fauxpology in it?

And remember when they then they got a ton of shamefully credulous press from people saying, "Well, that's all better then"?

And remember when people like me said, "You know, maybe you should save your applause for after they've changed either their official policy or their demonstrated behavior, or both, because they haven't", and nobody listened?

We will all be so much better off once Facebook finally craters into irrelevance, just like MySpace and Livejournal did before it. (Unless, you know, whatever replaces it is even worse, which is pretty likely.) But for now, Facebook has made itself sadly, tragically, despicably indispensable as a means of reaching customers.

They dictate morality while selling you out to the highest bidder; they erode your privacy more each day by moving the goal posts and daring you to keep up; and are constantly find a way to add some new bait-and-switch to interpose themselves between you and your friends and customers.

Fuck Facebook. They really are just the worst.

If you work there, I implore you to quit. I'm sure you can find a job working for a company that you don't have to apologize for all the time. You can do it. I believe in you.

This week Barry and Gillian are at the INTERNATIONAL PIZZA EXPO in Vegas, and...

(Ok, yes. There is a pizza convention. Yes. There really is a convention for everything. Yes, there's also a pizza magazine. There are several, actually. Yes, for everything. Ok, got that out of your system? Moving on.)

Anyway, Barry and Gillian are in Vegas for BiMonPizzaCon, and it turns out that Revel, the folks who make our point of sale, have a booth there, and the backdrop of the booth is a life-sized photo of DNA Pizza!

That's so weird. We had no idea they were going to do that.

Recent photos!

Bootie Request Night
SF Bike Coalition Member Rally
The Dreaming
Trapper Schoepp

Bootie Gamer Night
Fallujah
Motor Sister
Space Station 1966

Red Jumpsuit Apparatus
Odd Salon
Saviours
I would like to especially draw your attention to the final two photos in the Space Station 1966 gallery. That night, we had custom staff shirts printed up with a DNA-themed Starfleet logo. Red for security and floor, blue for bartenders, and gold for Captain Kingfish and me. (No, you can't have one, because you didn't work that night.) Hey, remember that time we all got matching Volcano Fortress henchman speed-suits?


Hey, come to this show, this Friday! A dozen indie rock bands will indie rock out for you. We're doing two stages with staggered set times, so you'll be able to see them all.

The thing that I like best about this show is that it's not fucking metal. You may have noticed that just about all of the live music we've done here in the last several years has been fucking metal. (And the occasional 30-year-old goth band.) This show is fucking not fucking metal, and so if you're interested in music of the "not fucking metal all the fucking time" variety, you should come out! Because it has been absolutely like pulling teeth to get non-metal bands in here. Help. Help.

Originally this was intended to be an even larger show and involve other venues on the block, maybe even a street closure. But that turned out to be entirely too many cats to herd.

If you missed last week's epic Hubba Hubba Revue: Space Station 1966, you missed the intro film. And that would be a tragedy. So here it is!

Pro tip: much like tuxedos and gorilla suits, you never realize how many opportunities you will have to bust out a space suit until you own one.

And in further Hubba-related activities, this Monday and Tuesday are the Twenty-Second anniversary of Death Guild -- I know, right? -- and we will be bringing you all-goth burlesquery upstairs. This instructional video will help you prepare:

Also, it's time to vote for us in the SF Weekly Best of the Bay poll again. Relevant categories include: Best Live Music Venue, Best Dance Party, Best Live Theatre, and Best Pizza. Heck, why not vote for us for Best Dry Cleaner too?


Passing along this message from CMAC:

SAVE SAN FRANCISCO'S NIGHTLIFE FROM DEVELOPERS!

The lively and vibrant culture, which we all enjoy, wasn't just given to us. It was fought for by previous generations of activists and organizations such as CMAC and the Entertainment Commission. It is time again to step up and tell our city leaders and developers that we are not interested in living in a city comprised solely of condos and that we want our culture protected.

We salute President London Breed, of the Board of Supervisors, who has introduced legislation which will help protect venues from developers. (More on legislation) Let's support Supervisor Breed in her bid to protect our venues:

Signing this petition (click here), is one small way you can contribute. Attending the hearing at City Hall on March 19 at 12 noon is another, yet larger gesture you can make. Getting up and speaking to the Commission is the shit. (check here to check items positioning on agenda)

CMAC strongly urges you to take a few moments out to help protect our beloved venues whose only "infraction" was getting in the way of new development.

See you at the Planning Commission.

And as long as I'm here, I would be remiss were I not to encourage you to come out tonight to Hubba Hubba Revue's SPACE STATION 1966, a show a decade in the making! (Seriously, they've been planning this show forever.) It's going to be epic. Watch the teaser trailer:

The seated tickets sold out a week ago, but there are still standing room and table-service tickets left.

Tonight's pre-Hubba Mortified is fully sold out, except for the tables. So get a table! I'm a little surprised that even on sold out Mortifieds, we rarely sell table service. I mean, it's sold out, clearly the demand is there. It's actually a pretty good deal once you split it six ways and factor in the booze. Maybe you guys can't do math. Maybe you don't have five friends.

Also, do you like bloody marys and poached eggs? I'm guessing you do, which means you should also join us for Brunch Steady this Sunday afternoon at DNA Pizza!