The good news is that ABC has dismissed their case against the Great American Music Hall! However, this headline, while hiliarious, is a bit misleading: "San Francisco Nightclub Beats the War on Fun".
ABC's press release (PDF) about the dismissal says this:
An Administrative Law Judge has recommended dismissal of the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) disciplinary action against the Great American Music Hall in San Francisco for changing its operation without obtaining approval from the ABC.
The Administrative Law Judge held that while Great American Music Hall had in fact changed its operation, the regulation relied upon by the ABC was ambiguous. While ABC does not agree with the Administrative Law Judge's ruling, and has not accepted the proposed decision, it has decided to dismiss the action against the Great American Music Hall. This decision does not necessarily affect any other pending cases.
To address the issues raised by the Administrative Law Judge, ABC will engage in the rulemaking process through the State Office of Administrative Law in order to clarify the regulation.
What this says is, "We intend to go make up a new rule, then turn right around and come after GAMH again. And we're still going to continue attacking the other clubs, because maybe whatever judge we get on those cases will let us get away with it anyway."
So please, don't let anyone tell you that the fight is over, or that GAMH (or any of us) are out of the woods. GAMH fought ABC to a standstill in this skirmish, but the War on Fun continues apace.
Keep the pressure on! Don't think this is over.
- Email your state and local representatives.
- DNA Lounge Legal Defense Fund.
- "Save DNA Lounge" Facebook group and t-shirts.
- "Stop the War on Fun" Facebook group.
In case you've forgotten, ABC's accusation against GAMH is that they don't serve enough food. An important detail here is that, unlike some other venues, GAMH's liquor license does not include any particular food sales requirement. ABC would like to hold every under-21 nightclub to the standard that you have to make 50% of your revenue from food sales.