I've just done a huge redesign of the DNA Lounge calendar. Please let me know whether it looks sane to you!
For many years, I clung to the idea that the calendar should be one page per month, under the hypothesis that having the info for all of the other events be right there would be faster for browsing around, and would also cause at least some people to check out events that they might not otherwise have known about.
But, now that I've submitted to the NASCARization of the web and stuck all those "Like" buttons on everything, the page got really, really slow to load. The junk buried under the IFRAMEs shipped by Facebook and especially Google is gigantic and horrible and they should hang their heads in shame. Those buttons cause an absurd slowdown on any page that includes them, but on a page like mine, that typically has 40+ different Like buttons on it? Forget about it. You'd think that shit would be cached and shared, but no.
So, I gave in and switched to one page per event, like the rest of the world does. This let me re-do the layout to use more and larger images and stuff, since there aren't 20+ events on the same page any more. Consequently, I think it looks a lot better.
Let me know if it looks wrong for you. Specifically, let me know if something looks screwed up on your phone, or if any of the boxes dance around weirdly when you resize the window. (It has three different layouts it runs through as space decreases, but it shouldn't thrash.)
For some events, there's a bit too much unused blank space on the page, but it's really hard to come up with a layout that works well for all of our events, given the dramatically different distribution of text and images they tend to have...
We've still got a bunch of those "Save DNA Lounge" shirts (the ones that say "A DISORDERLY HOUSE INJURIOUS TO THE PUBLIC WELFARE AND MORALS" on the back) left over 2009 and 2010 fundraiser for our legal battles. As they are no longer what you would refer to as "timely", and as they are taking up much-needed shelf space, we're trying to get rid of them. If you want one, now's the time! We're unloading them for just five of your American dollars.
We had our hearing with the planning department today, and they voted unanimously to allow our lot merger! This is great news. It's the first, most difficult victory in the ridiculously long process of letting us cut a door in the wall between the club and the pizza restaurant: it means that soon, DNA Lounge and DNA Pizza will have the same street address according to the city, and will be technically a single building.
I think it went so smoothly because we spent so much time and effort (and money) up front, making sure that we pre-loaded our application packet with answers to any question they might think to ask, including a sound report to head off anyone who might claim that we're too loud, and letters of support from several of our close neighbors.
I'd like to thank our neighbors, and especially Jim Meko (of the SOMA Leadership Council and formerly the Entertainment Commission) for their support and testimony! I doubt this would have gone as smoothly without them.
After this, our blueprints have to be approved by the Department of Building Inspection and probably half a dozen other city agencies, which is going to take several months (but at least public hearings won't be involved). Then after that's done, we can alter the liquor license to cover both spaces.
In the meantime, we also managed to get construction permits for a bunch of the work upstairs of the pizza place, which is mostly the construction of new bathrooms. We ended up splitting the construction project into two parts so that we can get started on the relatively uncontroversial part sooner.
The wheels turn slowly. But if you watch long enough, you can almost see them turning...
Check it out, Google Maps now has the inside of DNA Pizza on Street View! (You get there by clicking on the image in the sidebar on the left of the maps page.)
You wouldn't think that Street View car could fit through our front door, huh?
We're really having trouble building up our morning business at DNA Pizza. Basically we're losing money every hour we're open between 4am and 11am. Now, 4am-6am I could just write off, but that 6am-11am period is when we should be doing a lot of business selling coffee and pastries to people on their way to work at our neighborhood businesses, and we're not. That's why we bought that damned espresso machine in the first place. There are a bunch of other cafes in the neighborhood who accomplish this, so it's not that the business isn't there. We're just doing something wrong and I don't know what it is.
Maybe we're still just failing to get the word out, but we've been advertising, we've been flyering local businesses, etc.
We thought that it might go better if our coffee was one of the Big Four "Hipster Coffees" (Blue Bottle, Ritual, Four Barrel or Sightglass), since a lot of people have brand loyalty to them, but they've all refused to do business with us. They won't sell us their product, and they won't really tell us why. The answer we get after multiple conversations is, "Oh, we're so busy right now, we couldn't possibly take on a new client". But that's not a real answer. That answer is equivalent to "it's not you, it's me." (Hint: If someone tells you this, it's you.) So I don't know why they won't let us use their beans. I guess we're just not pretty enough to date.
If business doesn't pick up soon, we may have to give up on the whole "24 hours" thing, and only be open between 11am and 3am. This is really sad, because San Francisco doesn't have enough 24 hour restaurants, and I thought I could do something to help with that. I assumed the lack 24 hour places was because the city makes it such a pain in the ass to get the permits, but maybe it's really because the people who live here don't actually want them.
Ladies and Gentlemen, I'd like to introduce you to our new best friend, 20-year-old Kyle Neesan, of 160 Dublin Drive, Vallejo, CA.
At Death Guild on Jan 16 around midnight, our staff noticed new graffiti on one of our interior doors. Based on the 2-3 minute timeframe in which it had to have occurred and the small number of people around at the time, there was only one person who could have done it. They found that guy across the street and confronted him. He voluntarily emptied his pockets revealing the tools of his "trade", and he had marker stains on his fingers.
At this point, someone noticed that he had also destroyed our men's room: his fancy little pirate name was scribbled on several of the stall walls, and etched into the glass of the mirror in foot-high swoops. He also vandalized several of our table-tops. (Doesn't he have great penmanship? I'll bet his mom's really proud. If I had her email address, I'd ask.)
All told, this douchebag cost us nearly $1,000 in repairs in a matter of minutes, so we arrested him for felony vandalism.
However, when SFPD showed up, they refused to charge him because we hadn't actually seen him in the act. They let him go.
Should you run into Kyle Neesan, please be sure to let him know what you think of his hobby.
A bunch of new photo galleries have surfaced! Ignite the Raid; Mortified; Blow Up: Le Castle Vania; Bootie: DJ Lobsterdust; Hubba Hubba Revue: Edwardian Ball Opening Party; and Jakalope + Left Spine Down.
I'm told that at a recent Battle of the Bands we had a wedding proposal go down on stage. You'd think there'd be photos of that, but I haven't seen any!
It looks like a little progress has been made on the plan to park a bunch of food carts and picnic tables in the parking lot of the burned-out shell of the Veterans' Cab warehouse. I wrote about how that plan seemed to be falling apart back in August, but apparently they're breaking ground this week.
If all goes well, this could be a great thing. If it ends up bringing more business into the neighborhood at lunch-time, and makes this end of the neighborhood actually be a food destination, that will only help us and the other local businesses.
I worry, however, that all their talk of lunch-time business is just a smoke-screen, and the actual plan is for these food carts to only be here on Friday and Saturday nights when the clubs are jumping. That's not really going to hurt us, but it's certainly not going to do much to help, either. Weekend night-time business? We've pretty much got that covered. It's the mornings and afternoons where our neighborhood could use a little livening up.