San Jose’s biggest nightclub, Wet, is officially washed up. Caught up in the city’s clampdown on clubs following several incidents, owner Mike Hamod handed over the keys to the former Studio Theater at 396 S. First St. on Saturday.
During its tumultuous two-year existence, the venue brought celebs and international DJs to town, among them Kim Kardashian, Carmen Electra, Ne-Yo, DJ AM, Sean Perry, Nelly, Nas, Damien Marley, Chris Brown and Jermaine Dupri.
The 16,000-square-foot water-themed club cleared city development hurdles and opened in the fall of 2008. It was immediately greeted by a closed street and videographers from SJPD, who kept a close watch on the club and waited for it to trip, eventually invoking the emergency ordinance that gives the police chief the power to close an unruly house.
Hamod sued and got the city to back off, but a New Year’s Eve incident—in which club security was accused of overlooking its duty to call emergency services after a female patron’s cheek was pierced by a stiletto heel in a restroom-line rumble—proved to be the last straw for city officials.
Hamod grew weary of fighting city hall and tossed the keys to his landlord this weekend. In its place will be a rock-climbing facility and gym owned by the Touchstone group, which had a smaller rock climbing facility on San Jose’s Paseo de San Antonio from 2003-2008. Touchstone presently operates fitness centers in Berkeley, Sacramento, San Francisco, Oakland and Concord. The facilities have indoor pools, weight rooms, saunas, yoga classes and bouldering walls.