Will the last one out shut off the lights—and sound? Four downtown nightclubs—Wet, Pearl, Toons and Motif—have “closed for remodeling,” taken a break or gone dark for good in recent days. The closures follow a series of enforcement actions, and more could be on the way.
City Attorney Rick Doyle threatened last week to permanently shut down Club Wet following a violent New Year’s Eve incident; owner Mike Hamod responded that the city has been unfairly targeting his club—and downtown in general. Motif, a SoFA district nightclub across the street from Wet, had already announced a 30-day closure, citing among other things the city’s aggressive enforcement actions.
Armando Martinez, manager of Toons at Second and Santa Clara, has thrown in the towel, citing “unforeseen circumstances and various other factors.” He promises to reopen at a new location. All in all, the new year is not looking very bright downtown. Pearl Nightclub, formerly Studio 8 and prior to that Vivid, has an ABC Notice of Suspension posted on its door. Pearl will go full circle and re-emerge under its original name, Studio 8, its website promises. And Bayonne, SoFA’s inventive New Southern restaurant, sits empty after chef/owner Glenn “Gator” Thompson split town to deal with a reported family emergency, leaving his friends and creditors scratching their heads.
Miami Beach Club reopened a couple weeks back after its entertainment license was temporarily suspended; SJPD claimed the club failed to report a shooting. Meanwhile, on Saturday night, a triple homicide at the Mexicali Club out on Old Oakland Road put the lie to the notion that the downtown entertainment district has a monopoly on bad behavior. There’s no word as to whether that club will be allowed to stay in business.