A Tenderloin strip club was officially closed for a year in a San Francisco Superior Court order today because of what City Attorney Dennis Herrera said was a “significant threat to public safety” in the neighborhood, including being the site of a fatal shooting in June.
The Pink Diamonds Gentlemen’s Club, located at 220 Jones St., had experienced a pattern of lawlessness in the months following a March injunction filed against the club, and is legally prohibited from reopening for one year, according to the city attorney’s office.
The club had agreed in March to the injunction, which required the club not to operate after 2 a.m., not to allow excessive noise in the neighborhood, and to cease acts of prostitution, drug and alcohol violations, and violent behavior at the club.
However, the venue required more than 230 service calls to the San Francisco Police Department in the past six months, including a June 27 shooting outside of the club that left 30-year-old Harris Fulbright dead, according to the city attorney’s office.
Judge Peter Busch ordered the closure of the club today, and also granted Herrera’s request for $688,500 in civil penalties and an undetermined amount for attorney’s fees and costs to San Francisco police for responding to service related to the club’s operation under the injunction.
“I am gratified that Judge Busch clearly recognized the significant threat to public safety Pink Diamonds posed,” Herrera said in a statement.
“I hope this closure and penalties award sends a forceful message that no neighborhood in San Francisco needs to tolerate such callous disregard for the law and for residents,” he said.
The club had already closed its doors voluntarily earlier this month, according to David Villa-Lobos, executive director of the Community Leadership Alliance, a community action group in the Tenderloin.
Villa-Lobos, who lives in an apartment directly above the club, said that although the club had some problems, it was also “the victim of the police’s inability to deal with crime.”
The owner of Pink Diamonds, Damone Smith, has already abandoned the club and plans to open a new club in Oakland, Villa-Lobos said.
A new owner, a Stockton man who also owns two clubs in San Francisco’s South of Market district, is already preparing to sublet the space, which is leased by Ed Pope, according to Villa-Lobos.
The new owner “assures me that he will not open a club until it has all the necessary permits and approval of Tenderloin Police Station and the community,” and that a new club will probably not open there until some time in 2010, Villa-Lobos said.
A judge in August separately granted a motion by Herrera to close down a North Beach strip club, Heaven Mini Theatre, for violating city codes. That club had been cited by police for prostitution and implicated in the non-fatal shooting of two doormen at a nearby strip club.