This isn’t the Wild West anymore, people — gone are the days of Barbary Coast gambling and whoring spots, and joining those dens of iniquity in the Great Place Where Fun Goes in the Sky could soon be everyone’s favorite weekend pursuit: yes, private karaoke booths.
Supervisor Eric Mar, whose Richmond District is, as far as we thought, devoid of such temptation islands, introduced legislation Tuesday that would beef up an almost 40-year old section of the police code, which defines what can and can’t go on behind closed doors in places of entertainment.
There’s more than a few San Francisco establishments which offer private karaoke rooms. Apparently, police have recently complained to karaoke bar owners about the closed-door affairs. You can have a closed door, there just needs to be a window, portal, or some other way for staffers to watch what’s going on, according to the law.
The law’s intended only for private rooms in karaoke establishments, which, according to authorities, have in the past been used for illicit purposes like drug use and prostitution as well as slammin’ renditions of “Sweet Caroline.”
However, the way the law is written, it stands to reason someone could interpret it to include all private secret spaces in entertainment zones, like the booths at the Lusty Lady.
However, Entertainment Commission chair Bob Davis, whose entity will have final say over the exact nature of enforcement, says this is not the case (and ergo the SF Appeal would like to apologize to the Lusty Lady staffer out of whom we scared the shit).
“RIght now, a lot of people want to have karaoke in private rooms,” Davis said. And they still could, just that those private rooms would need a window to the outside world, or some other portal that would allow karaoke staffers, cops and the general public to watch and ensure there’s no funny business going on. “The laws written now are antiquated; we’re just trying to bring them up to date.”
Photo: Chris Roberts for the Appeal