Three San Francisco massage parlor operators seeking permits to operate as bathhouses were all unable to receive them at a Police Department hearing today.
Massage parlor permits are regulated by the city’s Department of Public Health, but if the businesses have baths, saunas or similar amenities, they are required to acquire a Police Department bathhouse permit, police Lt. Troy Dangerfield said.
In recent months, health officials have been inspecting several businesses and noticed they were in need of bathhouse permits and referred them to the Police Department’s permits division, Dangerfield said.
The permits division holds weekly Wednesday hearings at the Hall of Justice. This week, hearing officer Sgt. William Coggan considered permits for the Moonlight Spa at 519 Bush St., the Imperial Day Spa at 1875 Geary Blvd., and the Palm Tree Massage at 12 Valencia St.
Jerry Chow, operator of Palm Tree Massage, was the lone massage parlor operator to appear at today’s hearing and was told that his permit would likely be denied because of a prior criminal conviction he failed to disclose on the permit application.
Chow declined to say what the conviction was, but said “it has nothing to do with me being a business owner.”
The operators of Moonlight Spa and Imperial Day Spa withdrew their applications and did not appear at today’s hearing.
Police Officer Brian Peagler with the department’s special victims unit told authorities at the hearing that Moonlight Spa was under a multi-agency criminal investigation and that a search warrant had been executed there in the past month.
Moonlight Spa is among numerous massage parlors in the city that has received reviews on www.myredbook.com, which lists reviews for escorts, massages and strip clubs.
Reviews purportedly from customers at Moonlight Spa include ones that imply sexual activity took place there.
The site includes similar reviews of Palm Tree Massage, including one that describes a masseuse who gave an “OK massage with great extras.”
However, Chow said his business is “just a massage establishment, that’s it.”
He was told that he could continue operating his business if baths there are removed. A final decision on his bathhouse permit was continued to Aug. 7, Dangerfield said.
The lieutenant said at least two more massage parlors are seeking bathhouse permits at next week’s meeting.
Dan McMenamin, Bay City News