City's Lawsuit against violent Club Suede seeks tough injunctions, civil penalties
SAN FRANCISCO (April 15, 2010)—City Attorney Dennis Herrera today filed a civil lawsuit that seeks tough, enforceable injunctions and potentially substantial penalties and costs against the owners and operators of Club Suede, a notorious Fisherman’s Wharf establishment that was the site of a fatal shooting in the early hours of Feb. 7. The complaint filed in San Francisco Superior Court this morning names Hanson Wong and Taliesin Entertainment Group as defendants, and details a pattern of nuisance and unlawful conduct by the defiant club operators dating as far back as 2007.
Two weeks ago, the San Francisco Entertainment Commission voted unanimously in support of a 30-day suspension for the nightclub in the wake of the February shooting, which left one victim dead and four others wounded. That suspension took effect on April 5. Though the club itself closed voluntarily after the shooting, Herrera’s move today will enable the City to seek to permanently shutter the establishment, ensuring it could not reopen following the 30-day suspension.
"San Francisco should be known for having a vibrant nightlife—not a violent nightlife,” said Herrera. “Unfortunately, occasional bad apples like Club Suede think they can flout the law, inviting the kind of violence that too often has tragic consequences. Our lawsuit today seeks tough injunctions and penalties to protect public safety, and also to send a message. San Francisco benefits from thousands of entertainment venues that operate responsibly and safely. Going after reckless establishments like Club Suede isn’t simply about protecting club-goers and neighbors. It’s also about protecting responsible businesses, and standing up for one of our City’s most important cultural and economic sectors.”
Club Suede, located at 383 Bay Street, has been a frequent site of service calls by the San Francisco Police Department for violent incidents, including some involving firearms; neighborhood vandalism; and crowd control problems, according to Herrera’s complaint. The club’s long established pattern of illegal and unfair business practices additionally includes operating beyond permitted business hours; permitting consumption of alcohol after 2:00 a.m.,; inadequate credentialed security staffing; and multiple violations of state and local police and safety codes that pose serious risks to public health and safety.
The case is: City and County of San Francisco and People of the State of California v. Hanson Wong; Taliesin Entertainment Group, LLC et al., San Francisco Superior Court case no.CGC.10.498677, filed April 15, 2010.
- Download the PDF copy of the complaint here.