Prison bars are simulated (via MSpaint)

Outrage! At 12:54 on Saturday, Dolores Park icon James (aka “Cold Beer, Cold Water” aka “Cold Beer Dude” aka Dad?) was needlessly busted by The Man.  Seriously.

Joe Kowalke was on the scene and witnessed it all go down:

It was sunny and close to 80 degrees on Saturday and Dolores Park was packed. Cold Beer was maneuvering his way through the Fruit Shelf announcing what he had for sale - Cold Beer. Cops who were watching from atop the Shelf took note. They approached him and asked him to join them at the squad car double parked on 19th Street. He was handcuffed and taken away.

The same thing happened to a hippy girl selling Jell-O shots to raise funds for the upcoming AIDS Lifecycle.

SFPD priorities.

PD Bird (we're using birds as sources now? fuck) also chatted with James and got some details:

James came up to me and told me and showed me a citation to appear in court. “For sale PBR.”  He was pretty bummed, they walked up to him and told him to come with them, then cuffed him at car and took him to 17th, released with that citation.  I told him to maybe play it low, he said that he was going to just sell water.

Water? Fuck that shit.

But seriously, James has to be one of the most non-violent bartenders in the Mission.  And how many times has he saved our ass from a trek to the corner store when we're in a deep people-watching trance?

Are we really going to let this shit stand?


[Original Pic by Mission Mission]

Comments (37)

Both he and the jello shot people were there selling their stuff on Sunday.

Seriously, how are you surprised that these people were arrested for selling items (alcohol) in public, without a license? I’m not condoning the police at all, but where’s the surprise in this? If you want CHANGE, go after your supes and the rest of city hall. Hell, become active beyond just liking on facebook or re-tweeting for support, and start your own campaign to change the open container and licensing laws in your city, and don’t be so naive!

He’s breaking state law as well by not collecting sales tax, and probably some state laws regarding alcohol sales. Not much the city can do about that.

Eric: No, I don’t think that’s correct (about sales tax). Not unless he bought the beer wholesale and didn’t pay sales tax himself at that time.

I’m pretty sure that even if you buy the beer wholesale, you are not immediately responsible for sales tax. That can be paid annually, after the fact.

My understanding is you only charge sales tax at the final point of sale and on the final retail price. For a small business like the one I used to have, that only meant cutting a check to the BOE once a year. If you collect over a certain threshold you have to send in checks more frequently.

I seem to recall there’s a way to purchase something retail with sales tax, charge a higher price and owe the difference to the BOE – but it’s not what you’re supposed to do. It’s more of a “well you messed up, but we still want our money so fill this out” type of deal.

Sales tax gets paid once a month now because our government is broke.

Also, James doesn’t buy it wholesale. He buys it at the corner store.

“Where’s the surprise in this” is an interesting question. Upon rereading the piece, it seems you’re correct in your claim that there are no indications of surprise anywhere therein. Nobody is surprised.

I surmised ‘surprise’ at this based on the following:

“Outrage! At 12:54 on Saturday, Dolores Park icon James (aka “Cold Beer, Cold Water” aka “Cold Beer Dude” aka Dad?) was needlessly busted by The Man. Seriously.”

”’SFPD priorities.’”


“Are we really going to let this shit stand?”

Maybe surprise wasn’t the right descriptor. Perhaps it should be more aptly described as ‘naive disbelief’.

I am, in fact, quite surprised that you turds are dispassionate shitheads.

“you gotta fight for your right… TO PARTY” - Some Jews

This isn’t about some great injustice. Some dude got busted for doing something which was a ‘cite-able’ offense. Guy isn’t locked up in Guantanamo or anything. I’m just calling out the ‘oh-WTF!?’ that it’s taken with. And, if it’s such an outrage, do something to change the law–no matter how arbitrarily enforced–around it.

Ladies and Gentlemen: I hereby nominate this comment–or perhaps this commenter him/herself–as the definitive illustration of the term “buzzkill.” Somebody needs to write a letter to the urban dictionary people.

whats the suprise? ummm let’s see. extreme gang violence in the mission. Focus on that instead of wasting my tax dollars on some fuckers that should be down by the bart sations doing real police work!

new captain. sherrif fireed

fun ends. we lose the 49er. Will the people riot on Mission St when we Win the boat race?

Larry Ellison wins the boat race. We all lose.

To the people who are giving negative feedback on this post: you are what’s wrong with this country. Here’s a guy who, instead of begging or stealing to earn his keep, goes out works for his money, buys and resells product (yes, that’s what companies do!), and you want to berate him? Ridiculous… The people who are buying beer from him will buy it anyways… From him or the store down the street… So if he wants to take the risk and spend his day trying to turn a buck, leave him the fuck alone. Free market is what this country was founded on! So leave him alone and let him sell, you assholes!

It’s commendable that he has an entrepreneurial drive, but the guy got busted for selling alcohol. He even said himself that he’d stick to selling water. So, I’m not berating the guy for performing a service for a nominal fee instead of begging. The problem is, and “what’s wrong with this country”, are the laws such as the one he got cited for. And yes, he was reselling a product (what companies do), but unlike him, a company would have to pay for permits to sell in a public space like Dolores. And those stores down the street, they also have permits (paid for) for selling that beer.

Where’s the risk if he can’t be arrested?

If they started enforcing the laws against drinking and smoking in the park it would be a hell of alot cleaner. Just saying.

You Missed The Point Dot Com

Definitely saw him selling beer later in the afternoon on Saturday. A DP icon!

Because we are a free market capitalist country. He shouldn’t need the government’s permission to sell anything. This is just another example of government crushing small businesses. I am glad that we agree on this.

Ron Paul is a racist lunatic.

I think the park will change drastically now that the playground is opened. The gay beach has pretty much cleared out, and everyone is clothed now. Personally, I don’t think it was a good move as the number of children in the City declines each year. A playground won’t keep them here, so why not cater to those that were already using the park. And why did they not include more bathrooms?!
P.S. Kid Power park is really close to there, so it’s not like it was filling a void.

Saying that Kid Power Park is equivalent to new DP playground is just…silly. Kid Power Park is great, but it’s just a little park, with no grass, and you very much feel sandwiched in between the buildings.

As an adult, given the choice, I’m sure YOU’D much rather hang out in the big airy greenspace of DP, with a nice view of downtown, than in some piddly little park wedged into the middle of a block. Right?

Oh, and the other day when I was there with my freaky SF friends and our motley tribe of children, who freaking LOVE the new DP playground, there were plenty of mostly-nude sunbathers, and literal clouds of ganja smoke in the air. And we were offered many lovely mood-altering substances by roving vendors. It hasn’t changed much.

Kid Power is not “really close,” at least not if you’re walking with a small child. It’s also subject to being locked shut, as I discovered to my dismay many times. Parents (and even children) are citizens of San Francisco too, so I don’t see why including us in civic services is such a problem. I also don’t see why people should have to put on clothes, though. A few naked leather daddies makes for a more interesting neighborhood.

Kids have been using the park much longer than the people being affected by the crackdown on drinking.

They busted the girl selling jello shots to raise money for AIDS patients, the Beer and Water guy and also they busted one of the edibles guys selling fudge. He had some of the best edibles int he park too, better than the Truffle Guy and The Real Ganja Man’s edibles. Looks like its spring cleaning time in the park..

now if only they’d bust the fucking drum circles, live bands, and renegade DJs.

I did feel like I was breaking at least 5 laws though. I bought some amazing edibles ! I bought some beer from a dj spinning in the park that day.

As sad as you lame out of town hipsters are, it’s illegal what he’s doing because he’s not checking ID’s. If you were a parent, would you be happy some dude is giving your underage kid beer?

Hipsters GO AWAY already!

Move back to the burbs with your stupid kids

The people doing this were getting increasingly sketchy and annoying. Sorry for cold beer guy, but I was getting worried some turf war would break out.

17 arrests or citations in 10 days in Dolores park The park is hot!! CBCW James got a citation again.,but not arrested this time(thank goodness). Also have been seeing rangers in park warning about smoking ciggs and open beer…Not sure who can afford to pay some stupid fines these days,so be careful. cheers

cbcw: cold water!!
friend: what about cold beer?
cbcw: cold water.
friend: what about cold beer?
cbcw: they’re in my trunk i’m about to go get them out.

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