UPDATE: Lawrence Le Blanc, Brick & Mortar's booker, tells us new soundproofing will go in Wednesday and “all is well.”
Despite being located in the shadow of the Central Freeway, the Entertainment Commission ruled Tuesday that Brick & Mortar Music Hall is too noisy and is only allowing the club to remain open under burdensome circumstances. The Examiner reports:
The restrictions stem from nearly two years of complaints by neighbors of the venue on Mission Street near Duboce Avenue who say they have heard noise from the concert hall since it opened.
Following an hourlong discussion, the commission voted to approve numerous restrictions for the club, including limiting entertainment hours from 5 p.m. until 12:30 p.m. on weekends and 5 p.m. until 11:30 p.m. on weekdays. The sound levels of the club may also not exceed 80 decibels, which is about the level of a garbage disposal.
At the hearing, the owners explained they had already invested $50,000 in soundproofing, however the commission demanded the club schedule additional soundproofing by June 15—despite some neighbors defending the club, saying noise issues have improved. Additionally, Brick & Mortar claims to have never received a complaint or police citation.
Brick & Mortar's owners allege the heavy-handed restrictions are not in fact over sound issues, but over their refusal to employ the Entertainment Commission's lone inspector's private security company, Yojimbo Protection Services. In an interview with the SF Weekly, Brick & Mortart's owner Jason Perkins claims the club's troubles began last fall when he declined to hire Yojimbo at the inspector's urgings.
“I think if I hired his security company we would not have had one complaint,” Perkins says.
Other club owners, speaking off the record, report similar occurrences. One says [Inspector Vajra Granelli] referred him to a partner at Yojimbo to hire security for a nightclub. The owner hired the firm, but soon found that it was too expensive. After he replaced the firm, the club began getting noise and security citations from Granelli, according to the owner.
“The reason why clubs hire this person is because they [the entertainment commission] leave us alone,” he says.
The corruption has left Perkins frustrated and ready to throw in the towel. “We will close,” he told the Examiner. “We’ve got four other venues to run, it’s not worth it.”