Violence-plagued club, The Rockit Room, embraces hiatus 

click to enlarge Fresh start: The Rockit Room has suspended entertaiment, giving the club time to adjust to new safety guidelines. - S.F. EXAMINER FILE PHOTO
  • s.f. examiner file photo
  • Fresh start: The Rockit Room has suspended entertaiment, giving the club time to adjust to new safety guidelines.

Owners of a troubled Richmond district music venue have voluntarily suspended entertainment in the hopes of rebranding and starting fresh in a month’s time.

The Rockit Room, located at 406 Clement St., has had a history of noise, violence and drug problems that have drained police resources and alienated neighbors.

In February, the Entertainment Commission gave the club’s owners 17 strict operating guidelines, including requiring pat-downs of every patron entering the facility, mandating that all music stop by 1 a.m., and setting zero tolerance for club security personnel drinking or being under the influence of alcohol.

The owners had until June to straighten up or face the revocation of their entertainment permit.

But two weeks after the meeting, police said few guidelines had been met. On April 6, however, Entertainment Commission Executive Director Jocelyn Kane said club owners voluntarily suspended their permit for one month in order to “rebrand and reprogram” the music venue.

“This is an immediate way to intervene on the public safety issue and hopefully will do the trick,” she told the commission in a meeting earlier this month. “Hopefully, it will bring the venue into compliance without a formal hearing.”

Kane said the venue plans to bring back entertainment May 6.

Calls to the Rockit Room’s owners were not returned. Although the venue’s website does not announce its closure, its calendar does not list any events until May 19.

Leading up to February’s issuance of commission guidelines, San Francisco police provided the commission with reports of dozens of violent incidents, including one in which more than 100 people spilled into the street during a fight. Others involved the arrest of an officer assaulted during a scuffle outside the club and the arrest of Oakland rapper Philthy Rich on suspicion of possessing a stolen Bentley.

A total of 21 incidents required police assistance at the club between October and March, police said.

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