If you come in my cage I'll eat you too!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

This article from the Oakland Tribune speaks for itself

What the reporter neglected to say is that the Afghan owners of Zazoo's Restaurant left one war zone for another. Out of the fat and into the fire.

Violence shutters another Oakland nightspot
Zazoo's the latest casualty among African-American clubs in Oakland
By Cecily Burt, STAFF WRITER

OAKLAND — Zazoo's Restaurant in Jack London Square is the latest nightspot to voluntarily surrender its cabaret permit after three patrons were shot outside the club two weeks ago.
The waterfront restaurant on the Embarcadero will remain open, but the owners will no longer host private parties or the popular Saturday night dance club that catered to a largely African-American clientele.
The nightclub's closure follows the lead of other venues popular with black patrons. Last summer, @17th nightclub on 17th Street voluntarily closed after two men were shot and killed outside the club. Mingles on the Embarcadero closed in November 2006 after a pregnant woman was shot and killed outside after closing time.
Sweet Jimmies, a longtime institution on San Pablo Avenue, also closed in 2006. Owner Jimmie Ward said he decided to close down and sell the place because multiple complaints by the city forced him to alter his musical format, and business dried up. (they forgot to mention that a White woman got the holy shit beat out of her by a group of Jimmie's patrons who taped the beating)
Those clubs featured hip-hop or Top 40 hits some nights and drew young, African-American patrons from around the Bay Area. But it was typically the crowd scenes outside that caused the most complaints and problems for the owners, especially when Oakland police officers were called in to shut down sideshows and respond to stabbings and shootings.
Zazoo's, for the most part, had been spared the kind of violence that occurred down the street at Mingles. Attorney George Holland said the venue attracted an older crowd, and the owners had really tried to control the atmosphere both inside and out.
Neighbors in the adjacent Portobello condominiums complained about noise and litter from people leaving after closing time. Their concerns escalated after a shooting in the parking lot last year, and the city asked the owners to do a more thorough job policing the cars in the lot and the crowd, said Barbara Killey, Oakland's administrative hearing officer.
Then, on Feb. 10, three people were shot as they left the nightclub about 1:30 a.m. The suspect was sitting in a car in the parking lot waiting for one of the victims, his target, to come out, and the other two victims were caught in the crossfire. All survived.
A hearing scheduled last Friday to gather public testimony about the club was canceled after Zazoo's owner Zahra Homayun, perhaps fearing the worst, decided to relinquish her cabaret permit.
"We can't condone that kind of situation anywhere, and in a residential setting if you can do something you really have to do it," Killey said. "I can give you a really long leash on littering, but we were just really lucky that nobody died."
Holland said the owners tried as hard as they could to operate a nice, safe, venue and he believes they were "beaten down" by the complaints.
"I think it was racial when it comes to Zazoo's," Holland said. "It catered to an older African-American crowd, and the homeowners association complained about people leaving from 1:30 to 2 a.m. for half an hour. The trains come by every hour and make more noise."
But Killey scoffed at the suggestion.
"I think the African-American residents of Portobello would really take umbrage at the notion that it was racist," Killey added. "It was a very mixed group who complained. The people who were supporting the club staying open didn't live there. You didn't have residents coming and saying, 'We really want to keep this open.'"


At 12:14 PM , Blogger staghounds said...

This article and post is racist!

What about all the clubs in Pac Heights that had to shut down because of people stabbing each other in the face with broken Chardonnay bottles, huh?

At 12:29 PM , Blogger ricpic said...

I don't know, being stabbed in the face with a broken Chardonnay bottle has a certain panache about it.

At 7:21 PM , Blogger Miss Carnivorous said...

There was a native american woman around our work who killed a guy with a broken bottle. She was convicted of manslaughter and got out after a few years.


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