Category Archives: entertainment

Robin Reichert, rest in peace


This YouTube memorial video was posted on October 30, 2014  (click here).


Robin Reichert, the proprietor of the Paradise Lounge at 11th and Folsom Street dating back to 1981, has passed away. No word as to the cause of death but survivors of the new wave revelry of that era are already making plans for a memorial service to be held on December 1 at the site of the former Transmission Theater next door.  Continue reading

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11th Street drag performance space clears last hurdle at city hall

District 8 Supervisor Scott Wiener dragged out the same mischaracterizations of the Western SoMa Plan he always uses when entertainment folks are present, as the Land Use Committee of the Board considered a zoning amendment to legalize a nightclub in close proximity to the Kissling Alley Residential Enclave District. Relying on industry lobbyist Terrance Alan, the ethically-challenged former Entertainment Commissioner, for his facts, Wiener repeated his claim that the Plan was “unfriendly to entertainment.” He knows better but panders to the entertainment community every chance he gets.

Drag show impresario Heklina, a.k.a. Stefan Grygelko, has bought the building on the northwest corner of Folsom and 11th, formerly home to Caliente, the Oasis and Club VSF.

The committee agreed to send their positive recommendation to the full Board of Supervisors where a yes vote is a sure thing. No one votes against fun.  Continue reading

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Respected local architect designs 11th Street’s first non-residential building


Stanley Saitowitz, a Principal in Natoma Architects of San Francisco, presented drawings for a four story office building proposed for 350 11th Street, the site of the notorious “purple building,” at a pre-application meeting last night. The possibility of more residential development on the entertainment corridor sent lobbyists into a frenzy and led Supervisor Jane Kim to amend the Western SoMa Plan to prohibit housing in the neighborhood.

Stanley Saitowitz is professor Emeritus of Architecture at the University of California, Berkeley. His design for the Beth Sholom Synagogue (2008) in San Francisco garnered international praise and awards, such as the High Commendation Award, Religion & Contemplation at the 2008 World Architecture Festival 2008.  Continue reading

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Board loosens controls on Mechanical Amusement Devices in bars

Neighborhood Rep/Vice Chair Entertainment Commission

Please note that Supervisor Breed’s legislation (file #140776) passed unanimously at the Board of Supervisors.  It will have a second reading on September 2. This legislation means that 73 of the current 81 mechanical amusement device (m.a.d.) permits will no longer be under the jurisdiction of the Entertainment Commission.  This is a $23,000 decrease in our annual license fees.  From now on, bars wishing to apply for up to four m.a.d.s need not submit or pay for an application.  Previously we received between 4 and 10 applications a year, so there will be another decrease of approximately $6000. Continue reading

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Jane Kim cleans up her 11th Street zoning mess



The entertainment lobby thought they were too cute by half when they talked Supervisor Jane Kim into wrapping the 11th Street corridor with a zoning proposal (WMUO) designed for the area surrounding the Caltrain depot. The good news, in their opinion, was that nighttime entertainment would become a fully permitted use and housing was no longer allowed. The downside was that it came with a prohibition of new nightclubs within 200 feet of recognized Residential Enclave Districts (REDs).  Continue reading

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Putting together the pieces to land Lucas Museum at Lot 330

lucas museum

South Beach gadfly

UPDATE: The Windy City beat out other cities, including a contentious battle against San Francisco, winning the bid to build an interactive museum for “Star Wars” creator George Lucas. – CNN

As we await George Lucas’ decision as to where he wants to locate his museum, keep several things in mind:

1. Locating the Lucas Museum on Lot 330 is an excellent choice and the neighborhood (and the city) seem to be wholly in favor of the concept. However, the museum location is just one aspect of the project.

2. Equally important is how the Port and the City will handle the redevelopment of the South Beach waterfront in conjunction with the Lucas Museum project. Namely, what will happen to the derelict piers (26, 28, 30-32 & 38) that are now sitting empty and obstructing the South Beach waterfront?

3. This is a great opportunity to have both a world class museum and a world class waterfront in South Beach. We must focus on both aspects of the project.

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Purple building looks like toast


An early morning fire this past Sunday did to the so-called purple building on 11th Street what years of controversy failed to do.

Once the target of anti-residential zeal, the entertainment lobby convinced Supervisor Jane Kim to change the zoning along 11th Street from WMUG (friendly to residential development) to WMUO (mixed-use office), which precludes housing. Entertainment advocates had pushed for a down-zoning to service and industrial uses but Kim and the Planning Commission chose instead to create a different sort of up-zoning. The residential project proposed for the site has since been changed to an office development.

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