A San Francisco nightclub was forcibly shut down over the weekend after an investigation found it was holding gatherings in violation of shelter-at-home orders, city authorities said Monday morning.
City Attorney Dennis Herrera and police Chief William Scott said in a news release Monday the illegal club had been operating out of an industrial building at 2266 Shafter Ave. in San Francisco’s Bayview district.
Herrera secured a warrant Friday to shut down the club for violating San Francisco’s stay-at-home public health order, the city said. It is the first such warrant issued in the city to enforce the public health order.
Officers on Friday stationed patrol cars in front of the building, which deterred would-be patrons arriving in cars, taxis and ride-hailing vehicles. On Saturday, officers from SFPD’s Tactical Unit and Bayview Station executed the warrant, seizing DJ equipment, two fog machines, nine gambling machines with $670 in cash inside, two pool tables, bins of liquor, cases of beer, bar furniture and other nightclub-related items, the city said.
“This pandemic is deadly serious. People need to treat it that way,” Herrera said in a statement. “Education is always the first step, but willfully ignoring health orders is not acceptable. Cramming dozens of people into an illegal club during this outbreak is like dropping a lit match in the woods during fire season. It’s the epitome of irresponsibility."
Herrera added that his office recently learned a tenant of the building was operating the illegal nightclub. The owner of the property, he said, was fully cooperating with the investigation.
A time-lapse video from April 4 to April 6 showed more than 150 people entering and exiting the building during the early morning hours, the city said. None practiced six feet of social distancing.
Security guards were also seen frisking each visitor at that time, the city said.
The investigation also found the building is not permitted for entertainment as it lacks proper sprinklers, fire alarms and exits for a building open to the public, according to the attorney for the property owner. According to court documents, the tenant operating the club had told the property owner he was using the building to store materials for his janitorial company.
Anyone with information about businesses or others violating the stay-at-home order should call 311. More information about what to do can be found on the city's website.