The Rockit Room (406 Clement Street), which has been a music venue and bar since the early 70s, has become a bit of a nuisance for its Richmond District neighbors, not to mention the site of a string of violent incidents that caught the attention of the Entertainment Commission in the last six months. Between October and March police responded to dozens of fights and reports of violence, including one night when over 100 patrons spilled into the street during a fight. Now, under threat of a possible forced suspension of their entertainment permit, the club has voluntarily suspended operation of the music-venue portion of the business for one month in order to "rebrand and reprogram," as the Examiner reports. But will the fresh start change anything about the crowds this place attracts?
The only upcoming shows listed on the bar's website at the moment are a pair of metal shows featuring bands with names like Hatriot, Angerhead, Envirusment, and Antisect. The bar's representatives, when informing the Entertainment Commission about their voluntary hiatus, said they would resume entertainment on May 6, which would be one of their Sunday Live Lounge nights.
Is it just the hip-hop nights that are to blame? The Examiner mentions the arrest of Oakland rapper Philthy Rich after one of the Rockit Room's shows on suspicion of possessing a stolen Bentley.
In February, the commission threatened the bar with a revocation of the entertainment permit in June if they did not comply with a list of operating guidelines, among which were mandatory pat-downs of every patron entering the facility, and a mandate that all music stop by 1 a.m.
The Rockit Room was also the center of a protest in 2009 over a controversial song by hip-hop artist Buju Banton called "Boom Bye Bye," which advocated the killing of gay people. Banton's show happened to be scheduled on the anniversary of the death of Matthew Shepard, which fueled the flames of protest. (But let's not forget the bar is also home to one of the only known Pringles dispensing machines in town.)
As far as we understand, the bar remains open, just without live music.
Violence-plagued club, The Rockit Room, embraces hiatus [Examiner]
Earlier: Rockit Room Boycott Brewing