Slim's Liquor License Temporarily Suspended Due to Neighbors' Complaints

Thumbnail image for Slim's-sign-neon.jpg
​[Story updated 3/8/12]

The alcohol permit for S.F. music venue Slim's was suspended for 10 days last week due to a long-running battle with the club's neighbors over noise complaints -- a battle venue part-owner Dawn Holliday hopes will end soon.

The club was barred from serving alcohol from Tuesday, March 15, until this Friday, when it will host a show by Irish group the Saw Doctors.

Over the weekend, the club held booze-free performances of bands from middle and high schools, storing away all the alcohol it would normally have made money serving.

The license suspension relates to a spat between Slim's and the club's neighbors, who began complaining in 2007 that the venue was violating the no-noise policy of its liquor license. Though the complaints originated with Juniper Street residents Jodi and Kirby Watson, Holliday says a neighbor in their building, Jeanmarie Guenot, calls police regularly, sometimes daily, to complain about noise from the club.

To correct any mistaken impressions made by the official suspension sign posted on the club's door, Slim's owners put another sign above it last week explaining their side of the story, and giving Guenot's name and address.

The suspension came during a relatively calm week for Slim's. A Tuesday show by British anarcho-punks Crass had already been postponed due to visa issues, and another previously scheduled show was canceled for other reasons. Holliday says the underage shows helped fill the place on Saturday and Sunday.

The conditions of Slim's liquor license have made it vulnerable to noise complaints. When seeking a permit for the club before its opening in 1988, Holliday agreed to terms that no noise would be heard beyond the club's doors, a common condition at the time. "There was nobody down here then," she says. Since 1999, after spending more than $100,000 on sound insulation, Slim's noise levels have been measured by officials from the San Francisco Entertainment Commission, and found to be in accordance with the city's noise ordinance, Holliday says.

That hasn't stopped the complaints to police. Holliday says she has spent more than $250,000 on legal fees answering charges from her neighbors that the club is too loud. "The outcome of this long siege has been that we did need to take the closure, the punishment," Holliday says.

But the club owner is cautiously optimistic about the future: Holliday says officials from the state's Alcoholic Beverage Control board have told her they now plan to use the city's noise ordinance as a metric to evaluate Slim's. And since the club has met those requirements, Holliday hopes future complaints from Guenot and other neighbors won't have the same effect.

In the meantime, Holliday looks forward to being able to resume normal shows again starting Friday. "We were really, really hurt by [the closure]," Holliday says. "Middle-school kids don't exactly eat enough french fries to make up for real shows."

[Hat tip to Amoeblog, which posted news of the suspension this Monday afternoon.]

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Slim's

333 11th St., San Francisco, CA

Category: Music

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75 comments
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Sarine Voltage
Sarine Voltage

I can't believe one very ignorant and selfish person who obviously has no life of her own can get a stand-up place like Slim's in trouble. Jeanmarie Guenot, please leave our magickal city of San Francisco, you don't belong here!

Guest
Guest

This may or may not be connected to this case but in 2007 in a letter to shareholders of PDL Pharmaceuticals there was insinuation of something inappropriate related to Jeanmarie Guenot  "And only favoritism, or worse, seems to be capable of explaining the mysterious rise of Jeanmarie Guenot, and, before her, Laurie Torres."(Link:http://www.sec.gov/Archives/ed...

I dont know if it is the same person but PDL is based in SF

Annette 1975
Annette 1975

this story has inspired me to want to file a complaint against the san francisco ambulances, buzzing by my 15th st/south van ness apt during the most inconvenient hours.

ableone1
ableone1

right. so i move downtown on california street, you know where the cable cars run til midnight, and start up again around 6 am.

i am thinking of waging a complaint campaign against them since i would like it to be quiet until 8 am on the weekends, and they ring the dang bell sometimes too. can you believe it?

let's stop this menacing cable car thing in its tracks!!! anyone else in?

User
User

It would be pretty cheap and easy to put up a internet connected sound meter taking constant readings to prove she was lying. Or would that prove that you biased A-holes are the liars.

Sorry guys, you do not have the right to behave like a bunch of drunken frat douches and expect people not to complain. Anyway the last time I went to Slims you jerks were more interested in getting wasted and talking inane gibberish to each other instead of enjoying the music. Really, next time your at a show there take a good look at the ratio of music lovers versus the "look at me" idiots.

It's Slims fault to agree to terms in their liquor license they couldn't meet.

xyz
xyz

Wow, how exactly is anybody a biased A-hole? Biased against what? And somehow we're all lying about the volume? I personally have no idea what you are talking about. You went to Slim's once and now you're the expert and think it should be closed down because you saw some fratty douchebags? Please stop, you'd sound comical if you didn't sound so stupid.

Sounds like Slim's IS meeting the terms of their liquor license, that's the whole point.

Just thinking of all those idiots just drinking and talking at the nightclub for crissakes.... unheard of.

Msconcon
Msconcon

I live on Juniper St too, closer to Slim's than Guenot does. I love the scene at night, the noise is barely audible. Guess the whole world revolves around Guenot.

An@rkist
An@rkist

Fun Facts:

Jeanmarie Guenot45 Juniper St, Apt 3 | San Francisco, CA 94103415-621-5338 (surprisingly enough, it's not disconnected yet!)

• Ivy League MBA (Penn), and UCSF Ph.D. • Has lived in Hoboken, Boston, and NYC.• Forty-six years old (November 7, 1964) and unmarried.• Paid $1.35 million for her condo behind Slim's.• Ousted from her last job at a pharmaceutical company because of "unfairly favorable treatment," allegedly from sleeping with her boss.

I'd post links of reference, but the auto-moderator will catch it.

Despamifier
Despamifier

who moves in next to a nightclub then complains? Can a chick be a douche?

Matt
Matt

Slim's has met the requirements of the city noise ordinance. There's no reason that Ms. Guenot shouldn't have been slapped with dozens of fines by the SFPD for frivolous complaints. Don't most cities prohibit the abusive use of certain emergency numbers?

An@rkist
An@rkist

Info dump:

Jeanmarie Guenot45 Juniper St, Apt 3 | San Francisco, CA 94103415-621-5338 (surprisingly enough, it's not disconnected yet!)

• Ivy League MBA (Penn), and UCSF Ph.D. • Has lived in Hoboken, Boston, and NYC.• Forty-six years old (November 7, 1964) and unmarried.• Paid $1.35 million for her condo behind Slim's.• Ousted from her last job at a pharmaceutical company because of "unfairly favorable treatment," allegedly from sleeping with her boss.

I'd include links, but the mods will catch it.

PatrickMonkRn
PatrickMonkRn

Can any of you high tech hackers access and post her phone #'s, email, etc.

An@rkist
An@rkist

Tried, but the SF Weekly Mods will delete it. :-/

An@rkist
An@rkist

Unless I omit links...

Jeanmarie Guenot45 Juniper St, Apt 3 | San Francisco, CA 94103415-621-5338 (surprisingly enough, it's not disconnected yet!)

• Ivy League MBA (Penn), and UCSF Ph.D. • Has lived in Hoboken, Boston, and NYC.• Forty-six years old (November 7, 1964) and unmarried.• Paid $1.35 million for her condo behind Slim's.• Ousted from her last job at a pharmaceutical company because of "unfairly favorable treatment," allegedly from sleeping with her boss.

gellan
gellan

I thought she had moved to Seattle awhile back? Is this a different girl now?

Good Neighborhood
Good Neighborhood

I live in the same building as Slims. The noise isn't that bad at all.

Joe Rut
Joe Rut

Maybe she shoulda thought of that before moving into an area with clubs? Way to screw it up for the rest of us.

Brooke Shelby Biggs
Brooke Shelby Biggs

Here's her contact info from her company SKS Ocular, in case you'd like to try to reason with her:

For more information, please contact Jeanmarie Guenot, Ph.D., Chief Business Officer, at (415) 994-6455 or jeanmarie.guenot@sksocular.com

Christine Beatty
Christine Beatty

It's because of self-entitled ratbags like this that SF's music scene is a shell of what it used to be. In 1999 my band left town for Los Angeles after four years in SF. SF Weekly's Riff Raff column was kind enough to note our departure and our take on the situation:http://www.sfweekly.com/1999-0...

Brett
Brett

This is the kind of person that moves near an airport then complains about the noise....brilliant.

Hey, that club was there long before you and your type came in to gentrify the neighborhood. It's part of the fabric of the neighborhood and you should embrace one of the things that made your neighborhood desirable in the first place.

SF Weekly Moderator
SF Weekly Moderator

Hello. We appreciate that people feel strongly about the issue, but just a reminder: we do have a Terms of Use for the site.

We'll remove any comments that containing personal information, even about the subject of the story, and people who post personal information repeatedly will be banned.

You can see our Terms of Use here: http://www.sfweekly.com/about/...

Feel free to send any questions or concerns to feedback@sfweekly.com.

Wolvie10
Wolvie10

This is obscured! She knew the neighborhood she was moving into, she knew it was a business district, she knew there were nightclubs. With nightclubs come noise. Slims is one of the few clubs that allows all ages shows. Slims is one of the few clubs that gives local bands a chance to play on a real stage. And you put the 2 together, people like myself come from the peninsula to Slims bc our friends bands play and we can bring the whole family to appreciate them on stage. Jeanmarie obviously made a poor choice in her living arrangements and instead of focusing on destroying the lives of those around her, needs to relocate and choose her habitat a bit wiser. It's a big city, there are nightclubs everywhere. The clubs can ask their patrons to leave quietly, they can beg and plead even but as a bartender who has attempted this, you can't force them to be quite. Think about it - they just left a rock show! They are pumped up! Excited. And reliving the moment on their way to the car. Get over it Jeanmarie Guenot! If you don't like your surroundings MOVE OUT! Stop ruining the livelihood of establishments that have been there for years!

Christine Beatty
Christine Beatty

It is because of CUNTS like this — and I use that word very deliberately because people like Guenot are whom that word should be reserved for — my band moved to Los Angeles in 1999: SOMA venues were closing left and right.http://www.sfweekly.com/1999-0...

I hope Dawn, all of her neighbors and the City beat her like a gong, tie a can to her tail and chase her back to whatever scumvat she slithered out of.

BobAKABuffy
BobAKABuffy

Jeanmarie Guenot looks like a total twat! Before even reading the story I thought "what about Butter or DNA Lounge?". Go move to the burbs where you belong! Why do I feel like quoting from the Wizard of Oz?"Elvira Gulch, just because you own half the county doesn't mean that you have the power to run the rest of us. For twenty-three years I've been dying to tell you what I thought of you! And now... well, being a Christian woman, I can't say it!"

RRA415
RRA415

She bought her place in 2006, for $1,265,000. Hmm. There were already a number of clubs in the neighborhood. This kind of b.s. is killing San Francisco.

Slim's is a great nightclub that contributes to the city and hosts all ages shows. There are no nightclubs in Walnut Creek. Perhaps Ms. Guenot should go there.

Anonymous
Anonymous

well for over paying like that she's deserves peace and quiet right! HAHAHAHAHAHA, people like her are the reason everything was overvalued. dummies

Asha
Asha

I wonder how many people are going by late at night to ring her doorbell...

Creech927
Creech927

I live on the corner of 11th and Harrison. I knew the nightclubs were there when I moved in. I hear people on the streets. I hear other noise. AND I KNEW THIS WHEN I GOT THE PLACE.

I moved to this part of SF because I love the culture. I'm steps away from some of the best entertainment around. I love where I live and I'd hate to see it change to a quiet zone. There's the entire rest of the city, suburbia and out in the woods if you want to hear a pin drop at night. Why you would choose to live in one of the few places that this sort of entertainment exists then complain about it is beyond me. It's like moving next to the airport and complaining about the planes.

Please, consider how rare and special this area is. This is where the city's nightlife is. This is what makes San Francisco unique. Please move to any number of places that aren't the night club district if you need complete quiet and leave the area to those of us who thrive on it's contribution to San Francisco as a city.

Creech

Derek
Derek

A true Can't Understand Normal Thinking

Paula
Paula

There was one other neighbor making noise complaints - here is the appeals decision from last year -- http://www.abcappealsbd.ca.gov...

Babar
Babar

That was two other neighbors, Kirby and Jody Watson, from the same 45 Juniper St. address.

Wakedog
Wakedog

I hate what Jeanmarie has done, it is indefensible. Up til now she did not have a legitimate complaint. If people call harass or worse assault her. It seems like Slims will be in real trouble. I think Slims was wrong to put her name and address up.

Jerf
Jerf

I'm guessing that her name and address were a matter of public record.

Jbtanzer
Jbtanzer

All you have to do is google her. She has her own page with phone number, email, etc. I emailed her days ago, she hasn't replied : ( ... : )

piratesnack
piratesnack

I would think that if someone assaults her, she would still have a legitimate complaint. But maybe I'm crazy for thinking that assault is not a reasonable response to someone filing complaints with government agencies.

XO
XO

Why not? Take responsibility for your actions. She needs to recognize that she upsets people, lots of people. I think it's fine and fair.

GKeidan
GKeidan

We need a better system for local government agencies to get thoughtful input from a wide, representative cross section of people they serve. Our democracy is weak when one or few "squeaky wheels" like this influence decision makers to make decisions that don't represent the wishes or views or interests of the silent, too busy or poorly educated or uninformed to contact their local official majority.

If you live in SF and are affected by this, I suggest you contact your Supervisor or ABC and tell them how you feel and ask them to convene public dialog about this important issue.

ABC, City leaders: Please consider deliberative public engagement options to avoid falling prey to being overly influenced by a small group or a single cranky resident.

Thanks,Greg KeidanPublic Engagement Consultant

Dennis
Dennis

Actually, Butter has started compiling stacks of complaints from Jean Marie to do just that.. File an Abuse of Process lawsuit and hopefully get her to have to pay back the upwards of hundreds of thousands of dollars in wasted time and money of the City's resources. This has gone on for far too long with her sitting up in her perch (with exposed windows, no curtains mind you) and watching the mess down below that she has solely created. As a business, there is only so much that can be done. Besides filing a class action suit, the laws are in place to protect the individual from the business. We cannot just call the police and complain about an individual who is complaining about us.. She seemingly has won this battle against Slim's, but the war is not over. She is like the Neighborator. She will not ever stop unless something stops her... and that something could be all of us, all of you, the people who want 11th street to continue to thrive as a nighttime destination for thousands as it has for many many years without incident. SPEAK UP PEOPLE! Let her know how you feel:

Jeanmarie Guenot(415) 994 6455Jeanmarie@GUENOTLLC.com 45 Juniper Street #3SF, 94103

Paula
Paula

Why would you move in next to nightclubs if you are averse to noise? I do not sense reason in this. It is like moving in with your family upstairs from a well-known brothel. You kinda get what you might expect. This why gentrification of well-known late-night entertainment neighborhoods is so troublesome. Condos are built, yuppies move in, complain about noise, entertainment venues shut down, adults don't get to go out anymore, no one is happy.

goawayabc.
goawayabc.

it is the ABC not the police that are behind this underground regulation that is being enforced.

Sad in SF
Sad in SF

What really bothers me is that SF is backing this person. They aren't backing a money/job generating club nor are they backing their own city rules and regulations. Shame on SF (and the police) for bowing down to one persons complaints, a complaint she doesn't even have a right to make. If you put your hand in fire and get burned, you can't blame the fire.

KRAKEN
KRAKEN

Shady, lying bitch! RELEASE THE KRAKEN!

Jbtanzer
Jbtanzer

Shame on her! I am sending her an email now. I wish there were proper contact information for all of those targeting South Of Market clubs. The dot com boom was the worst thing to happen to this city in 20 years. Local flavor annihilated..

Realist
Realist

This is truly ridiculous, this woman should be charged for the cost of the police resources she is wasting and reimburse Slim's for their $250K in legal fees.

Christine Noella Lopez
Christine Noella Lopez

I had the same problem at work in Alameda. The animal shelter was built in the 70s and in the 90s track housing behind it was put in. We constantly had complaints of barking dogs from the neighbors. (duh, it is an animal shelter!!!) About the only thing we could do was put the dogs on the other side of the building (smaller rooms, less direct sunlight etc) and put the quiet bunnies on the side with full sun, view of an open play area. Pissed me off.

Achancetofly
Achancetofly

Don't move next to a goddamn night club, you idiot!!!

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