Why Is Jack in the Box any Concern of the Entertainment Commission?

Categories: Food, Government
Old Jack in the Box mascot.jpg
Horrifying? Yes. Entertaining? Not really.
As noted earlier on this page, local residents are aiming to scuttle the application of the Jack in the Box on Geary Boulevard to operate on a 24-hour basis. Most notably, it was the site of an after-hours spat that purportedly led an enraged patron to run over a state firefighter; following the hue and cry unleashed by that incident, it was revealed the fast food establishment did not possess the proper permits to operate past 2 a.m.

The eatery is now in the process of applying for the necessary permits; a hearing is scheduled before the Entertainment Commission on Jan. 10. This, however, necessitates the question: Why is this under the Entertainment Commission's purview? Visiting a Jack in the Box at 3 a.m. may be many things -- but not exactly "entertainment."

It turns out the definitions of "entertainment" -- and the jurisdiction of the Entertainment Commission -- are wider than you'd think.

Audrey Joseph, the vice chair of the body, notes that "we are a regulatory agency -- and we regulate a lot of stuff."

You want to blast protest songs or bellow through a bullhorn at your planned demonstration against the 1 percent? Hardly anyone's classic idea of an entertaining afternoon -- but you'll need to get your permits through the Entertainment Commission.

That's also the case if you're operating an establishment between the hours of 2 and 6 a.m. Per Municipal Police Code 1070 -- which is administered by the Entertainment Commission -- the following establishments fall under the definition of "extended-hour premises":

Every premises to which patrons or members are admitted or which allows patrons or members to remain on the premises between the hours of 2:00 a.m. and 6:00 a.m. which serves food, beverages, or food and beverages, including but not limited to, alcoholic beverages, for consumption on the premises or wherein entertainment as defined in Subsections (b) and (c) is furnished or occurs upon the premises.
That also includes "dance academies" where "instruction is given in ballroom or other types of dancing, whether given to the students in groups or individually" and a joint hosting "any act, play, review, pantomime, scene, song, dance act, song and dance act, or poetry recitation, conducted or participated in by any professional entertainer in or upon any premises to which patrons or members are admitted."

Jack antenna ball.jpg
Go home and come back at a decent hour!
Per this definition, it would seem a 24-hour postal annex or laundromat would be exempt. Whether a supermarket would be is less clear cut. Our calls to Entertainment Commission Executive Director Jocelyn Kane have not yet been returned.

Jack in the Box, however, clearly falls into the category of business that must plead its after-hours case to the Entertainment Commission. With a bevy of angry "concerned citizens" and the incredibly bad press emanating from the firefighter's near death hanging over the eatery, it may be an uphill battle.

Damage-control maven Sam Singer, the "Master of Disaster," tells SF Weekly Jack in the Box hasn't hired him yet. But there is plenty of time between now and Jan. 10.

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Blanchard
Blanchard

You severely mischaracterize the situation here.  First of all, "a bevy of angry concerned citizens"?  Who is angry?  I fully support the closing of this JIB between the hours of 2 a.m. - 4 a.m.  This is not a witch-hunt. I want Mr. Saeed to be successful and he has wanted to work with the neighborhood.  Perhaps you have not lived in the neighborhood, as I have, for more than 30 years, and known that for that ENTIRE period of time, this location has continuously been a problem in this neighborhood.  This is not Broadway and Columbus or the Mission -- this location is on a quiet street.  And the trash, noise, frequent police calls, fights, etc. have been an ongoing problem for years.  Mr. Saeed has made good-faith efforts to work with the neighborhood and we thank him for that.  Unfortunately, the problem does not stem from his actions, but from the very fact that this location is 1) fast food 2) tiny 3) extremely near a number of bars.  When they close at 2 a.m., different "groups" of people who get along fairly well with each other, suddenly mix in an EXTREMELY tiny space and parking lot.  It has always been a recipe for trouble - -but the trouble has grown worse.  Twenty years ago, when a couple of drunk 20-somethings exchanged words, they might take a swing at each other; these days it is sadly likely to be a gun.  It astonishes me how many people want to say "it's none of your business."  REALLY?  My own neighborhood, where I live, shop, go out to eat and drink (yes, I do, too), where I own property is NOT MY BUSINESS? 

I am really not supposed to care when a someone living in my area who is 29 and a father is run over (and is still fighting for his life more than a month later)?  That's how places like Oakland and Richmond city become as they are.  It IS my business to keep my neighborhood safe for people to live and work.   

 We are asking only that Jack in the Box be closed from 2 a.m. to 4 a.m. -- the time when police records show the problems are at their peak.  We hope that, in doing so, we can keep people who want to cause problems form meeting people they don't like, get them out of the neighborhood and to places where they won't encounter each other in a tiny space.  By asking for closure only until 4 a.m., we are trying to have the minimal effect on Mr. Saeed's revenues and also keep this locatioh open for people who go to work early and like to stop for a bite on the way.

Characterizing me and the 500+ other Richmond residents who are looking for a sensible solution to a 30+ year problem and danger spot in the neighborhood adn NIMBY and "angry" is ridiculous -- and it's also not at all helpful.  It discourages people from taking resonsibility for problems in their neighborhood and - -it seems to me that's what everyone it trying to get people in Richmond and Oakland to be -- TAKE responsiblity and stop those who would shoot and run down people with their car, etc.   Or -- perhaps you think it's preferable to live in a neighborhood where people are terrified to go out at night because of violence?  I don't.

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