VIDEO: Hue SF nightclub owners claim ‘racial bias’ due to live music after midnight being banned


SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — New restrictions are in effect for a popular San Francisco nightclub, as the North Beach hotspot has been under scrutiny because of violence and noise complaints.

Starting Friday night, the Hue nightclub will no longer be able to have live music after midnight.

Now, the owners of the club are firing back at the city, saying the business is being unfairly targeted because of “racial bias.”

The owners say they’re being used as scapegoats for the usual nightlife problems on this strip because of their mostly black clientele.

Owners tell KRON4 that the Hue, in the two years it’s been there, has never violated the city’s noise or alcohol service ordinances.

They say they don’t have an unusual amount of drunken behavior or fights for a nightclub. But police and the city’s entertainment commission disagree.

Owners say it’s a death sentence.

“For us, to not be able to play live entertainment after 12, it’s making it almost impossible for us to survive,” owner Bennett Montoya said.

But city officials say the new restrictions are necessary, based on the number of incidents related to the club.

Police say in nearly two years, there have been 65, ranging from noise complaints, public drunkenness, and brawls like one on St. Patrick’s Day.

The entertainment commission says that is an overwhelming amount of calls for service.

“How many of those are Hue related?” Montoya said. “Being on a very busy vibrant entertainment district of multiple venues where you can just walk 20 feet left and 20 feet right and there’s another entertainment bar, restaurant, or adult venue. To really pinpoint it just on one venue is kind of alarming.”

When asked about the Hue, one unidentified resident told KRON4, “it’s so dangerous that place.”

But a business owner nearby says the nightclub acts responsibly.

“It’s always a good experience. We’re very supportive,” another unidentified resident said. “These guys are, especially the security guys, everything that happened on the block, they’re always there. I think they’re being targeted. I mean, I could say the crowd can be out of control sometimes, but they have a good security team. I’ve been here for 10 years, so no, I don’t think there’s a problem.”

Owners say they feel targeted because police have asked them to stop hip-hop parties and have said things like they’re bringing Oakland and Richmond to San Francisco.

“Race has been really brought up because of certain organizations in the community and SFPD asking us to not cater to certain events,” Montoya said. “Certain types of music that brings a certain type of demographic to this area.”

A petition supporting the nightclub has garnered more than 1,000 signatures

The nightclub appealed these restrictions this week and was not successful.

The city’s entertainment commission says they’ll have another opportunity in six months to make their case.



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