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Jan-25-2012

Jack in the Box after hours permit approved, with conditions

Last night, the Entertainment Commission met to review the request for an after-hours permit for the Jack in the Box restaurant on Geary at 11th Avenue. The restaurant had been forced to close from 2am until 6am after it was discovered last December that they did not have the proper permit.

At the meeting, the Entertainment Commission voted to grant the after-hours permit to Jack in the Box, but with conditions. The restaurant must close between the hours of 4am until 6am. However they can stay open from 2am until 4am – key hours for the restaurant as patrons empty out of nearby bars and head to Jack in the Box for late night dining.

Leading up to the decision, residents were circulating a petition urging the city to not allow Jack in the Box to stay open from 2am until 4am. At last night’s meeting, Supervisor Eric Mar supported this same strategy. Two nearby bar owners also supported the restaurant being closed after-hours.

But despite the petition’s 1,500 signatures, and recommendations from Supervisor Mar and business owners, it was not enough to sway the Entertainment Commission. They voted to allow the restaurant to stay open exactly during the hours that the opposition pushed for it to be closed.

At a community meeting last Friday, SFPD also expressed support for the restaurant to remain open 24 hours, despite police calls from the business being down since they reduced their hours in early December.

At last night’s meeting, one Commissioner cited the need for drunk people to have a place to sober up as a good reason to allow the restaurant to operate after-hours.

“It’s very important that we have food [available late at night]; it helps people not be as drunk,” said Commissioner Audrey Joseph. [SF Examiner]

It may also be a little cleaner around Jack in the Box too. The Entertainment Commission said that staff are required to clean up any litter within 50 feet of the restaurant.

It looks like Jack’s neon “OPEN 24 HOURS” sign in the window will have to stay dark. But after hours diners will have a place to get burgers, fries and real ice cream shakes between 2am and 4am in the Richmond District.

Sarah B.

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10:09 am | Posted under Business | 22 comments
  1. tyler said:

    cool!

    I’d like to ban Mondays. Anyone want to sign my petition?

  2. Bullfrog Bheer said:

    Proof that officials don’t care what the neighbors think. Gotta keep the police busy and earning those ridiculous pensions rather than protect the neighborhood. How about letting drunks sober up in Audrey Joseph’s neighborhood…

  3. Opie said:

    Plenty of room with Otis here in Maybury for em to sober iup

  4. mel said:

    Umm, I was for the place staying open for 24 hours. However, the rationale that it is a good place for people to sober up, so does not make sense. First, the best place would be at home in bed. Second, eating does not make you less drunk. It can limit a hangover or make you feel better because even eating junk adds hydration and replenishes minerals such as potassium and minerals loss during a bender. But, a half hour jaunt or even 2 hours is not enough to eliminate the alcohol consumed after a few shots and a lot of beer. You’re going to be drunk when you arrive and still drunk when you leave.

  5. Susan Fry said:

    NO one EVER requested closure form 4-6 a.m. This never,once ever came up in any discussion regarding this situation that I know of, and I have been working on it for a year.

    In fact, both David Lee and myself spoke and reiterated the fact that we were not asking that Jack in the Box be denied and after-hours permit (which goes from 2 a.m. to 6 a.m.). What the Richmond residents were requesting was merely that it close between 2-4 am.

    Instead of a 2-4 a.m. closure, the Commisison ordered a 4-6 a.m. closure. Closing at those hours do nothing whatsoever to help the long-standing problems at that location.

    We never EVER heard these hours proposed, suggested, mentioned at any time until public comments had been closed at the commission meeting last night — and no one was allowed to say anything.

    I highly recommend watching the videotape of the meeting…

    You will hear “what does Supervisor Mar recommend?” many times…much shuffling and funmbling of papers…confusion among the Commissioners about what was actually being proposed by the motion they were to vote on…two Commissioners voting “no” the first time –one voting “no” the second. (extremely rare)

    The entire proceedings — and the outcome were highly unusual.

    Why would JITB be ordered to close for two hours that are not a problem — and allowed to stay open for the two that are?

    Why would Eric Mar be fighting for a fast food chain — even stating to the Commission with cameras rolling that he frequently eats at Jack in the Box — when he made national news crusading against McDonald’s and big national chains? (Remember how he fought against Petco moving into the previous Walgreen’s location on Geary — a location which has now been a empty eyesore for years).

    Right after Bartals was attacked on Thanksgiving, Mar was quoted in the paper calling for JITB to be shut down, CLOSED (something the residents have never recommended). Then, a few weeks later, he was supporting Jack in the Box, against the stated, recorded wishes of 1500 of his constituents.

    Mar never called a public meeting about the Bartals incident or neighborhood concerns about JITB until last week — after he had personally asked the Commission at the last meeting to put off a decision for two weeks.

    He then asked two bars and the motel across the street form JITB to attend (members of the CPAB had never met any of these individuals before). Perhaps he thought they would side with their fellow businessman. Instead, they pointed to the fact that they had not had problems involving calls to the police and even that they resented the suggestion that their businesses were somehow contributing to the problems at Jack in the Box. They said that the late-night crowd at JITB had been a problem for them, too and they were glad it was closed at 2 a.m. and wanted it to continue closing at 2 a.m.

    We have people all over the world — and in our city — protesting the sale of government to big business and ignoring the wishes of the people to do the bidding of big business.

    Out here in the Richmond district, the legitimate, legally expressed and presented concerns of 1500 Richmond district residents and business owners have just been swept aside in order to keep a tiny restaurant — owned by one of the world’s largest multinational corporations — open for two additonal hours.

    That concerns me..

  6. mel said:

    So, aside from receipts, what was the reasoning of a wonky “compromise” for the it to be closed from 4-6 in the morning? Effectively, the restaurant will still be open due to prep for breakfast, they just can’t serve. This seems like a bit of a slap in the face to the non-drinking population that stop in after or before a work shift.

  7. kayvaan said:

    Whatever your opinion on the issue, this particular solution and rationale seems exceptionally silly.

    Closing 4-6 am seems pointless

    And the “we need late night food to sober up” argument is ignorant and reckless. As Mel said, you don’t sober up in 30 minutes and you don’t sober up from eating. It might make you FEEL better, but it does nothing to change blood alcohol level.

    If people think Jack in the Box should be open 24 hours they should come up with a better reason than “sobering up drunks”.

  8. Jean Barish said:

    The Entertainment Commission’s decision last night made no sense, and was unresponsive to over 1,000 neighbors who asked for closure between 2-4, the time when the patrons are at their worst. As Sue Fry said, closing between 4-6 was never on the agenda…so how did that become the compromise? And where was the JIB representative when this compromise was proposed? I wonder if this is a deal that was cut before the meeting. Close the place for 2 hours when there’s no business anyhow, but keep it open, despite public outcry, when the cash flow is much better.

  9. mark t said:

    I <3 the Jumbaco!

  10. Susan Fry said:

    The tragic attack on Mr. Bartals caused a very bright spotlight on Mr. Khan and his JITB location. It has to have been unpleasant, stressful, and expensive for him.

    The goal was never to harm Mr. Kahn’s reputation, his business or to shut down Jack in the Box but to find a way to change a situation that has been bad for a long time before another tragedy occurred.

    Clearly, the ruling of the Entertainment Commission is not the solution that I and many others thought best. Now that a decision has been made, I hope that they will be successful.

    I would like to say again that every interaction I have had with Mr. Khan and his associates over the past year, including at the two Entertainment Commission meetings, they have been unfailingly polite, professional, and responsive to requests by the neighborhood.

    Their calmness and civility has been notable and greatly appreciated.

  11. hawkleberry said:

    There is a glaring need for cheap late night food in the Richmond, I work the “second shift” and stay up later than most.

  12. Ron said:

    Would have preferred if it stayed open 24 hours but this is better than nothing. I notice that a lot of people are dumbfounded that the commission went against the will of the neighborhood. Forcing JITB closed at 2am doesn’t seem to be what the neighborhood wants. Just what a very vocal minority wants.

  13. cf said:

    You said it Ron!

  14. Ben said:

    Isn’t it ironic that someone who claims to represent the neighborhood doesn’t even know the correct name of a very well known restaurant (Lucky Penny, not Copper Penny), and the fact that another cited example (Big Heart Video Cafe) has been closed since November of 2010? Even Mel’s is only open until 3am on Friday and Saturday.

  15. mel said:

    One other thing, neither Lucky Penny nor Mel’s are technically in the District.

  16. Phil said:

    Ron said: “I notice that a lot of people are dumbfounded that the commission went against the will of the neighborhood. Forcing JITB closed at 2am doesn’t seem to be what the neighborhood wants. Just what a very vocal minority wants.”

    A vocal minority = 1500 signatures? Nice try. For 1500 people in the region to take time to make a statement is an indication that a LOT more would agree, if they were made aware of the problem. If you were talking about 15, or 50 signatures as a minority, then your statement might have more credibility. 1500 phone calls to a Congressperson from an entire *region* is considered noteworthy in legislative circles.

    About Audrey Joseph’s comment: Wow – just “WOW!” – the sheer hubris and incredible ignorance about science shown by so many politicians at all levels of American politics should be enough to make us bury our heads in shame, but the further application of that ignorance to vital issues of public safety is even more confounding. Joseph should do sufficient research before making a fool of herself. Of course, her comments will resound throughout the US, further compounding the image problem that San Francisco has as nothing more than a concoction of fuzzy-thinking “liberals”. Sad.

    Supervisor Mar’s statements and messaging around these issues – although well-meaning – tend to muddy the waters. I am more and more beginning to see Supervisor Mar as well-intended, but ineffective in terms of enlightened leadership on many issues. His most recent foray into the Grammy problem (which I tend to support) was put out in a way that makes him look bad, instead of having his staff (or him) explain the issue with clarity, and showing the Grammys up for the clown show that they have become.

    About the JITB decision: I don’t agree with the outcome; I would have preferred a 2-4Am closure, but I will add that I hope our really great police department will come down HARD on anyone who causes even minor disturbances at JITB – really, really hard! So hard that word will spread among bar owners and bar patrons (who should be paying for the extra enforcement costs!) that if they even so much as dare to *think* about making a problem at JITB – or that bar managers continue to let some patrons drink themselves into oblivion – that they will find themselves cuffed and having to post bail, with expensive attorney’s fees to follow. I am sick and tired of watching small, teeny-tiny minorities screw up the demeanor of the Richmond!

    Last, I am personally going to start watching all local buildings for graffiti, and reporting same to #311, the San Francisco Customer Service line, open and staffed 24 hours per day by really diligent people. If you see graffiti, please report to this number. If you see people marking buildings, please call the police. The immature people who mark up buildings, added to almost derelict landlords who have to wait for citations to clean up their property are two compounding ingredients in this problem. I have recently been told that some building landlords have been issued citations (they have 30 days to comply), but there has not been compliance. They have about one week, and I will be watching. If they continue to not comply, someone (Sara?) should be doing a little research and NAMING the owners of these properties. Landlord anonymity – especially commercial landlord anonymity – is a long-held advantage that many commercial landlords take advantage of, while they let their properties turn into cesspools, but still collect enormous rents. I have had enough, and every citizen who lives in the Richmond should start reporting commercial landlord oversight and negligence of property. Otherwise, we risk going downhill really fast. Just look what lower Clement has become over the last 5-6 years, with some bars hosting customers who can best be described as “extreme low life” – and that’s being generous.

  17. David lee said:

    Phil, check out our website http://www.fixtherichmond.com which was created by neighbors and san francisco state university students to give residents a way to report and track the very problems you describe in your post. I would comment on the JIB discussion but unfortunately, I’m short on time today. luckily Sue Fry has already posted on the topic.
    David

  18. Sue Fry said:

    This process has opened my eyes in many ways. Not the least of which is the fact that if you see ANYTHING you don’t like, you’d better call the police. Now that Comstat is in, the police rely heavily on it to decide where and when they are. And if the neighborhood has any complaint, they are going to run the stats and if they can’t point to a large number of call, they’re going to say there is no problem.

    As you can imagine, people who live near JITB were awakened all the time by yelling and screaming in the streets, customers of JITB were parking in their driveways while they ran in to buy food. Resident would see people sitting on their stairs and eating, and walk out in the morning to find trash and catsup and soft drinks spilled on their stairs. People urinated on their buildings and stairs…all kinds of things.

    Did they call most of the time? No . Because they didn’t want to “bother the police.” Because they assumed that the police wouldn’t take having someone sitting on their steps at 2:30, or a bunch of trash discovered at 7 a.m. seriously. They figured the cops had better things to do and would be annoyed.

    BUT becasue they didn’t call, there was just the word of long-term residents who took the time out of their day (workday) to come to the Richmond station to try to get some help. Who came on a weeknight down to City Hall and sat through two lonnnnnnnng hours of an Entertainment Commission meeting to try to get some help.

    And were told “oh, there aren’t that many calls. There’s not really any problem.”

    CALL, CALL, CALL, CALL, CALL. About trash. About potholes. About graffiti. About people screaming on the streets at night. About people drinking in public. About arguments.

    I have never wanted to bother the polce about anything that didn’t seem very serious, either.

    But the police at the Richmond station themselves have now instructed us that is what we are to do.

  19. Sue Fry said:

    Clarification: For trash dumped on the street., potholes and graffiti that has already been sprayed on buildings,etc — Call 3-1-1 and get DPW (Dept of public works).

    If you SEE someone in the act of spraying graffiti or hear a fight or yelling late at night or have people trespassing on your property — call the police.

  20. Dman said:

    My first reaction to the JITB proposal was the issue Sue mentioned above; if there have been so many incidents happening in the past, why hadn’t the police (or someone!) shown up at the Entertainment Commission meeting with a telephone-sized book account of all these? I began to wonder how much of it was exaggeration. Any time you call the police the complaint is logged, whether anything is done about it or not. It explains a lot that perhaps people didn’t call and complain (uh, they didn’t want to bother the police? We hire police for incidents like this!).

    Secondly, I am also alarmed when a petition from 1500 residents of the Richmond district is ignored, minimized and “walked over” like this. It’s yet another example – and there are more and more of these incidents happening daily – of the City admninistration making its own decisions and completely disregarding what the people want. Rec and Park is apparently famous for this. WE ELECT THESE PEOPLE TO REPRESENT US. Until we start seriously organizing in the Richmond, this will only continue to happen because nothing’s stopping it. Writing a posting in the Richmond blog isn’t going to accomplish anything except help you to vent; actual meetings and numbers of people showing up for those meetings are (very similar to what’s described above-picking up the phone and calling the police when you have a complaint). I’ve only recently become concerned about some issues in the Richmond and having lived in several other areas of the city am continually vexed as to why the residents are so passive in this district. We have a very large population of people in this area (many with families, which you think would be uniting people even more), but compared to most of the other districts in San Francisco, it appears to also be one of the most apathetic. Complaining isn’t enough; people need to start physically moving and organizing, otherwise nothing changes and decisions will continue to be made for (and against) us.

  21. Alexandra said:

    I think what most Richmond residents need to understand is that Supervisor Mar is largely just smoke and mirrors.
    He never intended to “actually” change anything re JITB. What he wanted was for Richmond residents to believe he was addressing this issue. He called people, held meetings, but when the neighbors actually rallied enough signatures to show that the neighborhood did not want this late night business- Supervisor Mar backtracked. See- he is so scared of being called “anti-business” in an election year- he could not have anything actually hurt JITB’s business. Seriously folks, I’m sorry- but Supervisor Mar has got the Richmond fooled- he just looks busy……
    Please for all our families- lets get a Supervisor interested in real Richmond district issues- crime, safety, cleanliness, small business support! Supervisor Mar is too interested in pursuing higher offices- he’s focused on State and National issues- just review his last 2 years- he’s more focused on issues relating to the East of SF- not the very District he’s representing- SAD!

  22. Jack in the Box after-hours permit suspended after appeal is filed | Richmond District Blog of San Francisco (richmondsfblog.com) said:

    [...] January 24th, the Entertainment Commission approved the restaurant’s request to stay open after hours, with some conditions. Rather than stay open 24 hours, the Commission ruled that Jack in the Box [...]

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