Spoiler Alert: Bar Rescue Hates Metalheads, Helps Kill Rocky Point Cantina
On July 16, Francis Massimiano applied for a live entertainment Use Permit on behalf of the new-and-improved Havana Cabana Bar and Grill. According to the notes from their hearing, they hadn't had one when they were Rocky Point Cantina, either; the original use permit had been granted to Dos Gringos, and transferred to the Massimianos only when they took over ownership of that bar.
An unfulfilled attempt to perform their own bar rescue--"We are in the process of re-branding the restaurant and diversifying the menu to be a more diverse restaurant that will attract a lunch business and evening dinner crowd with great food and light entertainment," he wrote back in 2010--rendered their original permit invalid, but that only jammed them up when they attempted to transfer it, one more time, to the Havana Cabana.
When they applied for a new one, it became clear that "light entertainment," not to mention "lunch" and "dinner," were not on the menu. ("The venue was open only for concerts, and available for booking as an event venue [ie. no hours of operation as a bar or restaurant].") That's all pretty bad, but here's the damning part: "Bar cover charge is appropriate for live entertainment ancillary to the main use as a bar; a concert venue is not appropriate in this location."
This isn't all SpikeTV's fault, but everything Bar Rescue tried to do uncovered more problems for Rocky Point. A name change exposed an invalid permit; renovations performed without any permit at all inspired more scrutiny; a subsequent safety inspection uncovered old and new problems, requiring "the owner [to retain] an architect, structural engineer and sound engineer to assess the site for code requirements."
In the end, Havana Cabana's request for a live entertainment permit of its own was denied. Several months of Ill-Conceived Death Metal Concerts were cancelled or moved, and the Cabana closed, fresh coat of paint and all. It could be that the "grand re-opening in the fall" that's mentioned in passing shortly after all those structural concerns is still on--but as of right now, that twist ending would catch me off guard. I guess we'll see on Sunday, when they finally get rid of all those Satan-worshipping paid customers.
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