Sanctioned for sound violations, club owner fires ethics charge back at Entertainment Commission

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Brick & Mortar, located at Mission and Duboce, has a problem with some of its neighbors on Woodward.

The San Francisco Entertainment Commission last night voted to restrict the hours, sound limits, and other operating conditions for Brick & Mortar Music Hall -- the Mission Street live music venue that has received a series of noise complaints from its neighbors on Woodward Street -- until it completes soundproofing work to deal with the problem.

While acknowledging the sound problem and pledging to address it, club co-owner Jason Perkins responded to the action today with a written complaint that makes a serious allegation: that Entertainment Commission inspector Vajra Granelli last year recommended Brick & Mortar hire an overly expensive security company he founded, Yojimbo Protective Services, and that would solve the problems it was having with the commission, Perkins wrote, “an obvious conflict that a person who is regulating us is also trying to get us to use his company.”

There is no proof that Granelli actually made the extortionary suggestion or that it was connected to the club’s current problems with its neighbors, who seem to have legitimate issues with noise. “They have a sound problem and they have to deal with it,” Entertainment Commission Executive Director Jocelyn Kane told us, calling the allegation against Granelli a diversionary tactic that has nothing to do with the case. “The neighbors are being reasonable, they just want them to fix the sound.”

Yet it does appear that Granelli is still involved with Yojimbo Protective Services, which he co-founded in 2003 to do security for entertainment venues, and that may violate city conflict-of-interest rules against outside employment in an industry that he regulates. Kane said Granelli was out-of-town and that she would get him a message about addressing the issue, but we never heard from him.

When we called Yojimbo for Granelli, someone who identified himself as Ed the CEO (presumably co-founder Edward Cissel) said, “I can take a message for him. He’s not usually here at the office.” And when I identified myself as a reporter for the Guardian, Ed said of Granelli, “He has little or nothing to do with the daily interactions of this company.”

Yet Granelli (who was profiled by the Examiner last year) remains the agent of service on the company’s business permits. Kane said she was aware of Granelli’s connnection to Yojimbo, but that, “When he took this job, he divested himself.” Indeed, on the Form 700 Statement of Economic Interests that city employees are required to complete, which Granelli renewed last month, he claims to have no reportable outside economic interests. A link to a list of clients and description of its focus on entertainment venues on the Yojimbo website has recently been removed.

Later, when we noted that Granelli still appears to be involved with the company, Kane wrote, “It remains my understanding that Vaj Granelli sits on the Board of Yojimbo but derives no financial benefit from the company, nor is responsible for any day to day operations.”

Perkins alleges that last summer, “I was told I had a security problem by Vaj Granelli,” who recommended he hire Yojimbo shortly after the club received its first of seven noise violation citations, which Granelli issued. Perkins said that when Granelli made the suggestion again following another noise complaint in October -- by which time Perkins said he had learned of Granelli’s connection to the company -- “I blew up and told him to fuck off, and immediately we start getting hammered by complaints.”

During the hearing last night, the commission had little patience or sympathy for Perkins, accusing him of misrepresenting his neighborhood outreach efforts and creating problems in the neighborhood by refusing the spend the necessary money on soundproofing the club, a perspective supported by several Woodward neighbors who testified they could hear music in their living rooms and that Perkins has resisted their entreaties to fix the problem.

“Rather than doing it, I believe you’ve used delay tactics,” Commission President Audrey Joseph told him, urging him to instead, “Be a big boy and just deal with the problem, which is what you need to do.”

The commission then voted unanimously to recondition the club’s entertainment permit to require it to close at 11:30pm on weeknights and 12:30am on weekends, cap its allowed outside sound at 80 decibels, provide a direct phone number to neighbors with complaints, and complete necessary soundproofing work by next month.

“We got sucker-punched last night, it’s so unfair,” Perkins told us, noting that the new sound limit will essentially prevent them from hosting live music. He claims that he was only recently made aware of some of the noise citations and they have repeatedly upgraded their soundproofing.

Kane denies that Brick & Mortar has been treated unfairly, and she said that it’s a popular music venue that everyone involved wants to see continue operating. As for Granelli’s connection to Yojimbo Protective Services, she told us, “I’m not suggesting he’s not affiliated, I’m just saying it’s not relevant.”

Comments

'Perkins alleges that last summer, “I was told I had a security problem by Vaj Granelli,” who recommended he hire Yojimbo shortly after the club received its first of seven noise violation citations, which Granelli issued. Perkins said that when Granelli made the suggestion again following another noise complaint in October -- by which time Perkins said he had learned of Granelli’s connection to the company -- “I blew up and told him to fuck off, and immediately we start getting hammered by complaints.”'

Most of this statement is just outright WRONG. Inspector Granelli clearly stated during the hearing -- which is on public video -- that B&M had a minor crowd-control problem over a year ago that they've since solved, and that they had no current problems with security -- the only issue was compliance with their permit. We also all know that there were only three citations issued, not seven. Also their first citation was issued in February of 2012 -- long before "last summer".

AND: "Perkins said that when Granelli made the suggestion again following another noise complaint in October -- by which time Perkins said he had learned of Granelli’s connection to the company"

If Mr. Perkins knew about this last fall, then why are we only hearing about it now, hmmm?

Posted by Jim G on May. 23, 2013 @ 9:12 am

Kane says there were seven citations, not three, and she provided the dates for all of them. As for the security issue, Perkins' allegation isn't that Granelli was dealing with an actual security issue, but that he had a profit motive in his suggestion. Your last question is a good one, to which Perkins says Kane told him not to publicly raise that issue (which he says other club owners have also raised to Kane, although I haven't yet found any to support that assertion) and he did so only after feeling that he was treated unfairly by the commission and that his business was threatened.

Posted by steven on May. 23, 2013 @ 9:39 am

OK if there are seven citations, that just underscores how bad B&M's noise violations are. I was only notified about and have dates for three citations.

Posted by Jim G on May. 23, 2013 @ 9:46 am

I can explain the confusion on the # of citations. They received a few citations starting several months ago, and when nothing improved they were given an official notice stating that they had 3 months to fix the sound problem. If they received 3 more citations within those 3 months (which they did, and all sound readings were documented and specifically requested by the neighbors, not Vajra) they would be subject to a hearing in front of the Entertainment Commission.
So 7 is the total number of citations they received (I thought it was 5 or 6, but that part doesn't matter), 3 is the number of citations they received after they got their warning about fixing the music or they would go before the board.

Posted by Guest on May. 23, 2013 @ 10:39 am

Are these anonymous complaints or do they have names, addresses and phone numbers?

Posted by Guest on May. 30, 2013 @ 10:09 pm

Mr. Perkins is lying about "only recently receiving sound citations." There is video proof in which he states he started receiving these citations several months ago.
His accusations are ridiculous. It was the neighbors who started all these complaints, and it was the neighbors who asked Vajra and the Entertainment Commission to get involved. The fact is that they have been out of compliance for a very long time and have made life very difficult for the surrounding community by their incessant loud noise. While one can argue that their neighbors live in a city and should be used to noise, Brick and Mortar popped up long after most of the residents have been living there, many for 30+ years, and the noise is well beyond a mere nuisance.
The neighbors do not want the venue to close, they simply want to coexist peacefully but Jason Perkins belittling of the neighbors over the years has made this impossible. If you want the real story then you can see the entire hearing on video on the SF entertainment commission website.

Posted by Guest on May. 23, 2013 @ 9:33 am

Here is an example of Mr. Perkin's opinion of his neighbors, and shows just how much he wants to "work with" us...

http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3758/8762363620_8c54b81454_o.jpg

Posted by Jim G on May. 23, 2013 @ 9:49 am

The most hilarious thing about that flyer is Jason Perkins actually even live in SF. His wife and child would be furious if they heard that club every night.

Posted by Guest on May. 23, 2013 @ 11:09 am

I'm working on a piece for local music blog The Bay Bridged, would love to speak with any neighbors of Brick & Mortar if you're willing: mikeDOTgATthebaybridgedDOTcom

Posted by Mike G. on May. 29, 2013 @ 4:37 pm

How does this guy on the one hand admit there are sound issues, and at the same time claim that Granelli is causing his issue out of retaliation?

So there is sound issues, but yet there really aren't?

Or perhaps he's saying Granelli would have ignored the neighbors if only the owner paid for his company's security.

Either way this all sounds like BS. Fix your sound leak and shut up, dude.

Posted by nonsense on May. 23, 2013 @ 11:12 am

How does an Inspector that works for the city gets to have an outside security company..that is some shady shit.

Damn..SF Entertainment is one nasty piece of corrupt shit

Posted by Guest on May. 23, 2013 @ 4:22 pm

Why does Granelli get to break city rules? Only in SF can a city employee get away with this shit

Posted by Guest on May. 23, 2013 @ 4:23 pm

It sucks that the mission is having its clubs closed...what kind of asshole moves into the Mission next to a club and then demands to have it turned down and shut off? those assholes need to move to San Mateo and leave the city behind.

Posted by Guest on May. 23, 2013 @ 4:25 pm
Posted by Guest on May. 23, 2013 @ 5:07 pm

These whiners move in because they want the urban experience with the suburban tranquility.

Posted by Matlock on May. 23, 2013 @ 9:59 pm

quit making fake comments, Jason.

It's embarrassing for you and your club. Nobody wants the club shut down so stop being a little cry baby and do your job.

Posted by nonsense on May. 24, 2013 @ 8:59 am

These people didn't move next to the club. The club moved in 2 years ago next to people who have been living there between 5 and 30 years

Posted by nonsense on May. 24, 2013 @ 8:59 am

That space has been a nightclub for many years. Prior to B&M it was the Coda Lounge, then before that it was Lavende Lounge and then the Butterfly before that. The question in valid. How can you move next to a nightclub and not expect there to be noise?

Posted by Guest on May. 31, 2013 @ 3:54 pm

Yeah...who the fuck moves in next to a club and then complains about sound?

What assholes

Posted by Guest on May. 23, 2013 @ 4:27 pm

Welcome to the new mission where yuppies move in next to a club and then are shocked that there is noise

Posted by Guest on May. 23, 2013 @ 4:28 pm

Brick & Mortar, The New Parish and The Independent are the best live clubs in the bay area...

What kind of assholes move into next to a club and then complain about it?

Posted by Guest on May. 23, 2013 @ 4:40 pm

Have to love a city where the corruption runs this deep and not one person from city government even bothers to address it.

Posted by Guest on May. 23, 2013 @ 4:43 pm

Brick & Mortar is a great club and it sucks that they have to deal with this. City workers should follow the laws like the rest of us

Posted by Guest on May. 23, 2013 @ 5:15 pm

How can anyone take the Entertainment Commission seriously when they lie, cheat and break more of their laws than anyone in SF. Unbelievable.

Posted by Guest on May. 23, 2013 @ 5:18 pm

Love how we pay to have an "Ethics" commission in SF and they do nothing while people like Jocelyn Kane and Granelli flaunt state and federal laws right under their noses

Posted by Guest on May. 23, 2013 @ 5:25 pm

well..the mission will soon be devoid of night life, bars, latinos, color, the working class and all those people in their high priced condos will then have peace and quiet before they move on and wreck another cool neighborhood.

Entertainment Commission = the quiet commission

Posted by Guest on May. 23, 2013 @ 5:33 pm

Granelli has been doing this to clubs for years - and Kane has known about it for years. About time someone stood up those assholes. Brick will probably be closed but damn, at least they had the balls to do something.

Posted by Guest on May. 23, 2013 @ 6:45 pm

Granelli just removed the security company form his FB page today and also his security company dropped the club listings from their...nice try to cover his tracks.

Wow - that club is getting screwed

Posted by Guest on May. 23, 2013 @ 7:02 pm

"that club" again, Jason. You're not fooling anybody. This is just you and the neighbors going back and forth. Cut it out.

Posted by nonsense on May. 24, 2013 @ 9:23 am

Patronage and corruption is standard fare in medium to large US cities, but San Francisco tries to pretend otherwise.

Posted by Guest on May. 23, 2013 @ 7:11 pm

You got that right. Pretend, but we go along with it. The FBI is supposed to investigate local government corruption, but ever since 911 they have bigger fish to fry and these inspectors know it. One property owner went to the FBI and told them he paid a $50,000 bribe to an SF building inspector. The inspector claimed it was a loan, with no interest, no paperwork and no collateral, and got off scott free! Some building inspectors own construction companies and do work in the city without permits with the knowledge of some top administrators in the department.

Posted by Guest on May. 30, 2013 @ 9:59 pm

that location has been a club for 10 years and Brick has been by far the best club there....sucks that stupid politics are trying to take them out

Posted by Guest on May. 23, 2013 @ 7:16 pm

Entertainment Commission emailed the three people with sound complaints about the hearing and then told Brick & Mortar a different date..they also didn't post the public notice so the only people who showed were the confirmed complainers.

Wow...the EC really wants that place shut down..

Posted by Guest on May. 23, 2013 @ 9:35 pm

you mean "my place", Jason.

You're flat out lying your face off. There are email trails about ALL of this that prove you wrong.

There are about a dozen people with sound complains, it's only the 4 that have the patience to go through channels rather than simply call the cops. 4 people showed up at the hearing, not "the three people with sound complaints".

You had months notice of the first hearing date, and when the issue was postponed you even had another 2 weeks. Not to mention you had 2 years to fix these issues in the first place.

Every single word out of your mouth is a lie, and you only make a bigger fool of yourself every time you repeat these lies.

Posted by nonsense on May. 24, 2013 @ 10:18 am

this person needs to see their mommy!

Posted by guest on May. 24, 2013 @ 1:08 pm

That's about the level of discourse that can be expected from this Perkins.

Nobody's reading this crap, Jason, it's just you. Which is lucky for you since all your comments above are obviously you and you're embarrassing yourself and your business.

I'm absolutely positive all your employees and what friends you have would want you to just shut up right now, if they even cared enough.

Posted by nonsense on May. 24, 2013 @ 6:04 pm

here is the post that I put on Brick and Mortar's facebook page that I was quickly deleted from and blocked.

I can't handle this anymore and have to let you guys in on a few details. Although this guy Granelli sounds like a real slime bag, Brick and Mortar being shut down is because Perkins refused to sound proof if venue up to the standards set forth by the citizens of San Francisco. He does have neighbors and for two years we have all been willing and open to working with him to get this sound problem under control. He ignored us and didn't take us seriously. Not once did he enter any of our apartments to hear the sound for himself.

$50,000 may seem like a lot of money, but in the night club world, that's chump change when it comes to sound proofing. None of the Northern Mission residents wanted Brick and Mortar shut down. Most of us love seeing live shows and think music is an important addition to our lives and community. All we wanted was for him to fallow the noise regulations like everyone else is expected to. For some reason, Perkins decided that he was above the law and that his neighbor's piece of mind and ability to relax and rest didn't matter. Perkins doesn't want to address the fact that his sound proofing was anything but effective, which goes the same for his shameful bullying tactics of threatening his neighbors. Now that he's been called out, he does what seems to come next for people like him, he throws a tantrum and attempts to distract everyone with a huge smoke screen scandal in city hall, which although is probably true, is really not the cause of his problem.

Instead of transferring the blame, let's use this energy to solve this problem and get Brick and Mortar up and running,...just freaking properly soundproof your building and hire a proper security staff. Don't use the company proposed by the sleazy commissioner, there are plenty of other security companies in the city open for hire.

Posted by Trav on May. 23, 2013 @ 10:01 pm

We live in back of Brick on Woodward Street. I'm a senior citizen and a light sleeper. If Brick was making noise, you would have heard about it from me long ago.
I'd also like to mention that Brick & Mortar adds value to the neighborhood. It's really convenient to be able to walk to hear live music. I believe that when you have neighborhood folks walking to and from your venue, it makes drug dealers, graffiti taggers and other bad elements think twice about loitering around the area of Mission and Duboce.

Posted by music lover on May. 24, 2013 @ 8:42 am

nice try. There are no senior citizens living in any of the three buildings on the north side of Woodward. The oldest resident of that building doesn't like the sound either.

Another clue that you're fake is the fact that you seem to think B&M has somehow reduced graffiti and loitering in the area (most of which happens in front of the building you're claiming to live in).

B&M hasn't made any of that worse but they certainly haven't made it any better by their presence.

Quit making fake comments.

Posted by nonsense on May. 24, 2013 @ 8:57 am

Done listening to Perkins crap. I will not patronize Brick & Mortar, The New Parish or The Independent again. There are better venues which actually respect their neighbors, their patrons and the laws that guide their business.

Posted by Guest on May. 24, 2013 @ 9:00 am

this comment war needs to stop.

A) The neighbors have a legit gripe, and they've been there long before Brick & Mortar.

B) Jason Perkins is what he is but the rest of the Brick & Mortar organization should not be penalized for this stuff as long as they commit to a resolution, which it looks like they have, and are moving towards it.

C) This Granelli issue has nothing to do with the situation between B&M and its neighbors. Perkins' angry comments here should not be taken personally.

D) The Independent is not directly associated with Perkins and shouldn't be blamed for any of this. The Independent once had a neighbor issue and they solved it. They are a reputable club.

Posted by CUT IT OUT on May. 24, 2013 @ 10:11 am

JASON, STOP POSTING FAKE COMMENTS. It's obvious it's you, they're sound like you and are posted almost at the same time. "front and center" indeed.

Posted by nonsense on May. 24, 2013 @ 9:02 am

Done listening to Perkins crap and done going to Brick & Mortar, The New Parish and The Independent. There are better venues which actually respect their neighbors, their patrons and the laws that guide their business.

Take some responsibility and quit with the conspiracy bullshit whine.

Posted by Guest on May. 24, 2013 @ 9:05 am

I went to the neighbor meeting at Brick and Mortar last monday..its obvious these guys did a huge amount of work - anyone who walks in and can see that. I;m not sure why people are getting so crazy on the owner - they have pledged to get the work done and its obvious they are victims of a sleazy city inspector

Posted by guest on May. 24, 2013 @ 1:22 pm

what's up with all the weirdo personal attacks - these guys have a club and are getting whacked by the city and people on this freaking out on this like they are stealing babies.weird.

Posted by Guest on May. 24, 2013 @ 5:24 pm

What's with all the weirdo personal attacks from this guy on his neighbors?

He's posting dozens of comments everywhere pretending to be random people. Read them all, they sound exactly like him if you've ever met him. That's creepy and weird.

As long as he keeps acting like a child he'll keep getting called out for it.

Posted by nonsense on May. 24, 2013 @ 6:08 pm

the only smears here are against the cub owner - are you Granelli? I bet Granelli is on this forum making all these weird comments

Posted by Guest on May. 24, 2013 @ 6:54 pm

you're making all this idiotic remarks about residents moving into the neighborhood pushing out music and culture. It's obviously you, Jason. They're words you've used before, and of course will again.

Let's for argument's sake say Granelli is corrupt. If you had done the sound proofing when you had a chance then Granelli wouldn't have been called over and over, you wouldn't have gotten additional citaitons, you would have none of this issue today.

I guess you're saying the if you had just paid this guy's company the neighbors would not have complained. In that case you're calling your neighbors liars. What a pillar of the community you are.

Nobody's reading these comments anymore, Jason. For christs sake just pipe down and fix your club.

Posted by nonsense on May. 25, 2013 @ 6:11 pm

So who are you?

Posted by Guest on May. 30, 2013 @ 9:50 pm

Granelli must be all over this thread - look at the personal attacks

Posted by Guest on May. 24, 2013 @ 7:10 pm

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