City Council Says No to Bricks Cafe Dance Permit

Club Owner Was Appealing Rejection by Police & Fire Commission

As its July 27 meeting, the Santa Barbara City Council denied Bricks Cafe’s appeal of the Police & Fire Commission’s decision to reject the State Street nightspot’s application for a dance permit.

Bricks, located on 509 State Street, submitted an appeal for a dance permit on May 9, the conditions of which included dancing until midnight on varying nights for up to 20 people with live entertainment only and an addition of several safety measures. Owner, Wallace Ronchietto also wants his Alcoholic and Beverage Control (ABC) license to be amended. On June 23, he also submitted a formal request for the removal of two conditions: the prohibition of amplified music and the requirement that entertainment acts be placed only at the front of Bricks, near the windows facing the street.

Bricks had previously been cited for violating its ABC license. On April 6, a police officer reported amplified music from a disc jockey as well as about 20 people dancing. On June 13 and June 28 there was, again, amplified music. According to Ronchietto, the manager who was in charge on April 6th has since been fired. He claims to have had no idea about the incident.

The Police and Fire Commission originally shot down the dance permit for several reasons, including what it deemed an unnecessary increase in the number of dance permits in the State Street’s entertainment district (mainly the 500 block), as well as prior ABC violations, the conflict with current ABC license conditions, and a possible increase in crime and police involvement. There has also been opposition by neighbors concerned with possible noise, drunken crowds, and crime.

The council ultimately suggested that Ronchietto seek a “type two” entertainment license - which would allow a non-amplified band to play for a dance floor.

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