Lime, a bar and restaurant in San Francisco’s gay Castro neighborhood that made headlines for attracting a troublesome, drunk straight crowd, is apparently closed.
Large notices were placed on the front of the bar at 2247 Market St. on Thursday, March 1, that say, “Notice of Suspension — Alcoholic Beverage Licenses Issued for These Premises Have Been Suspended By Order of the State Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control For Violation of the Alcoholic Beverage Control Act.”
The sign also says the suspension is “Indefinite.”
The club’s phone has been disconnected. There was no immediate response to a request for an interview from Greg Bronstein, the club’s last known owner. Another bar reportedly owned by Bronstein, Trigger, located across the street, also had its liquor license suspended indefinitely the same day.
Passersby this morning seemed somewhat gleeful at Lime’s demise, smiling while reading the suspension sign. One man said he was glad to see the club go. “It’s about time,” he said.
The troubles at Lime were the subject of a column I wrote last May, which documented the complaints by neighbors who said the crowd was unruly, over-served, and prone to drunken antics that spilled out into the neighborhood. The club attracted long lines of customers on weekends, especially Sundays, with an all-you-can drink-Mimosas brunch.
But the combination of consuming unlimited alcohol and a very limited number of restrooms sent inebriated customers elsewhere to relieve their bladders, overrunning nearby cafes and urinating in public.
Many of the patrons were straight, which created a buzz in the heart of the city’s gay mecca, with a large number from out of town (reviews on Yelp indicate a base of fans in San Jose) – this led some residents to deride the Sunday brunches as a bridge-and-tunnel fiasco.
It is unclear if the controversy had anything to do with Lime’s apparent demise. The suspension notices also indicated that the state’s Board of Equalization was involved.
That means the suspension could be due to unpaid taxes.
Agents with the state board would not speak on the record today, saying that by law the details of their involvement in such matters is confidential. But they pointed to a state document that explains how the board suspends liquor licenses when an establishment is “three or more months delinquent in the payment of taxes or penalties due under the Revenue and Taxation Code.”
So, perhaps, the end of Lime might not be due to the straight invasion, but because the tax man cometh.