Entertainment Commission giving SF venue Café Cocomo one last chance

Owners of Café Cocomo have one more shot to keep the noise from their venue under control if they want to continue offering music.

At an Entertainment Commission meeting Tuesday, President John Newlin said this will be the last time they get a permit to host an outside event if complaints are not addressed.

“If this blows up, you’re not going to see much cooperation coming out of me,” he said. “You’re setting your own future with how you handle this.”

Café Cocomo needed a special hearing on the outdoor permit because the venue, located at 650 Indiana St., has a history of noise complaints, including some as recently as this year’s Fourth of July weekend.

General Manager Rhush Wanigatunga said the event in question is a different type of event that would feature salsa and Latin-inspired music, not the bass from DJs that provided much of the noise that fuels complaints from
neighbors.

“This event is much smaller,” he said. “With those events, we bring in house DJs and it’s a constant battle with them to control the noise by the end of the night.”

The event is scheduled for Aug. 28, a Sunday. The outdoor permit would allow music on the patio from noon until 8 p.m., and then the party would move inside, Wanigatunga said.

Neighbor Mark Infield said interaction with the owners and managers has not been positive and he doesn’t see the venue changing to meet neighborhood needs anytime soon.

“It’s a business,” Infield said. “I get that. But the problem is they have no history or connection with the neighborhood.”

The venue also has had multiple incidents of violence. In April, a man was stabbed while trying to break up a fight that occurred outside the club. The man and several involved in the fight were sent to the hospital.

And in October, another fight led to a shooting that sent one person to the hospital with life-threatening injuries.

Café Cocomo was placed on a commission “watch list” in November, along with seven other clubs that have had a high number of incidents of violence.

akoskey@sfexaminer.com

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