So far, 1986 has been a rough year for Huntington Beach rock clubs, what with the closings of the Golden Bear, Spatz and Garfield's Nite Spot, and more recently the end of live entertainment at Safari Sam's.
Now another Huntington Beach club that periodically books local bands may be in jeopardy. The owner of Night Moves, which since June has been showcasing original bands two or three nights a week, said this week that city officials are threatening to revoke his entertainment permit.
Ezra Joseph said the Police Department may pull his permit after citing him twice in August for staging female oil wrestling shows, a type of entertainment not granted by the permit. The 21-and-over club at 5902 Warner Ave. is allowed only to present live bands, disc jockeys and dancing.
Joseph, who opened Night Moves in October, 1984, said he has been charged with violating the city's adult entertainment code. The oil wrestling "was not conducted in a way the permit says it should be handled," Police Capt. Grover Payne said Thursday, adding that he had only limited information about the situation at Night Moves. Vice division officers who cited the club were not available for comment.
The citations against Night Moves are misdemeanors, but Joseph said police told him that they will press for criminal convictions on the charges. Although Joseph has stopped presenting the oil wrestling shows, he said that police "told me that if I'm convicted, they'll pull my permit." The power to revoke permits lies with the city administrator. No date has been set for a hearing on the charges, Joseph said.
Huntington Beach Mayor Pro Tem Ruth Finley said Wednesday that the City Council has not been briefed on the police department's cases against Safari Sam's or Night Moves. Finley said she expects to receive a copy of the report of the police's recommendation to deny Safari Sam's recent application for a new entertainment permit.
"It certainly would seem to me that in a community as large as Huntington Beach we could find a place for this type of entertainment," Finley said.
"My initial reaction is that it certainly seems to me that this type of use (local original music) is not undesirable," Finley said. "I don't know what problems exist with these particular clubs or if there is any effort to try to eliminate it."
Joseph, however, charges that "the City of Huntington Beach is trying to get rid of all rock clubs." He said he staged the oil wrestling for six weeks during the summer "to try to bring in more business on Monday nights." Joseph said that at the Police Department's request, he submitted an application for a new permit that would allow a greater variety of entertainment, including wrestling, lingerie and fashion shows. That application was denied, he said.
Although Joseph said he promised the police to halt the oil wrestling shows, he insisted that they did not violate the city's adult entertainment code, which permits similar shows at other clubs.
In addition to Night Moves' local music shows on Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays, the club now offers special promotions for "Monday Night Football" games, a band that plays '50s and '60s music Wednesdays and disc jockeys who spin records for dancing on Thursdays. The club's entertainment permit expires on Dec. 31, Joseph said. Upcoming concerts include the Little Kings on Sept. 26 and the Adolescents on Oct. 3.
Joseph also owns another club in Huntington Beach--Close Encounters on Brookhurst Street--but it books no original music. The Coach House in San Juan Capistrano is the only club in Orange County currently booking original music full time.
LIVE ACTION: Jimmy Cliff will play the Coach House on Oct. 2. The Coach House will present a "sax summit" on Oct. 5 featuring Eddie (Cleanhead) Vinson, Big Jay McNeely, Plas Johnson and the Henry Butler Band. . . . The Forrester Sisters will be at the Crazy Horse Steak House in Santa Ana on Sept. 29. . . . Humble Pie is scheduled to perform at Kono Hawaii in Santa Ana on Wednesday.