Escondido After Dark, a popular teen-age nightclub, was ordered closed Tuesday by city authorities who cited numerous building-code violations that they said threatened the health and safety of patrons.
Dan McFarland, Escondido city building director, said the club on East Valley Parkway previously had been cited several times for crowding--allowing more than 299 people into the building--but had never been padlocked.
Violations, reported to the city inspectors by an unidentified complainant, include unlicensed electrical wiring and unsafe construction on raised platforms where patrons sit.
City inspectors visited the club at 1981 E. Valley Parkway last Friday, and the building was posted and padlocked Tuesday after the report of their findings.
The club is normally closed Mondays and Tuesdays, so the closure will not affect it until tonight, McFarland said.
After a meeting Tuesday afternoon with the nightclub's owner, Charles Mitich, his attorney, Jeff Cheyne, and a contractor, McFarland said the city will cooperate with the club's management in its efforts to lift the closure order in time to open tonight as usual.
He said, however, that much work must be done to bring the building up to city code standards. Hazardous electrical wiring includes "a total morass" of connections and too many extension cords and wires taped together, posing a fire hazard, McFarland said.
Poorly constructed platforms built without permits and of substandard materials must be removed and electrical deficiencies must be corrected before the club will be allowed to open, McFarland said.
The city will make concessions to its order by not requiring that the electric meter be removed and by making an inspection late this afternoon to determine if deficiencies have been corrected, he added.