News


Pleasanton Council puts Club NEO on probation, cuts number of patrons allowed by nearly one-third

Action follows January shooting, earlier parking lot fights

The Pleasanton City Council placed the troubled Club NEO on probation Tuesday, ordering the Gateway Square nightclub to cut the number of patrons allowed in the club by nearly one-third and to close its two bars by 1 a.m.

The move came after a series of disturbances both inside and in the parking lot outside in December and January, including a shooting last Jan. 14 that injured a Fremont patron.

The council's decision was actually to deny an appeal by Club NEO attorney George Mull of an earlier vote by the city's Planning Commission to modify the existing conditional use permit for the club's operation.

The nightclub's attorney filed the appeal on Feb. 23 challenging the commission's decision to limit the number of nightclub patrons to 300, down from the 812 permitted in the club's conditional use permit granted earlier.

The club must also close the bar at 1 a.m. daily, instead of 1:45 a.m. as previously authorized, and the council also ordered the Gateway Square parking lot to be cleaned of any glasses and cans by 2 a.m.

The council's vote to deny the appeal was 3-1, with Councilman Matt Sullivan absent from Tuesday night's meeting and Councilwoman Cindy McGovern voting against the measure because she objected to a 30-day probationary period. She said the frequency of past disturbances at the club that brought police officers to Gateway Square was so numerous that the probationary period should be much longer.

As it stands, Police Chief Dave Spiller and Brian Dolan, the city's director of Community Development, will observe nighttime activities at Club NEO during the 30-day probationary period, which started Tuesday night, and determine if the club can accept more patrons.

Although neither the council nor the Planning Commission voted not to revoke the club's operating permit entirely, for the time being, the club was ordered to provide and pay for a security staff that meets the requirements of Police Chief Spiller and his department.

At Tuesday's council meeting, Spiller said security at the club has been spotty with inadequate staffing and no training of club employees on "intervention techniques" in the event of trouble.

"We simply don't have the resources to handle the large number of Club NEO patrons who were involved in the recent disturbances," Spiller said.

Spiller said his entire on-duty police force was required to be at the Gateway Square center in the late hours of Dec. 17 to quell the fights in the parking lot and the "side-show" drag racing car activities under way in that center.

It was even worse on Jan. 17 when fights inside the club and in the parking lot had to be subdued by 10 officers from the Pleasanton force, eight from Livermore, six from Dublin, three sheriff's deputies and seven from the California Highway Patrol.

"Disturbances such as these are highly unusual for Pleasanton," he said. "We've never had problems like these before."

But Mull, Club NEO's attorney, told the council that these disturbances were "highly unusual" for the club, too. He said that the club suddenly started getting overcrowded in November.

"That's when postings on Facebook and other social websites made Club NEO the club of choice for African-Americans in Oakland and crowds started coming," he said.

Mull said the club has been serving 600 or more patrons a night without problems and that by restricting its allowable number of patrons to no more than 300 at a time will make the business unprofitable.

"We've put half-a-million-dollars into this club and won't be able to operate with the small of a number," he said.

Gateway Square manager Gene Harrilenko of Alamo said Club NEO has stopped paying rent on the 10,000-square-feet of space it leases at the Chabot and Stoneridge drives corner of the center. He said that he believes there is a good possibility that the club is preparing to close.

Club NEO is owned by Diamond Pleasanton Enterprise, which received the Planning Commission's approval to increase the maximum occupancy from 643 patrons to 812 when the club's name was changed in 2010.

Diamond Pleasanton asked the commission to further modify its operating permit to provide activities for those under 21, but that application has yet to be considered.

Diamond Pleasanton Enterprises also has sued the city of Pleasanton asking the Federal District Court to set aside a city requirement affecting the type of and the volume of music it plays. That case is still pending.

Comments

 +   Like this comment
Posted by resident
a resident of Downtown
on Apr 4, 2012 at 9:09 am

HURRAY!!!! ""We've put half-a-million-dollars into this club and won't be able to operate with the small of a number,"
Then leave. This town does not want or need that place and from the sound of the article it is not even Pleasanton people who are going there. Wonderful news that the landlord -- who has done NOTHING to control them -- is no longer getting paid rent. Economic retribution seems to be the only way to force landlords to act like responsible business owners and police their tenants.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Sam
a resident of Oak Hill
on Apr 4, 2012 at 11:09 am

But Mull, Club NEO's attorney, told the council that these disturbances were "highly unusual" for the club, too. He said that the club suddenly started getting overcrowded in November.
"That's when postings on Facebook and other social websites made Club NEO the club of choice for African-Americans in Oakland and crowds started coming," he said.

LOL! Well, he said it. But regardless of the ethnicity of the customers, it seems like 812 people is a huge number to have in a club located there. I don't recall seeing Club NEO itself, but I've been to the Sweet Tomatoes in that same plaza area. Gateway Square is not that large of an area. Having 812 people there at, say, 4 people per car, means at least 200 additional cars there. Or at a more likely average of around 2 or 3 people per car it means an additional 270 to 400 cars. Lots and lots of cars and lots and lots of people. I'm surprised that the Planning Commission ever approved 812 patrons.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Apr 4, 2012 at 12:43 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Sounds like a prime opportunity for Club NEO to expand their business where their customers live.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by What were they thinking?
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 4, 2012 at 2:16 pm

812 is a ridiculously high amount of people to be allowed to be in one restaurant or night club at once. 812 short and young people can barely fit into an elementary school with nearly 30 classrooms.

The city must have made some awful mistake allowing 812 people to be in there in the first place.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Pleasanton Resident
a resident of Country Fair
on Apr 4, 2012 at 4:47 pm

Businesses have opened and closed at this location over the years. What were the prior "maximum occupancy" rules allowed in the space in the past? I hope the current business can find a way to stay and make it work. Maybe they should open at lunch and serve large groups from the nearby businesses (off-site meetings). An Under-21 night each week would also be something to consider. Spend some money on good lighting inside and outside, including security cameras. Post the rules outside and inside and enforce them so that all patrons feel safe. Best of luck to them.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Love P-Town
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 4, 2012 at 5:04 pm

They need to close it down permanently.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Mark K.
a resident of Val Vista
on Apr 4, 2012 at 11:40 pm


See ya later, losers! This club was just a rehashed Aura and attracted every kind of undesirable misfit. Good riddance!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by common sense
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 5, 2012 at 5:33 pm

Who counted the 812, were they seeing double at the time, lol. In any event when you get too many people at one place at one time in a small establishment you get trouble. I wonder why this was made a racial problem in the first place.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Martin
a resident of Mission Park
on Apr 5, 2012 at 10:38 pm

As long as the club is making a profit I don't think anyone should be complaining. It creates jobs, and peeple are voting with their pocketbooks.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by P*town Truth Tellers
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 6, 2012 at 8:17 am

This club is not needed in Pleasanton. Look at the Yelp! reviews for this club. They're all from people who are out of town. That's not very "green." Move the club to Hayward, San Leandro, or Castro Valley even - it will be closer to its intended audience. We don't need to waste Pleasanton police resources dealing with the out-of-town criminals that this place attracts.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Martin
a resident of Mission Park
on Apr 6, 2012 at 8:25 am

It's capitalism, pure and simple. There's a demand for the club. It's ONLY A CLUB! There are clubs in other cities. If it wasn't successful the owners would shut it down. If you don't want to patronize the club, don't. But don't restrict my freedom to go clubbing where I want to. I like their happy hour, I get cheaper corn liqour there, and I love their corn dogs.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by hnic
a resident of Ruby Hill
on Apr 6, 2012 at 10:41 am

"this land is your land, this land is my land. this land was made for you and me" Racisim still exists i see. Alot of the patrons were from the tri-valley, they were happy to see a place like this near them.

Country bars have plenty or more fights, but we never hear from them. Hell, a guy got his ear cut off at a known Livermore bar, no one is saying close them down. Shootings at white clubs, never hit the newspaper. hmmmmmmmm?

don't hate the business if it does not cater to you.

i am a successful african american who makes over 6 figures in the tech world, im not going to oakland to party, i prefer tri-valley.

i also own a business where the clientle is white, i had to have my buddy play like he's the owner, because I would be broke if folks knew I was the real owner.......shame

i bet you want to put whites only on the exit ramps into pleasanton.

ha, and cnn ranked it the top place to live.......david duke must have been on that panel.

so the next white club you go to, look for the brother with the broom, he can hook you up.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by D
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Apr 6, 2012 at 11:40 am

Miss Aura the fist years were the best! I use to host parties there before it got bad. It got too ghetto and mismanaged. Hopefully someday someone can bring some class back I would love a place to dance at again. But for now it will give our cops something to do.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Sam
a resident of Oak Hill
on Apr 6, 2012 at 12:22 pm

hnic said: "don't hate the business if it does not cater to you."

We don't hate the business because it doesn't cater to us. We hate it because it brings crowds of people to Pleasanton who get into drunken fights and do dangerous sideshow drag-racing in the parking lots.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Anonymous
a resident of Stoneridge
on Apr 6, 2012 at 1:20 pm

Most of the comments again once again showcase the racism in Pleasanton.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by hnic
a resident of Ruby Hill
on Apr 6, 2012 at 3:44 pm

Sam- druken fights happen at all bars. I have video of white kids in the tri valley drag racing, um wasn't there a kid who crashed a building racing in livermore after a house party, we have to stop those to right.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Sam
a resident of Oak Hill
on Apr 6, 2012 at 5:01 pm

hnic said: "Sam- druken fights happen at all bars. I have video of white kids in the tri valley drag racing, um wasn't there a kid who crashed a building racing in livermore after a house party, we have to stop those to right."

Right.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Cecil
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 6, 2012 at 6:53 pm

All those crying about racism in Pleasanton should get the hell out of town now. Why tolerate it if you're so fearful. There's plenty of other places for you to squat other than our town. Scury away.....


 +   Like this comment
Posted by BillHilly
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 7, 2012 at 9:03 am

If "diversity" is so great, then why does Pleasanton have the lowest crime rate and top performing schools compared to virtually every town in the East Bay? Pleasanton isn't racist, having a college education means being smart enough not to be brainwashed by libtard morons and reject the thug mentality and those who associate with it. And yes, honkytonks might have some drunken bar fighting - but it's usually mano a mano with fists - not the cowardly brandishing of a pistola that often ends up with innocent bystanders getting shot!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Martin
a resident of Mission Park
on Apr 7, 2012 at 9:07 pm

Thank the libtard police and school teachers for what you hold up for praise. They shouldn't be unionized.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by law and order
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 7, 2012 at 11:02 pm

Thanks Obama.


Don't miss out on the discussion!
Sign up to be notified of new comments on this topic.

Email:


Post a comment

Posting an item on Town Square is simple and requires no registration. Just complete this form and hit "submit" and your topic will appear online. Please be respectful and truthful in your postings so Town Square will continue to be a thoughtful gathering place for sharing community information and opinion. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

We prefer that you use your real name, but you may use any "member" name you wish.

Name: *

Select your neighborhood or school community: *

Comment: *

Verification code: *
Enter the verification code exactly as shown, using capital and lowercase letters, in the multi-colored box.

*Required Fields

Prop 46: Two Bridges Too Far
By Tom Cushing | 21 comments | 1,796 views

The valley loses a distinguished and humble leader
By Tim Hunt | 3 comments | 1,228 views

My secret identity is revealed!
By Roz Rogoff | 2 comments | 1,060 views