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Live Music Loses Again

From our We Hate to Say We Told You So Department: It looks as though the controversy over live music at the MEDITERRANEAN will cease for the time being, as the club's owner PATRICK McKEE has decided to stop hosting live music in the beginning of October.

"We're having to cut back so I can reassess things," says McKee, who's been on the ropes as of late because of neighbor complaints, permit issues and rising insurance costs--all related to live music at the Med.

"I think you hit it where you said the legal system isn't geared to where anybody can actually do it," says McKee, in reference to Metro Santa Cruz's Aug. 25 cover story on Santa Cruz's live music woes. "With Capitola village, they have to stop at 11pm because of the sound. The capacity issue gets me too; they want it to be so few people that it wouldn't even be a fun place to have music."

McKee can't seem to work the same kind of magic at the county Planning Department that somehow allowed previous owners to host live music over a 30-year span. Then, he says, he got hit up by his insurance company for more money, and the numbers just aren't adding up.

"Every week, I'm paying like $600 in extra staff and $250 extra for insurance," says McKee of the extra expenses he incurs for live shows. "That's $850 before the band even starts to play, and then I got hit with the capacity issue where I can't have more than 70 people in there. How are you gonna shove enough drinks down somebody's gullet to break even?"

McKee says he's been losing money on the club, but is willing to try anything to keep the club in the black, and himself out of the high-tech field whence he came. He's unsure about the Mediterranean's future.

"I don't even know if they'll allow me to be a bar," says McKee, who may be forced to turn the club back into AN ITALIAN RESTAURANT.

"But people won't go in there for Italian food."

Proceed With Caution

While it seems like everybody and their mother has a pet idea for the space formerly occupied by the FRONT STREET PUB, new owners TROY MANCHESTER and MICHAEL POLITT are moving ahead with their vision for the newest restaurant/nightclub in Santa Cruz: CLUB CAUTION.

The posters in the windows show sexy men and women scantily clad in construction outfits. The phrase "Size Does Matter" emblazoned on the poster might refer to this or that part of the human body, or it could just be a saucy way of saying that the burgers available in "The Loading Zone"--the restaurant portion of the club--will be huge.

Whatever the case may be, we do know that the new floor plan is pretty ambitious, featuring a record store in the front, a dining area, and in the back where they used to brew all the beer, there will be a dance floor with a performance stage and DJ booth, plus a game room and outdoor patio.

But enough from me. Here's what the owners have to say about how it all started:

"We all wanted an amazing place to play with our friends. More than just another dark hole in Santa Cruz to crawl into and drink. We wanted a full scope experience, something everyone would be talking about the next day. A theme-based production choreographed just for us. With all the lights and power of New York City, the theatrics of Hollywood and the personality of our own San Francisco. All this deep in the wonderful diversity of downtown Santa Cruz, California."

For a closer look, check out their website at www.clubcaution.net.

Mike Connor

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From the September 8-15, 2004 issue of Metro Santa Cruz.

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