WALNUT CREEK -- In a mock press conference-style video on YouTube, the co-owner of Vice Ultra Lounge in downtown Walnut Creek announced he has closed the four-year-old night spot, suggesting police and city scrutiny cost him his business.
The closure, effective Jan. 1, comes after the lounge in October had its "last call" alcohol-service time moved from 1:15 a.m. to 11 p.m. -- a result, local planning commissioners said, of fights and other rowdy behavior there, as well as numerous violations of the lounge's conditional use and dance permits.
The planning commission could have reviewed the last-call time 90 days after its Oct. 25 decision, which would have been in late January.
At that Oct. 25 meeting, Ron Rives -- attorney for Vice co-owner Matt DeLima -- told commissioners such an early last-call time would be "a death penalty for the business."
Police information given to the planning commissioners at that meeting indicated that, since late 2009, Vice has had 30 fights or similar disturbances, including several that required a large police response; 19 assaults, including several allegedly by bouncers; 31 reports of or arrests for public intoxication; and 15 violations of the establishment's conditional use and dance permits, including unapproved events and overcrowding.
But it wasn't only Vice that came under increased scrutiny. In April 2012, the city approved a "nuisance-based" ordinance requiring all businesses -- not