SAN JOSE -- The breakup last week of a lavish underground night club operating out of an warehouse -- with VIP rooms and an army of cocktail waitresses -- should be a cautionary tale for industrial property owners screening tenants, authorities say.
The operation was discovered early Friday morning when San Jose police officers were called to the 800 block of Commercial Street off Oakland Road for reports of a large fight out front, according to police reports. When the officers took a closer look at the inside of the building, they discovered a "nightclub-style atmosphere" featuring music and dancing and bolstered by a makeshift kitchen and "an inventory of beer and high-end liquor," none of which was backed by necessary permits.
Additionally, the warehouse had been divided into eight locked "private VIP rooms" with bottle service provided by 30 waitresses, police said.
The man presumed to be managing the enterprise was arrested in connection with providing unlicensed services, a misdemeanor. His identity was not immediately released.
It was unclear how long the warehouse had been operating as a night club, said police spokeswoman Sgt. Heather Randol, who added that the manager's arrest was notable because these setups are often masked by a series of subleases to make them harder to pinpoint.
"We're aware that some of these buildings are used in this manner, and when we're called to respond, we investigate and work with property owners to prevent this from happening in the future," Randol said.
Randol said the police vice unit is working with the building owners to learn all the details of who else might have been behind the nightclub. Both patrons and the apparent employees of the club were interviewed by police and then allowed to leave.
No arrests were made in connection with the reported fight that drew the police attention that resulted in the club getting shut down.
Contact Robert Salonga at 408-920-5002. Follow him at Twitter.com/robertsalonga.