No More Jelly’s Club Havana?

Posted on Aug 15, 2010

Jelly’s in San Francisco has been one of the epicenters of SF Latin music for the past 16 years. I have been a long time resident dj for the past 10 years. The reputation that the club enjoys is based on the Sunday “Club Havana” tardeadas that generated extraordinary salsa and cuban music from both the featured band and the dj much to the delight of both the dancer and the listener. Evidence of this phenomenon is on the Jelly’s live music sampler that features Mazacote, Anthony Blea’s Charanga, Fito Reinoso and others. The succession of fine talent has been handed down from the beginning when Linda Wosskow and radio dj Chata Gutierrez started the Sunday scene to when Ivette “La Coqui” Fuentes took over as dj to when I started alternating Sundays with La Coqui for many years. After La Coqui parted ways, I kept on the every other Sunday rotation with timba Dj’s Walt Digz and Antonio. The club changed direction earlier this year: now Antonio and myself appear monthly and Walt Digz is there every other Sunday.

Jelly’s is located at a prime real estate spot at Pier 50 near Pac Bell Park which houses the Giants. The club has been a target of the Fire Department for quite some time and it’s no secret that the Port Of SF has wanted Jelly’s to move out. Perhaps to make room for a hotel and/or another upscale development. Now the Port of SF has given Jelly’s a 30 day eviction notice after an unfortunate shooting that occurred outside the club after a small private party on a Friday evening. The entertainment commission and the police have cleared Jelly’s of any involvement and wrong doing. However, the Port has used this incident as an excuse to give the club their eviction notice. There was a protest rumba this past Friday in front of the Port’s offices. However the participation and support of the community was strong but light on numbers of people. Jelly’s is now playing a chess game with the Port. Clarice Lacau, the owner of the club has obtained a lawyer who is in written communication with Port officials. The eviction deadline is up this week. It is feared that the city may shut down their doors which could be a significant loss and the end of an era in the local salsa scene. Jelly’s intends to stay open until the end. More to come.