Do The Right Thing

Patron Behavior Demands a Proactive Approach to Security

Sometimes bad things happen. In less than an hour one weekend night, management at Temple Nightclub in San Francisco saw some very bad things happen in and around the venue.

A fourth-year University of California medical student died from injuries suffered during a brawl at the club on the weekend of Jan. 8; another man was also injured in that incident and two other patrons were stabbed with broken bottles outside the club.

Temple NightclubSuch is the stuff of every bar and club operator’s nightmare, and Temple — a club that is a Finalist for Mega-club of the Year in the Nightclub & Bar Awards — was caught up in the ongoing press coverage of violence in nightclubs. San Francisco is a hotbed of headlines on the topic, as the Entertainment Commission and Police Department have taken a strong approach to stem the tide of such incidences in the city’s nightlife venues.

What’s different about the recent incident at Temple is that the club itself wasn’t lambasted; in fact, its management’s actions were lauded by the EC and the SFPD. Newly minted Entertainment Commission Director Jocelyn Kane told the San Francisco Examiner that Temple is not a “problem” club and went on record at an EC meeting to state that adequate security was in place at the time of the incident. Kane told me, “Based on what I was told, the club did everything right in my mind. [This incident] is the result of poor patron behavior, which continues to be a problem not just in San Francisco but all over the country.”

She speaks the truth. Clubs are often held up to blame and subject to liability while patrons are rarely painted in the same negative light. Granted, some clubs deserve to be tarred and feathered over their shoddy security measures, but I believe the majority of club operators do the right thing. It’s good to see one of those good guys being backed up for once.

Temple’s club management was proactive in enhancing its already well-structured security plan — Kane noted that some of the elements of the ED Director’s Order issued after the incident actually came from the club’s personnel. Go to and enter keyword Temple for details.

Kudos to Temple, the EC and SFPD for working together. Are you wondering what can be done about patrons behaving poorly? Look for coverage of the topic on and in our upcoming issues. In the meantime, check out the Responsible Hospitality Institute at; the group works to bring clubs and bars together with law enforcement, regulators and community groups in order to create safe nightlife areas. That very task means addressing ways to keep patrons safe from what might be the biggest danger of all — themselves. NCB

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