Carlos Club, back in the day. Photograph by Stefania Rousselle.

Carlos Club, the popular working-class hangout for Latino immigrants that closed last month after its alcohol license was suspended, will reopen — as a café.

On Wednesday afternoon, the bar’s owner, Carlos Gutiérrez, stood inside the darkened storefront with a group of friends and swept debris off the floor. He declined to comment on the circumstances that led to the demise of Carlos Club as a liquor-selling establishment. An undercover investigator for the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control found that the bar’s owners and employees engaged in profit-sharing, where cocktail waitresses pressure patrons into buying drinks at a higher price than usual and split the profits with the owner. The practice is common in Asia and Latin America but illegal in the state of California.

After several appeals, the bar served its last drinks on June 30.

Gutiérrez and his wife opened Carlos Club (its name never matched the sign hanging above its front door) in 1976. The name probably will not remain the same, said one of the men standing with Gutiérrez, but no one is sure yet what it will be. The establishment’s liquor license will stay inactive until the permit is sold to a new owner and business.

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Ernesto Garcia Morales

As a young child to Mexican immigrants, Ernesto Garcia Morales developed a passion for journalism while growing up in inner city Sacramento, where he witnessed injustice, crime and poverty plaguing his community. Today he hopes to address those challenges by telling stories of people, organizations, and business leaders who are striving to make the Mission a better place to live, work, and play.

Ernesto comes to Mission Loc@l from the San Francisco Business Times. He received his journalism degree from San Francisco State University.

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  1. I can’t imagine this establishment will continue to be anything but a magnet for thugs and alcoholics regardless of whether they serve liquor or not.

    Prediction: people will bring in their own liquor and still be wasted, vomiting, and peeing right in front of the bar and on Lilac alley across the street. Little thug punks will still be assmebling around the entrance trying to look hard an attract attention…

  2. Stefania, this is a great photograph! If what ever follows Carlos isn’t right nobody will go there and it will change. This is a superb location. but really Stefania your photograph is absolutely perfect! congratulations!

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