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.