"Vice officers went into [Winstons on] May 27 to do a regular check of their permits," says SDPD Lieutenant Lawrence McKinney. Winstons management told the undercover vice detectives that permits were not needed because the bands playing that night were performing for a charitable cause.
"The detective asked the manager how the [door admission receipts] were distributed," continues McKinney. "They were told that 40 percent went to the band. Under the nonprofit exemption, 100 percent of the gate has to go to the charity."
The undercover officers forced the band to stop playing immediately that night. The ban continued for 13 days. Live bands resumed on June 9, the day the club received its updated permit.
McKinney explains that Winstons' "cabaret license" had expired, and because of new municipal codes adopted in 2000, Winstons needed an "entertainment license" for venues over 50 people.
Attempts to reach owners Scott Slaga and Mike Stiffano for comment were unsuccessful.