Viracocha, the performance space in the Mission that's been underground in more ways than one, is finally on the right side of the law. As the SF Weekly reports, owner Jonathan Siegel finally received an Entertainment Commission permit yesterday, after months of waiting and renovations. Viracocha had been operating more or less under-the-radar for the past four years, with a hush-hush policy surrounding its nightly assortment of live bands, poetry readings, history classes, and other performances. Siegel had planned to sell the venue rather than make the improvements that fire codes and ADA compliance demanded, but he managed to find investors to help overcome the $10K monthly rent and $40K of debt that were plaguing Viracocha.
The downside of the pricey renovations is that Viracocha might not be as accessible for a while, with more private events needed to pay off the bills for the new wiring, plumbing, and decor demanded by the Health Department. The upstairs antique store has been shifted, with some retail space claimed to accommodate a piano lounge; the remaining retail will be oriented towards items sold by local musicians and writers. And while a less-than-legal bar used to be part of the proceedings, Siegel will now need to apply for a traditional beer and wine license to sell drinks downstairs and in a new bar upstairs.
Viracocha's return to the SF scene will kick off with an impromptu poetry reading tomorrow night. For more details on what's playing, check out their Facebook events page.
· Underground No More: Viracocha Gets Permitted [SF Weekly]
· Viracocha Wagers Its Survival on Going Legit [SF Weekly]