July 26, 2021

SF club that replaced Slim’s in SOMA draws controversy over social media posts

The new EDM venue is called YOLO Nightclub

An image of Pure Nightclub in Sunnyvale, the sister venue to YOLO Nightclub, posted to Yelp by user Kevin J.

An image of Pure Nightclub in Sunnyvale, the sister venue to YOLO Nightclub, posted to Yelp by user Kevin J.

Yelp

In mid-2020, it was announced that legendary music venue Slim’s would be replaced by a new nightclub called YOLO. The appropriateness of using the dated acronym for “you only live once,” especially during a global pandemic, foreshadowed a recent string of questionable social media posts which have drawn outrage online.

The controversy stems from several different social media posts. In one dated April 28, which has since been deleted but is being reposted by other users and debated in the comments on the club’s Facebook page, the nightclub posted the following text on a black background: “Speak English, Kiss French, Dress Italian, Spend Arab, Party Yolo.” The text was a custom iteration on a meme posted elsewhere online. It was captioned with the phrase “Do it right.”

Yesterday, Hoodline reported on more controversy regarding the club’s dress code, which at the time matched that of Pure Nightclub in Sunnyvale (run by the same owners). The dress code on YOLO’s webpage has since been updated, but Pure’s website still includes the controversial elements.


YOLO’s formerly posted dress code forbid casual attire like “shorts or wife-beaters.” However, an Instagram post from the YOLO account shows a suggestive photo of a woman wearing the type of tank top described. The dress code also banned anyone with visible facial or neck tattoos, but YOLO has circulated promotional materials for an appearance by the DJ group Cheat Code, whose members would otherwise fail this test of entry.

Hoodline also reported that a description on YOLO’s Facebook event page for its June 18 soft opening alluded to potential perks for guests who bring five or more women.

An online petition started by an anonymous petitioner asks that YOLO and its associated club Pure undergo sexual harassment and unconscious bias training.

SFGATE has reached out to YOLO Nightclub for comment and will update this story with its response.

UPDATE (6/12/2020): In an email statement to SFGATE, YOLO Nightclub said they did not think the April 28 Facebook post “was racial-related or else we wouldn’t post it.” YOLO Nightclub also said it removed a post using the same text graphic from its Instagram page, but “forgot to take it down from our Facebook page.”