Birdland Jazz and Multi Culti Grill: Update

Michael Parayno of Birdland. Photo: Eric Arnold.

Many Berkeleyside readers have weighed in on the fate of the Multi Culti Grill and Birdland Jazz evenings hosted by Michael Parayno out of his garage at 1733 Sacramento Street, across from North Berkeley BART.

Here’s an update:

Last Thursday, December 8, Parayno received a Notice of Violation from the Code Enforcement Unit of the Office of the City Manager.

The document lists eight code violations, including a lack of a special-event permit, loud and unruly gatherings which obstruct public streets, and unapproved land use based on zoning.


The notice advises that corrective action, in the form of a special-event permit, is necessary to avoid penalties, which amount to $500 per violation or $4,000 in total a day.

As reported on Berkeleyside, last week’s gathering went ahead, sans sidewalk set up — futon couches were moved to the park next door — without any action from the city to date.

City spokeswoman Mary Kay Clunies-Ross says “the list of violations speaks for itself.” In response to queries from Berkeleyside to city Code Enforcement and Health officials, Clunies-Ross adds: “By having another event, the organizer could be cited for any of those violations, or any other violations discovered at that time.”

Parayno has applied for an event permit, according to Clunies-Ross, a process that can take time to sort out, as issues of health and safety, noise, timing, and right-of-way are addressed. The Berkeley Police Department confirms receiving “at least two” complaints from community members concerning past events.

Meanwhile, Parayno plans to go ahead with a final soiree for the year this Friday. Musicians from the Berkeley High School Jazz Program will take the stage at 6 p.m., followed by the Nerio DeGracia Mambo Jazztet at 8:30 p.m., and Billy White Hot Five from New York City at 11 p.m.

Sarah Henry is the voice behind Lettuce Eat Kale. You can follow her on Twitter and become a fan of Lettuce Eat Kale on Facebook.