County clears way for nightclub

A Modesto bar owner persuaded Stanislaus County leaders to let him open a nightclub in south Modesto, despite fervent opposition from worried neighbors.

Rudy Baca, who runs the Palladium downtown and the Modesto Sports Bar & Grill, said those establishments enjoy a good reputation without safety fears cited by several neighbors of the future Los Artistas Nightclub at the southwest corner of Butte Avenue and Crows Landing Road.

Those concerns had persuaded a majority of county planning commissioners to reject the project, leading to the appeal before county supervisors.

"All this does is bring headaches to our community," said Raymond Castro, who has lived nearby for three decades and predicted the lounge will engender littering, prostitution and public urination. "We already have enough problems. We don't need any more."

Baca and Chavez are "very well respected," Supervisor Bill O'Brien said. "They have done everything the county and city have asked, and they deserve an opportunity to prove themselves. If there are issues, we have the right to revoke this."

Supervisors voted 4-0 in favor of Los Artistas, which could employ 60 people, as long as the owners build an eight-foot wall in back.