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Jim Winsor’s Out & About: Was ADA lawsuit a shakedown or deserving?

The Mo’s Universe family of restaurants/bars in Hillcrest (which includes Urban Mo’s, Baja Betty’s, Gossip Grill and the Hillcrest Brewing Company) has a solid reputation in the community for being a friendly and inviting place for all people, including those with disabilities.

For example, they recently helped sponsor a grassroots effort to raise $65,000 for a local disabled volunteer, donating thousands of dollars themselves to the cause.

Thus it came as a great surprise to many when they announced via their various Facebook pages that they had recently been hit with a lawsuit under the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA):

“Our company has recently been sued by Chris Langer, a disabled gentleman with nearly 400 lawsuits filed in Southern California.

"We would like to bring attention to a current loophole in the Americans With Disabilities Act allows for an automatic judgment without any notice to the business to attempt to make a correction."

These lawsuits can be very expensive to the businesses that are on the receiving end of them, costing around $12,000 to settle once legal expenses are factored into the mix. And what horrific crimes against the disabled did Mo’s commit to warrant such a costly penalty?

“We are being sued because the stripes in our handicapped space were not wide enough. It was a correction we were happy to make, and one that has gone un-noticed for 21 years. Additionally, the area within the stripes must be clearly marked. A handicapped parking sign is not enough.”

There is no word yet on whether any other gay businesses in the Hillcrest area have been targeted by this litigation machine. Regardless, it’s probably wise for business owners to enlist the services of a qualified access specialist, and self-inspect yourself against a potential lawsuit.

Commonwealth Ultra Lounge industry opening

On Tuesday I checked out Joe Price's new Commonwealth Ultra Lounge, a swanky new establishment opening in the old space vacated by the Range (before they moved across the street to 1202).

This was an industry only “soft opening, so a few things were still a work in progress. Nonetheless, you can see by these photos that quite a bit of progress has been made. It looks like it will be a nice addition to that stretch of University when it is complete.

The grand opening is still on schedule for Saturday, Sept. 14.

Saturday Disco Brunch at Babycakes

There’s a new weekly brunch event starting up this month at Babycakes, a Saturday Disco Brunch. Going from 9 am to 3 pm, the brunch features groovy beats and eats, 2 for 1 mimosas, and everyone who shows up in disco gear gets a free cupcake.

The Queer Queens of Qomedy

The Queer Queens of Qomedy, a hilarious comedy review that has been touring the country, will make an appearance in San Diego on Saturday night the Birch North Park Theatre. Starring Poppy Champlin, Sandra Valls, Shann Carr, and special musical guests Nicki Walker and Melanie Peters, tickets can be purchased HERE.

Fierce Fling at the Brass Rail

Remember the End of Summer Splash fundraisers that were held annually at Martinis Above Fourth? Well, due to the recent ownership change there, those are now history.

As a result, the original organizers of the benefit have taken their show to a new venue and given it a new name: Fierce Fling at the Brass Rail.

Featuring the talents of Babette Schwartz, Olive Onemore, Paris Sukomi Max, Alejandra Eloisa Jalapedro, Tiffany Tanqueray (there in spirit) and a half dozen or so scantily clad men in swimwear, this promises to be the AIDS Walk fundraiser of the season! All money raised including entertainer and model tips will go to benefit AIDS Walk San Diego via the Walking for Memories/Maletenders team.

So You Think You Can Drag at Lips

On Sunday be sure to check out Lips and their So You Think You Can Drag monthly amateur drag contest.

Hosted by the fabulous Paris Sukomi Max, this contest will over $500 in cash and prizes for the participants, provided by sponsors Lips, SDPIX, Smirnoff and Captain Morgan. There will be drink specials all night long as well.

The bar opens at 6:30 pm, seating begins at 7 pm, the show at 7:45 pm. Cover is only $5 ($2.50 for industry) plus a $15 food minimum. Call 619-295-7900 for reservations, as this event is sure to sell out.

SDPIX Preview Party at Urban Mo’s

And the week of drag excitement continues on Wednesday when "Tragic Girl" Chad Michaels hosts a special SDPIX Magazine Preview Party at the Dreamgirls show at Urban Mo's.

Doors open at 7 pm show starts at 8 pm with $7 Cover; call 619-491-0400 for reservations.

Other fun stuff this week

Thursday, Sept. 5

9 pm to 2 am: CLUB FLICKER AT FLICKS

10 pm to 2 am: WET WITH TORI AT BOURBON STREET **WET Finals are coming on Thursday, Sept. 26!

10 pm to 2 am: GAYMR AT NUMBERS

Friday, Sept. 6

7-11 pm: FISH FRY FRIDAYS AT GOSSIP GRILL

Saturday, Sept. 7

10 am to 2 pm: ORIGINAL & WORLD FAMOUS MEXICAN BRUNCH AT BAJA BETTY'S

9 pm to 2 am: BEARNIGHT AT NUMBERS

Sunday, Sept. 8

3-7 pm: SUNDAY FUNDAYS AT UPTOWN TAVERN

Tuesday, Sept. 10

Noon to 2 am: TACO TUESDAY AT FIESTA CANTINA

7 to 9 pm: TRIVIA TUESDAY AT HILLCREST BREWING COMPANY

Wednesday, Sept. 11

7:30 to 10 pm: PICTIONARY NIGHT AT #1 FIFTH AVE.

10 pm to 2am: MISCHIEF AT RICH’S

Last week’s events

Check out SDPIX.com for all the new albums from last week, including photos from Manic Monday at the Brass Rail, and the ‘Hillcrest Hillbillies’ WTF Massive Party at Rich’s. Enjoy!