There will be a dry New Year's Eve party at the unless owner Dan Dillman and city officials finesse a dispute that has defied settlement for months.
In a nutshell, the city's planning department wants Dillman to sign a conditional use permit that would dictate how many and what sort of live entertainment events he can hold at the Bal.
Dillman argues that because the Bal has held live events in the past he has a "grandfathered" right to host live shows without such a permit.
The issue has come to a boil this week because Dillman wants to hold a New Year's Eve comedy show at the Bal where liquor would be served.
To serve liquor Dillman needs approval from the state's Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC).
But before the ABC acts, Dillman needs San Leandro Police Department Chief Sandra Spagnoli to okay the request. So far she has refused.
"I stand to lose tens of thousands of dollars if (police) do not sign off on the permit," Dillman wrote in an e-mail to the Chief and city council Wednesday.
Dillman said police have okayed one-day liquor permits on four previous occasions as recently as November.
"This is clearly harassment and a violation of my rights," he wrote of the current dispute.
Spagnoli told Patch Wednesday that she couldn't recall these prior instances.
But assuming that Dillman is correct, she said the difference this time is that police considered the New Year's Eve party a "high-profile event" and so they checked to make sure that planning department officials had no objection.
"To our surprise the theatre is operating without a current conditional use permit," Spagnoli said. "How can I come in and sanction an event the city says he has no right to have?"
The Bal will hold two live events on New Year's Eve, only one of which is affected by the licensing dispute.
The first show at 5:00 pm is a , with a portion of ticket proceeds going to benefit the San Leandro Education Foundation. Dillman said he never planned to sell liquor at that event.
Dillman had wanted a license to sell drinks at a that will run from 9:00 pm until a little after midnight.
"If we don't have a valid liquor license we won't have any liquor here at all," said Dillman, who anticipates fewer ticket sales and lower revenues as a result.
The Bal owner is no stranger to controversy.
Dillman is currently defending of obstructing a county peace officer during an incident at the Bal last October.
Dillman has countered that he was beaten by two Alameda County sherriff's investigators who never identified themselves.