Homeless Illegal Bar Entrepreneur Coughs Up $160, Sentenced To Jail

If you want to make headlines by breaking into a closed bar and re-opening it on your own without a liquor license, plan on spending 15 days in jail and paying a $160 fine for your fun.

A Northern California man who did just that was sentenced to the fine and jail time, scheduled to head to the slammer Oct. 19, the Sacramento Bee reports. The entrepreneur isn’t allowed back at the club unless he somehow lands a job there.

The man re-opened the closed club and served as many as 30 customers a day before, as the sagelike songstress Ke$ha would but it, the po-po shut him down, down.

Man who re-opened distressed Penryn bar sentenced [Sacramento Bee]
(Thanks, dangerp!)

Previously: Industrious Homeless Man Breaks Into Shuttered Bar To Start Selling Booze


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  1. pecan 3.14159265 says:

    So he basically gets to live somewhere for 15 days and it’ll cost $160? That’s actually pretty good rent price considering that’s half a month. Not to mention that in the meantime and during his trial he had to be housed somewhere. Maybe he can rent his jail cell on craigslist.

    • Snarkster says:

      And the $160 fine is just a cost of doing business.

    • YouDidWhatNow? says:

      I believe that you actually have to pay the state for the privilege of being in their “hotel.”

      • Michaela says:

        source? I am trying to find proof of that claim, but all I can find is the option to pay by night at jail for better treatment (ipod, laptop, better security from gangs, etc.).

      • danmac says:

        Hmmm…not so sure about this…if I recall, you can actually serve jail time in lieu of paying fines in many cases. In that case, the state pays you for staying in their hotel :)

    • DariusC says:

      *15 days in ass-pounding jail and $160.

      • Skankingmike says:

        county lock up is not an ass pounding jail. County is you go if you are drunk and disorderly or any number of things. It’s for normal citizens who get caught up in stupid shit.

  2. c!tizen says:

    $160.00 and 15 days in jail? TOTALLY WORTH IT.

  3. Caprica Six says:

    oh no you did-ent with the Ke$sha reference…

  4. Snarkster says:

    Maybe the title should read, “Man goes from behind bar to behind bars.”

  5. PsiCop says:

    Tangential question: Anyone out there know how to pronounced “Ke$ha”? The dollar sign may mean something … i.e. a unit of currency … but it has no sound associated with it, in English or in any other language. I figure it must be silent, which would make her name “key-huh,” but that sounds a little like a Korean car manufacturer.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      I always thought it implied an “S” because Kesha is a real name.

      • Southern says:

        Yes, “Kesha Rose Sebert” is her (real) name, and according to her, she stylized her name to include the $ in an effort to be ironic – “it actually stood for the opposite of putting a lot of emphasis on money.”

        I’m guessing that it’s “ironic” because she grew up very poor, welfare, food stamps, etc., and now she’s worth millions.


        • Toffeemama is looking for a few good Otters says:

          Maybe it’s ironic because now she looks like she can’t afford shampoo.

        • PsiCop says:

          Actually I think it’s because she can’t think of any other way to distingush herself from the rest of the recording artists of her ilk (whatever the genre is). Time was, people used to distinguish themselves by “excellence.” But excellence requires work. It’s much easier to use a cheap orthographic gimmick. Wouldn’t be the first time … there’s someone named Will.I.Am out there … and no, I haven’t any idea how to pronounce that either.

          • mac-phisto says:

            what was that? i’m sorry, i wasn’t paying attention. all these shiny, flashy things were distracting me.

          • gStein_*|bringing starpipe back|* says:

            will.i.am… isn’t it just Will I Am? a la the old standard of using a . to replace a space in old operating systems?

      • raydee wandered off on a tangent and got lost says:

        I dunno, Bester has a point. While the symbol resembles, an S, it is not an S. It always irritates me when people replace non-alphabet symbols for alphabet characters.

        “Kedollarha”? Ooh. “Kedollarsignha”

    • grapedog says:

      maybe it’s like Ke cha-ching sha?

    • dg says:

      I always thought it was pronounced “Key-shit”, but that’s just me…

    • Michaela says:

      Kesh-uh is how they always say it on MTV… I used to always say KEE-suh before I heard it there.

    • MongoAngryMongoSmash says:

      I pronounce it “No Talent Ass Clown”

      but I like your beard.

  6. Darrone says:


  7. sonneillon says:

    So, he was in business for about 5 days. Served 30 a day 150 people with an average 10 dollar tab, 1500 dollars and he has to pay a $160 fine and go to jail for 15 days. Not a bad deal. He’ll probably get out a few days earlier too.

    • Leksi Wit says:

      “Playing the savvy business owner, Kevie reinvested profits from drink sales back into the business: He started with a six-pack of beer purchased from a convenience store across the street and used the proceeds from customers to buy more alcohol, deputies said.”

      That’s from the linked article the Consumerist references.

      So he didn’t keep pure profits, as he had to buy more booze. But I kind of feel for this guy. He was just trying to get out of being homeless in a hopeless job market and well — work! I would love to see someone read this story, then take a chance to hire the man. In our society we often assume the homeless are mentally ill, drug addicts/useless drunks, or just plain lazy. I think if this man was any of those things he would not have ventured to do what he did, and be successful at it! It’s sad that he has to go back out on the streets considering what he’s capable of. :-( I wish I could help him, but I don’t live in Cali.

      • caradrake says:

        This. Maybe what he did wasn’t right, but it’s commendable. He was working to fix his situation, which definitely earns him some respect. Kudos for the enterprising spirit!

      • mac-phisto says:

        to me, it’s a commentary on our society as a whole. we are a very industrious group of people & given the opportunity, we’ll work hard at something.

        the problem is that lately, the opportunities are few & far between. :(

      • XTC46 says:

        except he did it by stealing somone elses property, and now the owner is likely stuck with an electric bill etc.

        In reality, he probabaly wasnt profitable. If he brought in 1500 dollars for 15 days, thats 100 dollars a day. Open 10 hours, thats 10 dollars an hour, subtract cost of alcohol, and he was probabaly bringin in 7/hr, he is now below minimum wage. Now add on things like rent (had he not been tresspassing) electricity, etc and he is in the negative. Which is exactly where this business was when it shut down for financial reasons.

        All he proved was its incredibly easy to be profitable when you have no expenses.

        • sonneillon says:

          for a regular person that is true it is not a good deal, but for a homeless person it was likely more than he was making before, and with the publicity someone may hire him to bar tend, because he is interesting.

  8. Camstang6907 says:

    So, I can get an $855 traffic citation, but this guy gets away with just $160 for breaking and entering, operating a business without licenses, and who knows what else?!?

  9. Villnius says:

    OK, just pulling numbers out of my butt, assuming cheap drinks,

    $6 a drink, figure 3 drinks per customer, 30 customers a day: 6 x 3 x 30 = $540 a day. Deduct about $120 per day for the actual booze (assuming he isn’t using the ultra cheap stuff that’s common in the USA). That’s still $420 a day, and using what I think are very conservative figures. I don’t know how long he had it up and running, spending 15 days in jail and paying $160 in fines sounds like it’s a good business venture.

    I figure he’s not paying any overhead if he broke into the place, so he’s not paying a water or electric bill (poor guy that owns the place is going to have a coronary when he gets the bill).

    • ParingKnife ("That's a kniwfe.") says:

      Tips? I guess we’re assuming he’s not serving Consumerist commenters.

  10. brinks says:

    It’s not like he broke into a business to ROB it. He broke into a business and WORKED.

    Pretty ingenious.

  11. WickedCrispy says:

    A man chooses! A slave obeys! Now, would you kindly pour me a beer?

  12. GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

    Sigh. I know this speaks volumes about me, but Ke$ha never says “po-po shut us down, down”. She sings “the police shut us down, down” but the line about the po-po goes “po-po shut us….”.

  13. sopmodm14 says:

    so this guy went out and made money for himself illegally

    well, at least he isn’t a CEO that steals from others

  14. smo0 says:

    Personally, I’d hire this guy…. he’s got a great business mind…

    Consider this his resume.

    • DanRydell says:

      Really? A great business mind because he came up with the genius idea of selling alcohol for a profit?

      • smo0 says:

        Would you think to do this? No?

        I’m going to have to pass on your app, but I’ll hold on to your resume for 6 months in case any other positions open up… i.e. cleaning toilets.

      • brinks says:

        I give him credit for having an idea that was fairly honest. While other people are robbing people for cash, he found a way to WORK for it.

    • Michaela says:

      I wouldn’t hire him. I would always be fearful he would open up shop after hours to create his own sub-business.

  15. fuceefacee says:

    The man is always pulling me down.