Detroit Bar Closing, Turning Into a Gastropub: Update

Categories: Venue News

detroitbarrip.jpg
Keith May
ORIGINAL POST, JAN.13, 6 a.m.: Say goodbye to Detroit Bar.

We're sad to tell you that one of our longtime favorite Costa Mesa haunts has been sold. Over the weekend, news broke that Memphis Group--which opened the club in 2001-- is handing over the the strip mall nightclub to new ownership which will turn it into yet another hip gastropub. Under new owner/local restauranteur Jeff Chon, the bar is to be re-branded as The Wayfarer--A House of Social Provisions. The date for the changeover isn't set yet, though nothing is booked on Detroit's calendar after the Fu Manchu gig on Feb. 8.

Are we sad? You bet. Surprised? Not really.

Though it had quite a good run as a hot spot for OC music, nightlife and surprise shows, there's no arguing Detroit's best days were already behind it. With rehabbed venues The Observatory (owned by former Detroit Bar co-owner and talent buyer Jon Reiser) and the Yost popping up in recent years to attract most of our viable local talent, and the relevant national acts, Detroit's ability to corner that market started to vanish despite some valiant efforts on their part to keep the engine running.

Over the years, Detroit's contribution to OC music has been immense. From the creation of club nights like Dubtroit or La Boite Funke and Abstract Workshop to hosting the OC Music Awards showcases and garnering shows by Modest Mouse, Stereolab, various members of the Wu-Tang Clan and many other huge acts, its presence has indeed made a mark to be remembered when it's gone. Call it evolution, or natural selection--we call it a damn shame.

The new restaurant is supposedly going to continue to book live shows, though we're not sure of the format. Whatever is decided, it's at least good that new owner Chon--who also runs Newport Beach restaurant the Alley and Costa Mesa's Tabu Shabu--is keeping music as a partial focus of the new place.

"We are thrilled the legacy of live music will continue at the location," says Memphis CEO Dan Bradley. As of now, his company plans to concentrate more on their other businesses, including Memphis restaurants, Memphis Catering and Events division and the Tin Lizzie Saloon. We'll keep you posted as more information develops.

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UPDATE: JAN. 13, 4:53 P.M.: According to a press release from Detroit Bar and the Wayfarer, the new direction of the venue will continue to discover local Orange County bands and performers in all genres from independent rock to jazz to local DJ talent. In addition, the Wayfarer will now feature classic pub fare with a culinary twist and will be open seven days a week. An eclectic collection of spirits, locally brewed craft beers, and hand-crafted cocktails will also be available in the redesigned space. Design by OC architect Jorden Segraves, will feature a touch of Americana and rustic flair. The projected opening is set for summer of 2014.

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63 comments
Derek May
Derek May

Time will tell... I know peeps too

Derek May
Derek May

Heard it'll be a gastropub too... The wayfarer. Place went to shit anyways when the booking agent left to work at the observatory. I saw some of my favorite shows there back in the day though. RIP Detroit Bar.

Vanessa Barnes
Vanessa Barnes

It's not becoming a gastro pub. It will still be a bar/ venue

dubyadawg
dubyadawg topcommenter

"Blame the hipsters."  So stupid.  Such a tired label for a group of people who don't give a shit about you and it drives you nuts.  "Blame the hipsters."  Idiots, blame yourselves.  

Don Mexico
Don Mexico

good riddance! they played shitty music anyway.

vegandawg23
vegandawg23 topcommenter

Now this is depressing. Moved to CM from Fullerton partly to be closer to places like Detroit Bar. And to hear that it's turning into some lame gastropub like that retard Haven place in Orange breaks my heart. Saw some great shows there.

Cel Fish
Cel Fish

Scotty...awww, never again will we see Hyper Crush here!

Jon Lundin
Jon Lundin

Good, food is better than booze.

Andy Mejia
Andy Mejia

Man how I miss the DUBTROIT days, SMOG/ Smog Recs!

Meredith Walako
Meredith Walako

Attention new owner, there are already two gastropubs on 19th st and it's a dying fad. Keep a live music spot in costa mesa!

jkirk714
jkirk714

And yet a further sign of Costa Mesa becoming the Capital of hipsters... Have lived in the Westside of Costa Mesa for the past right years. Sad to see Detroit close, saw some great shows there, Mad Caddies, Murder by Death, and the Deer hunter to name a few...

David A Rivera
David A Rivera

I believe they're referred to as gastro-shitholes

Angel Figueroa
Angel Figueroa

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO gastrpoub jeesus christ, THATS WHAT SANTA ANA IS FUCKIN FOR detroit bar was one of the only cool and unique staples in OC, now you gonna tear it down for just ANOTHER FUCKIN GASTROPUB

Liza Hao
Liza Hao

Angel Figueroa whatttttttttt

Roland Robles
Roland Robles

Good times at the Detroit bar,aside from the dickhead Costa Mesa cops always lurking around I've had some pretty memorable experiences there,sad to se it go,I blame the hipsters

Evan White
Evan White

it says they are keeping Memphis Costa Mesa and Tin Lizzie open

Jimmy Myers
Jimmy Myers

Never been there but it breaks my heart seeing yet another place to see music go down. Lame !

Monica Bustamante
Monica Bustamante

Awful. I'll never forget seeing Stereolab in that tiny venue. Isn't Orange County already over saturated with gastropubs?

Jeff Babiak
Jeff Babiak

Great place to see bands. I have seen Fu Manchu there three times. I was bummed I was going to miss it next month thinking I will catch them next time. Now I am really bummed. It was nice having a place that has live music within walking distance from home. :(

Roger Eyes R
Roger Eyes R

:[ So the whole Memphis owned spots r closing :[

Jeff Babiak
Jeff Babiak

Used to hit my head on the smoke eaters hanging from the ceiling.

tongue_twister_for_t
tongue_twister_for_t topcommenter

Sort of a good thing I'd say since they never really had anything that good to listen to except the hip hop scene (which I extremely dislike) they need a venue that can invite some top name rock and heavy metal acts into and maybe that'll happen now that they're rebuilding the Pac Amp (be sure to bring them prices down to less than $30 buckeroo's) last good show of that type that I was at was Judas Priest for @$20 on the Nostradamus Tour back in '2011.

Honeyman
Honeyman

Really?  Where did you hear that?  Do you have any idea if it will feature classic pub fare with a culinary twist and will be open seven days a week?  Maybe an eclectic collection of spirits, locally brewed craft beers, and hand-crafted cocktails will also be available in the redesigned space?  


dubyadawg
dubyadawg topcommenter

NO!  Read the damn article!

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