The Wayfarer's Owner Tells Us What He Learned After The Club's First Year in Business

Categories: bars

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Dan Atkinson
Jeff Chon
It's hard to believe that just over a year ago we were wondering if The Wayfarer was ever going to be able to fill the shoes of its beloved predecessor, Detroit Bar. Or worse, were they going to do away with the old pair of shoes altogether and come up with a totally new concept (remember when the rumor of it becoming a gastropub drew a collective gasp from the locals?). But one of the best decisions that new owner Jeff Chon could've made for the Costa Mesa venue was to pair one old shoe with one new shoe and rocking them together to create a its own hybrid style. It sounds crazier than it actually is.

Since opening in July of 2014, the Wayfarer has successfully started creating its own niche by splitting its clientele into two parts: the happy hour crowd and the live music crowd. A dual focus on quality bites and popular local bands at different times of the day helps build a clientele that can be at the venue regardless of who is playing that night. And for Chon, it's helped build the natural crowd for their new brand and hopefully ensure that the bar will be around to see another anniversary. We spoke with Chon recently about what he's learned about building his business at the Wayfarer one year after re-opening the venue's doors.

See also: The Wayfarer Books First Show, We Peek Inside

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Karman Bar: South County's Bad Ass, Band-Friendly Bar Run By Women

Categories: bars

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Courtesy of Karman Bar
Erinn Karman (right) with Lisa Alley
By: Candace Hansen

When Erinn Karman and Lisa Alley stumbled across the Laguna Niguel nightclub that the Karman Bar now occupies, they knew it was just the place to carry out their decade-old vision of opening the bar of their dreams. The two women came from different backgrounds; Alley from mortgage and business, and Karman from music, writing, and bartending, but after meeting through a mutual friend 12 years ago, the pair realized that opening a bar together was their true calling.

"Who doesn't want to own a bar?" jokes Lisa Alley, "when the right opportunity popped up we jumped right on it." Karman and Alley transformed what was formerly known as Rocks in Laguna Niguel, into the Karman Bar. "Our goal was to breathe new life and excitement into the venue," says Erinn Karman, and in late November the pair started their journey of doing just that. They added 7 new TV's, refinished all of the pool tables, added craft beers to the menu, and upgraded the liquor selection, all while keeping the existing bartenders on staff. With plans to integrate a food menu, host fundraisers for community organizations, bring in artists, and provide a place for local bands to play on weekends, the Karman bar seems to be off to a great start.

See also: Orange County Music League Fight the Good Fight Against Pay-to-Play


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Five Songs That Are Sure to Clear Out the Bar

Categories: bars

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No iiiiiiiiii don't wanna hear his song. With you.
You're in your favorite bar, you're feeling good while hanging out with your buddies, and some newbie walks up to the jukebox. The only thing that's on your mind now is, this jackass better not play a douchey song. We've all been there and mood killing by music has effected all of us at some point or another. Since it's not "PC" to walk up to this jukebox dolt and suggest the he or she doesn't play something awful, we decided to help out the masses. Compiling a list of horrendous songs is always geared to your taste in tunes so instead, we've put together a list of "Five Songs That Are Sure to Clear Out the Bar." You may even want to carry this list around with you because if you choose one of these songs, you're the one responsible for what happens next. (Think pool stick to the head.)

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10 Reasons Why the Door Guy Hates You

Categories: bars

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Photo: Erik Hess
The Door Guy. He's seen and heard it all. Pukes puking. Bros fighting. Liars lying about the guest list to get by him. Drunks falling. Your "Turn up!" is his "Calm down!" Frankly, he hates you. Here are 10 reasons why you can't blame him.

See also: 15 Things That Annoy the Shit Out of Your Local Sound Guy

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Casa Trades Avalon Bar's Punk Past For An Upscale Speakeasy

Categories: bars

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Heidi Darby
Roland Barrera (left) and Marty Kish (far right) at Casa with one of their new bartenders
From the moment you step inside Casa, your eye naturally scans the new dimly lit surroundings searching for any hint of Avalon Bar--the legendary punk rock dive that inhabited the space up until last July. But 20 bucks says no matter how many years you spent ordering brown bag specials at the bar or moshing to scrappy garage bands, the first time you look around, it'll be as if you've stumbled in for the very first time. And that's exactly the way new owners Roland Barrera and Marty Kish want it.

Thanks to their vision to turn the longtime local landmark into a posh, laid back speakeasy, the quest to begin a new chapter in the bar's history has officially begun--to the celebration and chagrin of many who have a strong opinion about the change. Of course, like any new business, all that really matters is that people are talking about it.

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Why Bikini Bars Are One of the Best Places for Chicks to Drink

Categories: bars

Westminster's Beach Girls

It's Monday night, football's on, and I'm the only woman not working (and fully dressed) at Beach Girls in Westminster. No music is playing, just football noise and light chatter from about 10 male customers. A pretty black girl in a yellow string bikini ("Brittani," spelled with hearts above the I's) served us. I order a Shock Top from one of the 13 beers on tap with the full intention of easing into the harder stuff.


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Konsept Hosts "Fabric" Fashion Show Tonight at Copper Door

Categories: bars

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Konsept
Santa Ana art collective Konsept has kept a very distinguished presence in the OC art scene, most prominently in Downtown SanTana, in the last four months. And without skipping a beat, tonight they will be hosting their very first fashion show at the Copper Door in DTSA, an event that includes runway walks, live music, raffle giveaways, vendors, and best of all, admission is FREE.

The fashion show, titled "Fabric," will feature runway looks from budding designers, including Laila Lupe, Lexie, Swav Apparel, Arma and GCS Santa Ana, and each designer will present ten runway looks.

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The Top 15 Orange County Dive Bars

Categories: bars

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Jackie Connor
Over the past few months, we've dropped into the smallest, darkest corners of local nightlife to bring you a list of the best dive bars OC has to offer. It hasn't always been pretty. But our search brought us in contact with plenty of stiff drinks, salty drunks and crazy stories. Whether you're looking for the comfort of your own neighborhood version of Cheers or you're just looking for a place to get shitfaced in Santa Ana, there's something for everyone on our list of the the Top 15 Orange County Dive Bars!

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Top Five Dive Bars in North Orange County

Categories: bars

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Jackie Connor
The last horse finally crosses the finish line! As we conclude our OC dive bar hunt, the north corner of the orange curtain contains a few noteworthy watering holes within its borders. Before you decide to burn a tank of gas getting to LA, don't forget the gloriously grimy crevices lurking between La Habra and Fountain Valley. This region in particular proves to be identity litmus test for the local OC lush. So pull up a stool (wipe it off first!) and get your tab money ready. Here are your top five dives for north Orange County!

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OC Music Awards: Rock Rage of Night 3 Makes Earplugs a Requirement

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Shannon Nehls / OC Weekly
Beneath The Buried

OC Music Awards Showcase: Night 3

The Slide Bar Rock-N-Roll Cafe
January 22, 2013

The OC Music Awards Showcase continued it's excursion on the quest to find OC's best live band for night three at the Slidebar Rock-N-Roll Cafe in downtown Fullerton. To test the nominated bands originality, stage presence, crowd participation and overall appeal where a few of the elite members of the OC Music Awards Academy which is comprised of music journalists, radio personalities, booking agents and industry professionals who help support our local music scene. Starting at 8 p.m., the showcase featured and interesting array of bands including Anna Vexa, Snakebit Drifters, Fiction Reform, Beneath the Buried and Death Hymn Number 9 who all brought their own eclectic crowds and energy to the Slide Bar stage.

See Also:

*OC Music Awards: Night 2 Puts Singer-Songwriters On a Frosty Pedestal
*OC Music Awards Showcase: Night 1-Detroit Bar-January 8, 2013
*Coachella "Leaks," Confirmations and Rumors


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