Will Diego's Be The Next Big Local Venue in Santa Ana?

Categories: Venue News

Courtesy of Richard Espinachio
It's kinda hard to believe that a music venue with an 850-person capacity, a full bar and a stage catering to local talent has the ability to fly under the radar in our little music scene. Especially considering the slump artists and fans are experiencing with the recent closure of Detroit Bar and the Crosby. But since it opened quietly late last year, Diego's--a new live music spot adjacent to the Yost Theater in downtown Santa Ana--has done just that. Of course, looks can be a bit deceiving when you first walk into the space located at 224 E. 3rd St. At first glance past the giant "D" logo painted on the outside wall, it looks the way any quiet, minimalist hipster bar in Santa Ana might look--they serve reasonably priced imported beers and craft spirits and tout a rotating menu of inventive, affordable dishes that shouldn't cost you more than $7. All well and good.

But the wow factor for local bands looking for a gig doesn't come until you make your way to the back of the bar through a black door to the main hall that instantly becomes a sprawl of space and potential. In fact, the venue-known as Festival Bar to the cadena-wearing public, has to be pretty intimidating for plenty of local acts who see it for the first time. For the last 35 years, the dance hall has housed countless weekend norteño, tejano, and banda concerts, booking acts like Oringinales, Karlos Quintero and Los Hermanos Arellano (no relation to our editor-in-chief...well, maybe). Now, chef and former gallery owner Richard Espinachio has opened Diego's as a bar that shares the venue with Festival Monday through Thursday, booking everything from free form art shows, to local theater to psychedelic rock lineups.

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HARD Summer 2014 Announces New Venue

Fabian Ortiz / OC Weekly
HARD Summer 2013 at the LA Historic Park
Today, HARD Summer, LA's largest electronic dance music festival, will announce its new venue for the seventh annual installment of their two-day event. Taking place Saturday through Sunday August 2nd and 3rd, this year's bacchanal promises to be "harder, groovier, hotter, wilder, bolder, and bigger" as it makes it's way to the Whittier Narrows Recreation Area in South El Monte.

HARD's usual home at the Los Angeles State Historic Park is being closed as part of an $18 million dollar effort to renovate the 32-acre facility which hosts several concerts and festivals throughout the summer. This year approximately 20 minutes and 13 miles East of the usual Chinatown location, will be flooded by thousands (70,000 were in attendance last year) of EDM lovers ready to dance the weekend away as HARD takes over with five stages and 75 performers. "It's such a great park with more room to do things that have not been possible for HARD in the past," says HARD CEO Gary Richards in a press release.

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Detroit Bar Closing, Turning Into a Gastropub: Update

Categories: Venue News

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.

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Unit B Struggles to Come Back After Shutdown

Categories: Venue News

Thumbnail image for watersss.png
Unit B organizer Mark Waters
After its sudden shut down and cancellation of all its pre-booked events, Unit B, Orange County's biggest DIY space, has left a hole in the punk community. With a new Indiegogo campaign and repeated promises from the organizer Mark Waters, the possibility of a new space is still questionable. Waters says the new venue should be up by Christmas or January at the latest, though he doesn't have a location picked out yet.

Piece by piece, he's selling each skateboard ramp that branded Unit B just a week after the announced closing, a haunting reminder that the chance of a new venue opening anytime soon was highly unlikely. However, Waters promised a new space even in the first closing announcement. "Everyone at city hall is pretty familiar with this project at this point," Waters said. Unlike the original Unit B, he wants to make this space completely legitimate, so that nothing can happen for it to be shut down.

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Our List of Opening DJ Codes, Laminated and Posted Back Stage at the Yost for All Newbs to See

Yost Flier.jpg
"Notice To All Opening DJ's" Posted Backstage at the Yost Theater

See Also:

*[Updated] Top Five Codes of Conduct For Opening DJs at EDM Shows

*Chuckie - Yost Theater - 7/7/12

*Morgan Page - Yost Theater - 7/3/12

Look what someone sent us from backstage at the Yost Theater in the the downtown Santa Ana Art District. A "Notice to All Opening DJs" laminated and taped on the speakers backstage. If you'll remember, we posted a very similar list (almost identical, actually) a couple weeks ago called "Top Five Codes of Conduct for Opening DJs at EDM Shows." We're hoping it was a decent conversation starter that prompted opening DJs to be creative with their sets and respect their headliners. Our list was spammed all over the internet a few days after we posted it, which tells us the topic of DJ etiquette is a real issue in the dance music scene in Orange County. But kuddos to the Yost Theater for at least doing something about it and continuing to bring respected DJs to OC week after week...and for paying attention to our blog.

Follow us on Twitter @OCweeklyMusic Like us on Facebook Heard Mentality

Victim of Fight at Observatory Show Says "Poke" Wound Venue Said He Suffered was a Stabbing

Categories: Venue News
Cesar Rovira, the concert-goer who suffered a puncture wound and three lacerations as a result of a fight at the Observatory in Santa Ana earlier this week, contacted the Weekly to give his side of the story.

"When we got to the venue, there was only one guy in a security shirt," Rovira, a Garden Grove resident, says of a man stationed at the entrance. Joe Linares, a fan of Lost Acapulco and friend of Rovira, also said that there was no pat down, metal detector, and that his girlfriend's personals were not checked.More »

[UPDATED w/ Venue Response] Man Stabbed Gets Puncture Wounds Last Night During Show at the Observatory

Categories: Venue News
UPDATE MAY 23 4:23 P.M.: The Observatory's Jon Reiser contacted the Weekly about the incident at the venue last night and offered what he deems a less dramatic retelling of events.

"What actually happened is two people in front of the stage got into a fight. One of the two had 5-inch spiked / plug type earrings," Reiser writes in an email. "During the scuffle, the spiked earring poked the guy in the stomach. Once." The weapon was said to be lost and efforts are being undertaken to recover it on site.

Cpl. Anthony Bertagna of the Santa Ana Police Department noted by phone that the man who was taken to the hospital suffered a small puncture stab wound and three lacerations to the abdomen. "There was no mention of what kind of weapon was used," Bertagna added in terms of the report he read from.

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[UPDATED] Jon Reiser Buys Galaxy Theatre in Santa Ana

Categories: Venue News
UPDATE, Aug. 25, 10 a.m. : The Memphis Group has clarified a facts regarding Detroit Bar; read throughout.

ORIGINAL POST, Aug. 24, 8:47 a.m.: The Galaxy Theatre is under new ownership--but the new management  are no strangers to the OC music scene.

Jon Reiser
said he sold his ownership of Detroit Bar in early August and went into a partnership with Affliction co-owner Courtney Dubar and Courtney Michaelis to buy the 1000+-capacity venue in Santa Ana.

Reiser co-owned the Detroit Bar with Dan Bradley, Diego Velasco, David Hastie, Mike Harris and Scott Hamilton--who also own all Memphis Restaurants and Tin Lizzie Saloon. He booked talents such as Dinosaur Jr. and Wu-Tang Clan's the GZA at the much-smaller Costa Mesa club. (Former talent buyer at Detroit Bar Chris Fahey booked Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Elliot Smith.)

Before he bought the Galaxy, Reiser was hoping to bring back the Golden Bear, Huntington Beach's famous music venue. Last we heard (in an email dated June 29 from Reiser), "the city passed several ordinances restricting new bars and clubs from opening in the downtown area. The project is on hold until it can go through the Conditional Use Permit process successfully."

This month, Reiser surprised us with the news that the Galaxy was his.

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Steamers Jazz on Catalina Island

Categories: Venue News
Fullerton's Steamers Jazz Club continues its weekly summer series tonight on Catalina Island with the Edmund Velasco Quintet. The Friday night show is the latest highlighting Grammy-winning and up-and-coming musicians taking place at the Catalina Country Club. More »

Mark Your Calendar for the Cloud 9 and Studio K Reunion Party on April 1

Courtesy of the Official Knott's Berry Farm "Studio K/ Cloud 9" Facebook Page
Back in the day in Buena Park, it was all about Cloud 9 and Studio K. The clubs inside the Knott's Berry Farm amusement theme park were the place to be for many young people out dancing and hooking up--or whatever they called it back then--on a weekend night in OC.

Now, after 20 years, both Cloud 9 and Studio K are returning for a one-night-only reunion party set to take place on April 1 from 7 p.m. to 1 a.m. Two full bars, original DJs from the clubs, the hosting services of ex-KROQ personality Richard Blade, and access to the theme park's rides and attractions are the draw for reasonably priced tickets and hotel packages for the event. As the date draws nearer, so does the excitement for late 30somethings/early 40somethings who remember a social staple of their teenage years.
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