[UPDATED with Comments From Both Sides:] Tony Bushala Opposes Bootlegger's Brewery Move; Fullerton City Council To Decide June 5

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Bootlegger's Brewery's Facebook Page
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UPDATE, MAY 25, 10:45 A.M.: Tony Bushala sent us an e-mail stating his case. He just bought a single-family home at 219 W. Santa Fe Ave., adjacent to the proposed tasting room property, and he is concerned about the quality of life for his new tenants.

"The Planning Department made no mention or consideration of the fact there are single family houses located right next door to the proposed tasting room and their off-site parking lot [the Opus Bank facility located one block east]," said Bushala. "I believe the Fullerton Planning Dept. is completely incompetent for not addressing this issue."

Bushala is asking for a condition to require Bootlegger's to close at 9 p.m. weekdays and 10 p.m. weekends. "Bootlegger's 'tasting room' as proposed will open till 2 a.m. every night of the week," he said.

Aaron Barkenhagen, the owner and brewmaster of Bootlegger's, disagrees. While he anticipates longer operating hours than the Richman facility ["9 PM LEAVE OR DEATH (metal)"], he expects to close at 10 p.m. on weekdays and midnight on weekends. Barkenhagen said they applied for the extended hours in the CUP so as to not have to go through the permitting process again should they want to stay open an hour later for a special event such as an anniversary or release party. The Fullerton Police Department approved his security plan of hiring three security guards to come on duty at 10 p.m., and the homes are located in a manufacturing zoning area, not a residential one.

Regardless of what happens, it's going to be a lively night in downtown Fullerton--Tuesday, June 5 is also the Bushala-led recall election, during which the Fullerton City Council will be called to account for their action (or lack of action) following the murder of Kelly Thomas. Show up anyway at the meeting, and show the Fullerton City Council that craft beer tasting room patrons are not the rowdy hellions who infest other parts of downtown Fullerton.

ORIGINAL POST, MAY 24, 4:30 P.M.: Anyone who's been to Bootlegger's Brewery in the last, say, six months or so has to have noticed that it's always packed to the gills. The Fullerton brewery has become so popular that patrons of the tasting room have to compete with larger and larger beer tanks, which are necessary to keep the rest of the county (and those other, lesser places beyond the Orange Curtain) awash in Knuckle Sandwich, Rustic Rye, and Golden Chaos.

The brewery, whose lease at 401 S. Richman St. is up in August, has made no secret of the fact that they want need to move to larger digs. They're planning to have a tasting room at 130 S. Highland Ave. (just west of Harbor) and a larger production facility elsewhere... except that their current landlord, Tony Bushala, has filed against their Conditional Use Permit.

Bushala, best known as a very wealthy anti-bad government crusader, is apparently an anti-craft beer crusader too, or perhaps an anti-craft-beer-not-on-property-he-owns crusader. (Why else would a libertarian oppose a business that's done well enough to need to expand?)

Bootlegger's needs you, beer-philes of Orange County. Specifically, they need you to show up at the Fullerton City Council meeting at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, June 5 at the council chambers, 303 W. Commonwealth Avenue.

Sign your name to speak during the public comment period, and tell them what a valuable part of Fullerton Bootlegger's is. No conditional-use permit, no beer. No TV and no beer make Homer something something!

Stay tuned for more details on this, but in the meantime, come to that meeting wearing your "Drink Local" t-shirts and your love for double IPA.



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Bootlegger's Brewery

130 S. Highland Ave., Fullerton, CA

Category: General

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51 comments
Fullerton resident
Fullerton resident

It's funny how the clear proponents for a new bar want to feel more classy by calling it a tasting room. The only overzealous people here, are the selfish folks that want to have another bar opened up in a city already full of them, and have the dignity to say that the family two unit down will be just fine. Whether the "family" in question showed up or not is irrelevant, at the end of their lease, they move out and then who's stuck with a home next to a bar? Why Bushala bought the house, who knows? If you had the money and a house was a good buy, would you not buy it because someone might question your judgement? Just question yourself and ask, if I owned property and suddenly someone wanted a "tasting room" next door, opened till midnight on school/work nights, and 2am weekends, would I approve? Lastly, can I really control what kind of people may come to this bar? The answers are simple. No sensible human being wants their family home next to a bar, and scum and "classy people" alike will come, it's out of our hands. Open till 9 and 10 weekends, and call it a "classy tasting room". Let the partiers finish their night at a bar, not a "tasting room"

Rajdeep Shaktawat
Rajdeep Shaktawat

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The Truth
The Truth

 

I'm starting to think Mr. Tony Bushala is some kind of crazycontrol freak.  He wants to fight theFullerton government because HE wants the control.  I can't believe no one can see this.  Mr. Bushala is the landlord of the currentBootlegger's  location.  I alleged that he bought the house (219 SantaFe) because he was butt hurt that his current tenant (Bottlegger's) was leavinghim.  This is capitalism Bushala, go finda new tenant and leave Bootlegger's alone. Don't purchase a house (purchased 04/2012)  just so you can have control.     

Judge Judy
Judge Judy

Truth or whatever your name is, I can't believe you are so inconsiderate, 

Tony Bushala is standing up for the family in the house by simply asking the damn brewery that he likes, to shut the fuck up at 9 on weekdays and at 10 on weekends so the residents can have some peace at their home and so their kids can sleep at a decent hour.

Why is that being a control freak? You would want the same consideration if it were you and your family.

Tony loves that brewery and is friends for years with the owners-its not like he's trying to shut down their business, just ask for a peaceful solution to the noise for the family-that's damn nice of him.

Hopefully, the owners will put down their egos, are decent and come up with some compromise.

I'm quite sure Tony would not have missed the 1st CUP meeting if he thought he could trust all the parties to be considerate and do what's right for everyone, including the family in the house.

Get together and compromise, Bootlegger's.

.

top_man
top_man

I'm just glad the Tony Bushala honeymoon is over. If he really cared about the little guy he wouldn't oppose the unions the way he does. Let's be clear about one thing, Tony is a  posh kid who has never known the price price milk and this is clearly about money and nothing else. 

demur
demur

Posh? that's you and your kids maybe, not Tony Bushala-you obviously don't know the man. He just sacrificed alot of his money for the town he lives in, your town, without help from anyone-especially not you, and is not asking for anything in return-and he didn't have to do that. BTW, Unions were put in place years ago to protect miners and other blue collar workers whose regular, daily working conditions were dangerous and unfair, not to protect some over zealous coddled high paid teachers and cops so they can get free benes and pensions for the rest of their lives.  

I seriously doubt Tony would oppose anything that would help any one who was being treated unfairly.

I think anyone who lives in Fullerton should have nothing but respect for this man and not treat him with the utter ungratefulness of a child, as you are-Mr Top man, " I care about the little guy"

PeaceAndQuiet
PeaceAndQuiet

 posh kid?  you clearly don't know the most down-to-earth rich guy anybody has ever met. 

The Truth
The Truth

The in question house is 370 feet from the proposed site... Hero's Bar and Grill is only 200 more feet from the house... and you and I both know there are much more Bro Off's at Hero's then Bootleggers will ever have...   Control Freak!

David Stewart
David Stewart

If I remember, bootleggers closes at 9:00. Those other "brewing companies" mentioned are indeed bars much like Taps or BJ's. Bootleggers has no band or dj and patrons are required to stay indoors with their drink. When they go outside, it is to get food from the food truck. There is no noise to speak of and in the new location there would be ample room for people so as to avoid the need to have a rollup door open. In this economy I find it strange that anyone would oppose this, especially someone who claims to be libertarian.

PeaceAndQuiet
PeaceAndQuiet

 They are requesting a permit to stay open much, much later.  The noise would be greatly increased.

hysteria!
hysteria!

Increased noise is all wild speculation at this point aimed at whipping up the hysteria

Guest
Guest

Actually, it's from the terms on the CUP.  See link above.

PeaceAndQuiet
PeaceAndQuiet

 Sure.  most bar patrons just whisper to each other while tip-toeing to their cars at 2 AM.

Danimalparamount
Danimalparamount

Sounds like none of you actually know anything about the situation but I do love the enthusiasm I hope everyone comes to the meeting in support for a local small buisness.

Bootlegger's fan
Bootlegger's fan

Bushala will lose this fight. The tasting room will open. Tony is just mad that he will no longer have Bootlegger's rent and FREE beer- he would show up at the current location all the time to drink and not pay, but he at least was a good tipper to the hard working staff. 

PeaceAndQuiet
PeaceAndQuiet

Its about noise.  If you lived with your family in a small house and suddenly a tasting room/outdoor bar opened up fairly close, that stayed open until 2 AM, how would you like it?  Business people want to make more money.  Drinkers want to drink more beer.  But most people just want to be able to sleep in peace.  Not that hard to understand now is it?

Crazydaddyo
Crazydaddyo

What is a single family home doing in an area that is zoned for manifacturing?

The owner (who does not occupy) of this "home" also ownes the location that he forced Bootleggers out of. Tony is not.worried about the renters in the single family home. He is woried about the income he I loosing from the only paying tenent in a soon to be vacant industrial strip mall.

PeaceAndQuiet
PeaceAndQuiet

 I don't know.  The people who live in the house didn't zone it themselves, did they?

Boom
Boom

As stated, the tasting room is currently only open Th-Sat until 9:00 and I think earlier on Sunday.

Also, this single family home is right next to train tracks, are they not? I bet the noise from that I'd pretty terrible.

909Jeff
909Jeff

I live next to an airport... Doesnt mean I want a bar to open next door...

PeaceAndQuiet
PeaceAndQuiet

 The are proposing to be open until 2 am on weekends and 12 during the week.  Thus the problem.

guest
guest

@PeaceAndQuiet No they aren't "he expects to close at 10 p.m. on weekdays and midnight on weekends."

Truth
Truth

Who is the supposed family that lives there? No one has heard a single word from any of these supposed residents. Only speculation that it might impact them. I didn't realize that Tony is a fortune teller too...

Or is this just another ploy by Tony to further his "kingmaker" image??

PeaceAndQuiet
PeaceAndQuiet

 So the family, not their landlord, is supposed to show up at a city planning meeting?  Maybe they are too busy working and taking care of their children?

anon
anon

Bootlegger's only stays open until 9pm....

PeaceAndQuiet
PeaceAndQuiet

 And if they planned to keep it that way there wouldn't be a problem.

Fullerton Local
Fullerton Local

The single family home in question is not right next door to the proposed tasting room location. there is in fact a decent size storage yard between them.

Christine Walker
Christine Walker

All we need is another Bar Downtown! Fur Fucksake! 

"Fur fucksake"??? really????
"Fur fucksake"??? really????

Move to Utah!

Guest
Guest

Utah has great local breweries, none of which are open until 2AM on a Tuesday.  EPIC is a great example.

Way to let your ignorance show though.

Guest
Guest

If they put that in writing, I'm all for it.  More good beer for all of us.

People need to calm down a bit
People need to calm down a bit

It is called humor. Ps the new location will not be open until 2 am every day. Everyone is up in arms without actually knowing the truth. It will close sooner but they put that on the application because if they said an earlier time they would have to reapply to stay open an hour later. That is straight from the horse's mouth (the owner). They do not want to be open until 2 on a Tuesday and I am sure Aaron will say as much at the hearing.

Truth
Truth

It's not a "bar" it is a production brewery (manufacturing facility) with an attached tasting room. Bars are not the problem, it is irresponsible owners that are. Bootlegger's has been doing the exact same thing (operating a responsibly managed tasting room from their manufacturing facility) at their current location IN FULLERTON for 4 years. Get your facts straight..

Guest
Guest

No, it's a bar.

http://cityoffullerton.com/web... 

Production breweries have no business being open until 2AM.  That's just stupid.  If this was just an expansion keeping the current hours, I wouldn't have a problem with it.

The last thing this town needs is another place for 909ers to get slammed until 2AM.

Stone-- closed before 2Firestone-- closed before 2Bruery-- closed before 2Old Orange-- closed before 2Noble-- closed before 2

EVERY ACTUAL WORKING BREWERY KNOWN TO MANKIND CLOSES WELL BEFORE 2AM, ESPECIALLY ON A WEEKNIGHT.  THIS IS A BAR.

If they keep the same hours, great.  If not, obey the same rules that every other brew pub within 2000 miles has to follow.  That's fair and reasonable.  Otherwise, call it a bar at let it get the scrutiny it deserves.

Cynthia
Cynthia

Anaheim Brewery on Anaheim Blvd is on a busy street, backed by residential streets of similar age as Santa Fe location in Fullerton. They are thriving, successful, and never open past 9 pm. A tasting room is not a bar, and anyone who wants to be open that late is running a bar. 

Guest
Guest

Alright Truth, I stand corrected.  I am incorrect that all local brewpubs close well before 2AM.  That said-- you still owe me four more.

Of note for the rest of you-- HB Brewing is a restaurant, which isn't exactly what's being proposed for Fullerton.

I'm not making an argument about anyone's profitability, nor do I care to.  I'm making an argument for my city's livability.  We don't need another bar that's open until 2AM on a Tuesday.  That's my only gripe.

909Jeff
909Jeff

Hmmm... actually, the problem is all the spoiled ass little OC kids who think their hard.  Even though they grew up in white middle class suburbia. They turn 21 get a couple koi fish tattoos and think they are "gangsta"!

Truth
Truth

Easy HB Brewing Company... open till 1:30...look on yelp.

For a self proclaimed Libertarian, Tony sure does want to enforce a lot of his own rules/laws on the businesses of Fullerton. 

So your argument is for staying open 4 days a week 5 hours at a time? That doesn't even cover rent in a downtown urban area.. .

Besides...these are all interesting arguments that should/could have been made at the actual planning commission meeting. But I guess grandstanding in front of City Council (and costing Bootlegger's weeks/months of lost revenue) was more important for Tony. Oh well...what does he care...it's not his money... 

Guest
Guest

Wow, truth.  Really?

Alright, fine.  I'll play.  Let's see five production brew pubs in an urban downtown environment with hours after midnight on weekdays.  Good luck.  When you don't find them, please reply publicly with an apology.

I'm all for a bigger place with the current hours.  I drink plenty of beer, love Bootleggers, so don't you dare throw that anti-saloon crap at me.

I've been to the five I listed.  They're great.  Two are world class, the other three are local (one of which is also world class.)  They're for comparison purposes only.  Your counterargument is just stupid.  Sorry, not to be mean, but it is.

The new place has no business being open until 2AM on a Tuesday.  Same hours and you get no beef from me.  2AM on weeknight is an attractive nuisance for some serious undesirables.  I, like you, would like to continue to see responsible patronage of Bootleggers and I believe their current hours of operation support that mission.

Truth
Truth

How many of the above stated breweries are located in a urban downtown area....hmmm.. thats right NOT A SINGLE ONE OF THEM. 

You can call the tasting room whatever you want...but at the end of the day last time I checked the only "909ers" that Bootlegger's is pulling in is the older ones with disposible income that go and spend their money all around Fullerton. 

The Anti-saloon league was sooo last century... 

Like it was stated before. Bars are not bad, it's irresponsible owners that are. Just like guns don't kill people...people holding the guns do.

DB92832
DB92832

Dave, why didn't you just call Tony instead of speculate?!?!

He is appealing the CUP because there is a single family home right next to the new tasting room. There is a family living in that home with children and no consideration was given to managing the noise coming from the premises or parking lot.

Once again, he is standing up for the little man....  

Crazydaddyo
Crazydaddyo

Why did Tony agree to the expansion at the current location then when the brewery began the process, then try to force them into a longer term lease?

Sounds like he is butt hurt because they didn't fold to his poor buisness practices.IMHO.

Dave Lieberman
Dave Lieberman

I have a call in to his office. Nobody's returned it. When they do, I'll update this post.

Logic Please
Logic Please

If there was a single family home with kids there why did they not show to the conditional use meeting? And , why does it matte to Tony? There's a church that is against alcohol in the same complex Bootleggers currently resides in.

Spam13
Spam13

The difference is Tony owns the current location and gets rent from Bootleggers and the Church.

DB92832
DB92832

You are going to have to ask him why he didn't show up at the CUP hearing. Maybe he didn't know about it, maybe he found out about the house after the meeting, maybe he was sick, maybe he was farming in his backyard, maybe he was getting his car washed, how the HELL should I know.....

I can tell you this, Tony loves craft beer and is a big proponent of Bootleggers. He is not anti-craft beer at all. He knows all the local brewers and patronizes their tasting rooms whenever he can. 

This is merely an appeal. If the residential home is something that the Council believes bears merit, then they will take action... its not the end of the world.

DB92832
DB92832

@Chad: I agree. Maybe that little man NOW knows he can tie a knot and set a hook.... 

Chad Sachs
Chad Sachs

the little man needs to learn to "fish" for himself if he has an issue

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