It’s become clear that when earlier Santa Ana city councils thought of reviving the downtown, they thought of recreating Costa Mesa’s “The Lab.” The city enticed business owners at “The Lab” to come to DTSA. The word is that the city gave certain businesses large sums of money to setup shop.
The problem is that they needed to couple consumers for those types of businesses, and those consumers were generally newly arrived as well. There was, never, any intention of marketing to the Santa Ana consumer base.
What’s that? You want proof?
Years ago, before the Proof bar opened, the “Santa Ana Chamber of Commerce” sent out a newspaper called the City Line. I clearly recall reading in that paper that Proof was specifically going to cater to “young professionals from Anaheim Hills, Irvine etc.”
I thought, WHAT THE #%$@?!
How dare they be so blatantly ignorant of Santa Ana locals, and how stupid are they to publish such nonsense without thinking that a local would read it?
Fast-forward and some downtown business owners, or one specific entity, will have you think that all is fine and dandy.
Take for example what this person told the Register.
“Downtown Inc. is pleased to have the question (of) the legality of the assessment of downtown property fully behind it now and looks forward to continued success in revitalizing Santa Ana’s newly vibrant downtown for the benefit of all users and the City as a whole,” said Ryan Chase, the nonprofit’s board chairman.
I don’t believe it. Why? Because for as long as the Yost theater has been reopened I can count the number of Spanish pop concerts held there that appeal to Santa Ana locals with five fingers. Oh, but I’ve been told that shows like this will occur there. And I am yet to be satisfied.
The House of Blues (Hollywood and Anaheim) gets Spanish rock / pop. El Rey Theater gets it. The Observatory in Santa Ana gets it. The Conga Room DTLA gets it. So many other LA-region venues get it but this one Yost just refuses to.
Note that an older attempt from that venue to bring in something “Latino” failed miserably, and that was when they brought in Norteño music, a genre commonly associated with stories of drug cartels.
Thanks. Because when I think Latino or Mexican music, I think Norteño narco corridos.
Before we continue, know that Santa Ana’s median age is something around 26 or 27 last time I checked. Whoever is promoting the Yost is clearly, clearly, out of touch with this demographic, perhaps even willingly.
Want Eating Choices? Not in DTSA
Do you want to find a, respectable, variety of eating choices coupled with nightlife in Downtown Santa Ana? You won’t find it here.
But you can go to Memphis for a burger, then you can go to Chapter 1 for a variation of a burger, then you can go to The Playground for an overpriced burger.
Am I oversimplifying? Yes. But can I go downtown for Mediterranean? No. Cantonese? No. Indian? No. Five-Star Mexican? No. Sushi? No.
It is absolutely preposterous that in a city like Santa Ana, we don’t have a dining experience like La Huasteca at Plaza México in Lynwood.
Where is the Ward 2 Representative?
It’s said that a city is defined by its downtown and just where the heck is the Ward 2 rep?
I argue that a councilperson representing Ward 2 should get to the task of networking and attracting a variety of businesses to the downtown. To not do that is to allow whatever promoting agency that exists now (Downtown Inc) to use their network or whatever people they know, people that they want, to setup restaurants or businesses catered to non-Santa Ana locals.
In other words, and to put things frankly and bluntly, allow the complete and finalized whitewashing of DTSA.