MAY 10, 2014

Teri Cigar Company: Going Out of Business

The decades-old downtown Santa Ana business Teri Cigar Company near First and Main streets is going out of business. The heirs to the business posted the following notice on their Facebook page. They blame ever-increasing taxes and government, likely  regulations for their demise.


May 9, 2014
Friends and Customers,

We here at Teri Cigar Company would like to take this opportunity to thank our loyal customers and friends for your past support. We have truly enjoyed providing you with our fresh, hand-rolled cigars during all these years.

However, after 43 years in business we have decided to close down; as of April 30th our doors will be closed for ever. It was a difficult decision because this business was started by our father in 1971. He wanted to provide his customers with the famous Cuban, hand-rolled, cigar experience as he did in his home country – so he established The Teri Cigar Company. Throughout the years his loyal customers became his friends. Several years later our father brought us in to continue his legacy. He trained us in the Cuban-style of rolling cigars. And then we enthusiastically took over the business.

We are deeply saddened to come to this conclusion, but unfortunately the numerous government regulations and ever-increasing taxes have made it practically impossible for us to continue and remain profitable.


Tony and Franky


JUNE 5, 2013

The Santa Ana Register Returns as a Weekly, Starting Tomorrow

For a preview of an article that I contributed to the Santa Ana Register that debuts tomorrow, click here.

The Register informs:

The Santa Ana Register is a new weekly newspaper covering the city of Santa Ana. It will be delivered Thursdays to Orange County Register subscribers. To subscribe, call customer service at 1-877-627-7009.

In addition, a limited number of free copies will be placed in racks Thursdays at the following locations:

Senior Center, 424 W. 3rd St., Santa Ana, CA 92701
Carl’s Jr, 3325 S. Harbor Blvd., Santa Ana, CA 92704
Dino’s Burger, 2217 W. Edinger St. Santa Ana, CA 92704
Rite Aid Pharmacy, 1406 W. Edinger St., Santa Ana, CA 92704
Stater Bros, 2630 W. Edinger St., Santa Ana, CA 92704
IHOP Restaurant, 3001 S. Bristol St., Santa Ana, CA 92704
CVS Pharmacy, 3907 S. Bristol St., Santa Ana, CA 92704
Carrows Restaurant, 3355 S. Bristol St., Santa Ana, CA 92704
Chase, 1300 N. Main St., Santa Ana, CA 92701
Dantes Café, 600 W. Santa Ana Blvd., Santa Ana, CA 92701
La Chiquita Mexican Food, 906 E. Washington Ave., Santa Ana, CA 92701
Northgate Market, 750 S. Harbor Blvd., Santa Ana, CA 92704
Martinez Book Store, 216 N. Broadway, Santa Ana, CA 92701
Santa Ana Unified School District Headquarters, 1601 E. Chestnut Ave., Santa Ana, CA 92701
Santa Ana Public Library, 20 Civic Center Plaza, Santa Ana, CA 92701
Santa Ana City Hall, 20 Civic Center Plaza, Santa Ana, CA 92701
Community Court, 909 N. Main St., Santa Ana, CA 92701
Denny’s, 1258 E. 17th St., Santa Ana, CA 92701
OCR Building, 625 N. Grand Ave., Santa Ana, CA 92701
Amtrak Station, 1000 E. Santa Ana Blvd., Santa Ana, CA 92701
Santa Ana Towers, 401 W. 1st St., Santa Ana, CA 92701
Rancho De Mendoza, 100 E. 4th St., Santa Ana, CA 92701
Taco Pronto, 1714 E. McFadden Ave., Santa Ana, CA 92705Norris Food Market, 601 E. Andrew Place, Santa Ana, CA 92707
Superior Warehouse, 1710 S. Main St., Santa Ana, CA 92707
Delhi Center, 505 E. Central Ave., Santa Ana, CA 92707
Stater Bros., 1230 S. Standard Ave., Santa Ana, CA 92707
KD Donuts, 2102 S. Main St., Santa Ana, CA 92707
Yellow Basket restaurant, 1430 E. Edinger Ave., Santa Ana, CA 92705
Superior Market, 1730 E. 17th St., Santa Ana, CA 92706
Yellow Basket restaurant, 2860 S. Main St., Santa Ana, CA 92707
Santa Ana College, 1631 N. Bristol St., Santa Ana, CA 92706
Stater Bros., 2603 Westminster, Santa Ana, CA 92706
Super Antojitos, 1702 N. Bristol St., Santa Ana, CA 92706
Southwest Senior Center, 2201 W. McFadden Ave., Santa Ana, CA 92704
Polly’s Pies, 2660 N. Main St., Santa Ana, CA 92705
Duke’s restaurant, 2900 W. Warner Ave., Santa Ana, CA 92704
Donut Star, 1430 E. McFadden Ave., Santa Ana, CA 92705
Cowgirls Café, 1720 S. Grand Ave., Santa Ana, CA 92705
Carl’s Jr., 1809 E. Edinger Ave., Santa Ana, CA 92705
CVS Pharmacy, 1750 N. Grand Ave., Santa Ana, CA 92705
Medical Center, 1001 N. Tustin Ave., Santa Ana, CA 92705
Denny’s Restaurant, 2314 E. 17th St., Santa Ana, CA 92705
Knowlwood Restaurant, 2107 E. 17th St., Santa Ana, CA 92705
IHOP Restaurant, 945 E. 17th St., Santa Ana, CA 92705
Norm’s Restaurant, 121 E. 17th St., Santa Ana, CA 92705
T-2 Market, 2002 S. Flower St., Santa Ana, CA 92707
Bank of America, 2214 S. Grand Ave., Santa Ana, CA 92705


MAY 13, 2013

DTSA: How Are We Doing?

It must be asked. How is Downtown Santa Ana doing? How does it compare to other downtowns? The answer is obvious, (not so well) but let’s take a look at some of the downtown’s strengths and weaknesses.


What’s good about Downtown Santa Ana? Original brands. This is one area where the downtown sets itself apart from others. First of a kind restaurants and store brands make the area unique and that is a strength. Some city dwellers don’t want the downtown to lose that uniqueness by coupling more recognizable franchised brands with those newer, unique ones.

The Crosby found success marketing to its niche. Their $2 tacos on Tuesdays are one of the best values in the downtown, and are highly recommended.

There’s only one Chapter One, even though you could say that it is an offshoot of the Library Bar in Downtown LA, the similarities seem like more than just coincidence.

There’s the list of other unique brands; Playground, Little Sparrow, Au Naturaw, Lola Gaspar, etc. And there’s the list of upcoming brands that reveal that this is the trend here. But there still isn’t enough cultural variety, which is common in other downtowns in the LA area.


So what’s missing here? Much is. We don’t have Italian (remember Trattoria Ciao?), Japanese, Korean, Chinese, Mediterranean, Indian, Thai or other cultural eating choices. These varieties are common in other historic downtowns like Long Beach, Pasadena, even Fullerton. We do have these eating choices scattered around town, but it would be great to have them centered in the downtown.

Also, can you imagine having something comparable to Baja Fish Tacos, located at MacArthur and Bristol streets in Santa Ana, in the downtown? They are always packed and have been in business for over fifteen years. How about something like the Kicking Crab across the street? What about upscale Mexican like La Huastecain Lynwood, or Rosa Mexicano at L.A. Live?

There’s this great Spanish deli, Ole, near MacArthur and Main streets in Santa Ana. Imagine that in the center of town. Why aren’t these great choices around town found in or closer to the downtown? Who is dropping the ball here?

If I represented the downtown (Ward 2) in city government, I’d go after businesses like that and try to attract them there. I live in Ward 5 so worry not.

I’ve only touched on eating in the downtown. Retail has a long, long way to go here.

Food for thought

The Greater Los Angeles Metropolitan Statistical Area is defined as Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana. Now, I read somewhere that it’s now being called Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, but it has always been the former, and, Santa Ana is still the county’s seat of government. The area is called it the latter because Anaheim’s population is supposedly higher (not hard to fathom), but, the Census Bureau’s numbers on Santa Ana are likely not precise. Can every single head in Santa Ana truly be counted? That’s impractical especially when we’re one of the densest cities of its size in the country. I read somewhere that our numbers shrunk when I’ve seen nothing but the opposite in the last decade, just look at all of the added classrooms at just about every elementary school, and more and more carsparked overnight.

Isn’t it time that Downtown Santa Ana look and act more like those more cosmopolitan areas? Surely those newly arrived “Santa Anans” that tout the downtown so much want this area to be spoken highly of outside of here. Yes it has some strengths but it’s a must that those weaknesses be worked on.

Let Long Beach and Pasadena be the bar against which this downtown is measured. It’s as historic as those places, and (fact) it was built with the same bricks (Simons bricks*)! Oh, go to Original Mike’s and you’ll see that stamp on those bricks.

*If you’re a history buff and you want to know more about how the LA region was built, read Whitewashed Adobe: The Rise of Los Angeles and the Remaking of its Mexican Past, by USC Professor William Deverell.


APRIL 11, 2013

Santa Ana: In Need of a Real Renaissance

In a city that is overwhelmingly Latino (upwards of over 80 percent) it becomes necessary for the majority to be reflected in the city’s decision making. Santa Ana is in need of a true organic growth from within, and not from unmeasured transplantation from without.

One area where Latinos are grossly under-represented is in business. We Latinos in Santa Ana have the numbers. We are a numeric and political majority, but we are not an economic majority.

Let me rephrase that. We are not the economic engine. We provide dollars and consumers, but we generally don’t generate the jobs, much less own commercial real estate.

In a city where we’ve faced controversy and battles over gentrification, it is up to those of us that care for this city, and who want to see our majority reflected in all aspects of city life, to become the business class.

We’ve faced problems with what some of us interpret as a transgressive landlord in the downtown at the newly christened “East End.” Well the way to counteract landlords like that is to become one yourself. We need more Latino commercial landlords for every type like the “East Enders.”

Why? Why is it important for us to have our majority reflected in commercial real estate? Because then we decide what gets programmed and housed. We decide what cultural activities and events are appropriate. We decide what businesses get leases.

The way things are setup now, The Yost Theater is not a space reflective of the Santa Ana community, and it is a shame. A former city council facilitated privatizing this historic theater and in doing so took what should have been a historic resource and cultural outlet away from the community.

Arts & Letters

Santa Ana is in need of a real rebirth and it must show in the Arts & Letters. Who is our Langston Hughes? Where is our real literary movement? What can we learn from the Harlem Renaissance?

Why is there talk of building a modern museum of Asian art on Harbor Blvd when it is more than obvious that a Latino-specific museum is in order here?

We need to raise the bar of what is expected of ourselves. A publication likeSantanero or the sensationalism of Gustavo Arellano is only a start. We can do better.

It is heartening to learn that Latino high school graduation rates are on the rise, as the Department of Education reports. This should translate in the future to more Latino business and commercial real estate owners.

Sandra Wood, Professor of Sociology at Santa Ana College taught that Latinos would become a numeric and political majority first, prior to becoming an economic majority. We’re 2/3rds of the way there.

That day when we’re an economic majority cannot come fast enough.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s