The City of Santa Ana has established a pilot program to green light food truck vendor pods and food pop-ups on both city-owned and private properties.
This action is a creative urban design solution that begins to balance the age-old clash of neighbors who feel impacted by unregulated food truck vending with the needs of "those who live and work in areas where food may not be readily available," according to the City.
If you're not familiar with "food truck pods" or food truck islands, they are small groupings of food vending businesses clustered in a sort of outdoor food hall or food court .
Portland, Oregon is synonymous with these food truck pods and parking lot food courts. In Downtown Portland, immigrant food entrepreneurs circumferenced an entire parking lot with nearly 100 food carts. The idea caught on in adjacent Portland neighborhoods where "the pods" serve as de facto neighborhood centers with amenities like seating, ATMs, bathrooms, movie screens and community events.
One of the most-established food vendor pods in the Portland neighborhood of Belmont.
The City of Santa Ana currently allows food vending businesses to operate on private property for up to 6 days per year and this new pilot program works by extending that period up to 6 months with the possibility of extension.
City properties that have been identified as sites where food vehicles could apply include the Santa Ana Zoo, Santa Ana Regional Transit Center, Cesar Chavez Park, and in the Civic Center. Private properties can apply through the planning department for a land use certificate and/or Special Event Permit.
Potential Food Truck Pod site at First Street and Bush Street. (Image courtesy of Google Street View)
Some of the best food truck vendors in the world are in Santa Ana. Like Tortas Ahogadas Los Primos on W 5th Street.
The City will consider many factors in allowing a food vendor on a particular property -- from security concerns to sanitation and general maintenance, and proximity to similar brick & mortar uses.
During the pilot program, the City will work to "identify impacts and unintended effects and evaluate best practices to minimize potential impacts to brick and mortar businesses and surrounding neighborhoods, while encrouaging entrepreneurial enterprises."
Story by Ryan Smolar
Photos by Brian Feinzimer, Ryan Smolar
Love them or Hate them, Santa Ana becomes first OC City to officially test dockless scooters
Some love them, some hate them -- but dockless scooters are a fun transportation trend that may be here to stay.
If you haven't heard of these scooters? They've appeared in urban centers for the last few years with City responses ranging from injunctions and impoundings to crafting operating agreements with data and revenue-sharing agreements.
While many cities faulter when the speed of technology grapples with the speed of goverment, The City of Santa Ana acted swiftly and adopted the first resolution in Orange County to allow dockless scooter companies to deploy up to 500 scooters on the bike lanes and streets of Santa Ana.
The transportation initative was presented by the Public Works department who are embracing this transportation revolution that is confounding many cities and being adjusted to in real-time by both urban planners and the rest of us. The pilot program allows scooter companies to secure permits to operate in the City for 3 months at a cost of $1,200 with other provisions including indemnifying the City, educating the public and sharing ride data.
Some concerns raised by the City Council before approving the trial period were whether the scooters may clutter sidewalks or cause damage that the City will be held liable for. Mayor Pro Tem Villegas further pointed out that the City holds over 200 impounded scooters from a previously unauthorized deployment. After concerns were assuaged by City staff, the Mayor explained the advanced capabilities of the scooter company to oversee their operation.
"They can actually slow the scooters down in sensitive areas like 4th Street or by a school," said Mayor Pulido. He exuberantly added that the trial will provide the City with useful transportation data that could help with pedestrian safety. Downtown Councilmember David Penaloza explained how he recently visited New Orleans where he preferred to get around on similar alternative transportation to explore that city.
Representatives from both Lime and Bird, two prominent dockless scooter proiders were present and expressed that they have their paperwork ready and will be purusing scooter deployments in Santa Ana immediately.
Story by Ryan Smolar
Photos by Brian Feinzimer
Whether you look back at 2018 and feel it was joyful 12 months, or you’re just excited to start fresh in 2019, New Year’s Eve is a time to come together with friends and celebrate! If you’re looking for an elegant NYE dinner, or the best bar-hopping in OC, Downtown Santa Ana has you covered. Here are 12 exciting New Year’s Eve happenings to consider!
There’s no rule that says you can’t start celebrating the New Year early.
Irenias “Pre-New Year’s Lechon Party”
Modern Filipino hot-spot Irenia will be hosting a Pre-New Years Lechon Party, featuring a slow-roasted whole pig as the centerpiece of the meal. Menu will be served family style.
(Subject to change without notice, based on product availability)
To reserve your seats email email@example.com
First seating- 6:00pm, last seating- 8:00pm
Price: $65 per person
Address: 400 N Broadway, Santa Ana, CA 92701
Phone: (657) 245-3466
Playground’s "Sunday Supper: NYE Edition"
Downtown’s dining gem, Playground, will be hosting an Epic 10-course tasting meal of shared plates with entree selections of rib-eye steak, loup de mer en papillote, Uncle Lou’s Chicken or their famous Pork Chop (which will be leaving the menu after this event). Reservations are made by table from 4-12ppl.
Reservations made by table size from 4-12ppl
Address: 220 E 4th St #102, Santa Ana, CA 92701
Phone: (714) 560-4444
Chapter One: The Modern Local “New Year’s Eve Celebration”
If you’re looking for a date night that includes dinner, plus a flight of Pappy Van Winkle, a bottle of bubbly, and a party until 2am, look no further than Chapter One, the Modern Local’s New Year’s Eve celebration! If the Pappy dinner for two isn’t your speed, you can make a still make a dining reservation and order off their special New Years Eve menu.
$250 plus tax & gratuity (Limited Amount)
Address: 227 N Broadway, Santa Ana, CA 92701
Phone: (714) 352-2225
El Mercado’s “New Year's Eve Celebration”
El Mercado is normally closed on Monday night, but New Year’s Eve is an exception. They’re opening their doors and serving their regular dinner and amazing cocktails, with special offerings from the chef.
A'la Carte 6:30-11:30
Address: 301 N Spurgeon St, Santa Ana, CA 92701
Phone: (714) 338-2446
Velvet Lounge is offering an exciting New Year’s Eve with tickets to the “The Best of Dinner and Drag” which includes an upgraded 3-course meal, plus tickets to DTSA’s favorite drag queen productions. Non-dinner ticket options are also available.
Price ranges from 14.99-99.00
Visit Velvet Lounge Reservations
Address: 416 W 4th St, Santa Ana, CA 92701
Phone: (714) 664-0663
Electric City Butcher
If you’d rather stay in and host your own New Year’s Eve party, Electric City Butcher is featuring some delicious Holiday Cuts and Creations. Festive classics like Beef Wellingtons, Pate en Croute, and Goose are among the offerings!
Address: 201 E 4th St, Santa Ana, CA 92701
Phone: (714) 474-9096
Copper Door's "New Year's Eve Neon Party"
The Copper Door has a bevy of holiday nights leading up to New Years Eve, including NYE Neon Party featuring Power106 DJ Precise and MC Qui West. Live music will be back-to-back from 8pm-2am, but get there early if you want to enjoy the open bar from 8pm-10pm.
Address: 225 N Broadway, Santa Ana, CA 92701
Phone: (714) 696-1479
Build-your-own pizza press is known for custom pies, but they always have a great rotating selection of beer on tap. On New Years Eve, they're offering all beers for a cool $5.
Address: 117 W 4th St Unit 101-102, Santa Ana, CA 92701
Phone: (714) 760-4425
La Santa Modern Cantina
One of the hippest spots on the East end, known live music and sports, is open for New Years late into the night. Details of the nights programming are still to come.
Congregation Ale House
The newest addition to the Artists Village is open, serving food and drinks until 2am. Patrons ringing in the New Year at Congregation will be treated to a complimentary Midnight champagne toast.
Also open for business on New Year's Eve is local favorite Mission bar, with a curated list of craft beers on tap. The intimate bar will stay open past the New Year for those wanting to stay late and count down to 2019.
Native Son Alehouse
One of the best patios in town can be found upstairs on the corner of 4th St. and Spurgeon at Native Son Alehouse. If you're looking to cheers the New Year with craft beers, you'll be a happy camper.
Do you see an event missing from this New Year's Festivities? Please email firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll be sure to add it to the list!
Article compiled by Scott Levy, DTSA Restaurant District Manager