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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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 email@example.com and we'll be sure to add it to the list!
Article compiled by Scott Levy, DTSA Restaurant District Manager
The City of Santa Ana's Economic Development Division has hired Julie Castro-Cardenas as its new Economic Development Specialist II. This position is a reclassification of the former downtown liaison position but expanded to include some economic development projects citywide.
Julie Castro-Cardenas began her career with the City of Santa Ana in June 2005 as a Senior Administrative Intern at the Santa Ana WORK Center and has steadily climbed the career ladder with the City. Over the past 13 years, Julie was held the position of Workforce Specialist I, Workforce Specialist II within the Community Development Agency and recently celebrated her third year as a Senior Management Assistant in the City Manager’s Office, where she served as the Liaison for the Mayor & Council.
Julie was born and raised in Santa Ana, attended Santa Ana College and holds a Bachelor’s degree from Chapman University. Her familiarity of Santa Ana provides her with keen insight to the community and has developed excellent relationships with business stakeholders. Furthermore, Julie has tangible experience in the business industry due to launching a successful manufacturing company with her husband in the City of Orange. Ms. Castro-Cardenas is a proud mother of two children ages 11 and 9, is in the process of completing a Master’s degree at San Diego State University, is fluent in Spanish and enjoys a healthy and balanced lifestyle.
photo of Teri (seated), her caretaker Irma, great friend Dorine and son, Ryan by Brian Feinzimer
Teri Rudin the effervescent mother of our Downtown Inc. BID Manager, Ryan Smolar, passed away last Sunday night after sufferring a long, disabilitating bout with a rare disease called Cerebellar Ataxia. Though Teri became affected with the disease around the same time Ryan started working with Downtown Santa Ana, the two remained very close, visited often and even collaborated on some of downtown's favorite events like Savor Santa Ana and Celebrate DTSA.
"I'll never forget in 2016 when my mom helped deck out the Spurgeon Promenade for Savor Santa Ana," says Smolar. "She was buzzing around the area in an electric wheelchair commanding an army of volunteers and event staff."
Hours later, the Promenade was transformed into an outdoor venue like we haven't seen before: there was luxurious, upholstered seating provided by Chameleon Chair Collection, fancy linen tabletops by Classic Party Rentals and Latin Marimba music and theatrical entertainment arranged by friends at the Santa Ana Business Council.
photos above of Savor Santa Ana 2016 by Brian Feinzimer
The night was a total smash and it served as an early precrusor for the growing activation of the Promenade, a long-time idea of the Arrellanes family, owners of Mega Furniture. They have continued to activate the Promenade with "Dancing on the Street" attracting unbelievable crowds to the DTSA 1st Saturday Artwalk.
photo of Dancing on the Streets by Matthew Martinez, June 2017 during DTSA 1st Saturday Artwalk
Before becoming an iconic designer in the professional events industry, Teri honed her skills by throwing childhood parties for her son, Ryan. Recognizing a talent for making events special, Teri entrepreneurially opened a woman-owned party planning business in her garage. She went on to run the specialty linen department for LA-based Regal Rents and finally partnered with an architect and her ex-husband to open her next company, Chameleon Chair Collection.
The impact of her designs are far-reaching: Teri’s Chameleons continue to be featured prominently in most of the major wedding and events industry publications, and at an amazing array of events from weddings, to major Las Vegas Events, Hollywood award shows, and film premieres, and a long list of social, charity and corporate events.
"I loved getting to bring my mom into my communtiy work," said Ryan, "she brought world class event professionals and designs to help us on the simplest of street fairs."
Teri Rudin will be remembered for her great sense of joy, welcomeness, laughter, creativity and unique talent. "Many people are telling me her qualities live on in me," said Ryan, "and that gives me a great sense of purpose in continuing to share her work ethic and her embracing warmth with others."
In lieu of sending flowers, please consider donating to the National Ataxia Foundation (https://ataxia.org/donate), the organization researching the disease that took Teri from us too soon. For information about upcoming memorial services, please contact us.
DTSA Cinco de Mayo:
This area features 20 artisanal artwalk vendors, an Adelitas photography station, papel picado, pizza by the slice at Pizza Loca, an art show at GCS, paleta ice cream at La Michoacana and a Libromobile.
Additional entertainment as scheduled:
RGL Collective + MLTN LAVA take over Calle Cuatro Plaza
6pm-10pm, 325 E 4th St
6pm-10pm, 325 E 4th St
ARTS & ACTIVITIES
"Messenger of Dreams" SAUSD art show at Orange County Center for Contemporary Art
In connection to the Wings of the City and our downtown business district, through a district-wide student exhibition, entitled Messenger of Dreams, at the Orange County Center for Contemporary Art (OCCCA).
6pm-10pm, 117 N Main St
Free screenings of Cinco de Mayo: La Batalla at The Frida Cinema
5:30pm and 8pm, 305 E 4th St
On May 5, The Frida will be joining businesses and cultural centers throughout Santa Ana in celebrating Cinco de Mayo by screening writer-director Rafael Lara’s award-winning 2013 epic Cinco de Mayo: La Batalla, free-of-charge at both 5:30pm and 8pm!
Women of Art - Grand Opening Reception hosted by Photonic Playground
7pm-10pm, 305 E 4th St (upstairs)
A DISPLAY OF DIGITAL AND TRADITIONAL PERSONAL ART BY WOMEN WORKING IN FILM, TELEVISION, VIDEO GAMES, ENTERTAINMENT AND EDUCATION. This is the first joint gallery show with Photonic Playground, at its new location, and The LGBT Center Orange County. It's our biggest show yet, featuring 27 inspiring local artists.
Heaving Pulp, Beautiful Bodies at Basement Projects
6pm-10pm, Santora Arts Building, 207 N Broadway
A group show based loosely on images of the body that become distorted,hyperbolized and re-envisioned through processes of drawing, sculpture, reproduction (in this case xerox) as well as images of bodies that have been recontextualized/ mutated in media images.
Tristan Cruz Presents at McFadden Public Market
7pm-12am, 515 N Main St
The stars will align as we celebrate my birthday during Cinco De Mayo which happens to lands on a Saturday during the Santa Ana Artwalk.
Things that will be at such event
• Some of the hottest bands in music (TBA)
• Over 20 vendors (TBA)
• 80’s arcade
• Face Painting (maybe)
Cog*Nate Collective Conversation #3 Whose Streets? at CSUF Grand Central Art Center
6pm-7pm, 125 N Broadway
Throughout the exhibition Regionalia, Cog-nate Collective and Grand Central Art Center will be hosting a series of conversations around citizenship and belonging, central topics explored through the projects on view. For each conversation, the artists will propose a guiding question as a point of departure and invite local scholars, community members, musicians and activists to open the conversation with their responses and thoughts. Afterward, they will open the conversation, inviting all those in attendance to share their own responses.
PTSD: People's Trauma Showings Daily
6pm-9pm. 404 W 4th Street, Suite K (upstairs)
The work of Shasha Dothan, second year MFA student at UCLA and Gerald Sheffield, recent Yale MFA 2017 graduate, represent more than just an artistic interpretation of recurring military conflicts in the Middle East. Sheffield and Dothan have created works that seek to evoke candid discussion about what they continually struggle to reconcile; their history.
J. Fredric May Solo Exhibit at California Center for Digital Arts
5pm-9pm, 310 W 5th St
Photographer J. Fredric May invented a unique form of photography inspired by his acquired, askewed vision after suffering a stroke. He owes his life to his cat whom he fell from a tree while trying to rescue. It was at the hospital from this cat-astrophe where he discovered he had an aortic aneurysm and was able to get immediate help to save his life.
FOOD & DRINK SPECIALS
Irenia Join is on Saturday May 5th for specialty margaritas and DTSA Artwalk. We'll have a special menu of magnificent margs and the art of Hector Munoz. A self-taught painter and resident of Santa Ana for nearly 20 years, Munoz's paintings depicting the Latino experience will be on display Saturday at 5:30pm and remain on display through the month. 400 N Brodway
The Copper Door When it's 5th De Mayo meets The Copper Door turning 5, we throw the BIGGEST party in the block. Mark your calendar and get your ticket now to be part of this weekend celebration. POWER 106 DJ Ever is taking over the, celebrate this BIG day with us. Expect lights, co2 blast, confetti cannon and lots of dancing!! 21+ only // Eary Bird ticket and Table Reservation recommended because it's going to be a madhouse.
225 N Broadway
The Good Beer Co. and Cafe Calacas are partnering for a day of good food, good beer and great games! Specialty beers on tap inspired by the flavors of Mexico, including sangria-inspired, michelada, paloma-inspired, and fresca beers with food delivery from Cafe Calacas and Loteria, a fun game of chance, free to play/prizes for winners!
309 W 4th St
The Barrel Room is hosting classic guitar virtuoso Ashun one of the only musician in the world who can play Jazz, Classical, Flamenco & Rock music. He will be playing Flamenco and Jazz at the Barrel Room from 8pm - 10pm. Ashun is a guitarist, who has served many celebrities seen with stars such as Deepak Chopra, Dick Clark, Mel Gibson, Pamela Anderson, Dr Phil, Ken Starr, ex LA mayor Dick Riordan, members from Duran Duran, Eddie Van Helen and many others! There will be a special menu as well.
324 W 4th St
Doors to the Esports Arena the whole day with a community art show inside to behold. They welcome all members and anyone that wants to check out the unique space a chance to meet and play games as well as check out the different community work. There will also be custom drinks, lighting, and themes to celebrate.
120 W 5th St
Enjoy specials at El Mercado Modern Cuisine including Mixiote Dish, which is a lamb dish steamed with an Agave Leaf, seasoned with Pasilla and Guajillo sauce, Escabeche veggies and served with a side of Blue Corn Tortillas. Their bar has an array of specialty made margaritas with house made liquors. The featured cocktail for the night will be the LOBO BLANCO made with Mezcal, Yellow Chartreuse, Peach Bitter and agave leave smoked. Then walk next door and celebrate Cinco de Mayo with a twist at Sake de Mayo at the brand-new Kaizen Shabu!
301 N Spurgeon
At the Gypsy Den Cafe for Cinco De Mayo, they are doing 3 for $5 street tacos for happy hour from 3pm - 6pm. They will have chicken, carne asada, and soyrizo and veggie. The tacos will be available till they sell out. They will also be featuring a fresh cilantro margarita and a pineapple one as well. Montejo and Estrella Jalisco bottles withh be 5$ all night, till they sell out!
Go the traditional route -- hey, it’s Cinco de Mayo. Across the country, Cinco de Mayo is a day wherein folks regularly celebrate by indulging in authentic Mexican fare, and enjoy all the amazing Mexican tastes and drinks that are and irreplacable part of Southern California cuisine. Stop by one of these classic latin restaurants for a taste.