Mon. Mar 27th, 2023

Not the Quinciniera store…

Tim O’Connor, one of the owners of Downtown Santa Ana’s Chapter One: the Modern Local restaurant, recently opined at a Santa Ana City Council meeting that there are too many quinciniera shops in the area.  Here is how he was quoted in the pages of the OC Weekly:

“This is specifically for most of the stuff on Fourth Street,” O’Conner remarked, even though he was addressing the City Council and not a Chamber of Commerce meeting. “You can’t have the same shop, the same stores, the same exact same quinceanera shop across from the exact same quinceañera shop…exact same thing over and over again and expect to be successful. Times have changed. Fourth Street should change with those times.”

I visited Downtown Santa Ana’s monthly Art Walk last night – and stumbled across both a new dress shop – that, you guessed it, did indeed offer quinciniera dresses – and a new costume store called OUTrageous Costumes and Couture, owned by Archer Alstaetter, the promoter of Santa Ana’s East End, which used to be called the Fiesta Marketplace.  How do you think the two shops compared?  The answer may not be what O’Conner would expect!

I first stopped in at Elegante Formals, on 312 1.2 W. 4th St.  It is located west of Broadway.  As you can see in the picture above, the owner, Irma Martinez, took a lot of care in merchandising the front window display.

Here is how Archer’s store front appeared:

And here is his store sign:

Now, to be fair we must keep in mind that both of these ventures are brand new, and Archer has been working overtime booking musical acts and doing the marketing for the East End.  But obviously the dress store is a lot more…finished.

Let’s take a look at, for example, how there stores display their merchandise.  Here’s Archer’s store:

And here is Irma’s store:

Irma also offered a tasty array of fancy sweets for her guests:

The haters malign Mexican Americans who dare open businesses in Downtown Santa Ana.  Then they tax these brave souls, via the PBID, and give that money to the well-heeled gabachos so they can promote their bars and restaurants.  Is that fair?  Or should the PBID be voluntary, especially given the way former Santa Ana City Manager Dave Ream rigged the PBID vote?

Here’s Irma and her aunt, who owns a wedding shop in Downtown Santa Ana.  They will be paying into the PBID, but will they get anything out of it?

And here is Archer, the PBID’s promoter – yes, he has a lot to smile about, doesn’t he?

How will these two new downtown Santa Ana businesses fare?  That is hard to say.  Archer should do well this month with folks looking for Halloween costumes.  He explained to me that he has had businesses before – and you have to wonder if the landlord, Irv Chase, is charging Archer any rent.

Irma is new to business but she is a creative wonder – and she has her aunt’s steady hand to guide her.  I would not bet against her!  What O’Connor doesn’t seem to comprehend is that these businesses thrive in downtown Santa Ana because that is what the customers want.

I visited Chapter One, by the way, when Councilwoman Michele Martinez held her first Assembly campaign fundraiser there.  The appetizers were pretty good, particularly since there were a few that were vegetarian.  Not sure I will go there to have dinner as I cook most of the food my family eats.  And given O’Connor’s attitude towards Latino businesses, I don’t think I want to spend any money there.

By the way, I have nothing against Archer or the PBID – but I do think that the only fair thing to do would be to put the PBID to a new, fair vote.  Until we do that the questions will remain and there will be no justice.

By Editor

The New Santa Ana blog has been covering news, events and politics in Santa Ana since 2009.

26 thoughts on “How will the PBID affect two new Downtown Santa Ana businesses?”
  1. “I do think that the only fair thing to do would be to put the PBID to a new, fair vote.”

    Would your idea of a fair vote include the City voting as a property owner?

    Would your fair vote include a specified structure of how PBID monies are to be spent between promoting the daytime stores (quinciniera shops) and the art/entertainment/restaurant businesses?

    1. Ream did a poor job of notifying business owners about the vote.

      I am also not a fan if how the PBID board is selected.

      You’re a Republican Tardif. Don’t you people believe in letting businesses make their own marketing decisions? The current PBID is a wealth redistribution system.

  2. Adminstration thank you , finally someone is looking into what the PBID IS for the small property owners, The promoter is getting paid to promoted the downtown bussiness and now he is in bussiness , what a great oportunity for few selective people from DTI , I will said is a big conflict for DTI..\they should start looking for a new promoter..

    Tomorrow DTI will present their budget, please look at the agenda and dont be suprise how they spend our money. 401K, general supplies, regular suplies, accountant services and payroll services, ect ect ect……

  3. Admin – On this issue you and I probably agree more than disagree. There seems to be a lot of inequity in the PBID.

  4. I and my Mexican wife agree that this imbroglio will be decided by shopping public.

    We also agreed that this is Latino downtown and no one will change it by way of merchandising on the 4Th St.

    The only way the downtown can be changed is by increasing safety and purpose for people to go there.

    Never in our family anyone ever said lets go downtown Santa Ana.

    However, in last ten years we would many, many times spontaneously decide to go to the Blocks in Orange.

    In 1995 I was owner of two bedroom condo on 4Th St. past French St. It did not worked out for us. Too many gang parties, broken glass in swimming pool, typical Latino thrush. My wife’s family visiting from Mexico City were fright to stay there as visitors.

    So within 6 month we moved.

    Now even this place on Sunflower, next to South Coast Plaza, is becoming Latino thrush.

    Too many families in single delving, too many cars gatcha and car vandalism…. ect.

  5. PBID is a real property tax.

    The retail business don’t pay it. Does anyone not understand? The retail business don’t pay PBID.

    You can say they do pay it in their rents, but the landlords have been raising the rents on their renters for decades before the PBID came about.

    Why not do a story on sad case of affairs before PBID? Two Mexican American cultural organizations fighting to control the parades and festivals. Everyone was blaming someone else for the problems of filth and security. So the city took the bull by the horns and fixed it.

  6. We should be proud that Archer chose Santa Ana to open his Quinceanera shop. Now we have one more. When is Downtown going to get a healthy/organic foods market. So Admin. can cook me some free range shrimp scampi?

  7. That empty furniture store on corner of first and sycamore in the heart of the artists village would be a perfect location for a healthy foods market!!! Sean Mill sits on planning Board. Would that not be a good idea to facilitate? I’ll make him a personal plaque or fountain in his honor.

  8. Let’s call Wall Street. I hear they have some doooshbag investors over there. Sorry, I don’t dooosh. and don’t know how to spell DOOOOOOSHBAG Capitalistic, Parasitic, no talent, society destroyong INVESTORS. Even Archer makes his own Quinseanera dresses which is far more than can be said for dooooshbag investors!

  9. hey mr. “douchebag” mateo,

    Without investors you would not have a place to live or food to eat or an internet to spew your douchebaggery.

  10. Cook,

    “Why not do a story on sad case of affairs before PBID? Two Mexican American cultural organizations fighting to control the parades and festivals. Everyone was blaming someone else for the problems of filth and security. So the city took the bull by the horns and fixed it. ”

    The PBID has nothing to do with parades and festivals existing or not.

    The Parade and festivals are sponsor funded. No money from the PBID is necessary to produce the events.

    Currently the parade and events you refer to are managed by Santa Ana Parks and Recreation Dept.


  11. Now you like Mother’s Market? When it went in, you railed about how it was just another yuppie store for the richie riches in Floral Park. Oh, and yes, you also predicted the quick demise of the retail in City Place.

    Hopefully, the merchants on Fourth Street won’t be listening to your retailing “expertise.”

  12. Tim O’connor from Chapter one restaurant wrote:

    ““You can’t have the same shop, the same stores, the same exact same quinceanera shop across from the exact same quinceañera shop…exact same thing over and over again and expect to be successful. Times have changed. Fourth Street should change with those times.”

    it is statement based on ignorance…I hope. Ignorance of the Culture. Quinceaneras are the equivalent of the Jewish culture celebrating bat mitzvahs.

    If downtown Santa Ana was a Jewish shopping district catering to it’s culture… you would see as many bat mitzvah dress shops as the market could maintain. No different than what the Hispanic culture in Santa Ana downtown.

    Part of the bat mitzvah ritual includes shopping for a special dress for the ceremony.

    Examples like these, particular to cultures, do not change.

    So the statement is a ignorant statement to justify the attack on a culture activity in order to substitute it with a urbanistic culture……many restaurants, bars, live work living etc.

    The result is very offensive to the existing culture and will alienate the new comers.. Embrace all cultures…..there is room for everyone in this great country.

  13. I seriously doubt that Tim O’Connor was trying to take a dig at the quinceañera shops because of a cultural thing – it was said more in relation to retail/service business environments in general. He could have well used another type of business as an example – shoes stores, watch repair, bars – you get the idea. He is saying when the market is saturated, a new similar type of business will not succeed. It has nothing to do with culture, so please don’t read that into it.

    Secondly, it is pretty well known that most of the younger generation do not shop in downtown for clothing. In fact, if you ask the younger generation, they will tell you that there is a running joke about if someone is wearing something gawdy or of poor quality, they will ask, “Did you get that on 4th street?” Not exactly the image the latino market wants to cultivate.I suggest they try catering to the young latino market to encourage new buyers.

    Finally, I too remember when Art wished the white gabacho Mother’s Market would just close its doors. He hoped a Santa Ana business would fail, and did so publicly. Shame on him. Now that he shops there, it is another story. Now he refuses to patronize Chapter One:the Modern Local because he doesn’t want to spend any money locally since the owners aren’t latino. Is that racist or what?? Why not cheer on ANY new business that is doing well in Santa Ana if you love this city so much? Santa Ana is just beginning to get past the reputation of being an unsafe, downright dangerous, place to live or play. IMO, just be happy that new businesses are coming.

    Ask your kids if they feel the same. They are the future. You are the past.

    1. What I said was that Mother’s was a bad fit for Santa Ana – and that is probably still true unless you overlook our demographics. I might be into their food now but none of my kids would eat any of that stuff.

      You can spin O’Connor’s words but he said what he said. He should apologize. And no, I don’t have a problem with him being white. I have a problem with him being anti-Latino. Two different things.

      Where were you BTW, when the Usual Suspects stopped a Buffalo Wild Wings from coming here? I fought for that franchise. What about you?

  14. Oh and one last thing…I have no major opinion about the PBID, but cook is right. It is a property tax!!! It has nothing to do with tenants. If the property owners aren’t happy with it, then it can be amended or abolished – whatever. But this post was simply ridiculous because all of the businesses mentioned were renters, and if the owners want to raise rent after years of subsidizing (sometimes charging as little as 50 cents per sf), then more power to them.

    1. You really believe the owners won’t pass that tax onto the renters? Wow. You are quite naive.

      And amending it has already happened. Getting rid of it I think may be impossible.

      As for subsidizing, you really think Archer is paying any rent for his place? Doubt it!

  15. “You can’t have the same shop, the same stores, the same exact same quinceanera shop across from the exact same quinceañera shop…exact same thing over and over again and expect to be successful. Times have changed. Fourth Street should change with those times.”


    The urbanists objective is to produce same types and replicas of businesses to cater to their target market. So this critical argument same/similar businesses for one is hipocritical.

    Success in providing to a target market is market driven. When a business type is oversaturated it will me self weeding…….. determined by the target market.

    All target markets have a culture aspect or are cultural in nature……..there is the hip hop culture,the urbanists culture ,the ethnic culture, the life style culture,the age culture ect.

    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Marketing is the process used to determine what products or services may be of interest to customers, and the strategy to use in sales, communications and business development.[1] It generates the strategy that underlies sales techniques, business communication, and business developments.[1] It is an integrated process through which companies build strong customer relationships and create value for their customers and for themselves.[1]

    Marketing is used to identify the customer, satisfy the customer, and keep the customer. With the customer as the focus of its activities, marketing management is one of the major components of business management. Marketing evolved to meet the stasis in developing new markets caused by mature markets and overcapacities in the last 2-3 centuries.[citation needed] The adoption of marketing strategies requires businesses to shift their focus from production to the perceived needs and wants of their customers as the means of staying profitable.[citation needed]

    The term marketing concept holds that achieving organizational goals depends on knowing the needs and wants of target markets and delivering the desired satisfactions.[2] It proposes that in order to satisfy its organizational objectives, an organization should anticipate the needs and wants of consumers and satisfy these more effectively than competitors.[2]

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