Thu. Sep 29th, 2022
Santa Ana's Drinking District
Do the people of Santa Ana want a Drinking District or a Wellness District?

Downtown Santa Ana merchants and community groups, including Building Healthy Communities, will be at this Tuesday’s Santa Ana City Council meeting, to propose that the city establish a Downtown Wellness District strategy to foster retail and services that are authentic to our city’s Latino character, according to the O.C. Register.



The idea is to serve the people of Santa Ana and further diversify the visitors coming to DTSA by rebranding the area as Calle Cuatro Marketplace.”

We have been saying for some time that the hipster gentrification of DTSA has not served the majority of our residents and has in fact been part of an ongoing effort to push Latinos out of DTSA and cater to people who don’t live here.

Wellness District

The merchants’ Wellness District proposal is backed by a study done by the California Endowment last year that “found that downtown Santa Ana could bring in more than $137 million in new sales per year if it primarily catered to the purchasing needs of central Santa Ana residents.”

Santa Ana Drinking District

Ironically, even as our residents and downtown businesses gear up to promote the Wellness District, it seems that the hipsters on the East End are continuing to promote irresponsible drinking to 4 am in the morning.  One of my readers sent me the Instagram picture seen above, from the East End marketers, that was accompanied by this caption, “Wursthaus DTSA is open until 4 am and is (sic) ready to pour you a frosty pint.”  #latenights  #dtsa  #eastenddtsa.

Wursthaus open late
Wursthause Facebook picture with the caption “It’s Friday and we’re open ’til 4am!”

What the East End hipsters are implying is that you can buy alcohol at Wursthaus until 4 am – but that is not allowed by their Conditional Use Permit.  While the Santa Ana Planning Commission allowed them to stay open late, they are not supposed to sell alcoholic drinks as late as 4 am.  But Wursthause also posted a picture, seen above, with the caption “It’s Friday and we’re open ’til 4am!”  The picture shows their beer selection and taps.

You would think the owners of Wursthaus would know better than to mess with the City of Santa Ana since former Councilman Carlos Bustamante is allegedly one of Wursthaus’ investors.

So here is what all of this boils down too.  The residents and DTSA businesses want to promote health and Latino culture via the Wellness District while the hipsters want to promote what amounts to a Drinking District.  Which do you prefer?  Vote below in our survey and be sure to let the City Council know on Tuesday where  you stand!

[cardoza_wp_poll id=19]

By Editor

Art Pedroza started Orange County's first political blog, the Orange Juice, back in 2003. He now publishes the top civic blog in Orange County - New Santa Ana, plus other blogs including New Anaheim, New Fullerton and the Irvine News Blog, as well as the OC Politics Blog.

36 thoughts on “Poll: Should DTSA be a Wellness District or a Drinking District?”
  1. f*ck those paisa , migrate workers, they cause nothing but troubles and and anchor babies, santa ana is on the map for some awesome boutique , culinary experience and night life, good times and if someone get pop for dui , they should cough up the $$$$ EAST END FOR LIFE!!!!

    1. Have you tried the poutine at Stockyard – 4th St. Market? – not true French Canadian poutine – but it is excellent.

    2. I see the Downton, Inc., crowd hasn’t lost any of its racism, which proves again that this is not about business: it’s about people who hate Mexicans (and can’t spell). If your idea of progress is laughably-inflated prices for small portions, drug deals in the open, ambulances picking up drunks from the Yost, the Santa Ana budget sucked dry by the constant police patrols and Kim Pham, then I guess you would be for a drinking district. And if you’re arguing that DUI’s are ok for people who can afford the fine, then you are a walking advertisement AGAINST 4th St Market, Playground, and other new joints that turn downtown Santa Ana into a nightly Bro’s n’ Ho’s party.

        1. Hey, MacDoof, it’s clearly a Downton Abbey reference, indicating that Playground (for The Rich) patrons and Yosties see themselves as entitled gentry and see everybody else as their servants. I guess you DTI bros don’t watch much PBS, do you? Thanks for proving my point again. Wellness District: 2. Drinking District: 0

  2. Why does it have to be all about Latino? Dont we have enough taquerias, bridal shops, cheap clothing stores, and herbal places in downtown? Yes we do and for years it didnt attract people from other cities and didnt bring any money. SA has no vision and instead of moving with the times are stuck with outdated ideas.

    1. It’s a false choice. It can be inclusive, but it isn’t bt design. Liquor liceses are given out like candy w/o regard to impacts on the families that live nearby. Latino merchants are displaced and not a peep from the City Manager or Council. Downtown Santa Ana just copied other hipster locations and added nothing innovative while wiping out it’s past. It’s a shame.

    2. You are sadly mistaken with your claim that it didn’t bring in any money. The family version of Fourth Street was right behind the auto center and Mainplace when it came to tax dollars in the city war chest.

      Your claim is one put forth by the Anglo gentrifiers in order to discount the power of the Latino owned stores and their consumers.

  3. Health and Wellness does not exclude Drinking and Entertainment, a brilliant nightlife with many things to do, make for an exciting downtown environment. There is nothing wrong with drinking and I personally love a nice Summation, Pinot Noir, or a good Portofino after a meal. I believe activity based programming is important to making the engagements in our downtown memorable. I noticed the Theater group has come back to 4th Street near Crave which is Exciting. It would be wonderful if the building on the Plaza by the Gypsy den were turned into a Dance Hall like JC Fandango, or Atomic Ballroom, this is how with all the young people in the area couples can meet. We need more spaces for youth, internet cafes where on a Friday night they can do homework and get non-alchoholic drinks. We need gaming places which I think is in the works in the old Ramona Building. Also getting a great music scene going downtown would be a wonderful thing. There are so many wonderful Ideas and balanced environments create safe environments and a respect for place which is not shared by visitors if they believe the area is just for partying and so the excess leaves the streets, neighborhoods and downtown filled with trash, vomit and a multitude of sins which the businesses must clean up or hear about in the paper in the morning. Bussing in Fraternity and Sorority groups to party downtown is a failure in marketing and having a good entertainment product to sell, not a success.

        1. I try not to be but it was not that long ago that drunken stooges kicked a young Vietnamese girl to death in DTSA. I am sick and tired of the Drinking District and am not happy that Bustamante’s restaurant appears to be flouting their CUP by apparently selling booze until 4 am.

          1. Bustamante’s Wursthaus is bringing out the worst in Santa Ana. We saw a Yostie frantically asking patrons at Tacos Guadalajara & The Frida, right after last week’s farmers market. Minutes later, that same individual was buying DRUGS out in the open in front of La Michoacana ice cream shop on 4th Street FROM a WURSTHAUS employee! It was obvious what was going on and the dealer’s black “W” logo employee t-shirt was plain as day. How can folks condone this behavior? I say, bring on the Wellness! It’s a better environment for everyone.

  4. In response to Guadalupe: It is not all about Latino, it is about how to build up a city. One method is by exclusion of what is already there the other is by integration and urban infill. In the urban planning and development industries, infill has been defined as the use of land within a built-up area for further construction, especially as part of a community redevelopment or growth management program or as part of smart growth. This focuses on the reuse and repositioning of obsolete or underutilized buildings and sites. This type of development is essential to renewing blighted neighborhoods and knitting them back together with more prosperous communities. The owner of the Little Sparrow said it well in the recent Townhall meeting when he described how in big Metropolitan cities like New York you see all kinds of businesses on the streets, you can go from Mexico, to Thailand, to Hipster land, to Art, Culture, Dance, Entertainment, Bars, Clubs, Bookstores, Internet Café’s, Coffee Shops, Theater and Fine Dining in a block. All subsist together and the biodiversity of establishments creates excitement and wonder. One group does not need to be eliminated to bring in another.

  5. Yes actually, In Greece and Big cities throughout Europe establishments are open till dawn, Groups who dance and sing around Santa Ana, who do Bombasa fandango etc. party till dawn as well. It is just that there is dance and song and food. 24 hour food joints at night are amazing and sought after when going out.

    1. This is not Europe – it is Santa Ana – no boozin’ after 2:00 AM – period! It will never fly here.

  6. The California Endowment is the KOCH BROTHERS of the left. The fact they would fund this study is no surprise.

    The study it self should be questioned. While nobody wants a drunken environment, I can’t believe any but a few care about bike safety and sustainable pedestrian walkways and bikeways.

    Just make it a safe evironment. We don’t need farms just like we don’t need $8.00 craft beers.

  7. The city reps, including the “city manager”, should be ashamed of the goings on in down town Santa Ana. We can all wait for a few more killings so that the only people walking the Santa Ana streets will be the people brought in by the “great Planning” by our city reps and the city mgr.
    No body is showing any interest for the community, too bad

  8. The question posed above was whether it is okay to sell booze until 4am not specific to Santa Ana. The city of Santa Ana is not mature or sophisticated enough city to have liquor sold till 4am so until the maturity and sophistication happens we have to set up step by step the foundations so that this becomes a non-issue in the future.

    1. “.. until the maturity and sophistication (of Santa Ana) happens we have to set up step by step the foundations so that this becomes a non-issue in the future.”

      The sad thing is that you don’t even understand how idiotic your statement is.

      1. “Father, is this ok….I mean is it a SIN?”

        “NO, SON, You are a MONARCH, and Monarch’s S%^K their priests C@&k’s. That’s what Mater Dei kid’s do, they SERVE FATHER”.

        Yeah, those words, taken from a deposition, and defended by diocease and YOU really make you an authority Mike.

        As long as it’s other kids, and Mexican’s it’s OK to RAPE kids, Because WE ARE MATER DEI”.

        You are a creep and a misguided old man.

  9. You sure as hell won’t see the name change to Calle Cuatro. That’s just stupid. Sorry folks, DTSA has driven right over your hopes and dreams to keep SA a crap hole. What does it take for you to see that nothing is going to stop the forward momentum. Nothing. Ha! And there is a lot more coming this year. Haha.

  10. They call it a “Wellness District.” That is just a euphemism – they really want control. Typical commie crapola lies for control.

  11. You know what I find most amusing about all of this? It is the fact that this rhetoric about Latino people being stuck in the past is not actually true. In reality this is a projection as is the shadow side that asserts itself in xenophobia that persists among those who have been working to change the face of Santa Ana for decades. I can not count the number of times I have heard from people statements about the Latino population in Santa Ana claiming “racial superiority” etc. Even the words are ridiculous in the spectrum of things.

    When we speak about the nostalgia for the past, It seems from all the pictures on the walls of new establishments, that those stuck in the past are enamored of hanging the old historic images on the wall, representing the lost “Golden Years” which they are trying to recreate. This is what it looks like to be stuck in the past, while failing to recognized the history of white flight and a city that was abandoned by the predominantly Anglo residents who left the urban core and provoked Urban Sprawl in Santa Ana while moving to the suburbs. Meanwhile the stabilization of the city through the grit and establishment of businesses by the immigrants who moved into the city and preserved its Urban core through paying the commercial taxes that helped keep the city afloat. The city would not have survived without them.

    It is activities that currently support the politics of dis-belonging that are being challenged. These callous acts of gentrification, shows of overt racism, real estate speculation, imposition of the PBID Tax that was found illegal where the city voted as a property owner in the downtown, all in the name of neighborhood revitalization, has shown its workings to betray the democratic ideal of having an equitable and just civil society. The real question is: “What exactly is the social imaginary at work in these urban redevelopment activities at the core of the city” What is the real plan behind the cities work under the re-adaptation of the original renaissance plan? What is this strange separation between people when sorting is dominant rather than the creation of mixed use spaces? What is it when enclaves of privilege are developed rather than infill development in the downtown? What is important when the benchmark of success is held in the dead American dream image of a truck vendor who is aided in turning into a successful brick-and-mortar restaurant and a building renovated to recreate a Market that existed in the past only with the changes of marketing to the millennial generation with a back patio whose Art work glamorizes what the cities youth are arrested for on the street?

    Redeveloped spaces enact and create identity. Shared activities within these spaces allow personal memories, cultural histories, imagination, and feelings to enliven the sense of “belonging” through human and spatial relationships. There are memories that already live in these spaces that are just as important as what is new. Therefore, having a political understanding of what one is doing when one says a person is in or out is also central to this discussion and the question of civic vitality. The downtown if it was looking at the future rather than the past would be thinking of how to amalgamate the two eras rather than recreate a past that no longer exists in an era where much has changed including women having the right to vote. How do we recreate and re-affirm an aesthetic that values inclusion, belonging and diversity? How do we make something that serves all interests in our downtown. As a city we don’t need to go back to the foundation but continue to build as every layer is part of the larger evolution of place.

  12. If this is really about economics, then marketing to Latinos would be the obvious choice especially in a city like Santa Ana where Hispanic youth over 80% of the K – 12 school age population. The reality of the situation is that opposition to Latino branded downtown isn’t driven by the economy, it’s clearly about racism.

    Even Disney and all the major networks know that going Latin is where it’s at. When will Santa Ana leave it’s clan past behind and embrace the dynamic and multi-cultural future which is already at our doorstep?

  13. Seamus McDuff/Junior/Skalleywag, is another mentally ill blogwhore, who is willing to sacrifice young men and women for sex to strange guys black.

    Mike, methinks you drink too much, sell out the kids, GOD SAVE MATER DEI!

    If they need to sacrifice the virginity of 10, 20 kids so be it. MATER DEI.

    SACRIFICE THE FLESH CHILDREN!!!!! It’s MATER DEI.

    1. You are phuked in the head carpetbagger. It must be miserable being you – or perhaps you wallow in your cesspool of madness.

      1. I am not the one who championed the rape of children and celebrated the very institution which promoted and enabled it. Nor was that last comment mine.
        Besides it’s better to be “Phucked” in the head, then to be “Phucked” by a preist, in the name of Christ.

  14. BTW, DTI is not DTSA and DTI has not driven over anyone’s dreams and no one dreams of a “crap-hole.” In reality The City of SA and DTI conspired to subsidized DTI with all the tripled tax assessment money from the other downtown businesses to fix up their buildings with new facades and make the improvements they have made. I would call that stealing not winning. It was kind that the Latino, Jewish, Asian and other businesses found it in their hearts not to sue. But this behavior is not new, the City used HUD funding to put up the police department, They stole the redevelopment money from South Main Street and only recently settled on the Peebler case since he had the guts to sue them. They lent money to Mater Dei in the amount of 11 million to put up parking lots, They have Sold out the local parks to neighboring cities for games. A few property owners have had their electricity subsidized by Pulido for years on the taxpayers dime as well. There has been money laundering going on through the water department. It seems that the only people being subsidized in this city by our Democratic elected are those who need it the least while those who have nothing but their own blood sweat and tears in this city have had enough. Who passed the Transparency law, set the city on track for Strategic Planning and Open Budget Hearings. The Corruption will end, it is all about time and those who never had the best interest of the city in mind but only their own selfish, self interests are not TO BIG TO FAIL. That is why DTI will open up and realize that they require the Latino shopper to keep their businesses afloat. They can try to manufacture a market but sustaining a market that is unnatural will only go as far as they go to include the community they serve first.

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