Sat. Mar 25th, 2023

The historic Yost Theater finally reopened for business last night, an hour late, to a large crowd that patiently lined up outside while getting their I.D. bracelets.

I stopped by at about 9:30 pm and had a chance to speak with Dave Leon, one of their owners.  Leon has been working on opening not only the Yost but also the Velvet Lounge.  I thought he might be quite frazzled, having spent all Saturday trying to get everything done to the satisfaction of the City of Santa Ana’s Planning Department.  But Leon was just relieved, more than anything else, and he had to be happy to see how many folks came to the Yosts’ grand opening.

Leon gave me a chance to take some pictures inside.  The venue looks great.  I ran into Santa Ana Councilwoman Michele Martinez, who was having a great time and was very excited to be there.

Despite all the festivities, the OC Weekly’s Gustavo Arellano hammered the Yost’s owners and operators again, in an article posted online, on Saturday.  He just can’t seem to let go of the past.  It is too bad because the Yost is all about moving forward but Arellano is stuck looking backwards.

Arellano’s hatred for the owners of the Yost is a bit awkward as the OC Weekly is no doubt going to make money selling them lots of advertising.  And the Yost is reaching out to exactly the same demographic that the OC Weekly is supposed to serve.

Check out this lame set of questions from Arellano’s latest article: “If (Yost Operator Dennis) Lluy insists he’s the same DIY rebel who ran Koo’s a decade ago, why is he accepting free rent? Why is he friendly with a unethical SanTana City Council?”

Are you kidding me?  How is the Yost rental arrangement any of Arellano’s business?  That aside the answer is obvious.  The Yosts’s ownership group, which includes Irv Chase (who owns much of the land around the Yost) wants to give Lluy a deal on the rent, that is likely because the recognize what Arellano can’t.  The Yost is going to bring masses of people to the East End promenade (formerly the Fiesta Marketplace).  And it is NOT unusual for a landlord to give free rent, initially, to a big customer.

And what is this crap about the Santa Ana City Council being unethical?  They are no more unethical than any other City Council in Orange County.  Maybe Arellano is buying into all the stupid Brown Act articles by that Long Beach blogger?  The only Brown Act that guy is really enraged about is that the Santa Ana City Council is an all-brown City Council!

The real problem in Santa Ana has always been the racist, mostly Republican “Usual Suspects.”  Lluy is no Usual Suspect.  And Chase is just a businessman.

What I saw last night was a lot of folks of all sorts of backgrounds having a great time, not just at the Yost but all around the East End.  Afterwards my son Jimmy and I walked back to the Artists Village, and after talking to a few of my artist friends I bought Jimmy a bratwurst from a food truck and then I bought him a dessert crepe at another food truck.  While we were waiting for the food, I spoke to an Indian couple who were there from Corona.  They ordered a crepe with caramel and I ended up explaining to them what Mexican caramel, called cajeta, is like.  That little exchange typified what is happening in Downtown Santa Ana.

Is the area being gentrified?  I don’t know but it sure has turned into a diverse mix – and it is a fun place to hang out.  And now the Yost is sparkling on the East End.  All is good except for the bitterness that Arellano is still clinging to.  Very sad.

Here are some bonus pictures of the happenings at the East End last night:

By Editor

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

14 thoughts on “The Yost Theater opens in grand style but Gustavo can’t let go of the past”
  1. We have people attempting to hold onto the past and people building a new future – but I see no effort to honor the past.

    1. junior,

      A business school professor once asked my class what was the point of business. Can you guess the answer Junior? It was to make money.

      The fact is that the Yost was remodeled while maintaining its historic elements. What else do you want?

      And the City of Santa Ana has a historic resources commission, doesn’t it? That is not the case in many cities.

      Good things are happening in Downtown Santa Ana. It is too bad that some folks cannot move on while they cling to yesterday.

  2. It seems like Gustavo is fighting somebody elses fight.

    When I talk to the Olivos family they don’t dwell on things that happened in the past, they have largely moved on. With the Grandkids hitting college and a new breed of nieces and nephews running around Greenleaf, the only one crying about this “travesty” is a reporter.

  3. Pissing off the last member of the news media who will give you the time of day Pedroza? Michele and Sal both had to return political contributions last election. Pulido was lined up for a huge success fee. Mike Harrah owns them all. They are not transparent in how they conduct city business.

    1. anon,

      You could not be more wrong. Gustavo defriended me on Facebook recently. He is sore, I guess, because I refuse to join him in bashing, without good reason, our Santa Ana City Council.

      I really don’t care what anyone in the media thinks of me, but I do get calls from members of the media quite often – and we are on a lot of press release distribution lists.

      You are forgetting to mention that Usual Suspect favorite David Benavides also had to return a contribution – and that our lame retired City Attorney dropped the ball and got all of these Council Members in hot water, which is why that dude is gone.

      The ridiculous success fee you are referencing NEVER HAPPENED. The project died – and even if it DID happen it was not illegal.

      As for Harrah, he has to go through Planning, like everyone else. And the voters themselves approved OBP, by a large margin. Does he own all the voters too? LOL!

      Our City Council is as transparent as any other City Council. You sound like the rest of the Usual Suspects, who were very happy when they owned the City Council and it did their bidding. Back then the City Council was truly not transparent at all – the Ream years were marked with secrets and dirty tricks. Well, this Council got rid of the Usual Suspects and got rid of Ream. Mission accomplished!

  4. Walking around Downtown last night, from the Yost, through the Artist Village and over to Bistro 400 for the Velvet party, there was such an amazing energy in the air. This is an exciting time to be a part of this community (friends and I walked up there from our homes in Heninger Park). Anyone who has the best interests of the city at heart should be proud of what’s happening!

  5. Ken: You’re a funny guy, because Louie called me last week to thank us for not letting OC forget the true story of the Yost.

    Art: You’re damn straight I’m bitter about the past. I’m bitter that you, who rattled the power structure for so long (just like Lluy), has become such a sad shell of your former past (just like Lluy). I should show you all the email from your current enemies begging me to go after you (complete with court documents!), but I never will, because I’m a nostalgic moron.

    1. Gustavo,

      I appreciate that you have ignored those haters. Surely you must know that they are in league with the Usual Suspects?

      How have I sold out? I am still pushing for the same issues I have always believed in. We finally have a City Council that is getting things done. They got rid of Ream and his pals, shouldn’t you give them some credit for that?

      People are hurting in Santa Ana. We need jobs and development. We can wallow in the past but that won’t benefit anyone.

      I give nothing but credit to Leon and Lluy. They are at least trying to make a difference.

    1. We had some good times back in the day Gustavo. The OJ blog did make a difference and it was great teaming up with you to kick the Usual Suspects in the butt.

      I will promise you this – if Pulido ever gets back with the Usual Suspects it will be game on again. You can count on that!

  6. Surely there must be something interesting in Anaheim for ole Gussie to write about. You know all that Disney magic shouldnt go unchecked! Really, everyone is tired of hearing your sh*t Gus…move on.

    stick to what you know. Food. Oh wait.. you really dont know anything about that either.

    Santa Ana people have and will continue to make up their own minds without the direction of the OC Weakly.

    Lets remember who pays your bills…marijuana dispensaries and prostitutes.. so why should you care who pays the Yosts rent.

  7. Well – Gustavo seems to have been boycotting the OJ since I ripped into Moxley for a really credulous Righeimer article … and now the Weekly only refers to us as a nameless “local blog” … but I guess I should feel lucky that he hasn’t *gasp* DEFRIENDED me!

    I still love Moxley anyway. He’s great 90% of the time. But not when he takes Riggy’s BS at face value.

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