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: