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Orange Pop: Copper Door pours Amber Nights
Big things have been happening in downtown Santa Ana. Between the slew of new gastropubs and the reopening of the Yost Theater last month, the area is definitely attracting more attention, and given its monthly art walk every first Saturday, plus several outdoor music events and festivals, numerous business owners have signed up to be part of the expanding scene.
It was during one of those art walks that Davin and Marta Gumm discovered the redeveloping city last summer. The duo, who at the time owned Number Nine, a noodle restaurant in Long Beach, were looking to widen their business, and they simply fell in love with Santa Ana.
“There were hundreds of people walking in the streets and it was a real creative scene,” Davin recalls in a recent interview. “It was pretty impressive.”
They met with a real estate broker who showed them a basement venue located on Broadway between First and Third Streets. It was originally a pool hall, Broadway Billiards, but though its condition was shabby at best, the Gumms saw potential and decided to open their own bar at the location.
After extensive remodeling, the Gumms opened the Copper Door last September. The venue only sells beer, and since Davin is a self-proclaimed “beer lover” he decided to go with a rotating variety of craft brews on tap – everything from Belgian ales to hometown concoctions. He has plans for tastings led by lead bartender, Brenna Wolverton: “She’s a real beer connoisseur,” he says. “We’re going to be bringing in some local brewers and representatives to come in and talk about their beer, too.”
Copper Door also will debut a new local music night for the 21-and-older crowd, dubbed Amber Nights, at 9 p.m. every Thursday beginning this month. Since launching the bar, Gumm says he’s received numerous requests from O.C. artists wanting to play there. He’s been impressed with the level of up-and-coming talent.
“The music scene is cool and it’s progressive,” he says. “There’s a lot of talent out there searching for exposure and we’d love to have them come play.”
By teaming with Michelle “Piper” Rosabal, formerly of local group Canvas and a significant force in staging multiple local music events, the Copper Door has put together a stellar lineup of homegrown talent through fall. Artists like Billy Kernkamp, Honeypie, Parker Macy, the New Limb, the Gromble, Charity Swim and more have all agreed to kick off this latest series and bring new faces into the nearly 300-capacity venue.
“Before they contacted me I had never been inside,” Rosabal says. “When I first walked in, all I could think was ‘Wow, why aren’t more bands playing here?’
“If it had existed when I was in a band, I would have wanted to play there. There’s something about the atmosphere and ambiance. It’s a place you want to be, a place you really want to hang out at and have a beer. All of the acts who hadn’t been to the venue before have said the same thing. Plus, they have these killer beers that you can’t really find anywhere else.”
Next month, the Copper Door will host an Oktoberfest event (on Oct. 13) featuring Echo Echo, Parker Macy, Andrew Corradini and Billy Kernkamp. There also will be a Halloween costume party during the last weekend in October, with soon-to-be-announced DJs and bands.
Though he’s new to Santa Ana, taking up residence in the city two months ago, Gumm, 34, is no stranger to O.C. He grew up in Huntington Beach and attended Marina High School before moving to Brooklyn at 17, returning to the West Cast years later to live in L.A. and then Long Beach. The local scene always thrived, he says, but back then he played mostly bluesy rock.
“The roots scene was good, but I don’t think there was much of an indie scene,” he says of the past, “not near the level that it’s at now. Times have changed a lot. People have a lot more access now to hear music from all over the world, and I think the O.C. music scene right now is representative of that. I’m really impressed with the way things are, coming back. It seems much more sophisticated.”
The Copper Door's Amber Nights series continues Sept. 15 with the Gromble, plus special guests. Cover charge is $5, and the Santa Ana venue, located at 225½ N. Broadway, is 21-and-0lder.
Photo by Monique Taylor.
More in local music:
- Charles Rangel gets his big break
- Fake Figures proves real
- Hell or Highwater ready to rock
- Charity Swim gets serious
- Jeramiah Red keeps it traditional
- Free grub and tunes with Dave Mau
- Yost Theater to reopen in August with Thrice, Molotov
- Ugly Paint applies a fresh coat
- The Ultimate Bearhug gets warmer