Tumblin’ Tumbleweeds?

Remember the assertion by dithering dinosaur Don Bankhead that without Redevelopment, Fullerton would be a ghost town?

Or, to put it another way:

Is Fullerton doomed to become a ghost town? Bankhead thinks so or he wouldn’t have said it, right?

Or could Fullerton become an incubator of interesting and profitable businesses run by people whose ideas are not grounded in government subsidies and write-downs, gifts, and grants? Old big-government liberals like Bankhead, Jones, and McKinley have more faith in central government economic intervention and subsidy than they do in any free market ideals. And that’s how we ended up with a saloon in every other building in downtown Fullerton.

What do you think?



40 Replies to “Tumblin’ Tumbleweeds?”

  1. a few years ago Brea was doomed to obsoletion. They didn’t take the low road to recovery, however, and now have a thriving downtown rife with theaters, REAL restaurants (not bars disguised as such) book stores, cafes and REAL retail shops. We could’ve had that. But our Quick Buck “leaders” decided it was more profitable to make fast money on liquor, and by the time a reputation is created that DTF if a town of debauchery and slowly sinks to the dirty, irreversible level of downtown LA our reptilian leaders will be long in their graves.
    They have set this town on a slow course of self destruction.

    1. Wrong, Nonya. Brea too went the route of condemnation, corporate subsidy, interventionism, clown-world architecture, etc. It has failed on a different level.

      Our chuckleheads never had the gumption to go whole hog, but they’ve done a pretty good job of destroying DTF with massive apartment blocks, closed streets, and subsidized bars. And they’re still trying.

    2. There have been quite a few failed businesses in downtown Brea. In fact, I can’t think of anything that has survived for very long other than the theater itself, which is heavily subsidized.

      It’s so bad that all of the retail frontage on the southwest corner is now some hokey ice cream parlor.

      1. That hokey ice cream parlor had a line out the door and down the street last night. In fact, they’ve had lines out the door ever since they opened their doors. Despite multiple businesses failing, there has been no shortage of new businesses taking their place. I’d say the Brea downtown has been a huge success. I remember downtown Brea when it was nothing more than a dirt lot and a sad little movie theater. Brea is a great example of redevelopment done well.

          1. Oh, please…leave your Tea Party talking points at home. That area of Brea was a dusty bowl of nothing until Redevelopment stepped in and working with private developers created an asset for the community.

            1. is that why the redeveloped downtown Brea is littered with empty stores all begging to be bought or leased?

              1. I remember when it was a blight, it was very very very poor.
                Blatantly wrong, I go there all the time. Its DTF times 1000.
                Held up very well during the Recession. Now has the biggest Buffalo Wild Wings. Fullertons, lack of intelligence creates tremendous opportunity for Brea.

            2. Hahaha! Surely that’s meant as a joke, right? Private businesses pushed out, funds misused, eminent domain abused. Private developers??!!! WTF? Public developers, you mean!

              Bulldozer Lynn Daucher, is that you?

                1. No, it had real character. A genuine main street, in fact. The problem was Wayne Wedin couldn’t milk it of any income.

                  Wayne Wedin – Doc Jones’ hero.

    3. The worst possible thing for DTF would have been a Birch St. Promenade style charade. At least the bar scene is reversible.

  2. Other cities take the condemnation route also for projects.

    But I agree. I think Fullerton could be an incubator of interesting and profitable businesses, which don’t include bars on every corner. What interesting, profitable businesses do we already have here that haven’t been made known yet? I’d be interested to know that. I think if we see that, more would be willing to come.

  3. It’s ironic that Don Bankhead is shown signing a petition to save redevelopment, while the voters in Fullerton are signing a petition to recall him from elected office.

  4. The only “general interest” book store in Brea now is a used bookstore in a small strip mall – family operated.

    Restaurants in Brea’s Birch Street Promenade have come and gone with regularity at specific locations (Salsitas begat Carnitas which begat “Available”; Gaucho Grill begat something that begat Gaucho Grill (again) that begat Sam’s Place that begat Sciacca’s; the “club” on the corner near Ralphs and the parking structure has had at least three iterations).

    The Tower Records location still sits empty; city council (or Dwight Manley – who seems to own at least half of the properties in the promenade?) turned down a Walgreens.

    Tower Records could become a Whole Foods (the WF on Arroyo Parkway in Old Town Pasadena is a two-story facility) – the market is there for a WF.

    1. That place reeks of failure. Fatburger, a couple of defunct bars, every restaurant that’s ever gone in over on the west end… all out of business.

        1. Rhe empty Tower Records is a glaring example of see-through development. Fullerton’s own Transportation Center specific plan calls for a Barnes and Noble, another chain with a changing business model and financial issues.

          1. Why would any sane person start planning for individual businesses? Remember when Pam Keller wanted to put in an ice cream parlor in the Amerige Court monstrosity? Seriously, what’s wrong with these people?

            1. Pam Keller only has a degree in child development from CSUF and only knew the inside of an elementary classroom before ascending to municipal power and its multi-million dollar budget and nefarious deals when voter apathy elected her to Fullerton’s city council .
              $$$$$$$$$$$+Keller=useless redevelopment projects that consistently lose money for the city and the tax payer.

  5. I didn’t claim every business survived, only that Brea didn’t dive head first into the liquor biz. They tried to get larger “anchor” businesses to appeal to a larger audience rather than just the drinking crowd. They tried a different approach that encourages retail economy during the daylight hours to capture more revenue. In DTF there is no day time revenue. Its a sun-down drinking town. I used to shop in DTF years ago. I would love to be able to again.
    IS it reversible? If it is I’d like to know how I can help….

    1. What I mean by reversible is DTF didn’t have to be bulldozed to make way for what’s there. What’s left of the downtown is certainly not intact and original but there are still some vestiges. Rather that level the place I’d rather see credible restoration efforts on some of the buildings, and systematically ‘doze what isn’t sitable for saving, including pretty much every redevelopment monstrosity, with something new and bold that reflects the best of this time. Unfortunately, doing anything like this would require smart, visionary leaders with good taste. So, fat chance!

    2. Nonya, if you mean they actually had a plan as opposed to Fullerton having no idea, then, yes, I understand that distinction.

  6. Brea’s missing a downtown, that little block and a half of buildings does not a downtown make. Not unlike Anaheim who ripped all of its downtown out to build, um crap.
    The best thing about Fullerton is the still standing buildings of days gone by.
    Brea has such a high turn over of small businesses that the owners probably do not even know what hit them. Sad for the “American Dream”, good for, um, not sure what it is good for. There is a nice public bathroom located downstairs by the police substation where the homeless go to bathe. Guess that is the good part.

  7. As for Bankhead, listen carefully at the “politician” saying what he did not say. Politicians have long ago learned that if you tell a lie long enough eventually some people will believe it and sadly so will the politician.
    If you could go back to a city council meeting over a decade ago, Bankhead, when closing the council as council and reopening as the redevelopment agency, was caught saying, “now we get to play with monopoly money”.

  8. If the restaurants and bars were not in DTF, what other types of businesses could possibly go in there and prosper, especially in this economy?

    1. Old Town Orange is having a bit of a culinary renaissance. Who’s to say that in Fullerton, ambitous restaurants can’t replace shitty ones *cough*Florentine’s*cough* and let the sleaze bars licenses expire without renewal.

  9. Funny that a picture of Main Street, Bodie, California was used at the top of this post. In its hey day, that place was so far out of control, I don’t even think the FPD could handle it! They had over 60 saloons, a red light district, gambling halls, protracted shootouts, both indoors and out… all of this on a nightly basis. Not many people were ever convicted of any crime since it was very difficult to put assemble a jury. So, comparatively speaking, what goes on in DTF isn’t really that shocking, or new.

    Hell, those folks who lived during that era apparently put the Fullerton party crowd to shame!

  10. http://youtu.be/aw9BxKQQo6I from 2008- funny

    dick jones hates us troublemakin outsiders except if they are willing to buy an expensive home in fullerton


    interesting from 2009-sorry off topic

    train station security cameras

    wasnt this supposed to monitor the parking lot also? ie car burglaries? or so called car burglaries

    More history lessons from that White Southerner who owns a shotgun, goes barefoot, wears a worn out floppy hat, drinks moonshine and whiskey which he makes himself, plays the banjo or fiddle, drives old beat up pick up trucks, has bad teeth, wears hand me downs, and is happy and content with what he has, Dick Jones.

  11. Birch St. Brea redevelopment wall of shame:

    Market City Cafe – Closed
    Bar 330 – Closed
    Guacho Grill – Closed
    Fat Burger – Closed
    Tower Records – Closed
    Cold Stone Creamery – Closed
    WineStyles – Closed
    Eddie Bauer Outlet – Closed
    Red Brick Pizza – Closed
    Some other fashion botiques – Closed

    That’s just one city block.

    1. Market City Cafe: replaced by Cha-Cha’s
      Bar 330: replaced by another bar
      Gaucho Grill: replaced by another restaurant
      Fat Burger and Red Brick Pizza: their spaces were combined to house a much larger restaurant – some sort of waffle-based culinary fusion
      Cold Stone: still vacant
      Eddie Bauer: converted to Farrell’s

      You’re right that’s just one block. We’re not including the new two-story Buffalo Wild Wings (the highest grossing sales location for the entire chain nationwide) or the half dozen other restaurants and the Improv that have done well there for years now.

  12. I wonder if the drafters of redevelopment agencies had bars and clubs and tatoo parlors in mind when they where thinking of redevelopment in a town. In downtown orange they where careful to keep the original idea of a small town life without getting too far out of the mainstream.This town is beggining to look like the out of control redevelopment in the classic film “Its a wonderful Life”

  13. Is Fullerton becoming new Pottorsville?http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2482/3660685485_e6d23a1166.jpg Last nights outdoor sideshow for the at the slidebar didn’t do much to disprove this idea . Much of the community and families who walked by there to get to thier parked cars after the fireworks show may have gotten of glimpse of more than they wanted with the siloweted dancers visible to many whom at times appeared to be wearing nothing.


  14. the green money culls the consciences of the clepotocrats. Heck we just may open some more ………… down there. No shoes no shirt free admission. Blue label has really gotten to ya’ll.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *