Roxbury’s New Indigo: A Tired but True Formula

<i> Rose Apodaca Jones is a free-lance writer who regularly contributes to the Times Orange County Edition. </i>

A good cup of coffee just can’t satisfy everyone.

Despite the success of the Not Just Java coffeehouse in Newport Beach, co-owner Dan Barrett has craved getting back to the addictive madness of his old job as a club promoter. So, 18 months since entering the espresso sweepstakes, Barrett is letting everyone know that he’s returned to promoting less sober forms of night life. The only problem is, he’s elected to serve a format that feels warmed over.

Before Not Just Java (which he retains his partnership in), Barrett was known for a string of successful dance clubs, including No White Pumps and Indigo. It’s the reputation of the latter that he’s now banking on with the revival of Indigo on Thursdays at Roxbury South in Santa Ana.

Week 2, last Thursday, was still relatively slow for the two-story nightclub--but not sparse. There was a party feel among the crowd, especially as the $1 drinks flowed (until midnight).


Deejay Mark Moreno spins an erratic, sometimes jarring mix of ‘60s, ‘70s, ‘80s and ‘90s dance music in the upstairs hall. It’s this part of the club that gets the greatest attention from the trendy, twentysomething crowd.

Indigo’s saving feature is its live music. The Pimp Daddies pump out three funkilicious 45-minute sets in the downstairs lounge. Their style, musically and fashionably, is pure old school and a pleasure to experience. The group is even more pleasing when compared with the recorded music played between sets: The speed is set annoyingly too fast, and the sound system is about as sophisticated as some kid’s vintage hi-fi.

Upstairs, in the non-enforced VIP room, the Rhythm Rockers deliver blues with a laid-back style. The trio wows at least some in the crowd with their brand of non-disco music.

As for promoter Barrett, he sings the tired tune that he wants to fill a void in county night life. But Thursday evening is hardly devoid of great spots to frequent. And if it’s a unique alternative that Barrett aims to offer, a live disco band and recorded dance music from the last four decades doesn’t do it--unless you’re looking for those features in a roomier environment than you might find at other clubs.



Foot note: It’s time to roller disco again.

Join promoter Steve Matuse and deejays Fly Weight Harcharic and Hugh Jorgan for their monthly festival of bell-bottoms and boogie on Saturday from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. All ages are invited, though the hours and theme tend to appeal to the 17 to 22 set. The $6 cover includes skate rental.

Side by Side, 16091 Gothard St., Huntington Beach. (714) 847-8333.


* At Roxbury South, 2 Hutton Centre, Santa Ana.

* (714) 810-4939.

* Thursdays only, 9 p.m. to 2 a.m.


* Cover: $5.