SANTA ANA : Festival Hall Wins OK for Cover Charge

Despite protests from some residents, the Festival Hall restaurant and bar on East Third Street has won city permission to impose a cover charge for special events.

Some city officials and speakers argued at Monday's council meeting that the cover charge would bring more crime to the area because it would allow the club to offer more prestigious entertainment acts, thus drawing bigger crowds.

But council members supporting the fee noted that the club's operating permit calls for improved security measures, such as better lighting.

"I'm opposed to new bars going in," said Councilwoman Patricia McGuigan, who supported the cover charge, "but this has been in operation for many years."

According to a city report, Festival Hall began operating in the 17,800-square-foot space in 1985. But in 1994, a routine police review found that the club was not permitted to charge an admission fee.

In the end, the City Council voted 4 to 2 to allow the charge.

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