When four longtime friends got together nearly three years ago to talk about going into business together, they all agreed they wanted to create something that would benefit their community.
That is what prompted Ann and John Coils and Eugen and Ann Andres to buy and restore three shuttered buildings on Main Street.
"We really hope this will become a gathering place for people in the neighborhood and a destination for people from outside of Santa Ana," said Ann Coils of the recently opened Palm Court.
The partners have pumped nearly $1 million into the small retail complex at 2041 N. Main St. They tore down parts of the buildings and created a courtyard where cafe patrons can gather under a 100-year-old olive tree.
The partners also opened a 1,500-square-foot gallery, with work by local artists.
Ann Coils said she and her partners had no idea at the time they bought the property that Santa Ana city officials were drawing up plans for a downtown Artists Village--an effort to revitalize the community by promoting the arts.
"We didn't know that was going to happen, but we think this project fits in with what is going on in Santa Ana," she said.