Amid music promoter’s exit and online chatter, owner denies Don the Beachcomber is about to close


A music promoter at Don the Beachcomber in Sunset Beach has taken his acts to other venues in the belief that the iconic tiki bar and concert venue is about to close.

The restaurant’s owner, however, has denied that the Pacific Coast Highway institution is closing for good.

“We’re not closing,” Delia Wu Snyder told the Orange County Register on Tuesday. “We will have an announcement soon. It’s really premature. There’s nothing to say right now.”

Snyder, who opened the location at 16278 Pacific Coast Hwy. with her husband in 2009, did not respond to a request for comment from the Daily Pilot.

However, promoter Christopher Burkhardt of Stellar Shows told the Pilot that Don the Beachcomber is closing and he has moved his acts to other sites in Orange County and Long Beach.

“It’s the music people follow, not necessarily the venue, although Don’s was a very unique, iconic space and will be missed,” Burkhardt said in an email.

Don the Beachcomber has not indicated on its website or Facebook page that it is going away. Throughout the week, the Facebook page has been promoting upcoming shows, including the 10th-anniversary “ohana gathering” on Friday and Saturday, which is sold out.

Beyond Saturday, Don the Beachcomber’s website lists no in-house shows.

Online rumors have claimed the 15,000-square-foot restaurant will be torn down and replaced with condominiums.

In 2015, city officials considered rezoning the 10.7-acre lot that includes Don the Beachcomber to potentially allow condos but ultimately decided against it.

The first Don the Beachcomber opened in Los Angeles in 1937. Ernest Raymond Beaumont Gantt, who later changed his name to Donn Beach, founded the chain. Aside from Sunset Beach, the only other Don the Beachcomber is in Hawaii.

Beach, who died in 1989 at age 81, was credited with introducing Polynesian restaurants and tiki bars to America.

Twitter: @BradleyZint