Recession? Not so much in Anaheim. Last weekend, residents got their first taste of what is shaping up to be a season of new nightclub launches via the grand opening of Ember Cafe & Music Club. The 550-person capacity venue (VIP room pictured above) is a “true nightclub” and “not a bar,” according to co-owner Steve Norman. The 38-year-old proprietor is a 10-year night-life veteran perhaps best known for his massive Labor Day “Pimp and Ho” parties in Las Vegas that regularly pull in more than 5,000 patrons. Now (along with partner Steve Elkin) Norman hopes to bring the same kind of hedonism to the O.C. “There’s an underserved market here,” he says.
His new bi-level club (with a restaurant on the second floor) will be just one of two new dance clubs primed to give tired Orange County music fans more than just the usual options. The other anticipated (and larger) venue, Heat Ultra Lounge, is an 11,000-square-foot club which features an expensive Funktion One sound system (like at Vanguard in Hollywood) and aims to lure some of L.A.'s top DJ talent. Originally set to debut this month, the opening has been pushed back to early July, owners say.
Finally, in Santa Ana, look for the Mor Project‘s new venture, Revolver, to open up inside the former Galaxy Theatre by September. Formerly slated to become a nightclub as well, Revolver will now debut as more of a live venue that will occasionally feature club-type nights with DJs.