The DOWNTOWN Report: January 2024

Mike Ritto

The DOWNTOWN Report: January 2024




Above: Dashing With Darden traveling concert performs carols on Wilshire. Below: Fanny and The Tremors played classic rock at Back Alley.

Wilshire Weekend

The next evening, just a block west of The Museum Center on Wilshire, patrons of Fullerton Brew Company, Mulberry Street, and the newly opened Vangs World Vintage and Collectibles shop were treated to the first stop of the Dashing With Darden traveling concert. The local favorites performed their unique versions of Holiday tunes we may have heard before but never quite like this. Several people in the audience stopped by with kids who danced in the street, and some of the big kids went on to the next stop at The Twisted Vine, which was not far away. Right across Wilshire to the south, Fanny and The Tremors played classic rock to an overflowing audience that also filled the outdoor seating. Not wanting to miss out, we kept ducking inside to catch a tune or two, as you see here. And the traveling concert was there later in the evening, too. It was yet another great night of live music and art in our downtown.

The Sho Goes On

Sure, Fullerton is right next to Anaheim, and Angel fans are disappointed that Shohei Ohtani has moved on, but he did not move far. We are only 30 miles from Dodger Stadium, and the press came a callin’. In fact, a Japanese news team checked in with Past Times Collectibles to take the temperature of local baseball fans from the guy who would know more than most, Tom Elliott, who was asked how the local fans feel about his signing with the rival Dodgers. In the next issue, we will have a link to the video, so don’t touch that dial.

The Fender show curators Jim Washburn (pictured at left) and Richard Smith with Elvia Rubalcava, the Fullerton Museum Director, at the opening.

Leo Rules

The wind blew itself out; the sun went down, the stars arrived, and the bands tuned in and played on. Leo Fender: Fullerton to the World, the newest Fullerton Museum tribute to Leo Fender and his many musical innovations, opened on Saturday, December 9. Curators Jim Washburn and Richard Smith, along with the always busy Elvia Rubalcava and staff, turned things up a few notches with live music, historic photos, artwork, displays, observations, and, of course, a variety of Fender guitars, amps, and even some surprising pieces that most did not even realize were Fender products. The new exhibit will be there until March 17, and when you go, make sure you take your time and observe all the intriguing details. We were a bit rushed and will go back again soon. Also, check out the permanent gallery, Strumming Through the Decades, inside the Museum and view the map of Fender landmarks around Fullerton, plus many local mementos and testimonials by Fullertonians. For hours and other info, please go to

Going, Going, Gone

Driving by the building at 129 W Commonwealth for years and seeing only a large banner on the front announcing the Ostrich Egg Distillery would be hatching soon has given way to a new view. First, we saw a building without a roof, then without one of the walls, then another. Yes, it will be a complete demo, with the vintage bricks being salvaged for a project in Mexico. Read carefully; yes, there will be a quiz. It’s good to know they will have a new life. We were told that the entire project would take about a year, and the design includes the bottom floor distillery, golf simulators on the second floor, and a rooftop bar. Wow. Waiting for word, will they offer pickled ostrich eggs? BTW, we are getting more info on the building of the company that supplied the bricks; early deliveries were done by train, and the company grew quickly until buildings were no longer made of brick. That will be in our next issue, along with renderings of the new business.

Photo Quiz

Send an answer to Mike at [email protected]

This time: Where was this vintage brick found? If you want this chunk of downtown history, let us know that too, and if more than one does, we will do a drawing. Yeah, start your brick collection today; no Pink Floyd jokes are needed.




Last time: Good call, readers; yes, that tree towers over our Fullerton Arboretum.

Categories: Downtown, Local Business, Local Events, Local News

Tagged as: Back Alley, Dashing With Darden, Fanny and The Tremors, Fullerton Brew Company, Fullerton Museum, Leo Fender, Mike Ritto, Mulberry Street, Ostrich Egg Distillery, Past Times Collectibles, Photo Quiz, Shohei Ohtani, The DOWNTOWN Report: January 2024, Twisted Vine, Vangs World Vintage and Collectibles shop, Wilshire

Mike Ritto Downtown,Local Business,Local Events,Local News,Back Alley,Dashing With Darden,Fanny and The Tremors,Fullerton Brew Company,Fullerton Museum,Leo Fender,Mike Ritto,Mulberry Street,Ostrich Egg Distillery,Past Times Collectibles,Photo Quiz,Shohei Ohtani,The DOWNTOWN Report: January 2024,Twisted Vine,Vangs World Vintage and Collectibles shop,Wilshire

2024-01-03 14:57:43 , Fullerton Observer

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