Another View of Police Action at Block Bowling Alley

I live in Orange and I have a vested interest in how the city conducts business.  I have followed city politics for a number of years.  I support the actions the city has taken with regards to the bowling party at the Block.  Orange has had to deal with resource and money sucking nightclubs in the past – the costs of staff and police to fix these problems fell in the laps of taxpayers and took resources away from other areas.  In short, if you want to operate a nightclub, get a permit for a nightclub. 

Orange, like many cities, has had an unfortunate history of problems with restaurants deciding to operate as nightclubs.  Quon’s Rockin’ Sushi comes to mind.  For many years, Quon’s was a family run Chinese restaurant on Tustin Ave, next to the post office, and frequented by families.  Quon’s had a liquor license and could serve alcoholic beverages with meals.

The family sold the business to a series of owners who, by action, converted the restaurant to a nightclub.  The nightclub was very popular with the college crowd, featuring booty shorts night, college night, and gay night, among others.  The owners never got a nightclub permit from the city.   When the city would go to Quon’s to get them to comply, the owners would find ways to delay – changing ownership was used a few times.

The alcohol related complaints from Quon’s were an immense drain on city resources – underage minors being served, parking lot problems, drunk driving arrests.  At times, it seemed like Quon’s was draining the police resources from the rest of the city because of the immense number of problems.

Quon’s patrons also parked in parking lots of neighboring businesses, and left their beer bottles, condoms, and other garbage in the lots.  Who paid to clean that up – the owners of those businesses.  The patrons also kept the neighbors up at night with their noise and partying in the parking lot and adjacent residential streets.

Quon’s finally had their permits revoked by the city after staff and police prepared a 2000+ page report documenting why Quon’s was violating their permits.  The immense legal manuveuring by Quon’s in the past caused the city to take every action to nail the coffin shut on the police-resource sucking Quon’s Rocking’ Sushi closed. 

So, who in the end, paid for the mess at Quon’s – me and my fellow taxpayers of Orange.  We had to make due with fewer police at times because they were at Quon’s. We had to pay for the years of  city staff and police in meetings with owners and operators of Quon’s.  We paid for the 2000+ page report and attorney services to close down Quon’s.  

Why did this happen?

Because Quon’s wouldn’t get the permits and took actions to delay getting the needed permits.

By the way, this is not the first unpermitted business at the Block.  For many years, the car detailing service operated in the parking lot did not have the proper permits from the city.  Some one decided they could just put a business there.  When the city asked for compliance, the owners balked, but eventually the business was closed. The detailing area re-opened, with the proper permits and limits on doing business.  

The city is also very sensitive to crime, any crime,  at the Block.  All large shopping centers potentially have problems, and Orange has worked hard to prevent problems and contain any problems found from spreading.  City staff and police have worked with the operators of the Block to increase lighting and security and to team together to manage problems.

Again, if you want to run a nightclub, get the right permit.  




  5 comments for “Another View of Police Action at Block Bowling Alley

  1. March 16, 2009 at 11:26 am

    I used to live in residential neighborhood very close to Quon’s and my husband and I always wondered why it was such a seedy place … now I know. Thanks for the info!

    Nightclub permits should be required at the bowling alley at the Block, I’ve been there and it’s very much a “night club”. Does Dave & Busters have a night club permit?

  2. Misha Houser
    March 16, 2009 at 12:31 pm

    Thanks Reggie. This sounds like a more logical explanation since you can go to the Block anytime and see that it is a very gay-friendly mall. I’ve never seen anyone get hassled by the security staff or police unless they were drunk, unruly, or being disruptive.

    I’d like to hear more from the Bowling Alley owners and the police on this matter so we know both sides of the story.

  3. March 16, 2009 at 3:49 pm

    I disagree with Misha and Reggie. Orange cops are pretty notorious for hassling young gays and anyone they don’t like in general. I don’t mean to say that it is a problem with a lot of their cops or even most of their cops, but it’s well known to anyone that grew up in oc and is young. You older folks would not typically be the ones being hassled would you?

  4. Gabriel
    March 16, 2009 at 5:04 pm

    It seems to me that the only reason you wanted Quon’s to file for a permit, was to simply do everything in your power to deny them. Or would the businesses next to Quon’s leave the it alone once it received the permit?
    Steve, thank you for sharing your $0.02, I agree, most older folks would not know what it’s like to be targeted by police. As Misha put it:
    “I’ve never seen anyone get hassled by the security staff or police unless they were drunk, unruly, or being disruptive. ”
    Right, just because you’ve never seen it doesn’t mean that it doesn’t happen. Plus, the notion that Police only harass people that are drunk, unruly, etc… is absurd!
    I have live in OC for a few years now and I can tell you that it proudly wears a ‘no-fun-zone’ badge.
    For those looking for some culture and a “wow, I didn’t know that existed in OC” feel, check out the Santa Ana arts district (especially during first Saturday.)

  5. duplojohn
    March 16, 2009 at 6:15 pm

    This really makes a lot of sense.

    A legally operated business which generates thousands in taxes, fills a floundering mall, get’s singled out because of the clientele.

    This is like shutting down a business that caters to Mexicans or Blacks.

    Anybody that says differently is a liar.

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