Bands, Bars & Clubs--ch-ch-changes
Monterey County's club scene has been through a lot of changes in '98.
Thursday, November 5, 1998
Some club owners blamed the weather, others blamed the anti-smoking initiative and some said it was a combination of the two. Whatever the real reason, 1998 has been a year of change on the local club scene.
The first blow came early in the year when Monterey Billiards shut its doors in January. But it wasn''t the only billiard parlor in search of a body bag in ''98: by mid-year, Bow Tie billiards shut its doors. With two down, it meant there''s only one pool palace left on the Peninsula: Blue Fin Billiards and Cafe, which had, itself, gone through a management shakeup during the spring.
Across the bike path from Blue Fin, Doc''s Nightclub provided a prolonged soap opera over the summer. As it became common knowledge that Dino and Carolyn Pulgarin were selling the business, speculation fluorished about who would ante up the bucks to buy the basement rock ''n'' blues joint. Rumors implicated almost everyone in MoCo entertainment as a potential buyer--except for the people who did buy Doc''s: Sean Croce, John Cardinalli and Santo Davi, the new owners of The Long Bar in Monterey.
Perhaps what made the Long Bar group a surprise contender for Doc''s is that they had just taken over the Long Bar from Nick Manzo a few months earlier.
Another set of new faces finding success in the club business this year included Darrel Proffitt, Ben Javurek and Tony Annigoni, who took over Bosso''s in New Monterey. Providing a casual atmosphere where you can smoke ''em when you''ve got ''em.
If smoking provided an edge for Bosso''s, the ever-canny Brooke Lewis at McGarrett''s sought other ways to entice crowds. Talking like a true believer, he re-equipped his club and introduced electronica into McGarrett''s dance mix. Then he put two nights of live music back into the program (before cutting back to one night). And, taking advantage of his spacious dance floor, Lewis took advantage of the current swing craze and began offering swing lessons and dances.
Also playing with their schedules in the past few months have been Vince LaRocca at Viva Monterey and Morgan Christopher of Morgan''s. Both owners dumped live music this summer, then re-introduced it on a limited basis.