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  • Gabriel San Roman

La Bodeguita, Santa Ana Underground Hub of Chicano Culture, Set to be Demolished

Updated: Sep 4, 2020

La Bodeguita in Santa Ana isn’t much to look at from the outside with a rustic, industrial exterior framed by a big metallic warehouse door. But inside, for the past seven years, it’s been home to a vibrant underground scene of Chicano activist culture in OC. A portrait of Emiliano Zapata, Chicano art paintings, and activist posters hung from its walls, serving as a backdrop for gatherings populated by radical youth sharing food, music, politics and drinks. But now, La Bodeguita (‘Little Warehouse’ in Spanish) is fenced off, slated to be demolished next month to make way for an affordable housing project.

Surrounded by lofts near the train station, La Bodeguita made its home nestled in a corner of Santa Ana’s historic Logan Barrio. The warehouse at 927 North Santiago Street played host to countless music shows, poetry readings, political fundraisers and son jarocho fandangos that strummed deep into the night. It became an unofficial satellite spot for El Centro Cultural de México, Santa Ana’s longtime community space. “Over the course of several years, we saw all kinds of events there, from bombazos to fandangos…to bombazo fandangos,” El Centro volunteer Luis Sarmiento laughs, referring to the Puerto Rican and Mexican cultural gatherings that ultimately fused.

Read more on my latest OC Weekly Music Feature on newsstands Thursday. If outside the distribution area, click the link below:

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