Best New Bar - 2008
Every young artiste dreams of being involved in a venue like the Crosby. Bookstore, restaurant, art space, club . . . pretty much whatever owners Phil Nisco, Chris Alfaro (a.k.a. Free the Robots, the increasingly popular OC electronic duo) and Mark Yamaoka want it to be. Given the hassle they experienced getting Santa Ana to allow them to open the club in the first place, it's all the sweeter that the final product is so special. Nisco, Alfaro and Yamaoka have established a place where you can satisfy your craving for excellent food and drinks (though just beer and wine for now—try the lethal sangria), eclectic music and old boom boxes (which they have displayed on their wall). The vibe is relaxed but not divey. The owners' personal relationships with most of the better DJs in the area means the music is selected by people who actually know what they are playing. With the diverse schedule of music each week, the place has a night that will appeal to almost any taste (well, except for "bad"). Located in the burgeoning Santa Ana arts district, the Crosby also boasts a crowd of interesting people hanging about, and attendees have reported an unusual side-effect of the club: Merely by entering its doors, you become a little smarter, a little funnier and a little more attractive.