Proof Bar and the Consular ID Controversy Continued
The Sunday night lineup featuring Los Angeles-based acts Santoros, Them Howling Bones, and Moondog Orchestra was originally set to be another Wreck Hall event at Downtown SanTana's Proof Bar on May 15th. Promoter Jorge Garcia, who organized the show under the banner, dropped out of working with the establishment before then--Sunday live performances have since gone under spoof-like names such as "Rock Hall" and "Wreck Fish"--but the bands and owner Joey Mendes wanted to continue on. For Santoros, it was the first time they were set to play in SanTana, an opportunity that still awaits them.
As events that night would ultimately pan out, only silence would take the stage with all the groups deciding to cancel their performances. Two members of the headlining Santoros presented Mexican Matrícula Consular cards to the security guard upon arriving to the Proof Bar. They were different issues--not different forms of identification as previously reported--one was weathered and older, the other newer. The issue of identification and admission then turned to the owner. In his estimation, "one was clearly a fake," Mendes recounts, adding "the other one appeared to be valid." In any occasion, the band had never encountered a similar situation in all their gigging. They felt insulted by the decision made that members would have to stay out of the bar until their set time.
Santoros' Uriel Jimenez reiterated the band's position: Mendes claimed in the ensuing conversation with him that Proof could get in trouble with the city by allowing them into the establishment.
As reported earlier, Teresa Judd, Assistant City Attorney of Santa Ana, informed the Weekly that, "The city does not have a policy of citing businesses for accepting alternative forms of identification." Indeed, even the Santa Ana Police Department under Chief Paul Walters continues to accept Consular IDs as proof of age and identity. If Jimenez and his brother are to be believed, Mendes was citing a phantasmal precedent not rooted in reality.
"I never mentioned the city," Proof's owner responded, labeling the notion a false recollection of the band. Disputed accounts aside, Santoros decided against playing the show as did their opening acts, Them Howling Bones and Moondog Orchestra. The Echo Park-based psychedelic folk band says its members range from ages 22 to 27. The two members with Consular IDs did not have their passports with them. "They were afraid of losing them," Mendes says. The fear is grounded in some dollars and sense given the cost discrepancy between obtaining or renewing a passport as opposed to Consular IDs. The website for the Mexican Consulate in Santa Ana notes a price range of $74-$101 for pasaportes and only $27 for a Matrícula Consular card.
"Neither are legitimate," the owner continued on when asked about the Mexican Matrícula Consular cards that were presented to him. Nevertheless, Mendes did deem one of the Santoros band members to be 21 and over, however. Insisting that a Consular ID was not the means by which the determination was made, he only offered that "industry secrets" and "methods that the court will uphold" were the criteria. "I can't accept the Matrícula Consular as per the ABC," he added.
If Mendes' recounting of the conversation with the band is to be believed, it brings the issue to the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control -- the state agency tasked with administering the provisions of the more than four-hundred pages long ABC Act of 2011.
That's where this story has continued and when completed, original research into the Matrícula Consular and ABC enforcement will be presented.
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