What? The Doll Hut's back?! How the hell did that happen?
In December of 2012, the Hut's tiny room full of local punks were sobbing in their beers and shouting in the streets after the Yeastie Boys ended the final gig before OC's iconic punk club would close it's doors and later re-brand itself as a Latin bar. We were sure the place was done for, a chapter in our local music history closed forever. That is until the Hut's former show promoter Michael "Mac" McGarvey basically came along and said "Psyyyyych!"
A year after the club's supposed extinction, the Doll Hut is now re-opened thanks to McGarvey and his longtime girlfriend Tammy Butler, who bought the place from the previous owners and rehabbed it back to it's former self. That just basically meant stamping out the bright colors, putting some blood and sweat back on the floor and slapping band stickers back on every wall. Ah, and suddenly the world is right again!
McGarvey, 38, who booked shows at the place from November 2009 up until it's final day in 2012, says that he'd wanted to buy the place last year but it didn't work out. Luckily that changed when the former regime decided that the little punk road house wasn't for them any more. Basically this confirms that if the Doll Hut isn't going to to serve cheap beer and loud, abrasive music, it might as well be leveled to the ground."Everybody's really happy it's come back and people keep thanking me," says McGarvey, a husky, bearded Long Beach native. "Everyone has special feelings about the Hut and there's really been an outpouring of help, well wishes."
Seeing an opening to grab the Hut several months ago, he finally jumped on it and hit the ground running, not even a full week after he'd bought the place. It's officially been open since Jan. 2, christened with a show by local bands Civil Disgust, Slave Labor Union, PROST and DMF.
"I got the keys last Tuesday, I put an announcement up on Facebook Tuesday night (New Year's Eve) and I had a lineup for a show put together by about 5:30 a.m. the next morning," McGarvey says. "The next day we put in the sound and did the show. So I'm just hitting the ground running. I had to do this, it was unexpected so the first couple of months is gonna be pretty sketchy so if everybody can come up and support–all those people who cried and said they missed it, we'd like them to come out and support."
As news spread that McGarvey bought the place, he and his girlfriend Tammy Butler say they received an outpouring of help from old friends and patrons of the club. Whether it was the opportunity to volunteer their band for a gig or paint over the wall colors left from the previous regime, loads of musicians and fans chipped in.
"One of the walls was orange and I was like 'oh no I don't have time to paint it,'" says Butler. And one of my friends she got some paint and painted the band name Agent Orange on the wall so it seemed deliberate…We're giving it back to the fans and if we can bring it back to the old place as much as possible, it's important. Because it really is loved."
As of now, the venue is back to booking shows four nights a week with McGarvey at the helm handling talent. Tomorrow night our rainbow wig-wearing faves the Yeastie Boys–who'd closed out the Hut's final gig last year–are once again wrecking the stage as the Saturday night headliners. How fitting. For a laugh, we decided to include a video of the Yeastie's last gig, featuring some choice vocals from Weekly photog John Gilhooley (of course, that's Clownhooley to you!). Doll Hut, glad to have you back! Again.
The Yeastie Boys headline the Doll Hut tomorrow night. $5 over, starts at 8 p.m. For full show info, click here.