I don't know why I was watching the Tustin City Council Meeting last night. It is usually just about as riveting as sitting through The Weather Channel's Local On the 8s ; but something they were discussing piqued my interest. During the meeting, the owner of Beach Pit BBQ, Tim DeCinces, stood before the council and asked for support on something he and other Old Town Tustin merchants are planning: a Family Fun Night.
The event would be held weekly in Old Town, and would follow the Huntington Beach's Surf City Nights model, featuring food, a farmer's market, something for the kids, and of course, music.
The city council members thought it was a good idea, citing that it would bring needed attention to a part of town that should be as popular as Old Towne Orange but isn't. Perhaps it might spur more restaurants to open in some of the vacant buildings there. Council Member Deborah Gavello expressed that Tustin would benefit from an event like this, pointing out that a lot of Tustin residents she knows go to Irvine to find some nightlife, spending what could be Tustin's sales tax revenue at Irvine Spectrum and Lazy Dog Cafe, which, she is quick to note, exists on the Irvine side of Jamboree Rd.
Up for debate is who would pay for the costs of blocking off traffic, which is estimated to be $1,600 per week. Would it be the city? Or the businesses? The discussion is expected to carry over to next week's meeting. TiVo-worthy stuff it still may not be; but the prospect of some sort of weekly event where Cream Pan, Honda Ya and other Old Town Tustin restaurants are part of some festive gathering is more than promising.