Rumors have been rampant as to what kind of venue would fill the void left by the closure of Santa Monica’s legendary Temple Bar. Would it be a rock venue? A restaurant venue? A hip-hop venue?
New owners Alex and Sabrina Feiglien have given their answer: “It’s going to be an everything venue.”
“The Temple Bar had a very specific breed of music they catered to, and they were legendary, so we’re going to take that, expand, and add our own flavor with a huge, eclectic mix. Sort of like the Westside House of Blues with a beachy atmosphere,” says Sabrina Feiglien.
The beachy atmosphere will be well maintained, as both Sabrina and Alex have spent as much time in the ocean as they have in bars. Alex was a US Junior Surfing champ and Sabrina grew up surfing in Hawaii.
“There will definitely be ukulele jams,” says Sabrina Feiglien.
The new era begins when the Dakota opens its doors to the public for the grand opening extravaganza from 7 p.m. to 2 a.m. Saturday, November 29th, at 1026 Wilshire Blvd. in Santa Monica, the site of the old Temple.
The opening night’s headline band, Ringside, lists the Beatles and Public Enemy as their two biggest influences — two of the world’s great duos (though Flavor Flav is probably less influential than Paul McCartney.)
Ringside features the duo of Scott Thomas — a former construction worker by day/rocker by night — and the actor Balthazar Getty, from Brothers & Sisters. Together, they make music “made by a couple of longtime friends in a dark garage, packed full of the remnants of various careers that never quite manifested themselves,” says Thomas on his MySpace page.
The extravaganza also features Dakota’s resident DJ Lady Sha, the first woman to win the prestigious Winter Music Conference DJ Spin-off in Miami 2008.
Every Friday, DJ Lady Sha will host Hot Butter Fridays, where she says, “we’ll be bringing focus and energy back to the Westside with that classic, classic, classic party vibe, heating up winter nights with hands in the air and dancing madness.” Lady Sha and numerous guest DJs will spin electro, hip hop, rock, soul, reggae, and old jams. “It’s going to be bananas.”
What would an opening night extravaganza be without free drinks? The Dakota won’t be trying that, as they’ll be giving away free Ketel One cocktails and appetizers throughout the evening.
With all the money saved on drinks, patrons can spend more on the Kelly Slater autographed surfboards, offered at the silent auction, to benefit Jack Johnson’s Woodshed Films. (Alex Feiglien lived next to Johnson in Hawaii in 2000.)
To round out the evening, Dakota’s talent buyer and special events coordinator, Heather Rae, announces Dakota’s calendar for the rest of the year. Rae has put together a roster with an eclectic range of talent, including Shiny Toy Guns, Sa-Ra Creative Partners and MTV Breakout Artist, U-N-I.
While Rae will rely a great deal on her experience as part of the hip-hop jam band The Enlightenment Project, her booking decisions will also be informed by her training as a classical harpist. (Hip-hop harp: now that is eclectic.)
For the music at the Dakota, Rae wants to showcase local talents, while mixing it up with jazz on Wednesdays, alternative and local acts on Thursdays, reggae and dancehall on Fridays, all genres on Saturdays, and hip-hop Sundays.
Every last Sunday of the month will feature beat battles where the producers behind the scenes have a chance to shine. “Computer Jay has rigged up an Atari remote control to his laptop and he makes the beats live,” says Rae, describing the evening.
The food at the Dakota promises to be as multifarious as the rest of the operation. There won’t be any particular specialty, “mostly just what Alex and I like,” says Sabrina Feiglien, “Seafood from Santa Monica Seafood, ribs, tapas. A big range which changes seasonally. Very eclectic.”
And don’t forget the bananas.
Information, (310) 393-8200, or reseration requets to LIST@ LionessLA.com/.