Apr 04 2017

Millennial About Town: Check Out Chapter One In Downtown Santa Ana

“Millennial About Town!” is a new feature to the OCBC Indicator chronicling the great entertainment, arts, and culture found right here in Orange County as covered by me, your “Millennial About Town!” Patty Conover. Got suggestions for me? Send them to pconover@ocbc.org.

The backstory: I moved to Orange County about 3.5 years ago from Northern California as a near-broke 25-year-old. I had already resigned to the full list of stereotypes and misconceptions about Orange County, mostly thinking I wasn’t going to be able to do much other than play at the beach until I reached my 30s and could maybe afford a night or two out on the town, as long as I didn’t have kids yet. I WAS WRONG! The past three years have been great, and I’ve seen and done more here than I ever thought possible. 

Millennial About Town! is just a small glimpse into what OC has to offer. The following review is contributed by Kaitlynn Irvine, Communications and Events Specialist. Kaitlynn is exactly where I was a few years ago, having just returned to Orange County after graduating college. I wanted to see how easy it would be for her – a newbie back in town – to get thrown into a Friday night with only $20 in her pocket and have a great time. Much as I expected, it didn’t take her long to find a fun hot spot in Santa Ana, where a blossoming downtown offers millennials on a budget, as well as every age group,  a surprising amount of options. Enjoy!

The review: A cozy and contemporary restaurant perched in the heart of downtown Santa Ana, Chapter One is the place to be after work on a Friday night. It balances an upscale beat with a welcoming and fresh atmosphere that makes it easy to stay and chat for hours. It resembles an á la mode barn with wooden floors, walls and tables. It also features a fireplace on the left and the ceiling to floor book case on the right with the bar snuggled right in between. 

Friday proved to attract a varied crowd. Friends ranging in their 20’s to 30’s lounged at the bar to enjoy the 2 to 6 p.m.  weekday happy hour special, while dates conversed over their meals and old pals enjoyed casual dinners. I myself couldn’t resist their long and creative cocktail list and settled on the Bonfire of Vanities, a mere $6 at happy hour. The cocktail had me at presentation alone, a blend of cucumber, strawberry and a “secret ingredient.” It was served with slices of cucumber and strawberry sitting on top, which my kind server lit on fire. The full menu offered a fun blend of modern healthy selections to comfort bar food, from roasted Brussel sprouts at $13 off the regular menu, to a happy hour combo of mac and cheese and a Moscow Mule for just $13 total.  You can’t go wrong spending a few hours here, especially if you are on a budget, and can leave feeling full and satisfied on just $20!

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