Anaheim’s Phoenix Club to celebrate last Oktoberfest before closing, relocating – Orange County Register

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Anaheim’s Phoenix Club to celebrate last Oktoberfest before closing, relocating – Orange County Register
Anaheim’s Phoenix Club to celebrate last Oktoberfest before closing, relocating – Orange County Register

At this year’s Oktoberfest celebration in the Phoenix Club in Anaheim there is a band with German music, traditional Schuhplattler dance, various types of schnitzel and beer – and probably a bitter-sweet feeling too. It will be the last Oktoberfest at the current location, and it is unclear where the next one will be, as the club has sold its property near the Honda Center and has not yet decided where it will move. The land was sold to a subsidiary of Anaheim Ducks owners Henry and Susan Samueli, whose companies also manage the neighboring city-owned Honda Center and plan the development of OC Vibe, a 95-acre entertainment, office and residential community to be led by the arena anchored is OC Vibe spokesman confirmed by email. The buyer allows the club to stay by letting the property back until a new location is found. Phoenix Club President Linda Kriesant said she didn’t know when the club would close. Members are looking for a place in Brea for their new home, but “we have a lot to do with city permits,” she said. The property could later be incorporated into the OC Vibe project – the Samuelis own most of the adjacent land – but the developer is not including it in current plans. Members aren’t happy to have to give up the property and move, but Kriesant said the sale of the Anaheim location will allow them to keep the club going. Outside the Oktoberfest season, it provides a meeting place for local groups, its restaurant was open five days a week, and its bar welcomed Angels and Ducks fans to raise a mug before or after a game. Until the pandemic and its shutdowns strike. “We’re counting on events and restaurant sales, and basically we haven’t had any significant income for that part of our survival in over a year,” said Kriesant. Cultural center founded in 1960, the Phoenix Club has been a home of German culture in a city founded by German immigrants for decades. Its first location was essentially where the Honda Center is now, but in the early 1990s the city moved the club to its current location to build the arena. The club has a choir, traditional dance groups, and German classes, and member Lisa Hauptmann said its facility has hosted a football club, a ski group, and a group that played German card games over the years. Both the Phoenix Club and its location have a deeper meaning for Hauptmann, which her grandparents introduced to Oktoberfest and other events there as a child in the 1980s. After her grandfather died, she went to the club as an adult to remember him again and joined the schuhplattler dancers after seeing them. Her first dance partner to help teach her the steps? He is her husband now; In 2015 they celebrated their wedding at the Phoenix Club. “Of course the club is very important to us and we are pretty upset about the closure and the move,” said Hauptmann. “I can’t really tell you what that means to us.” The club’s membership has shrunk over time as people have aged, moved away, or been too busy to attend – once more than 5,000 members and now roughly 600 – but it means a lot to those who stay, said Kriesant. “Anaheim is a German word; Anaheim is home, ”she said. “It is very difficult to leave here. It’s been home to the club for nearly 30 years and has been a short walk away since 1960, so it’s very bittersweet. ”Last Oktoberfest While the future of the Phoenix Club is still in the air, members are looking forward to Oktoberfest, which is loud Kriesant is one of the oldest and most authentic in the district, with music, dance and competitions as well as lots of German food and beer. Because of COVID-19, they are selling tickets online and restricting the number of participants. Regarding the future of the club, Anaheim councilor Steve Faessel said he was ready to help as best he can. “The Phoenix Club has long been an asset to the community and I hope they find a permanent home in Anaheim,” he said in a text message. As for the move, Kriesant said: “We hope that it goes well for us – and until then we will serve our friends and customers until they leave the property.” to prepare the next chapter, but “I don’t really care about the money,” said Hauptmann. “I just hope that people who were happy to come will come and have their last hurray because that will be it.” The Phoenix Club’s Oktoberfest takes place every weekend from October 1st to October 24th. For more information, as well as the restaurant’s menu and opening times, visit www.thephoenixclub.com.

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