SAVE Anchor Bar Comedy Show!

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"The Cass Man" Evan Cassidy
"The Cass Man" Evan Cassidy signed this petition

SAVE Anchor Bar Comedy Show!
We call upon the County of Orange permitting offices to issue full a entertainment license to Original Pizza II (Anchor Bar) immediately!

I'm Evan Cassidy, a professional stand up comic, proudly from Orange County, California.  Back in 2011, I started an open mic night at a little bar called Anchor Bar, located in the downstairs bar of Original Pizza II, which is sort of in Costa Mesa (I'll explain what I mean by "sort of" in a second).  There weren't a lot of venues for local aspiring stand up comics in OC to work on their craft, especially not on Mondays, so it quickly became a central meeting place and joke gym for all aspiring OC comics.  

The first night there were 19 performers, the second night 22, the 3rd night 25.  After about a year we began averaging 50 performers each Monday.  Some drove from as far as Los Angeles and San Diego.  Around year 3, I did a "Night of 100 comics", where 104 comics showed up to perform from 6PM to midnight.  Surprisingly, the next week, 100+ showed up again - and again, and again.  

In October of 2018, we celebrated 7 years of live comedy on Monday.  As well, OC Weekly listed us as "Best Live Comedy Venue".  Shortly after this, it came to the knowledge of the County of Orange (and to us) that Original Pizza II/Anchor Bar did not have the proper permits for live entertainment.  Original Pizza having been a staple of the Newport/Costa Mesa area for over 50 years, they were very eager and willing to comply with the powers that be to get the situation rectified as soon as possible.  Many of the staff of OPII/Anchor Bar have worked there for 7+ years and make a living off the tips from not just comedy night, but also live band nights.  OPII/Anchor Bar are losing thousands of dollars in business each week without being able to have live entertainment.

We've had over 350 comedy shows over the years at Anchor Bar, with an average of over 50 performers a show - that's tens of thousands of stand up performances.  Not to mention, throughout each night, dozens of people have come to watch live stand up for free without any compulsory "drink minimum".  Anchor Bar Comedy Show is a unique cultural phenomenon that has helped put Orange County comedy on the map.  I've had touring comics drop in from as far as China, Sweden and India.  

Anchor Bar Comedy Show has been on hiatus since December 2018, as we await a response from the county permitting offices.  Remember how I said Anchor Bar is SORT OF in Costa Mesa?  Well, it's technically on unincorporated county land on the border of Costa Mesa and Newport Beach.  Go figure!  So the permit application was submitted to the county of Orange, rather than a local city or district.  

Please share this petition with all stand up comedy fans in Orange County!  I know that these matters take time, but I'd hate for the Orange County to overlook this and let the legacy of it's most prolific comedy show fade.  I've had the honor and privilege of hosting tens of thousands of hours of stand up comedy at Anchor Bar.  I've seen people try stand up for the first time and then 7 years later end up with jobs as writers on TV shows.  Half of the first couple seasons of Comedy Central's "Roast Battle" was made up of my friends (all Anchor Bar regulars).  I even saw a comic propose to his wife to be on stage there!

God willing, we'll see you on back on a Monday at Anchor Bar soon!