The Boom is Back! The Boom Boom Room will be opening for one night only, but it’s an important one – New Year’s Eve!
Thanks to concerted efforts between the City of Laguna Beach and restaurateurs that include Mark DePalma (of historical Mark’s fame), the Boom is dressing herself up for a serious party on Dec. 31st.
Doors open at 8:00 p.m. with $40 cover. Tray passed hors d’oeuvres will be provided by Catering By Marks, and Mark DePalma will be on site to welcome festive party-goers. A full bar will also be in play with $10 drink tickets. Please RSVP for NYE at the Boom so caterers can get a better idea on how much food to prepare.
“I can’t even tell you how crazy it is for my catering company through Christmas,” says DePalma, a longtime restaurateur and caterer. “But when this idea came along, there was no way I was going to turn it down. Besides, I’ll have nearly an entire week to figure out what I’ll be serving for New Year’s Eve!”
Throughout the evening, patrons can dance the night away with one of L.A.’s hottest DJs, Andrew Blunk, and stay for party favors and a bubbly toast at midnight to usher in the New Year. The Boom will remain open until 2:00 a.m., before she kicks off her party shoes and goes silent once again.
The Boom’s Fabled History
Housed inside The Coast Inn, the city’s second-oldest hotel, the Boom Boom Room was the oldest gay bar in the Western United States. Enjoying a heyday that (literally) lasted decades, The Boom was an international icon, attracting an LGBT crowd of locals and travelers. Fred Karger, a tireless advocate for saving the Boom Boom Room before its closure, once noted that “the Boom Boom Room represented the acceptance and openness of Laguna Beach long before it was acceptable to be gay.”
The Boom was friendly to anyone and everyone, and many a night would see as many “straight” people in the lively bar as gays. It was a safe haven for all. “I’m not sure who’s going to be at the door this New Year’s Eve,” says DePalma. “But, whoever shows up is going to be welcomed in usual Boom Boom Room style.”
DePalma, whose own brother died of AIDS nearly 25 years ago, was an active supporter of AIDS research and the gay community long before he moved to Laguna Beach with his family. “I think any community that welcomes and encourages diversity is a community where you want to raise your kids,” he notes.
The Boom Boom Room closed in 2007 after a Beverly Hills billionaire purchased the Coast Inn. Originally built in 1927, The Coast Inn definitely needed some revitalizing love, and the new owner hoped to create an upscale boutique hotel. Eventually, he despaired of pushing his plans through the City and Coastal Commission and put the property back on the market.
In 2013, Laguna locals, Marcella and Chris Dornin, stepped in to buy the Inn with plans to redevelop the property to its former glory, including tribute to The Boom. The proposed 24-room hotel would include three restaurants, one of which would be rooftop based. The revitalization project continues to meet with snags, both with surrounding neighbors and the Laguna Beach Planning Commission.
“I hope all these issues will eventually be ironed out,” says DePalma. “Redevelopment of the property would give that whole area life again. But, at least we’ve got that life for one night!”
Are you in for the Boom?
Submit your RSVP here, which will significantly help Mark DePalma plan for food and drink.
Help us spread the word! See my Facebook Event page, let us know if you’re “interested” or “going” and share with friends!