Issue:  Vol. 48 / No. 7 / 15 February 2018

Boom Boom Room saved – for now


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The goal to save the historic Boom Boom Room in Laguna Beach has been successful – at least for another year.

"It's like Christmas in August," Save the Boom founder Fred Karger said after he and other organizers received word recently that the landmark Boom and adjoining Coast Inn will remain open for another year.

Karger said that the Boom's reprieve came about after Patrick O'Laughlin and James Marchese, co-owners of the Boom and Coast Inn, agreed to terms with building owner Steven Udvar-Hazy. Udvar-Hazy recently purchased the building and had announced plans to build a restaurant and hotel business.

"This is the best possible news and we are so grateful to Mr. Udvar-Hazy for giving the oldest gay bar in the western United States new life," Karger said of the news.

"We look forward to keeping our Save the Boom campaign alive, and hope during the next 12 months we can convince him that these landmark businesses should remain a vital part of Laguna Beach," Karger added.

Karger said that he and others collected 5,000 signatures from Laguna Beach residents and visitors in the last two months. Karger said the Save the Boom effort would continue.

"This fight is essential for the gay community that live in and visit Laguna Beach. The historic Coast Inn and Boom Boom Room represent out past and our future," Karger said.

Karger and Save the Boom co-chair, former Laguna Beach Mayor Bob Gentry, plan on redoubling their efforts over the next year to continue to gather support locally and nationally to help them save the landmark meeting place.

Karger said that business at the Boom this past summer was near record and with the proper marketing and promotion the Boom can be successful.

"It was the best possible outcome," he said of the recent agreement. "It is a win-win, a win for the building owner, Mr. Udvar-Hazy, and the gay community and its friends and the city of Laguna Beach."

For more information on the effort, visit

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