If you’ve ever thought that the people making the real money at Coachella are the food and beverage vendors, you might be right.
Best Beverage and Catering, a San Diego–based catering company that also has offices in Miami, San Francisco, New Jersey, and handles catering for corporate events and music festivals such as the Vans Warped Tour, Coachella, and the Sunset Strip Music Festival, recently beat out another local group to take over Anthology.
The upscale India Steet restaurant and music showcase hosted Aaron Neville, Dr. John, the Fabulous Thunderbirds, and many other internationally known rock, blues, and jazz artists during its run from summer 2007 until December 2012.
A Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control posting on the front of the shuttered dinner club indicates Anthology is, in fact, reopening, and the new owners are F&B Associates, parent company of Best Beverage Catering.
But, not without some intrigue and behind-the-scenes legal struggle.
A group of local businessmen, including Bobby DePhilippis (Filippi’s Pizza Grotto), Pasquale Buono (of the Viva Santana tribute band), and Jeff Kacha (Hob Nob Hill/Rudford’s diner) were trying to take over the shuttered nightspot. But Buono says that his group got “back-doored” by the F&B group. That is all he would say about the business coup. But Buono did say that he and his group were in the process of trying to wrest Anthology away from F&B. Without getting specific, he says that his group has “every intention” to eventually legally obtain the rights to Anthology.
When it closed in December 2012, Anthology co-owner Howard Berkson said Anthology would be closing “for construction.” There was no construction. But there was litigation that arose over a reported $3.6 million in debt that creditors claimed Berkson’s India Street Ventures, LLC owed.
The Buono/DePhilippis/Kacha group has stated that should they resurrect Anthology, they would bring it back with its tradition of major-name headliners intact.
Anthology talent-buyer Michael Pritchard moved up to the Bay Area to book Yoshi’s jazz club in Oakland when Anthology closed. When the Reader asked Pritchard by phone if he was coming back to take over the talent at Anthology, he said he had been contacted by the new owners but did not want to comment.
The Best Beverage/Anthology connection was confirmed by local Best Beverage executive Mimi Owsley Smith, but attempts to reach Best Beverage principal owner Dirk Acton for more details were not successful.
Meanwhile Nederlander, the Los Angeles–based concert company that chose not to renew its multi-year agreement to produce concerts at UCSD’s RIMAC, is coming back to the La Jolla campus to promote a Jack Johnson show at the outdoor RIMAC field on August 30. Nederlander had previously brought Beck, Black Keys, the Pixies, Prince, and several other headliners to RIMAC. Insiders say Nederlander was enticed to return to UCSD because of the extra revenue from summertime alcohol sales. (Promoters can’t sell alcohol on campus when school is in session.)