Unfortunately, Don the Beachcomber has closed as of April 15, 2018, due to high rents. We’ll miss this venue!
Don the Beachcomber is a huge Tiki-themed restaurant and bar in Huntington Beach with three stages. The promoters at B&B’s Musical Thrills want to make this a premiere Swing and Rockabilly dance destination, booking some of the finest bands like Petunia and the Vipers, Deke Dickerson, Dave Stuckey, and Big Sandy.
As you enter Don the Beachcomber, make a left but go past the small room with bar and stage. That’s not where the Swing dancing usually happens. Proceed through a hall on the left where you pay the cover (or show your tickets). It will open into a huge room with large stage.
There is a good-sized dance floor right in front of the band with nice wood surface.
When I went, Big Sandy opened with a solo acoustic set, and Dave Stuckey and the Hot House Gang was the main band. Both were amazing as usual! There was a good turnout of hard-core dancers, rockabilly folks, and fans of the bands. I counted about sixteen couples dancing at the main floor and between tables at the peak.
Throughout the building there are some cool displays that could have come straight out of Pirates of the Caribbean, so be sure to take a look around!
Although you can go alone and have some great dances, I would recommend bringing your own partner, going with a group, or at least making sure dancers you know will be there beforehand. Carpool if you can, especially since the location is a bit remote. Most people were sitting at tables when I went so there was a bit less mingling than you might find at other dance venues.
There is a cover charge, but please also have dinner and drinks to keep this venue booking Swing bands. (Many polynesian-themed drinks were invented at Don the Beachcomber, by the way.) More people tend to have dinner here than at other dance venues (but by no means do you have to have dinner!)
All in all, this venue has great decor and great bands. It’s large and has a really unique ambiance compared to other bar/restaurant Swing dance venues, so let’s try to keep this going! If you bring a friend or your dance crew, you should have a great time. Carpool! Go early and get dinner! There are some great holiday shows planned, including a New Year’s Eve Luau with James Intveld and three rooms of entertainment! – Brian