Sunday, July 26, 2015

Sandy Cohen History Lesson: The Bait Shop aka Parcel 10

The Bait Shop

Ah, There it is The Bait Shop, the venue that brought a ton of great music to The O.C.! The Bait Shop was first introduced in season two as a cool and hip place for the cast to hang out as well as bringing a live music element to the show. The Bait Shop offered a new location for the cast to spend their time and an alternative location for the viewer experience (after all teenagers don't always hang out in their pool houses). The Bait Shop was a vehicle for extra drama, a love interest as well as a part time job for Seth and Sandy's singing debut (among other things).

The Bait Shop was filmed at a real Redondo Beach Pier location not Newport Beach. Only the exterior of the Redondo Beach octagon shaped building was used during filming.

For on-location scenes characters and background actors would stand, talk, walk in and out of the building or sit on the piers benches to add realism.

To dress up the scenes various things were added to the octagon building. A lighted The Bait Shop sign featuring flickering fishing hooks was added to the exterior as well as the "now playing sign" (where the band names were displayed), a few additional pieces of lighting were added on the roof of the building.

Here we have a close up of the Bait Shop sign uncovered in all of its glory. As you can see, it was actually a big fish with light bulbs surrounding it (clever)..Bait...Shop...get it? Hint: Where you buy bait for fishing (like fish tackle).

From there an elaborate interior was created on a sound-stage at Raleigh Studios emulating the insides of a night club music venue complete with a bar or wait I mean 3 bars (count them)!

As you can see this is the center of The Bait Shop where Alex would hang out. If you look closely you can see what looks like a boy with a fishing pole in the largest black square on the floor (nice touch that was never seen much on film).

To add realism an actual octagon roof was constructed in the studio to really give it the illusion that they were filming on location. Mad props to the set creators on this one!

The famous stage where various awesome acts were featured.

A recurring view where the majority of the background actors and main characters would stand.

Flash forward to 2010, 3 years after the show was over you could still see "The Bait Shop"sign although it was covered up as well as the sign that announced who was playing that night. Tourists and fans of the show would come here to relive scenes, often posing in front of the building and snapping photos. It saddened me to see the sign covered up by black plastic bag looking coverings.

Here was an alternate angle of the sign, you can still almost make out the Bait Shop letters.

Before it was The Bait Shop on The O.C. the building was known as Yue's Lahani Haloha, a two story restaurant and bar. There was live music there as well! The restaurant opened in 1979.

Looks like the building went through a few different name changes. This photo has the building called "Each Garden Dining Cocktails Dancing". Looks like the dinning, cocktails and dancing part was left unchanged from the Lahani Haloha version.

Then the pier suffered a fire in 1988. Luckily the octagon parcel 10 building wasn't damaged but a result of the fire, the area was getting a lot less foot traffic which hurt business. The owner of the octagon building wanted to be compensated for their losses. In the end the taxpayers ended up footing the bill and the city took ownership of the building. Over the years the building stood abandoned. There were countless ideas for what to do with the building but they couldn't agree on anything.

Unfortunately as the years went on the octagon building was slowly deteriorating. Since 1979 The octagon building has been subjected to the elements - rough weathering and was beginning to fall apart. The roof tiles were reported being blown off by the rough salty sea weather as well as the paint fading, chipping and rotting. The building has been unoccupied for years due to its structural issues. People were also worried about the safety risks involved with keeping the building around. Some local people thought it was a hideous, a few others thought it would be a nice investment property (wheres Cal when you need him?).

Alternate Angle

The draw bridge, this was put down while filming concert scenes.

Back portion, restrooms sign

Flash forward to 2013 Saddest news for O.C. fans hit. The Redondo Beach City Council decided that the building was a safety risk and called for an emergency demolition after a storm damaged the wood panels on the roof. As a part of an initiative to renew the Redondo Beach Pier and solidify the safety of the pier local officials decided to start the demolition process on, breaking the walls down piece by piece. It cost an estimated $61,827 to finish the job (a cheap price to get rid of such a well known The O.C. landmark). 

According to a few residents wanted the space to be turned into a merry-go-round or marine study area.

As you can see it doesn't take much for the building to fall down (video and info provided by

Some photos of the inside during the demolition, wall art used for the various restaurants

The roof caving in

A lone ceiling fan

Looks like a huge mess, definitely not The O.C. interior

Some more wall detailing

Tearing it up

Sigh...What a sad mess

An old-school alternative black and white view. As you can see there was a boat dock attached next to it.

This is how it looks now or explore for yourself:  This is how it will appear (as of 2015) when you go visit it. Still featuring the octagon shape left on the pavement.

So there you have it, a complete history of The Bait Shop thanks to Sandy Cohen! A very sad ending to an O.C. landmark and to its rich history. Hopefully they will fill the space up with something worthy, like a giant replica of The Bait Shop..How bout we all just pop in season 2 of The O.C. and relive things as if nothing ever happened, complete ignorant television bliss. Sounds great...

PS: I wonder who has The Bait Shop sign in their living room..Perhaps Josh Schwartz...Let us know Josh...

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