Dance your punk rock pants off as the famed Atomic Café lives again on Saturday, Sept. 29, from 7 to 11 p.m. in celebration of the closing of ART@341FSN on First Street in Little Tokyo.
The evening of music and fun will feature a DJ set by Atomic Nancy, who will be spinning original 45s from the jukebox. In 1946, Minoru and Ito Matoba opened the Atomic Café in Little Tokyo. For decades this late-night cafe catered to neighborhood locals, punks, tramps, junkies, mobsters, city politicians and world-class artists. Nancy’s carefully curated jukebox perfectly suited its clientele and provided the soundtrack for this unique cultural mashup.
There will also be a free community photo booth, so dress in your best punk rocker attire.
For the past two months ART@341FSN has brought to life the community’s vision for the First Street North block. Since its opening, there have been 24 events, including pop-up stores featuring Shop Tenzo, CRFTbyMaki, and Little Tokyo Book Bike. More than 50 artists have displayed their work and the space hosted the exhibition “Ibasho: Arts Activism in Little Tokyo.”
That vision for First Street North also spurred a petition drive organized by Sustainable Little Tokyo (SLT) and Nikkei Progressives (NP), two local community groups based out of the Little Tokyo neighborhood. Earlier this month, the groups delivered more than 2,500 petition signatures to Councilmember Jose Huizar’s office seeking the council district office’s support in maintaining community control of the First Street North block.
Art@341FSN was a partnership of Japanese American Cultural & Community Center, Little Tokyo Community Council, LTSC +LAB and Sustainable Little Tokyo; as well as community partners Antena, Japanese American National Museum and Visual Communications.
For more information, visit sustainablelittletokyo.org/projects/341.
Photos by Scott Oshima