A 'Holy' Hotspot

Monrovia's newest café bar and music venue provides a classy space for new bands and writers to gain an audience

By Justin Chapman, Monrovia Patch, 11/19/2011

What could be Monrovia's newest hotspot is up and running and ready for its first show Saturday night.
Monrovia resident Anthony Morelli, 35, has worked tirelessly over the past few months to turn the unused basement of into a café and music venue called "The Holy Ground."
The space was donated to Morelli by the church, and although Morelli is religious, he said the venue is a place for people of all sorts--believers and nonbelievers alike--to share.
"It started out as a really terrible space," he said, "but over the past few months it has become very beautiful."
The space can comfortably seat 44 people and has room for expansion. The café bar is ready to serve drinks that will be cheaper than most other places, with all profits going to keeping the venue open. Everything from Frappuccino's to cappuccinos to hazelnut drinks to soda to Rockstars to hot cocoa and more will be available.
The stage top was donated by , chairs and tables by Homer's Automotive, and coffee bar materials by . Morelli plans to have at least one show a week, and more if possible as the venue, which has a house PA and keyboard, becomes better known. As they progress, they'll provide guitar and bass amps, and as they continue to grow and raise capital they'll be able to provide more equipment, he said.
"The root of good music is poetry, so along with weekly shows we want to have poetry and book readings, as well as open mic nights," he said. "We want to have a hosted group every Saturday, then move into a similar thing for people on Fridays to have a place for people to go to hear good music and scripture."
Morelli is looking for as much involvement from the community as possible. He is currently searching for some local artists to do murals and other forms of art on the venue's walls, he said.
The Holy Ground has two entrances, in the front of the church on Palm and behind the church. In an effort to advertise the café and venue, Morelli is working on a website, a fan Facebook page, and even a social network that will be comparable to Facebook but specialized to those who patronize "The Holy Ground." Volunteers are also designing and handing out flyers and pamphlets advertising the place.
"It's really come together recently," said Morelli. "We've been adding audio equipment, furniture, and of course we'll be adding more stuff as time goes on because we want the best for people. We're constantly under construction but it is ready now for performances and audiences."
On Saturday night, three local bands--100 Onces, Indigo Child, and Tribe--will play beginning at 7 p.m.