top of page
After a huge influx of African Americans to California during World War II, the Zanzibar Club, which operated on the Hotel’s ground floor, became one of the region’s first major venues to host Black entertainers. However, it wasn’t until new owners bought the Hotel in 1953 that Black people were allowed to book rooms. Once it was listed in The Negro Motorist Green Book, the California Hotel became a legendary destination, attracting such high-profile guests as Billie Holiday, Sam Cooke, Ray Charles, James Brown, and the Escovedo Brothers. Alan Laird, a lifelong resident, local artist, and former business tenant in the Zanzibar Club space during the early 2000's shares his memories about the California Hotel that you can hear on the tour.
bottom of page