Joe Gilchrist posing at the Flora-Bama wall at Moonshine Beach in San Diego.By John Mullen

March 18, 2019 – Orange Beach, AL (OBA®) – When Ty Hauter has bands flown in from Nashville and Texas to his Moonshine Beach music venue in San Diego, the up-and-coming artists flock to the club’s Flora-Bama wall to take pictures.

“So, when bands come into town they always get their picture taken by it just like the owner did,” Hauter said. “It’s become this special wall that everybody gravitates to for selfies and what not before they take off out of town.

Flora-Bama wall at Moonshine Beach in San Diego.“They’re always asking ‘what made you think of this?’”

Although Hauter has visited the world-famous Flora-Bama once he came away enamored with the place.

“I adore it,” he said. “I think it’s a great place. I grew up in smaller towns in the Midwest and places like that, that’s what we dreamed about as kids.”

When he was putting together ideas for Moonshine Beach, a 1,500-seat venue and bar that does ticketed shows as well as host cover bands, his thoughts went back to the special place he visited on the Florida-Alabama line.

“Southern California doesn’t really have a country music scene,” Hauter said. “It just started evolving a few years ago and now it's expanding. I was trying to bring in more flavor from the Gulf Coast and the South. I’ve been living in Nashville for a couple of years now and I was trying to think of items that would resonate and somehow set a tone.

“In my mind, (the Flora-Bama is) one of the motherships of vibe and what it’s all about. That’s how it ended up on that wall.”

He said the entire region has a good musical vibe but the Flora-Bama is the center of it all. He wanted to capture a bit of that for Moonshine Beach.

“It’s just an iconic place and some vibe from the Gulf Coast, I thought it was the perfect spot for it because it’s more of a beach venue,” he said. “In California, they don’t allow things close to the beach so that’s about as close as we could get nowadays. I guess I wanted to pay tribute in some way.”

Long-time Flora-Bama Joe Gilchrist stopped by to see the wall on a trip to San Diego and wants to bring a group from the Bama out for a visit.

“I think we ought to do a home-and-home party,” Gilchrist said. “Get a bunch of people to go out there and a bunch of people from out there to come here. I’m all for it.”

Line dancing at Moonshine Beach in San Diego.Hauter said he is planning to bring a group to the Flora-Bama this summer which would be just his second visit to the legendary roadhouse. His Flora-Bama display is the only advertisement for another music spot in either Moonshine Beach or the original bar in downtown, Moonshine Platz.

“It’s probably 20 feet long and six or seven feet high,” he said. “I think we have one wall that says Dixie Beer five cents and one wall that’s Jim Beam and another wall that says Fender guitars. The Flora-Bama thing is the only one that’s on a wall that’s really pushing another venue.”

His club offers a variety of ticketed shows as well as cover bands who mostly play for the weekend crowds. Ticketed shows are usually on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays but sometimes one will pop up on a weekend.

“All of our bands either come out of Nashville or some out of Texas,” Hauter said. “We fly them in every weekend. There’s only a couple select bands that we can get out of L.A. or Arizona that are worth anything. We have some that are seasoned upstarts, kind of the Eli Young or Frankie Vali level, maybe Aaron Lewis. These are like $15 to $25 ticket shows.

“Cover bands or up and coming artists that play enough covers some we call baby acts that would be the opener of the opener for amphitheater shows. We can’t charge a ticket for them and they are good players. Of the 30 songs a night they play we let them sprinkle in maybe five to six of their own cuts and after that, they are primarily a cover band.”