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The Haven History

The Haven’s building, the McComas Block, was built in 1886 and served as Pomona's first City Hall. In the following decades, a general store, shoe shop, millinery, and music store came and went until the downtown was almost completely abandoned in the 1960s and 70s.  

 

In 1992, three local creatives, Ken Bencomo (artist and choreographer),  Ed Tessier (musician and activist), and Jim Carlson (musician and educator) decided the local arts scene needed a neighborhood hangout. The result was The Haven Coffeehouse, a café, gallery, meeting hall, and music venue that opened in 1992. For the next five years, it was a bustling showcase for emerging art, indie music,  and community groups that helped launch an entire cultural district, now known as the Pomona Arts Colony.

 

Corporate competition from places like Starbucks and Borders led to its closure in 1997. Although, there is still a need for a safe space for creative expression even 24 years later. Second-generation musician/promoter Victor Tessier rebooted The Haven on July 9, 2021 (with an attached restaurant coming soon). Once again The Haven is bringing emerging bands and emerging fans