With the spare flairlessness of a border town honky-tonk, La Onda is an essential anomaly. The building sits behind the I-44 on-ramp at Kingshighway and looks about as inviting as a warehouse for gaskets. Inside, the decor is no less gritty: matted, cigarette-scorched carpeting, dim lighting -- but for the black light at the entrance -- walls of knotty plywood, scattered tables -- but that's all inconsequential. Everyone is on the dance floor, a rectangle of hard wood half the size of a good roller rink. On Saturday nights the club swings like no place in town. Young Chicano men in straw cowboy hats and snakeskin boots leap the railings at the sound of a hot polka and corral a partner before she gets a chance to think twice. The band,... More >>>
By Mark Gilliland
Matthew Mulcahy, owner of La Onda: "¨La onda' is Mexican slang. It literally means ¨radio wave,' but when people say ¨la onda,' it means the ambiance of something. If you say, ¨This is la onda,' it's like saying, ¨This is where things are happening.'"