It was opened in 2002 and, in April 2008, was named one of the top five music venues in America by Rolling Stone Magazine. At the end of 2009, the venue opened Pulp, a downstairs members-only liquor bar. Pulp is open every night there is a show, and a live feed is piped in to allow patrons to view and listen to the show occurring upstairs. Pulp is also open various other nights for events featuring local artists and "Slice of Life" open-mic comedy nights.
The Orange Peel has for some time had a reputation among locals for condoning sexually abusive behavior by security staff. It is common for patrons to experience security members looking over the stall when patrons are using the bathroom. Victims of this sexual harassment are unable to find recourse due to the perpetrators being members of security staff.