Like in many cities with a curfew for alcohol service, visitors to Pacific Beach are socializing earlier in the day. Movie nights (projected on the wall) and trivia have become fun (and safe) ways for customers to feel connected, besides just eating and drinking. Businesses have also adapted to the times—swapping their communal tables for outdoor dining (with smaller tables for social “pods”). Sara hopes virtual tequila tastings and online cooking classes (based on ingredients you picked up at local venues) are here to stay in the future. Conversely, house parties have become an unexpected outcome of the alcohol service curfews because the 20-something-year-old clientele is not used to ending the night so early. There are rising concerns about over-drinking, underage drinking, and sexual violence in those settings since they’re not being monitored or staffed.
Sara Berns is the former Executive Director of Discover Pacific Beach, the largest business improvement district in San Diego, California. Pacific Beach is a beachside tourist destination with a large concentration of bars and restaurants that cater to a young adult population, especially college students and visitors.