The Greyhound bus terminal — at 120 W. Broadway for the past 80 years — moved to 1313 National Avenue on November 14. Greyhound’s lease expired on October 1, so the company has leased a lot in the East Village from the Metropolitan Transit System.
At one time, the Broadway bus terminal had a small bar with about six seats, where a thirsty traveler could get a cold beer; that closed in the mid-1980s, along with the competing Trailways bus line located a block away.
First and Broadway eventually became a corner for people who were looking for something. Among them were beggars, pimps, drug dealers, runaways, undocumented immigrants, alcoholics, and junkies all trying to stay under the police radar. The Pickwick Hotel next door and its interesting Piccadilly bar could not be blamed for the earthy mixture: this melting pot was the result of people mixing once they got off the bus for what they hoped was a new life in San Diego.
By 2007, the Pickwick had morphed into the upscale Sofia Hotel. The downtown ballpark (Petco) started this “scrubbing”; the undesirables were being squeezed and are now being let off the bus about two blocks from San Diego’s biggest homeless shelter. St. Vincent de Paul is located at 1501 Imperial Avenue.