For the past seven months, members of the Pacific Beach Planning Group have studied alcohol-related issues in Pacific Beach. On June 14, they presented their findings during a “special meeting.”
Scott Chipman, chairman of the group’s alcohol license review committee, said, “Alcohol-related crime is 19 percent higher in Pacific Beach than the rest of San Diego.” A community member’s response to that statement was, “Alcohol-related crime was 19 percent higher in P.B. because that's where 90 percent of the drinking happens.”
“[The state Alcoholic Beverage Control bureau] doesn’t get a lot of complaints from P.B. — everyone needs to know that,” said Marcie Beckett, identifying herself as having been with the Pacific Beach Planning Group for five years. Beckett took turns presenting alongside Chipman, and Jennifer Hill of the ABC was present.
When asked to comment on the issue, Hill said, “This is a land-use issue, and ABC doesn’t get involved in that.”
Beckett said, “We’re not blaming [restaurants]…they’re just taking advantage of the policy…they’re morphing. We have lots of restaurants that don’t create problems."
Which restaurants does the group consider “problem” restaurants? During the meeting, references were made to the P.B. Shore Club, Hooters (soon to “morph” into “Beachwood”), and Bub’s Dive Bar.
Following the meeting, police captain Chris Ball said, “We will follow up to see how we can be more effective in addressing the community needs. Some points made are valid…like the morphing issue, which I like to call ‘license creep’ — first they want spirits, then live entertainment…then open till 2 a.m. However, I do not agree with the comment that P.B. is dangerous. One of the challenges we are faced with is that most of the crime being discussed, as it relates specifically to alcohol, are patron-on-patron crimes. I would underscore this statement…P.B. is a safe place to live.”
For video of the meeting, click here.