We are fortunate to enjoy such an active downtown core in San Luis Obispo. However, over the past decade or so, I’ve observed a significant change in activity downtown. Twenty-one years ago, when I created Big Sky Cafe, there was significant nightlife in the downtown area after 9 p.m. — for everyone. Now, this hour begins a transition period from our general citizenry to the students.
The group Save Our Downtown, by consistently opposing businesses that wish to serve alcohol, distracts us from the real issues facing our downtown in order to be sustainable.
It isn’t the number of liquor licenses downtown: it’s the number of diverse people on the streets. An entertainment core for a city that attracts a diverse population is a proven success formula. We need more entertainment centers downtown. We need businesses (with or without liquor licenses) that stay open after 9 p.m. and appeal to a wide age range.
All proposals for downtown buildings that include late-evening entertainment possibilities should be encouraged, whether they serve alcohol or not.