In the Bouquets and Brickbats of Sept. 28, The Tribune seemed to disparage Save Our Downtown’s concern for maintaining a “family-friendly ambiance” in Downtown San Luis Obispo and opposing a 1,221-seat bar/restaurant (SLO Brew).
It sometimes worries me that the term “family friendly” might sound a little “hollow” depending on how the term is used. But, I think we do need families to come downtown so that it is more “inclusive.” My worry is that downtown could become too homogeneous, composed of only 20-somethings looking for “a good time”... more like the entertainment districts of St. Louis or San Diego.
The wonderful thing about San Luis Obispo used to be that anytime of day or night, you would see families shopping, mothers pushing their prams, kids walking home from school and unaccompanied working women alongside “party-goers” and trendy hipsters. This has changed. By my calculations, San Luis Obispo now has 6.7 bars per 10,000 population. That is notably higher than San Francisco, which at 6 bars per 10,000 households has the most bars of any large city in the state, according to Trulia Trends.
A vibrant and sustainable downtown must maintain a balance of workforce housing, offices, necessity goods stores (patronized by the in-town workforce) as well as entertainment-oriented businesses. A monoculture composed of nightclubs and bars is not a sustainable environment.