La Jolla Village Merchants host first Winter Gala, present first Jewel Awards


It’s good to do business in La Jolla. That’s the message the La Jolla Village Merchants Association (LJVMA) put forth at its inaugural Winter Gala, Dec. 14, which was held inside the Poliform La Jolla design/furnishings store at 7726 Girard Ave.

In addition to the mixing and mingling, cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, pulsating deejay-hosted rhythms, photo station and ever-changing video screen showcasing iconic images of the La Jolla scene, the highlight of the gala was the presentation of LJVMA’s first Jewel Awards.

The winners were chosen by ballot mailed to Merchants Association members, who cast their votes in November in each category from the entities located within the 30-block La Jolla Business Improvement District.

Drum roll, please!

Emerald Award for Best New Business Opened in 2017: J. McLaughlin clothier

Sapphire Award for Best Fast Casual Restaurant: Puesto

Sapphire Award for Best Upscale Restaurant: Tie between Eddie V’s and Catania.

Ruby Award for Best Long-term Business (over 25 years old): Warwick’s Books.

Sparkle & Shine Award for Best-Kept Storefront: Tie between Adelaide’s and Warwick’s.

And last (but surely not least!) Pearl Award for Outstanding LJVMA Board Member (2016-2017): Mike Dorveillier for his work with the La Jolla Concours d’Elegance, held in April.

In presenting the awards, LJVMA president James Niebling told the more than 100 guests gathered: “We are so happy to have you all here and we thank you for your support of the Merchants Association.” He also noted his regrets, though understanding, that several of the award recipients could not be present to accept their recognition because “This is their busiest time of the year!”

The gala was presented by member BizX, a community of local business owners who engage and leverage one another within the BizX network using a tool called the BizX dollar that enables them to buy from and sell to one another without spending cash.

For more information about LJVMA, visit or call (858) 454-5718.