La Jolla merchants have Art & Wine for breakfast

La Jolla Art & Wine Festival founder Sherry Ahern addresses a breakfast meeting of the La Jolla Village Merchants Association, Sept. 17 at Sushi on the Rock.

The La Jolla Village Merchants Association’s latest Business4Breakfast meeting — Tuesday, Sept. 17 at Sushi on the Rock — was dedicated to a preview of the La Jolla Art & Wine Festival (LJAWF), the 11th incarnation of which will convert Girard Avenue into a street fair on Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 12-13.

Specifically addressing seven of the 30 merchants who identified themselves as operating on Girard Avenue, LJAWF founder Sherry Ahern acknowledged the complaints she’s received in years past about merchant foot traffic decreasing due to the street closure.

“Maybe business for you that weekend isn’t your best — although some say it is — but it doesn’t hurt to bring 40,000 people to La Jolla,” Ahern said. “That much I know.”

Ahern suggested to Girard merchants that they trot out lower-ticket items to sell on the sidewalks in front of their stores — and recommended an umbrella and a table instead of an awning, to avoid blocking their signage — and offered them the opportunity to have their business cards and promotional handouts distributed at the festival’s information booth.

“We can even have an easel and put something up,” she said, adding: “What we ask people not to do is go and hand out things on the street, because that just makes things look kind of junky.”

LJAWF offers a diverse variety of experiences and performances, including art vendors (163 this year to last year’s 155), a food court, wine-and-beer garden and a children’s area. Although there wasn’t much Ahern announced that was new about this year’s LJAWF, La Jolla High School was added to the four La Jolla public schools that already benefit from the proceeds it raises through festival sponsors, donations, artist fees, a silent auction and the wine-and-beer garden.

None of the merchants attending the breakfast brought up any previous problems they had with the festival.

— The 11th annual La Jolla Art & Wine Festival will run 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday-Sunday, Oct. 12-13 down Girard Ave. Admission is free. Volunteers are needed. Find complete details at