La Jolla merchants hoping for busy July 4th
Village merchants are gearing up for a busy — and hopefully lucrative — Independence Day now that efforts to get a restraining order to block La Jolla’a annual fireworks appear to be resolved.
Owners of two businesses directly across from the Cove where crowds gather for the pyrotechnics display that is in its 26th year — La Jolla Cove Suites and Brockton Villa — said they were relieved that the show apparently will go on.
It’s set to kick off at 7 p.m. with a concert by the Third Marine Aircraft Wing Band and the Four Bones Trombone Quartet, followed by fireworks at about 9:15 p.m.
“We’re almost completely booked up,” said Krista Baroudi, president/CEO of La Jolla Cove Suites, a hotel with about 100 suites and a roof deck overlooking the Cove accommodating 225 people. “People come into town to celebrate. It’s the kickoff of our heavy summer season and, considering the economy, it’s summer that gets me through the off season.”
The hotel has hosted private parties for revelers for years with families, sometimes into their second and third generation, coming back every year for the Fourth of July.
“Next year we’re toying with the idea of throwing a party open to the public,” said Baroudi.
If the Cove’s Fourth of July fireworks show had been canceled, it could have been disastrous for David and Megan Heine who own the historic Brockton Villa restaurant at 1235 Coast Blvd.
“It’s a premium night,” said David Heine, noting the restaurant charges $100 per seat for the one-time 5 to 10 p.m. venue offering a birds-eye view of the show.
Without fireworks, it would just be another Sunday night, noted Heine, and that likely would have kept many patrons away.
“We actually had four cancellations during the week,” he said. “Their main question was, ‘Is there going to be fireworks?’ ”
Over on Prospect Street, Oved Haskal, co-owner of Barfly/Aroma at 900 Prospect St., a bakery/sports bar that opened on June 19, said,
“I believe I would be busy with or without the fireworks.”
Haskal, who battled local community planners claiming his outdoor dining space didn’t allow enough clearance for passersby before prevailing with the city, said he’s encouraged by the initial response to his opening.
“It’s really doing very well for me,” he said. “You see the corner has really come to life.”
Barfly/Aroma’s business early on has also been bolstered by World Cup soccer.
“The sports bar area was packed last Saturday and Sunday,” Haskal said.
Robert M. Howard of the law firm of Latham & Watkins, which successfully represented the La Jolla Community Fireworks Foundation in court this week, noted there may yet be one more legal avenue for environmental attorney Marco Gonzalez to pursue in his quest to block La Jolla fireworks on the fourth.
“He could file for an emergency writ with the Court of Appeals in downtown San Diego,” Howard said, noting that would have to be done by 5 p.m. Friday. “The Court of Appeals would have to determine that the trial court erred, and that an emergency injunction would have to be issued to cancel the fireworks. But the likelihood of that happening is remote, based on the evidence in the (court) record.”
Meanwhile, fireworks organizers are proceeding with last-minute planning and preparing for a July 5 cleanup effort.