By Pat ShermanHundreds of people roamed the streets of the Village Saturday night, sipping wine, sampling hors d’oeuvres and soaking up the sounds of live music during the La Jolla Village Merchants Association’s inaugural Haute La Jolla Nights event.
Merchants Association President Phil Coller said the event was an unexpected success.
“I had people saying to me, ‘It’s about time. This Village has been like a morgue. What a breath of fresh air to see some activity on
a Saturday night. When’s the next one?’”
Stores and art galleries stayed open past 9 p.m. to accommodate attendees, offering specials and perks to those who stopped by.
Event organizer Julie Matibag said a highlight of the evening was a performance by the band Neveready, who performed until 9:30 p.m. in front of the Chase bank building on Girard Avenue and Silverado Street.
The band Brief Exposure, playing at the corner of Girard Avenue and Torrey Pines Road, stopped traffic with their energetic set.
“They were hilarious … just really polished performers,” Matibag said.
Larry Anhorn trimmed cabbage and asparagus into spectacular floral arrangements at Adelaide’s flowers, while Warwick’s bookstore held a craft beer tasting and book signing. Geppetto’s toy store organized an arts and crafts project for children.
“They were pretty busy in there,” Matibag said. “And the galleries on Prospect and Ivanhoe were just packed.”
Coller said it will take time to build attendance up and cement the public perception of La Jolla as a place to shop on Saturday nights.
“There were little things inside almost every business to interact with the potential customers,” he said. “It was a good success for the vibe of the Village. It really did help the atmosphere.”
The long-term goal is to use the event to entice more businesses into the area. During the past few months, there has been an average of one business per week opening in the Village, Coller said.
The next Haute La Jolla Nights events will be July 28 and Sept. 15. For more information, visit