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Sally Rosan, Spring 2012 Students

Jobs revolving around the nightlife of Downtown San Diego

By Sally Rosan

Jobs that revolve around the nightlife of Downtown San Diego have boomed in just a few years, but only those with college degrees that aren’t afraid to work hard need apply.

San Diego is the second largest city in the state of California and the largest city in San Diego County.  It contains almost half of the County’s total population of 3.02 million people.

2020 estimates are that the city’s population should be 1.9 million people with 3.85 in the entire county. This population increase is the reason Downtown San Diego continues to grow.

Known as the Gaslamp quarters, the nightlife of downtown San Diego consists of more than 70 restaurants and clubs, retailers, offices and lofts. It is one of San Diego’s top tourist destinations.

According to licensing supervisor for San Diego Alcohol Beverage Control Tannie Pelin, “the Gaslamp has always notoriously had more bars than allowed.”

Pelin said that although there are only a handful of bars in Downtown San Diego, there are far more restaurants that hold alcohol licenses. She says that people go there to socialize and drink.

The ultimate babysitter in the nightlife of Downtown San Diego

According to the general manager at Maloney’s Tavern located in downtown San Diego, Ian Emerich, people turning in applications to his establishment have degrees.

“My head shot girl? She has a psychology degree,” says Emerich.

Emerich says college graduates have a tendency to quit when they realize the work is very demanding. He says the bar industry has always been the “get rich quick” theme.

“I can definitely see the allure of never leaving this job. You make quick, good money and you get a significant amount of time off,” said cocktail waitress Cheyenne Alvord.

It’s not easy money, says Emerich. You need to work harder if you have a position like a bartender because everyone wants your job.

Promoters like Christian Posada have to work even harder at keeping their jobs.

Posada is new at promoting in Down San Diego but hopes he will be able to move up within the company soon.

Before the economy went downhill, the bar industry was for people going through school or that had never went through school. It was never an actual career.

Emerich has worked at Maloney’s Tavern for eight years. He says he loved the job ever since he got it because it was the only real company that ever kept their promise.

“I’ve always enjoyed the industry. You meet new people every day, you establish relations with people and you live their life with them,” said Emerich.

DJ Frankie understands that working the industry of Downtown is all about networking as well.

Frankie has been a DJ for over 10 years and books most of her events in Downtown San Diego. She hopes she can soon produce her own music.

Emerich says ultimately he is responsible for everyone’s job. He calls himself the head babysitter.

Emerich explains that most owners only see the glitz and the glam of running a bar or a club. They don’t take into account all of the costs that come with it, so after six months they generally go out of business.

Emerich deals all kinds of people, he says things don’t always go the way you want them to. Aside from kicking guys out for being too drunk, he also deals with the occasional girl getting ill or having an allergic reaction to alcohol.

 “It can go really bad in two seconds. That’s why you need to have a capable staff,” said Emerich.

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