Editor's Note: The following is a Letter to the Editor from D Street Bar and Grill owners addressing the
would like to open a dialogue with the residents of the City of Encinitas.
On Wednesday, May 16, roughly 100 supporters of the , which owns several properties in the southwest end of downtown Encinitas, addressed the Encinitas City Council and they have with adjacent restaurants and bars to their properties.
Instead of addressing their issues directly to specific businesses, the SRF requested a moratorium on all establishments that serve liquor and asked that further restraints be visited upon a dozen restaurants and bars that have been good citizens in the north.
We recognize that the in south downtown should be addressed, but the case for including all of the establishments along Highway 101 in downtown was neither completely fair, nor accurate on May 16.
Brother Bhumananda of the SRF made several claims before the Encinitas City Council. One claim was that a brewpub twice the size of was scheduled to be located and built one block north of Union.
This is simply not true. While a brewpub did make an offer to the owner of 1010 S. Coast Highway 101 several months ago, according to the leasing agent for the property, on May 27, the property owner turned the brewpub down because he doesn’t believe a brewpub nor a restaurant is a good fit for that property. Even if the property owner had accepted the new brewpub as a tenant, there are already checks and balances in place via the state’s Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC), City of Encinitas, and San Diego County Sheriff’s Department to determine if a new establishment is needed or approved.
We would like to state for the record that the restaurant and bar owners of the north side of Highway 101 are working together to address any complaints and have been, for some time; ask the deputies from the San Diego County Sheriff’s office. We simply are not contributing to any disharmony that might be occurring a mile south along Highway 101.
Please let us state our own case for not being lumped into any call for a blanket response to an isolated problem.
When bought the Martini Ranch in 2005, we purchased a ‘type 48’ liquor license that allowed us to only serve patrons 21 years or older. It was a 21 and up bar only. But, we desired a business that would appeal to local residents as well as their families and also to Encinitas visitors. So at great expense, the license was ‘downgraded’ to a ‘type 47’ liquor license and we invested more than $700,000 into building a new kitchen and renovating the establishment. Now entire families can enjoy D Street, not just bar-goers.
The ‘type 47’ permit requires a full kitchen and food menu, and requires a proportion of food to alcohol to be sold. At , we sell nearly twice as much food as required by our license.
In addition, we employ twice as many security guards than our license requires (one security guard for every 50 patrons). We consciously put profits ‘second’ to public safety.
D Street purchased and operates a sophisticated I.D. scanner at the door, which determines if an I.D. is fake. Why? Because we would rather go out of business than serve a minor.
They recently turned over 25 fake I.D.s that had been confiscated from minors trying to purchase alcohol to the Sheriff’s office.
Recently, D Street worked with the local deputies in several sting operations that were executed on party buses that were invading downtown Encinitas.
We have extended our security force to the parking lot across the street at . Why? Public safety is paramount.
We have contributed and continue to contribute to nearly 50 different local non-profit organizations and causes annually.
We have volunteered to chair a subcommittee at to represent the restaurant and bar owners in downtown Encinitas, to meet with the public and to seek remedies to the problems on the south end of town.
We believe there are existing remedies to this situation, if all parties are willing to listen and are committed to rational solutions. But grouping all downtown restaurants together in an effort to address the perceived actions of one or two establishments in south downtown is not reasonable, nor necessary, in our minds.
Thank you in advance for listening!
Haven Dunn, Max Kaufman and Sam Hansen