People Line Up To Get Into The Grocery Stores Instead Of The Irish Pubs
By Kevin Wilkerson, PubClub.com Nightlife Blogger
People were buying not beer, but bread and, as I found out, apparently a lot of olive oil, too.
San Diego quickly felt the effects of the bars and restaurants shutdowns as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic as much as any other city in America and throughout the world.
PubClub.com took a walk around the Gaslamp Quarter the first afternoon after Mayor Kevin Faulconer closed the bars and restaurants – the latter still being able to be open for take-out and curbside food pick-up only – and here are a few observations.
The streets, while hardly empty, were definitely a lot quieter than normal. Fifth Ave., the prime street for bars and nightlife, was nearly deserted and it was a strange site to see the tables removed from some patios and not even a single hostess outside to greet you as you passed by their establishment.
I made it inside Grocery Outlet after a short, three-to-four-minute wait. Inside the place was not at all crowded, but the grocery stores were apparently limiting the number of customers at one time to the mayor’s order of having no more than 50 people at a public gathering.
But what about at Ralph’s? The line was 20 deep with more people coming up every couple of minutes. It would easily have swelled to more than 50 people. I wanted five minutes and the line didn’t budge, so I left. That’s something I expected to happen at The Field on St. Patrick’s Day, not at Ralph’s.
Of course, the grocery stores were open and the Irish bars were not. Even tho it’s St. Patrick’s Day.
At Grocery Outlet, the bread aisle was bare and one girl – whom I pegged to be an Instagrammer – was snapping photos on her cell phone of empty shelves. But the only shelves that were empty were the ones with bread, pasta and as I mentioned earlier, Olive Oil. In fact, the only reason I had gone to Ralph’s was to see if it had any olive oil.
A few of the shops were open but there were no customers inside them. Some shops were closed.
Few restaurants were open, tho a couple had taped signs on their doors stating they would be open Wednesday for take-out orders. Most of them were simply closed withe their doors locked and not a single employee in sight.
Earlier in the day, I had taken a walk around the waterfront and in this post wrote that there were people out but it was still eerily quiet. The Gaslamp streets felt the same way in the afternoon.
What will be really out of character for the Gaslamp is when PubClub.com makes the rounds on the weekend. It’s so hard to imagine this area without crowded sidewalks, cars parading along Fifth Ave., lighted pedicabs with party music playing and people lined up to get into the bars and nightclubs.
Of course if I want to see people lined up to get into a place, all I have to do is go to a grocery store.