CHULA VISTA, Calif – While business is going off in Chula Vista’s Third Avenue Downtown Village, it has hit some growing pains as business owners look for solutions to what is being described by some as drunken behavior and increased crime in the area due to the influx of bars and breweries.
A Zoom conference was held Monday morning with Chula Vista business owners, a city council member, an officer with Chula Vista Police Department and concerned citizens trying to figure out how to address issues such as drunken behavior, loud noise, fighting and urinating in the street.
Brewery 3 Punk Ales was called out by Bill Highly, owner of the Chula Vista Academy of Music and Dance.
“They blast their music with the DJ so loud, it just bounces off the buildings,” Highly said.
However, Kevin Lewis, one of the owners of 3 Punk Ales, says that criticism is far from the truth.
“Puke, pee and the other p-word, the poop, all that stuff going on,” Lewis said. “We do have what seems like a lot of the businesses like to pinpoint that on us, the food and beverage, down here, but what a lot of people don’t know is we have a lot of homeless — we got the alleys back here, the park.”
Lewis added that “some people don’t like change,” but he says “change is a good thing.”
“They finish the streetscape that got done last November, so I mean with COVID, we need feet on the street down here,” Lewis said.
According to Chula Vista police, the data does not bear out the suggestion that crime is up in the popular corridor of the 200 and 300 block of Third Avenue. In 2020, there were 452 calls and 395 the following year.
“We like to be friendly neighbors. We try not to spill it out onto the streets. The PD loves us, the ABC loves us, so right now, we’re just going within the rules with what we’re trying to take care of and stay open,” Lewis said.