Boulevard Nights highlights art, music, beer and rising businesses on El Cajon Blvd.
By Monica Garske | SDUN Reporter
The El Cajon Boulevard Business Improvement Association (BIA) has paired up with a few new Uptown businesses to host “Boulevard Nights,” the community-oriented block party coming to El Cajon Boulevarvd on Sept. 14.
The second Boulevard Nights will be held from 7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. on the south side of the Boulevard, between 30th and Kansas streets.
BIA marketing director Beryl Forman organized the free event, which will be hosted by The Media Arts Center San Diego, The Homebrewer and the Coffee & Tea Collective. All three are located on the 2900 block of El Cajon Boulevard.
Forman said the main objective of Boulevard Nights is to highlight new, up-and-coming businesses in the area. The community gathering, she said, will feature work from local artists and filmmakers, as well as artisan-roasted coffee and home-brewed beer courtesy of the Coffee & Tea Collective and brewing supply store, The Homebrewer, respectively.
“We’re really trying to showcase the growth of these little business clusters on El Cajon Boulevard. There are some good changes taking place on the Boulevard, and new businesses are something to celebrate,” Forman said.
The jam-packed event on the newly-dubbed “West End” of El Cajon Boulevard will include a live DJ – for a little “dancing on the Boulevard,” Forman said – and plenty of craft and food vendors, including the popular roving MIHO Gastrotruck.
Perhaps the most exciting thing on tap, Forman said, is the “Homebrew Competition,” where avid beer-lovers can show off their skills by presenting their own homemade brews to a group of judges.
Forman said approximately 20 to 30 home brewers are already set to participate in the competition. Those who want to enter the contest, or judge and taste the homemade concoctions, can pay $5 to do so.
The Homebrew Competition went over so well during the first Boulevard Nights earlier this year, Forman said organizers had to bring it back for a second round.
A representative from The Homebrewer said that for this event, participants must brew their homemade beer using an ingredient they have never used before, such as a new type of grain, base malt or yeast.
Participants should bring either eight 12-ounce bottles or four 22-ounce bottles to the competition, roughly 100-ounces of homemade brew to share with judges.
“We’re happy to take part in this event again. It’s cool to get everyone into the neighborhood to enjoy the night and have some fun. The image of this neighborhood is being revitalized and The Homebrewer is a part of that,” said the store’s representative.
With the beer contest and other fun features set, Forman said she is hoping for a massive turnout at the neighborhood block party.
“Last time we had people having a great time, spilling out all over El Cajon Boulevard. I wish the street could be that busy all the time,” she said. “The Boulevard is so wide, so it’s nice to draw attention to these little clusters of local, thriving businesses. We want people to realize that El Cajon Boulevard is transforming. it’s becoming better than ever.”
For more information about Boulevard Nights, or to be a part of the brew contest, visit theboulevard.org or call 619-283-3608.