The ways San Diegans spend Saturday night

Do we not know how to PARTY?

What do people spend money on when they go out Saturday night? I went to a variety of locations to ask a variety of people. I hit Horton Plaza downtown, the Belmont Park roller coaster in Mission Beach, and the Belly Up Tavern in Solana Beach, and I headed east to the Grossmont Trolley Center.

A number of people I approached ignored me. They thought I was going to either beg for money or try to sell them a cell phone. Others let me ask my question but responded with a statement along the lines of "You don't want to hear about my weekends — they're boring." Those people mentioned doing housework, hanging out with their kids, or watching TV.

Many people said they went to a movie on Saturday night. I didn't want to fill the story with only moviegoers, but it's safe to say that's the most common thing San Diegans do when they hit the town.

George Morgan

Age: 64

Marital status: Single

Home: Toronto, Canada

Work: Retired executive director of secure facility for young offenders

Total cost: $20

I don't want to sound too boring, but I watch TV on Saturday night. I'm a big hockey fan. I used to be a bigger fan and would go to the games on Saturday night. But the game has gotten so rough and gotten away from the skill involved. I still go to some games on Saturday nights, but usually I just watch them on TV. I may go to a baseball game on a Saturday afternoon. Watching TV is free, so I don't spend money when I'm home.

I'm here on vacation, and I like walking around the outdoor malls. The weather is so nice here, and I like to people-watch. Obviously, it doesn't cost any money to do that. I may go walk around Seaport Village. I will have dinner somewhere on Saturday night while on vacation. That would probably cost less than $20.

Ray

Age: 29

Marital status: Married, with two kids

Home: Clairemont

Work: DJ and AT&T employee

Total cost: $130.50

If I'm not DJing, I'm with the family. I might spend $100 or $150 on a night out. We go to movies, dinner, and there's the cost of gas. There are four of us, so dinner might be about $80. The movie tickets -- we need two adults and two kids. That's around $31.50. We'll sometimes buy the popcorn and Cokes [$3.00 for one small Coke, $3.50 for one small popcorn]. Maybe two popcorns and four Cokes. It all adds up.

Dolores Solano

Age: 39

Marital status: Divorced

Home: San Diego

Work: Nurse

Total cost: $40

When my daughter was younger, we might go see a movie. Sometimes we still do. That's $18 for two tickets. Other times we just jump in the car and drive around and get dinner somewhere. That's around $30. Now that she just got her own car, we do less of that. She's out driving around on her own or with her friends. Since I'm going to school again, a lot of times I'll just rent two DVDs [$8] and study. Once in a while on a Saturday night, me and my friends will go clubbing. That's usually $20 to get in, and if I buy a couple of drinks, that's another $20.

Albert

Age: 18

Home: Poway

Work: Student at Mount Carmel High School

Total cost: $60

The two main things my friends and I do is either go to Tijuana or go to see a band play. For the bands, it's either SOMA or the Epicentre in Mira Mesa. The cover charge varies, but it's usually around $8 to get in. The other thing we like to do is go to T.J. Some Saturday nights, I'll only spend $10 down there. But if we go do a lot of stuff down there, it could end up costing more. If we go to a few different strip clubs, and we're throwing money at the dancers and buying lots of drinks, that might cost me $60 or $70.

Trista and Ray Perez

Ages: 31 and 33

Home: Las Vegas

Work: Own a graphic design studio

Total cost: $64

Trista says, "We usually go out and listen to live music in Vegas. It's not like we're hanging out in casinos just because they are all over the place. It's usually $35 or less for the national acts that we like. Local bands are a lot cheaper. We've found that when the bigger-name bands play here [in San Diego], it's a lot cheaper. The concert tonight [the Raveonettes at 'Canes] was only $12 a ticket. When we got here at 7:30, though, they wouldn't let us in. They said they weren't open yet. We've also found that when we're here, places seem to close so early. In Las Vegas, everything is open all the time."

Ray adds, "We have three kids, but now that our oldest is 14, we don't need to hire a babysitter anymore. Tonight, we ended up having dinner and drinks across the street at Coaster Saloon. That was around $40. We walked on the beach a little before coming into the concert."

Jeff and Catherine Jefferson

Ages: 69 and 45

Home: Mira Mesa

Work: He's retired military/engineer

Total cost: $15

Catherine says, "Usually on Saturday nights, we sit around the idiot box. The nightlife in Mira Mesa pretty much sucks. Sometimes we go to a coffee shop to see somebody sing. Sometimes I'll be singing at a place as well. Other times we might go to karaoke, which is fun. All of that is relatively cheap. A coffee shop might have a cover, but usually it's free. We'll buy a few cappuccinos and pastries. That might cost $15. Other Saturday nights, I'm working on my songs in my home studio. That doesn't cost anything but the electricity we use."

Dan Valadez

Age: 50

Marital status: Divorced

Home: Temecula

Work: Retired military, currently an account manager

Total cost: Free

It all depends on if I'm dating anybody or not. When I'm single, it's usually spent playing racquetball or working out at 24 Hour Fitness. If I play racquetball on the base [Miramar], it's free. I work in Poway, so after I'm done, it's a far drive home. On Saturdays, I usually end up driving back down to San Diego because there is more stuff to do. If I'm in a relationship, it might just be a movie and dinner, which we can do in Temecula. I'll usually end up spending more Saturday nights in San Diego, whether it's Balboa Park or downtown. I save money when I'm not dating anyone and my Saturday night is spent playing racquetball and working out.

Jose DeJesus

Age: 49

Marital status: Single

Home: Lemon Grove

Work: Engineer

Total cost: $60

Well, on Saturday afternoon I like to have a few beers. It's always nice weather too. At night, my girlfriend and I go dancing at Cafe Sevilla. It's $10 for each of us. We usually get a few drinks there, and that might be another $20. We like it there because it's Latin music. Then afterwards, we have a late dinner at Denny's. That's usually around $20.

Justine Koskinen

Age: 45

Marital status: Single

Home: Lakeside

Work: Teacher

Total cost: $30

We usually go out and support local musicians. The cover is usually $10 to $20, and I may buy a few glasses of wine. During the day on Saturday, we go hiking or take photos. That doesn't cost anything, aside from film. That will cost me $4, but my boyfriend has a digital camera, so it's all free for him. Last Saturday we went to a Gull game. Tickets are $12 each, and we might buy a beer or wine. Wine is $5 a glass.

Kelly Green

Age: 33

Marital status: Married, with one child (another on the way)

Home: Vista

Work: Part-time at a credit union

Total cost: $35.95

When we go out to dinner, it's usually Italian food. The bill might come to $25. We rent two movies for our son [$5], who's 22 months old. My husband and I will watch a pay-per-view movie, which is $5.95. We don't use a babysitter yet. We take our son with us to dinner.

Mahmoud Habhab

Age: 34

Marital status: Married, with two kids

Home: Del Mar

Work: Engineer

Total cost: $328

Usually I'm with my family. We cook dinner usually and watch TV. If we go out to a movie, it will be something PG. A movie like Harry Potter or Kangaroo Jack. A few times a month, I'll go out with my friends on Saturday night. We go get sushi downtown in the Gaslamp. Then we usually get coffee somewhere. Last time, I paid the bill, and for the three of us it came out to $328. Sushi is expensive.

Rebecca Smith

Age: 34

Marital status: Single

Home: Bay Park

Work: Information systems analyst

Total cost: $45

Saturday nights in the fall are cool because I go to Socker and Gull games. Then during baseball season, I go to Padre games. The tickets last year were $11, but this year we're paying $18 a ticket at Petco Park. For a Gull ticket, it's $12. We like to be up higher. We think it's a better view. The Socker tickets are $18 each. We'll usually have dinner before the game. It's usually Souplantation [laughs]. We figure with the Padres downtown, we'll start having dinner at more of the places down there. Parking is $17 right by the ballpark.

Corey Cooper

Age: 34

Marital status: Married

Home: Carlsbad

Work: Teacher

Total cost: $95

On some occasions, we may go to a concert -- if there's a band we like at the Belly Up Tavern. Usually it's the dinner-and-movie thing. The last place we ate at was Jack and Giulio's in Old Town. It may cost us $75 on a Saturday night, and whatever else we spend for a babysitter.

Ezra Cavazos

Age: 22

Marital status: Married

Home: Chula Vista

Work: Waiter

Total cost: $40

My wife and I will usually go to see a movie, which can cost close to $20. Afterwards, we may go to a bar and have a few drinks. That might be another $20. And there are some Saturday nights where I have to work and other nights where we just stay at home.

Tom Barrios

Age: 51

Marital status: Married, with two kids (in college)

Home: Mira Mesa

Work: Postal service

Total cost: Depends

It's hard to say how much I spend on a Saturday night. If I'm playing poker with friends, I could either be losing money or winning money. Oftentimes, I go to the casinos. I seem to win more times than I lose. I've come back with hundreds of dollars more than I got there with. My wife doesn't like me spending all my time at the casinos, but if I win big and give her some of my winnings, she doesn't seem to mind as much.

Bill Heisz

Age: 30

Marital status: Single

Home: Poway

Work: Construction

Total cost: $60

I like to bowl in tournaments, so oftentimes I go to the Poway lanes or the bowling alley in Mira Mesa. I may spend my Saturday night practicing. That can be $12 to $15 an hour to rent a lane. When my girlfriend and I go out, we'll see a movie and have dinner. The total might end up being around $60 for the entire evening.

Justin Rodriguez

Age: 26

Marital status: Single

Home: Hillcrest

Work: Coffee Bean

Total cost: $40

It depends what my friends are doing on Saturday. There might be a party. We might go to the Live Wire to drink a few beers. That would cost between $20 and $40. If the Casbah has a good band, we'll go there. Some bands are $5, and others can be up to $20. Or I might just hang out with my roommates.

Melissa LaFara

Age: 24

Marital status: Single

Home: South Park

Work: Mint (footwear store)

Total cost: $10

My favorite thing to do is go see a live band play. I'm usually at the Whistle Stop Bar in South Park. Sometimes I'll go to the Casbah. I'll usually end up spending under $10, especially if a guy is buying my drinks [laughs].

Jon Husby

Age: 32

Marital status: Married

Home: Murphy Canyon area

Work: Firefighter and paramedic

Total cost: $50

We work shifts that oftentimes have us working on Saturday night. And that seems to be the busiest time for us. Especially around 2:00 a.m., when all the accidents seem to happen. Bars are closing, and people are driving after having had too much to drink. When I'm not working, I may hang out with friends. My wife and I will have dinner somewhere. That might cost around $50.

Randy Delotch

Age: 40

Marital status: Single

Home: Scripps Ranch

Work: Firefighter and paramedic

Total cost: $0

As Jon was saying, Saturday night is a hectic time for us. Especially in the beach area or in the Gaslamp. There seems to be more drinking on Saturday nights, which makes the problems worse. Every Saturday night is different. And when I'm not working, I'm content with my fish, my cat, and a good book.

Debi and Joe Ferrara

Ages: 44 and 45

Home: Salt Lake City, Utah

Work: He's a computer professional

Total cost: $50

Debi says, "We lived in Oceanside for a long time. We lived a few different places in the San Diego area. Now that we have been in Salt Lake City for the last ten years, when we make it out here, we do a lot of the touristy things. We may take a bay cruise or just go to the beach. We might hit a few of the Mexican restaurants that we liked or a place like Corvette Diner. Since we've been to all the places like SeaWorld and the zoo, we don't usually go there. It's usually catching up with our friends that are still here or the restaurants we like. We were surprised when we saw a Joe's Crab Shack out here. We have one in Salt Lake, but we didn't know it was a chain."

Jean-Pierre Prieur

Age: Mid-30s

Marital status: Married

Home: Rancho Santa Fe

Work: Graphic designer

Total cost: $25

In France, there are lots of parties on Saturday night. There will be dancing and lots of champagne. Not a lot of beer drinking -- it's usually champagne. Sometimes it will go on until 7:00 a.m. Then you might hit an after-hours club till noon. And Saturday might start on Thursday night and end Monday night. Sometimes I wouldn't sleep for two or three days. On Sunday, there was an underground spot called Charlie's. It opened at 2:00 p.m. It closed Sunday at 2:00 a.m. Only insiders knew about it. A lot of stars hung out there. Madonna, Gaultier, Cerruti, Lee Majors, and French movie stars. Here on Saturday, I'm usually at Caffiends. They have lots of musicians that write their own songs. They aren't cover bands. Sometimes tourists show up there, but mostly it's a group of regulars. With Petco Park now downtown, parking has gotten bad. Parking costs around $10, and a $5 cover to get in, and I may spend $10 on a few beers or coffee.

Mark Suhonen

Age: 26

Marital status: Engaged

Home: Point Loma

Work: Music teacher, performer

Total cost: Working on weekends

I'm never spending money on Saturday nights. Usually I'm performing with one band or another, and Friday and Saturday nights there are always gigs. So I make money on Saturday night. The only money I spend on Saturday night is the gas I use.

Eric Pratt

Age: 16

Home: Point Loma

Work: Student at Point Loma High School

Total cost: $8

I might go to SOMA once a month to see a band. I just saw Jet when they played there. A show like that is more, but usually the cover to get in is $8. Sometimes I go to a movie or hang out with friends, play my drums, sleep, watch TV. None of that costs money, and the things that do, my dad usually pays for. When I'm playing my drums late on Saturday nights, I use the electric ones. That way, I can adjust the volume so they aren't too loud, or I'll just wear the headphones.

Joel Smith

Age: 30

Marital status: Married, with two kids

Home: El Cajon

Work: FedEx employee

Total cost: $20

My Saturday nights are usually spent drinking and dart shooting. I'll go to the bar around the corner from my house. I might spend $20. My wife is home with the kids, so I don't have to pay a babysitter.

Edgar Morales

Age: 26

Marital status: Single

Home: North Park

Work: Restaurant server

Total cost: $40

I'm usually playing pool with my friends at a bar. That might be a lot of quarters, but it doesn't cost much. We might play shuffleboard or the other games that are at the bar. I usually go to bars that don't have bands, so there isn't a cover. I go to Live Wire or Tobacco Rhoda's most often. I end up spending $40 on the entire Saturday night.

Ted Washington

Age: 44

Marital status: Single

Home: Ocean Beach

Work: Bouncer/artist

Total cost: $20 (by himself), $150 (with date)

My Saturday nights vary. Sometimes I'll stay at home and do artwork, because that's a nice, quiet time, when people are out partying. And since I work in bars, I don't have the desire to go out to a bar on Saturday night. Sometimes I go out with girls. Other times I go see music, because I love music. That's why I work at two bars that have bands. The cover is free for me, since I work here. But if I go to a place I don't work, I'll spend up to $20 -- even more if necessary -- for a good band. On a date, it'll be dinner, drinking, and then the music. I may spend anywhere from $75 to $150.

Will Roberts

Age: 33

Marital status: Single

Home: Santee

Work: Computer programmer

Total cost: $60

I'll usually drink a six-pack at home before I go out. If I'm with my girlfriend, it'll be a movie [$19] or a Padre game [$50]. With friends, we might go see a band or go to a strip club. I'll spend $60 to $80, no more than that. If we hit a strip club like Pure Platinum, I spend a bit less. My friends will drop $85 on lap dances or table dances. I just look at the things I'm not going to buy. Sometimes we'll get weed and get wasted. It's usually a friend hooking me up with that. So that doesn't cost me anything. And thanks go to Elias for that.

Sandy and boyfriend Troy Chronister

Ages: 34 and 33

Home: She's in San Diego; he's in Boulder, Colorado

Work: She does hiring and firing for a company; he works for an IT company

Total cost: $40

Sandy says, "We like to get out and do a lot of barhopping in Pacific Beach. We go to Lahaina's. It's the best place in P.B. to watch the sunset. We usually spend $40 there for two pitchers of beer and maybe some appetizers. We'll meet friends there."

Troy adds, "It's hard to say how much we'll spend. We've spent a lot on alcohol. I've dropped a C-note. I'm only here once a month though, so my Saturdays are usually spent in Boulder."

Tammy Medeiros

Age: 40

Marital status: Divorced, with three kids

Home: Carlsbad

Work: Activity director

Total cost: $75

I lived in Hawaii for so long. And out here, I like to walk on the beach like I did back home. I love the sand and love to watch the sunsets. My fiancé and I may go to karaoke afterwards. Most places I go to don't do happy hour on Saturday, but I still like to have a few cocktails. We may end up at a place like the Roadhouse, G Spot [Grand Avenue Bar], or Dini's. Sometimes we have sushi in Oceanside. My kids are old enough that I don't need a babysitter. Half the time, they end up ditching me!

Roxane and Mahmoud "Shawn" Shantiai

Ages: 41 and 43

Marital status: Married, with one child

Home: Del Mar

Work: She's an office manager; he's a finance broker

Total cost: $120 (not including clothes and manicure)

Roxane says, We don't pay a babysitter. We use our extended family to watch our 11-year-old. Typically, Saturday night is our "date night." After all these years, that's the night of the week that we go all out. I may spend the day getting a manicure, pedicure, and buying something new. He'll put on something nice, like slacks and a nice shirt. He'll wear cologne and smell handsome. We have a glass of wine at the house. We have dinner at either a steak house or Persian restaurants. We like Fleming's steak house, Bandar Persian Cuisine, maybe Pick Up Stix for a more casual Saturday outing. He's not a boozer, but I am. So with drinks and tip and everything, it might be $100. Then we go dancing at Galileo. I think it's $20 to get in. So we might end up spending more around $120. And the fight we have at the end of the night -- priceless.

Jeff Pieters

Age: 36

Marital status: Married

Home: Clairemont

Work: Account manager at Sprint

Total cost: $125

Usually Saturday nights are pretty mellow for us. We don't go out every Saturday night. When we do, it might be meeting friends for drinks and dinner. It might be a minimum of $125 that we spend.

Etienne Wiggins

Age: 40

Marital status: Single

Home: El Cajon

Work: Runs a coffee cart

Total cost: $50

I like to drive around. I might go to the Gaslamp Quarter and drive around. Maybe park outside of a few different places. If I'm just hanging out, that doesn't cost anything. If I'm eating dinner, it might be $50.

Laura de Sousa

Age: 28

Marital status: Single

Home: Linda Vista

Work: Waitress

Total cost: $40

Last Saturday it was my friend's birthday, and we went out for fondue. I spent $20 on beer and a bottle of wine. Usually I'll go out for a meal and spend around $40. I like the Cheesecake Factory. Sometimes we hit places downtown or in Pacific Beach and O.B.

Mary Tamborski

Age: 29

Marital status: Married

Home: Spring Valley

Work: Bartender

Total cost: $150 to $200

I like to have a nice dinner downtown, usually with some cocktails. I'll go somewhere if somebody recommends it. I've been going to Fleming's a lot lately. When you count the drinks, dinner, dessert, and coffee...I might spend between $150 and $200.

Jon Cromwell

Age: 23

Marital status: Single

Home: North Park

Work: Host at Bennigan's

Total cost: $30

I just moved here from Baltimore, so I don't know a lot about the nightlife. In Baltimore, I was a downtown kind of guy. I've been downtown here a few times, to some of the clubs. I may go to some bars or a party. My sister told me to move here because the weather's good and the women are beautiful. That's true, but I just don't know enough about the clubs yet. I went to Red Circle downtown a few times. I think I spend around $30.

Mike Wachna Jr.

Age: 23

Marital status: Single

Home: Carmel Mountain

Work: Part-time at Hot Topic/student at Grossmont College

Total cost: $50

If I'm not working, I'll hang out at my best friend's house. We might spend between $40 and $50 on alcohol. We end up having about 15 friends that come over. Sometimes on Saturday nights, the band I'm in will rehearse. Usually that's on Thursdays, but we've practiced on a few Saturday nights. We also like to see shows at 4th & B or SOMA, if there's a good group playing. The cover could be anywhere from $12 to $25.

Doug Sackett

Age: 32

Marital status: Single

Home: East County

Work: Substitute teacher

Total cost: $100

Usually I go to concerts in Los Angeles. I'll never spend more than $100. Probably the most expensive thing about that is the gas it takes to get there. It also depends on the ticket price. Some smaller bands might charge $10 or $15. A national act is a lot more. Most of the places I go are on the Sunset Strip. I'll go to the Viper Room, House of Blues, or the Whisky a Go Go.

Richard Green

Age: 42

Marital status: Divorced

Home: Downtown

Work: Ace Parking attendant

Total cost: $20

I'm always off on Saturday nights. I'll usually just drink beer and be chilling out. The most I've ever spent was $150. That was for a hotel, food, drinks, gas, and junk like that. I'll usually spend less than $20.

Kim Laguardia

Age: 34

Marital status: Married, with four kids

Home: Sabre Springs

Work: Realtor

Total cost: $100

The first cost we have is the babysitter. We pay $10 an hour, but for four kids, that's pretty good. Our neighbor pays $10 for just their two kids. It's an affluent neighborhood. We only use a sitter that is a referral and at least a college-age girl. And because a babysitter costs so much, we'll never go to a movie. With the price of movies -- including popcorn, candy, and Cokes, the drive there, and the sitter -- it would end up being $80. That can buy six movies on DVD. The things we do vary from time to time. It may be a birthday or anniversary party we go to. Sometimes we'll go to a concert. A few weeks ago, we drove to Orange County for an event. If it's dinner, it might be Sushi on the Rock in La Jolla or Buca di Beppo. The total night might cost us $100.

Rosie Eldorado

Age: 46

Marital status: Divorced

Home: Rolando

Work: Medical transcriptionist, notary, and jewelry designer

Total cost: $25 (and making money)

I'll have dinner out. I like Filippi's and D.Z. Akin's. Or I use a coupon from one of the places in my entertainment book, like Toshi Sushi or Nicolosi's. Then, on Saturday nights, I arrange jewelry parties. Anywhere from 5 to 15 people. They may have their own ideas for jewelry, or they look at my inventory of 100 pieces. I have necklaces, bracelets, and earrings. Sometimes the party will be all men, if it's around Valentine's or Mother's Day. It helps them get stuff for their wives. It's [email protected], if the Reader lets you put that. In conclusion, I only spend $25 on dinner, treating the person that hosts the party. By the end of the night, I'm hoping to make a lot more money than I spend.

Jaye Jedrychowski

Age: 21

Marital status: Single

Home: UTC

Work: Waitress

Total cost: $25

Usually my Saturday night is spent going out for food with friends. We like going to Old Town best. I only spend between $20 and $25. But I'm going to be moving back home to Chicago. I'm going to go to law school at DePaul. So I'll be spending my Saturday nights there.

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