Slow and Steady in San Marcos

"The rivalry was between the Jumping Turtle, the Longshot, and the Boulevard," says promoter Sulo King. "It was like [the movie] Roadhouse."

The owner of one of those San Marcos nightclubs says, "In May 2004 [a competing club] staged a fight here. I found out they paid four guys $150 each to get in a fight...[part of a] smear campaign."

After 26 years as a bar and 4 years as a live-music venue, the Longshot closed down in September following reports of shootings and ABC liquor violations. The Jumping Turtle seems to be holding its own. The Blvd., meanwhile, is in transition; according to a spokesman for the San Marcos city clerk, the club is in escrow to be sold. After the sale, an application for a new entertainment license must be filed.

Sheriff's deputy Sgt. Rich Williams says officers responded to 75 calls to the Blvd. between December '04 and October '06. His department recommended and the city agreed that the Blvd. should be required to have four deputies on duty during certain live-music events (the club pays the deputies).

The Blvd. had its liquor license suspended in February after a patron left the bar intoxicated and killed herself behind the wheel.

"It shows that that business was not managed properly," says ABC administrator Robin Van Dyke. The suspension was lifted two weeks ago.

When the Blvd. opened in early 2004, employees boasted that they had "three bars under one roof," and they compared it to Solana Beach's Belly Up Tavern because it would attract major-name tours to San Marcos. The club hosted headliners such as Long Beach Short Bus, Eek-A-Mouse, and Dead Man's Party. The Blvd. formerly hosted all-age reggae shows on Sunday.

At present, the Jumping Turtle is the only North County nightclub that allows music fans under 21 (Sunday through Thursday, until 10 p.m.).

Calls to Blvd. owners were not returned.

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