“We thought restaurants might welcome the business on a slow night,” said Town Council member Mary Cook. “We want to help area restaurants as much as we can.”
Restaurants aren’t the only ones who reap the benefits.
“It’s just a great way to meet other people and go to new restaurants. They really cater to us so it’s kind of special,” said PBTC President Rose Galliher.
Dineout spots have included Café Athena, The Green Flash, Lamont Street Grill, Lotsa Pasta, Marino’s Italian Restaurant, Nick’s At the Beach, The Fishery, World Famous and Caffe Bella Italia.
“People really look forward to it,” Cook said. “They’re always asking me where we’re going next time.”
Cook has organized the dineouts since 2000. A beloved fixture of the Pacific Beach community, she served as honorary mayor in 2002 and spent three of her 10 years on the Town Council serving as secretary.
Organizing the dineouts is a fun way to stay involved with the community, Cook said. She works with restaurant staff to establish a menu of select entrees for the events and then takes orders from Town Council members and other attendees beforehand.
Cook took the dineout baton from Town Council members Georgina Smith and Elaine Hespel, who organized the dinners for years.
The dineouts began in 1985, when Pacific Beach newcomers Tom and Jeanne Richards — who would eventually become the first husband and wife to be named honorary mayor — wanted to learn more about their new community and its residents. Mary Wilding, then PBTC secretary, knew of a group that got together once a month at local restaurants — and the Town Council has been doing just that ever since.
At one point, the monthly event was referred to as the DOG, or Dine Out Group. To help alleviate confusion, the dinner is now known simply as the dineout.
But some misconceptions remain. One is that the event is restricted to Town Council members, but anyone from the community is welcome. Cook said the Town Council prefers that attendees consider membership but that it is not required.
“It’s a fun, relaxing time with different groups of people — young, old, a variety of people,” said Galliher.
Cook agreed that the dineouts, which typically attract a group of roughly 25, are a fun evening for young and old alike.
Other area groups such as Discover Pacific Beach also participate from time to time, Cook added.
Cost for both members and non-members includes dinner, tax, gratuity and one non-alcoholic beverage. The price varies depending on the menu, selection and type of cuisine, Cook said. The cost of the group’s last dineout was $30 per person.
To attend this month’s dineout, call Cook at (858) 450-0422. For more information on PBTC events, visit www.pbtowncouncil.org or call (858) 483-6666.