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By Dinah Ryder

April 1, 2018 (La Mesa) – Today, a group of business owners outside the downtown village have announced an innovative plan to provide both free transportation for La Mesa farmer’s market shoppers and incentivize their customers to patronize village eateries.

The action comes after La Mesa’s City Council last week approved moving the Farmer’s Market to the downtown village, to the delight of many but the dismay of some shoppers concerned about lack of parking, as well as restaurants fearful of losing patrons on Friday nights.

A consortium of brewery and winery owners, along with marijuana dispensaries, have announced they will fund free pedicab rides on Fridays from noon to midnight to all Farmer’s Market patrons. In addition,  since the marketplace is alcohol free, pedicab operators will also serve as designated drivers for anyone who wants to stop off at a local winery, brewery, or marijuana dispensary before or after visiting the market.

The pedicabs will be festooned with fresh flowers sold at the farmer’s market and sport logos of local wineries, breweries, and dispensaries. Others will be decorated with beer barrels, grapevines, or budding cannabis plant images.

“Our customers are known for getting the munchies,” says May B. High, spokesperson for the medical marijuana dispensaries. “So it’s a natural to help them get to the farmer’s market and La Mesa’s restaurant row in the village. We’re high on this concept, and we hope the city council will be, too."

Corky Popper, on behalf of La Mesa’s emerging wine-tasting attractions, stated, “Wine tasting customers often want to dine out after sampling our wines, or they may wish to dine first and come enjoy live music at our tasting room later on.  We believe this partnership will benefit both wineries and restaurants, while easing parking hassles for farmer’s market shoppers, too.”

Able Brewer, spokesman for the beer brewing businesses, said his members will offer discount drinks to any patrons with receipts showing they dined at a restaurant in the downtown village.  “We’re doing our part to help our restaurants and showcase our burgeoning craft brews,” he said, adding,“Cheers!”

Happy April Fool’s Day!

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