Tough economic times hit food, drink and entertainment.

Tom Andrew

In San Diego, the list of laid off employees and closing businesses grows at a rapid rate, leaving many people and companies scrambling to find work.

Starbucks just announced they would be laying off at least 30 assistant managers in the San Diego area. That means those people will either lose their jobs or be demoted to a shift supervisor position, or to a barista.

“I guess I really wasn’t paying attention to the signs in the store, or maybe they just weren’t visible, whatever the case, I absent-mindedly walked to my store the other day and the doors were locked,” said Michael Mulligan regular Starbucks customer, “then I noticed the sign on the door that said it had closed. Needless to say, I had to do without my coffee that morning.”

This seems to be a growing trend at most Starbucks, that and the many cutbacks at the stores keep a healthy line going right out the door.

Stephen Knoll said, “I had to wait 10 minutes in line just to order a cup of coffee this morning and by the time I reached the counter they were out of coffee. I had to wait for them to make more. I ended up getting my coffee for free, but I was late for class.”

As reported last semester, many other area coffeehouses have closed their doors due to poor attendance and a withering economy.

The space once occupied by Maui Wowi has been taken over by another cafe. The owners were not available for comment.

The old Starbucks at the trolley station still sits empty, and it is said that the company still owns the lease on it, hoping to either get the lease taken over or wait out the bad economy and reopen at some later date.

The Bee Hive Cafe is still open but the coffee has not improved.

Alex Ojeda, interviewed last semester in regards to this very subject said, “I really have no other choice. Most of the Starbucks are too far away, and the cafeteria coffee is pretty bad. I guess this is the lesser of two evils.”

The economy has not only hit places like Starbucks and local coffeehouses, but it has also hit live theaters as well as area grocery stores.

Grocery stores, like Von’s, now boast on yellow and pink flyers, “LOWEST PRICES IN YEARS!” and “APPLES 59 Cents a lb.”

Local regional theaters are seeing lowest numbers in years, forcing most to close shows early, or cancel them altogether.

“Everyone felt the bite this year, but when theaters like The La Jolla Playhouse are giving away free tickets to Broadway hit XANADU, you know things are bad,” said theatergoer Ryan Wagner.

Starlight Theatre in Balboa Park, which normally does four shows each summer, is now faced with either doing nothing this summer or cutting back.

By the end of the summer last year the theater had lost a lot of money and patrons, and it was rumored that they had many outstanding bills, which left them in a very precarious position.

In order to survive the upcoming season they are forced to be creative in their casting choices. One plan they have is to do something similar to American Idol and have the winners of the competition get lead roles in an upcoming show.

Whether you are looking for a good cup of coffee, a decent price for an apple or just some light summer entertainment, the pickings might be slim in this tough economic time.