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Blue Christmas in the Gaslamp will help kick holiday blues

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Get ready for the second annual Blue Christmas in the Gaslamp Quarter taking place as part of Gaslamp For The Holidays from 5-10 p.m., Thursday, Dec. 10.

There will be free, live performances by blues, R&B, rock, acoustic and jazz musicians at multiple venues throughout the historic entertainment district.

Each participating Blue Christmas venue has agreed to waive its cover charge as a holiday gift to guests to help "ease the economic blues." According to a press release, entertainment has been scheduled in a staggered format so that guests will have the ability to meander throughout the Gaslamp Quarter and see multiple acts throughout the evening.

Some participating locations include Croce's Restaurant & Jazz Bar, Dick's Last Resort, Henry's Pub, Patrick's II, Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery, Tequila 100, The Bitter End, The Grant Grill and Westfield Horton Plaza.

Visit gaslamp.org for more information.

Something new is coming to the Gaslamp Quarter this winter. In the corner previously occupied by Aubergine, at 500 Fourth Ave., will soon become FLUXX, an 11,000-square-foot high-end dance club.

Currently the space is undergoing a multi-million dollar remodel, with a new, large open floor plan and circular dance floor.

"The name FLUXX is a tribute to the ever-changing nature of the venue," said 500 4th LLC Managing Partner Jeffrey Fink. "With the new venue, we'll introduce monthly changes that keep FLUXX in an exciting, constant state of change; attracting new crowds of stylish, chic clientele and keeping it the hottest nightlife destination in the city."

Downtown San Diego's Ivy Hotel recently welcomed Lindsay Pomeroy as its new wine lounge director, where she will oversee its award-winning wine collection. Additionally, she will plan wine-focused events and manage staff of the new Ivy Ultra Lounge and Wine Bar.

As founder and education director of Wine Smarties, a local wine events and restaurant consulting company, Pomeroy will continue to serve in that capacity while also directing the Ivy's wine program.

Pomeroy's resume also includes serving as the wine attendant at Enology Wine Room at the Hotel Del Coronado, specialist of wine from the Society of Wine Educators in Los Angeles and Spanish wine educator from the Spanish Wine Academy.

Sean Murphy has been tapped to manage The Wine Pub in Point Loma, where he'll oversee food, beverage and catering operations.

The venue has 25 domestic and new world wines by the glass and dozens more by the bottle, as well as artisan beers from throughout the region.

Little Italy's Porto Vista Hotel & Suites recently announced the grand opening of its new Vespa boutique, Porto Vespa. Since the hotel already reflects a "1960s Mediterranean chic" theme, Porto Vespa now offers both locals and guests the opportunity to play a part in their own Southern California-style Roman Holiday.

In addition to offering new and used scooters available to rent or buy, the boutique also sells Vespa parts and accessories, as well as Vespa-themed novelty items including hats, shirts and beach towels.

With the holiday season just around the corner, there are various companies and organizations around town offering fun treats in exchange for toy donations for needy children.

Serenity Spa and Salon is partnering with Toys for Tots this holiday season to provide Carmel Valley and Del Mar residents with a local donation drop-off spot. Those who wish to donate can bring a new, unwrapped gift to the spa by Dec. 24 and in exchange, the spa will give donors a $10 gift certificate toward their next spa treatment.

Balboa Park's House of France, along with many other houses in the House of Pacific Relations organization, is sponsoring a holiday toy drive. The first five donors bringing toys to the House of France on Dec 4 or 5 will receive a coupon for a free crêpe and onion soup that very night.

If you wear an ugly holiday sweater and bring a $10 toy to the Pearl Hotel on Dec. 15, it's offering two free drinks as well as a showing of "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation" on its huge outdoor movie screen.

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