Full Circle

By Seth Combs
Photo by John Audley

(Published in the October 2010 issue)

As the former manager of popular clubs like Beauty Bar in City Heights, U-31 in North Park and Voyeur in the Gaslamp, Erica Jessup has booked just about every DJ in town. After taking some time off from the nightlife scene over the summer, she recently reemerged and surprised everyone with a fresh vision. A new club? Think again.

“I always did DJ a little at the clubs I managed,” says Jessup. “After all, I got into this industry in the first place because I loved the music. So, instead of working at one bar, now I get the opportunity to work at all of them.”

That’s right, the woman who’s been behind the scenes for years is now behind the turntables, performing under the name DJ Erica J. She’s organizing and playing the ‘30s-themed “Gatsby Nights” Thursdays at The Office in North Park (with a musical emphasis on trip-hop, burlesque and even live jazz), and she’s booked herself a prime spot spinning electro at the famed local rock club The Casbah on Halloween night.

Still, just because she’s transformed into Erica J doesn’t mean she’s left her old life completely behind. Nothing’s finalized yet, but Jessup’s in talks with San Diego design firm Bells & Whistles (the minds behind the interiors of the Starlite Lounge and the UCSD bar The Loft) about opening up a club together.

“We’re definitely looking into it,” says Jessup. “There will definitely be cool things coming soon.”