Belly Up co-owners Phil Berkovitz (right) and Steve Goldbert with Toni Atkins. Courtesy of the speaker’s office

Assembly Speaker Toni G. Atkins on Wednesday honored the Belly Up live music venue as her Small Business of the Year in 78th assembly district.

The Belly Up in Solana Beach is one of the most popular local music venues and has been repeatedly named the “Best Live Music Club” in San Diego County. It has featured acts as varied as the Neville Brothers, Jimmy Buffett and Mumford & Sons, and in its 41-year history has maintained a connection with the community, hosting fundraisers that benefit a variety of causes, from  ALS to Toys for Tots.

“The Belly Up is a local institution that consistently attracts top talent and has kept faithful patrons coming back for more,” Atkins said. “Co-owners Phil Berkovitz and Steve Goldberg have shown through their hard work just how much of an impact one small business can have on a community. I’m pleased to honor their outstanding efforts.”

The Belly Up was honored in a ceremony at the Sacramento Convention Center for small businesses from throughout the state.

The 78th assembly district runs along the coast from Solana Beach to Imperial Beach and also includes portions of central San Diego.

California has more than 3.5 million small businesses that account for more than half the jobs in the state.

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Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.