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Women who impacted the Gaslamp






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Transforming San Diego’s skyline Just one of the many vibrant new color schemes available with the San Diego Convention Center’s new “Sails Pavilion” LED-powered light installation (Courtesy Oliver Yambao, San Diego Convention Center Corporation)

New lighting, fabric roof atop Sails Pavilion is visible throughout Downtown By Dave Fidlin San Diego’s skyline will never be the same. Officials within the San Diego Convention Center recently made this bold proclamation alongside local dignitaries, as the wraps were taken off the Sails Pavilion’s exterior overhaul. The $16.7 million project is one of a series of upgrades to the entire center, which in

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recent years has hosted such disparate events as San Diego Comic-Con and a Society of Neuroscience conference. The most visible element within Sails Pavilion’s revamped 90,000-square-foot exhibit space is an LED-powered light display atop a newly renovated fabric roof, which consists of 20 separate pieces. The fluctuating color schemes mimic those seen on the Empire State Building

in New York City. They are also being illuminated bright enough to have a visible impact from such points as Gaslamp Quarter and Coronado Bay. The series of changes taking place at the Sails Pavilion represent a new chapter for the Convention Center, which next year will celebrate its 30th year in operation. “We’ve known for the past 25 years that we were going to have to replace [portions of the

Horton Plaza woes

Despite closures, Jimbo’s...Naturally! remains committed to local community

Not your normal Greek affair


By Albert H. Fulcher Like walking through a ghost town, retailers at the Westfield Horton Plaza, a Downtown destination since 1985, are closing their doors as leases run out. These closures are a result of Paris-based company UnibailRodamco, which entered into an agreement with the Australian-based Westfield Corporation for a $15.7 billion purchase of its properties in December 20 that included all Westfield’s 35 malls in

Three (famous) guys camping

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San Diego Community News Network

see Jimbo’s Organics, pg 4

The focus of Jimbo’s is organic and made fresh on premises. (Photo by Albert H. Fulcher)

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Sails Pavilion building],” said Clifford “Rip” Rippetoe, president and CEO of the San Diego Convention Center Corporation, in an interview with San Diego Downtown News. While the lighting and roof are two of the most visible apects of the Sails Pavilion’s refresh, the specific project has other elements, including a new concrete floor, a water

see Sails Pavilion, pg 5


This year’s San Diego Festival of Science and Engineering Festival will kick off with “Expo Day” on Saturday, March 3, at Petco Park. Expo Day is a free, one-day event of the festival, featuring 130 exhibits with hands-on learning activities and experiments. The event will be held 10 a.m.–5 p.m. at 100 Park Blvd. Highlights will include a U.S. Air Force Rapid Strike Simulator, a healthy lifestyles area, a Pre-K Zone, TEDxKids@ElCajon and more.

see News Briefs, pg 5


San Diego Downtown News | March 2018

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The past is female


Antoinette Busalacchi Desantis Senior Lending Officer

Local woman releases book, ‘The Women of the Gaslamp Quarter’ Morgan M. Hurley | Editor

On Wednesday, Feb. 28, The Women’s Museum of California, located in nearby Liberty Station, hosted a book launch for a new paperback booklet called, “The Women of the Gaslamp Quarter.”The 16-page booklet, which honors the 150th anniversary of the Gaslamp Quarter on its last page, is exactly as it sounds … and so much more. “The following stories belong to those women who left their mark on this historic part of the city, the Gaslamp Quarter,” author Anne Hoiberg writes in the booklet’s opening pages. Along with a short history of the region’s “discovery,” Hoiberg not only shares biographical data of the many women she researched, but also other historic tidbits dating back to the mid-1800s, when “New Town,” as the Gaslamp Quarter was then known, fi rst came to fruition. And while the booklet may feature black and white and sepia-toned photos from the San Diego History Center and other sources throughout, its pages are fi lled with colorful stories of the notorious neighborhood and its female inhabitants of the time. Many of the biographies included have intriguing titles, such as “The Woman Behind the Man,” “The Most Dangerous Woman in America,” “An Imaginative Immigrant,” “Women of the Night,” and “Women Who Helped Women,” among others. Some of the famous names we’ve generally always attributed to men are also found here, but refreshingly assigned to women; Marston, Grant, Horton, Greely, and even Earp. Hoiberg’s own immersion into San Diego’s most famous historic neighborhood provided the inspiration. “For the past three years, I’ve been conducting tours of the Gaslamp Quarter, describing many of the 93 historic

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buildings and telling the stories of women associated with at least 25 of those buildings,” Hoiberg said. “Many people on the tour asked me to write a book about these women; the walkers wanted to remember these remarkable and relatively unknown women.” Women featured by Hoiberg in the booklet include Clara Shortridge Foltz, the fi rst female attorney of California; Charlotte Baker, the fi rst female obstetrician A new booklet that shares stories of the influential women of the Gaslamp’s past was of San Diego; Lydia just released by the Women’s Museum of Knapp Horton, the founder of the library; as California. (Photos by Albert H. Fulcher) well as various suffragists, activists and other comHoiberg has been a member munity organizers of the era. of the Women’s Museum of Historical tidbits about California since the 1980s — Horton Plaza Park, China its early days while housed in Town, the U.S. Grant Hotel, a Golden Hill home — when the San Diego Railroad, the it was called the Women’s Horton Grand Hotel, the History Reclamation Project. Stingaree district and other She said she joined the mubrothels in the area are also seum’s board in 2003 and rerevealed. mains a member today, having “My hope is that readers served as board president from will be delighted to learn 2010–2015. about the women of the In addition, Hoiberg is alGaslamp and will want to exso chair of the Anne Hoiberg plore the area to marvel at the Women’s Center, the museum’s buildings,” Hoiberg said. “The educational arm, which projewels of the Gaslamp are its duced the booklet and is where historic buildings, which the the museum’s women’s history city leaders in the 1970s and programs for schools, libraries 1980s saved by promoting and and other organizations — as supporting the owners with well as her monthly walking low-interest loans to renovate tours — stem from. Their and restore these architecturmission can be summed up al gems. with the three words found in “[But] the Gaslamp is just their logo, “Engage. Educate. one area of San Diego where Empower.” women have contributed to During her career as a the richness of our city,” she research psychologist for 25 added. “I’ve also written years, Hoiberg has written about the women of Balboa two other books and been pubPark and I’ve been giving lished in more than 130 scienPowerPoint presentations with tific journals and reports and Gary Ferdman, who compiled has authored the chapters of the material for ‘Women Who various other books. Made La Jolla.’” The Point Loma resident Hoiberg and Ferdman’s is currently working on annext presentation about other book of her own, “Tears the history of women in La of War,” which focuses on 35 Jolla will be held at 4 p.m., women who have fled war, Saturday, March 3, at the La prisoner camps, displacement Jolla Library, located at 7555 and have sought refuge in San Draper Ave. Diego. “This book is the story of women’s resilience, strength and courage,” Hoiberg said. To supplement the publication of her new booklet, Hoiberg’s walking tour is now called, “The Women of the Gaslamp Quarter.” The tour meets on the third Saturday of every month at 10:30 a.m. and reservations are required as space is limited. To RSVP or learn more about the tour, contact Hoiberg at ahoiberg@ Copies of “The Women of the Gaslamp Quarter” can be purchased at the museum’s gift shop for $5. The Women’s Museum of California is located at 2730 Historic Decatur Road, Suite 103. For more information, visit

The booklet includes historical tidbits about various buildings within the district, as well.


San Diego Downtown News | March 2018

—Morgan M. Hurley can be reached at


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San Diego Downtown News | March 2018


JIMBO’S ORGANICS the U.S. and Britain. It also adds to Unibail-Rodamco’s 69 centers in continental Europe, making it the third largest real estate company in the world. Though the future of Downtown’s Horton Plaza is still unknown, the acquisition is part of Unibail-Rodamco’s global consolidation of retail properties as retailers struggle with the continuing surge of online shopping moguls such as Amazon. With few stores left in Horton Plaza and a tremendous drop in foot traffic, the Jimbo’s...Naturally! grocer continues to serve the Downtown area. Kelly Hartford, Jimbo’s director of marketing, said that as storefronts close at Horton

Plaza in anticipation of its future redesign, Jimbo’s remains open and is excited to be part of what might come with the redevelopment of this prime real estate. “Jimbo’s is not going anywhere,” Hartford said. “We are here for the long haul. Jimbo’s is locked in this location. We are alive and kicking here.” Store Manager Phillip Balderrama said that Jimbo’s is now the destination spot in the former popular and unique shopping mall and its commitment in offering as much organic foods as possible is the heart of what makes it a key marketplace, along with its superior customer service. “As you walk through the store, you will be greeted by associates in every department,” he said. “We are trying to be as organic as possible. Our produce department right now is about 96 percent organic

Jimbo’s produce section will be 100 percent organice by the end of March. (Photo by Albert H. Fulcher)


The staff of the Horton Plaza store (Courtesy Jimbo’s) and our goal date is March 30, to be at 100 percent organic in produce.” Balderrama said there is not much difference in prices from regular grocery stores, especially in its produce section. “When I look at our prices, [they are] not that expensive. You are talking about San Diego locally grown organic versus conventional products that were probably grown hundreds of miles away,” he said. Hartford said they do everything possible to make shopping at Jimbo’s an experience that fits the needs of the local community. “When we go 100 percent organic, we will be the only

retailer in San Diego that can say that,” she said. “From produce to our food service department, we try to be organic as much as possible. Our food service is spectacular; we do everything from scratch.” All baked items in the bakery, and the food and salads in the deli department are all made in house. Hartford said while “from scratch” is labor intensive, it is the vision of Jimbo’s that it serves the freshest products, using as many organic ingredients as possible. “You can’t get any fresher,” she said. “At this store, the food service department is packed during lunchtime. Even if you find something ‘packaged’ in food service, we packaged it ourselves.” Jimbo’s not only offers organic food, but fresh seafood, and a large selection of organic and all-natural meats, as well. There is a great assortment of gluten-free products and non-genetically modified organisms (non-GMO) products. Hartford said that “top quality and organic is always top priority. “Our ‘Support San Diego’ program is amazing and you will see the logo throughout the store,” she added. “This means that the product was grown or the company is in San Diego County.” Jimbo’s has a relationship with approximately 25 organic San Diego farmers it sources from. “That’s from farm to store,” Harford said. “It’s the freshest produce you can get. It’s very difficult for me to buy produce from anywhere [other] than [Jimbo’s], and I don’t say that because I work here. I trust it, I know where it is coming from, it’s the best quality and it lasts. We really cherish our relationship with our local farmers and that is where the store started with [founder Jim “Jimbo” Someck] and the relationships have grown.” Hartford said management is working with the times and making it easier for customers to experience the grocery store in their own ways. Its online “Instacart” is utilized by many customers, delivering to doorsteps usually within the hour. It has its own designated parking level which brings customers directly into the store.

Jimbo’s…Naturally! 92 Horton Plaza

619-308-7755 Upcoming events: ● March 9 and 10 — Tropical Delights ● March 16 and 17 — Fajita Fiesta ● March 24 — Community Yoga Event ● March 30 and 31 — Strawberry Fest (Meet the Farmer) Patrons also get two hours of validated parking. Jimbo’s “It’s in the Bag! Wooden Nickel Program” is designed to entice people to recycle their own bags. Customers can either get 5 cents off their purchase for each personal bag used or receive a wooden nickel to place in one of its four charity buckets at the front of the store. It selects four nonprofit organizations every three months. Each wooden nickel equals the 5 cents it costs to purchase a bag and that is passed on to the charities. Hartford said it is important to Someck that money it saves goes back into the community.The store is also committed to children, the community and the environment, actively involved with groups and in schools, and holds events that educate its customers on organic and natural foods. Some in-store promotions bring in local farmer partners to talk with customers about the products they grow and the importance and health benefits of organic foods. Hartford said Jimbo’s has some great events coming up and re-emphasized that this neighborhood grocery store is not closing its doors anytime in the foreseeable future. “Remember that we are here,” she said. “We are not going anywhere and we are committed to the community.” To learn more about Jimbo’s...Naturally!, visit Follow them on, on Twitter and Instagram @JimbosNaturally or on YouTube. —Albert Fulcher can be reached at


San Diego Downtown News | March 2018




suppression system, and a chiller tie-in. Although conceptual behindthe-scenes planning had been taking place for the Convention Center’s next chapter while it still was in its infancy, Rippetoe said the specific details for the Sails Pavilion began coalescing 2 1/2 years ago. “The actual project you’re seeing now was mapped out and decided on in late 2015,” Rippetoe said. When asked who designed Sails Pavilion’s makeover, Rippetoe said it is a complex question. Vista-based Pro-Cal Lighting Design and Installation was awarded the contract to bring the vision into reality. “I’d be reluctant to say we designed it,” Rippetoe said. “They took that concept and made it happen. They did a great job.” In a statement, Karen Totaro, executive vice president and general manager of the Convention Center, said the project was a success because of cooperation between all parties involved. Other major contractors taking part in the project, in addition to Pro-Cal, were BirdAir and Siemens and Kings Construction. “This is a very different space than it was when it opened in 1989,” Totaro said in the statement. “I am proud of the entire team. Their work will serve as a legacy for both our city and our customers to

Two main stages will host STEM-inspired performances from Fleet Science Center, Mad Science, and math rappers The Music Notes, among other groups. The 10th annual event — one of the nation’s largest science festivals — will run through Saturday, March 10, and is expected to draw over 65,000 people. For more information, visit



Orange sails brighten the night sky above Downtown. (Courtesy Oliver Yambao, San Diego Convention Center Corporation) live up to our award-winning titles, ‘Venue of Excellence’ and ‘Best of California.’” While planning and bringing together all partners is one part of the equation, determining how the work will be funded is the other all-important piece of the puzzle. According to figures from Convention Center executives, most of the work at the Sails Pavilion is being funded through a loan from the California Infrastructure and Economic Development Bank. The one piece not covered under the loan is the LED lighting, which is being funded through reserve dollars within the Convention Center’s own operating budget. Whenever possible, Rippetoe said work on the refurbishments to the Sails Pavilion were done in an

environmentally-conscious manner. According to a fact sheet outlining the improvements, 2,364 tons of recycled concrete were used for the flooring. An additional 31.95 tons of recycled metal were used to support the improvements. The LED light fixtures also were installed with energy conservation in mind, Rippetoe said, because, “We wanted to be socially responsible.” With the latest series of improvements taking form, Rippetoe said he is pleased with the outcome and believes they will serve as a means of ushering the Convention Center into a new era that will keep San Diego competitive with its peers for tourism and convention dollars. “It’s very iconic — not just in San Diego, but around the

world,” Rippetoe said of the facility. Top-level city officials, including Mayor Kevin Faulconer, have also gone on record, noting the significance of the improvements. “These upgrades represent an infrastructure investment in one of the greatest economic engines that we have,” Faulconer said in a statement. “This iconic Sails Pavilion is how so many people — San Diegans and visitors alike — help to identify our great city skyline.” For a glimpse into the revamped Sails Pavilion, visit bit. ly/2CoKolf. —Dave Fidlin is a freelance journalist with a special affinity for San Diego and its people. Contact him at dave.fidlin@

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In an effort to engage students with the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) sector, MilliporeSigma will bring the Curiosity Cube to seven San Diego locations. Curiosity Cube — brainchild of global life science company, MilliporeSigma — is a 22-by-10-foot, retrofitted shipping container, now transformed into a solar-powered mobile science

see News Briefs, pg 9



San Diego Downtown News | March 2018

123 Camino De La Reina Ste. 202 East San Diego, CA 92108 (619) 519-7775 Twitter: @sddowntownnews Instagram: @sd_downtownnews

EDITOR Morgan M. Hurley (619) 961-1960

Daniel Foster

Guest Editorial

My son is missing

Solar tariffs: An uninformed policy Trump gets played by Chinese and Arab investors, sacrifices American jobs By Daniel Sullivan On Jan. 23, a proposal that sat on President Trump’s desk for over two months, which the renewable energy industry had been watching anxiously, was finally signed. His signature placed into effect a 30-percent tariff on imported solar panels, and while it was expected, the reasoning behind it and the implications going forward beckon further understanding. What the president was likely briefed on is that the tariff would encourage competition with foreign markets, incentivize American solar manufacturing and create more jobs at home. This is not only a critical piece of Donald J. Trump’s “America First” platform, but a common sentiment felt among many Americans who have experienced manufacturing jobs moving overseas and foreign products dominating the consumer market. It may be said that this tariff will help grow the American solar industry, but in truth, signing it into law is a grossly political, if not uninformed, move. The original proponents of the tariff are two solar manufacturers with United States operations, not American companies: SolarWorld and Suniva. SolarWorld is a Qatariowned company, while Suniva is majority Chinese-owned. In 2017, both companies filed for bankruptcy, claiming that foreign competition — not their own ill-advised business practices — was the culprit. They banded

together to propose a tariff on imported solar panels, which they claimed would level the playing field and create more favorable conditions for American solar manufacturing. The irony, however, is that the tariff is actually supporting foreign-owned solar companies, who happen to have plants in the U.S. It was a selfish move to manipulate the political climate in hopes of nursing the wounds of lost market share, instead of making quality improvements to operate in a profitable and sustainable manner. The second glaring issue with this tariff is it lacks a critical component that is necessary to achieve its alleged aim. Solar manufacturing in the U.S. is not subsidized like oil, natural gas and coal. Government subsidies helped grow and solidify these American energy giants in an extremely competitive world market. Tariffs alone would not have had that same impact in developing the Exxons and Shells of this nation. If Trump truly wanted to increase American manufacturing, there are various ways he could have done that. In 2009, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act was enacted to preserve and create jobs and promote economic recovery. It gave grants to manufacture goods in the U.S. At the time, Kyocera Solar was manufacturing solar panels in Mexico, just south of the border from San Diego, and they moved their manufacturing plant to Kearny Mesa as a result of this grant. The

American Recovery and Reinvestment Act was a sincere effort to help American manufacturing, where this tariff is a play in a political game. This tariff also appeases Trump’s fossil fuel-friendly cabinet and donors. With Energy Secretary Rick Perry, who maintains that the “science is out” on climate change, and former ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State, there is no doubt that this is a fossil fuel-friendly administration. What this tariff is ultimately aimed to do from a political perspective, is curb renewable energy growth and reaffirm the fossil fuel industry as the possessor of American energy, swiftly awarding new opportunities and permissions to expand extraction and trade while restricting the growth of solar. The most blatant inconsistency is the conflict between this tariff and Trump’s America First jobs plan. The American solar industry employs more than coal and oil combined, and two-thirds of these solar jobs are outside of manufacturing. Many are employed in the installation of solar power systems, and in certain cases this supports well-paid, union labor. There is additional employment in sales, marketing, accounting, and engineering, as well as with local supply chains like providers of racking, inverters, batteries, roofing, software and other products used in a solar power system. These are prevailing

see Solar tariffs, pg 10

On Feb. 8, 2017, my son Daniel Foster disappeared. He was living in Barrio Logan and had planned to meet a friend at 10 a.m. that day for a ride to a doctor’s appointment in Anza. He never showed up; and Dan has not been seen or heard from since. I flew out to San Diego from my home in New Hampshire in March of last year, hoping to piece together the puzzle of my son’s life. It is a complicated one, involving dessert cannabis grows and the whispered word “cartel,” seedy topless joints, abandoned gold mines, and a 100-year flood. Daniel’s story would be great fodder for a detective novel, except that he isn’t a fictional character. He is my son. Daniel is 29. He is not a child. He can come and go as he pleases. These are the facts that many police officers, and a few ordinary citizens, have been kind enough to share with me since I began searching for my son. These reminders are frank and honest, but also unrealistic and painfully dismissive. When a person who has close ties to friends and family just vanishes one day, it is abnormal. It just is. And it should be treated as such. I don’t believe Dan was a victim of the opioid and meth epidemics that has turned a section of Downtown San Diego into a scene from “The Walking Dead.” He wasn’t an urban camper. He had a girlfriend and close friends, brothers he texted often, and a dog named Apollo. One day he was wishing a friend happy birthday on Facebook, the next day he was gone. But the truth is, I don’t know where my son is, which means he could be anywhere. I was told early on by an investigator that it is likely that he’s dead, a victim of foul play, but that’s a theory that has yet to be proven. The investigative work necessary to determine if that theory holds water has not been done. The San Diego Sheriff’s office has more pressing matters to attend to, which I understand, yet bitterly resent. Riverside County investigators have been helpful, but they, too, could devote only a limited amount of time and resources to Dan’s disappearance. I have done my best to complete the puzzle of my son’s life in order to determine where he’s gone, but there are just too many pieces missing, and I don’t know where to find them. In writing to you, it is my hope that after a year of fear and grief, someone might give me an idea of where to look. I don’t know what else to do. For more information, please visit Thank you. —Nancy Bean Foster, via email Editor’s Note: We received this letter from Daniel Foster’s mother just before the one year anniversary of his disappearance, but it was too late to run in our February issue. We hope readers may have some information. We have Ms. Foster’s address and phone number for anyone who has any relevant leads. Contact us at editor@


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OPINIONS/LETTERS: San Diego Downtown News encourages letters to the editor and guest editorials. Please email either to and include your phone number and address for verification. We reserve the right to edit letters for brevity and accuracy. Letters and guest editorials do not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher or staff. SUBMISSIONS/NEWS TIPS: Press releases and story ideas are welcomed. Send press releases, tips, photos or story ideas to For breaking news and investigative story ideas contact the editor by phone or email. DISTRIBUTION: San Diego Downtown News is distributed free on the first Friday of every month. Copyright 2018. All rights reserved.



San Diego Downtown News | March 2018

Misguided principles, in and out of D.C. Healthcare is a right

Congressional Watch Andy Cohen Hunter and his bros

Duncan Hunter’s (R-50) days in Congress might not be numbered, but they should be. For well over a year now, Hunter and his campaign have been the subject of federal investigations into campaign finance fraud, with Hunter having had to pay back more than $60,000 in personal expenses that were inappropriately paid for with campaign funds. The offices of his campaign treasurer were raided by the FBI in February 2017, as reported by Politico Magazine, to go along with the extensive investigations here at home. Things for Hunter appear to be even worse than has been previously reported. A lot worse. Hunter has already copped to using campaign funds for vacations to Italy and Arizona; medical expenses; private school tuition and lunches for his children; and $600 in air travel expenses for his family’s pet bunny, among other expenses. But as Politico reported last month, federal investigators are looking into hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign cash expenditures by Hunter. There are also allegations of heavy drinking while in Washington, and at least one — and possibly more — extramarital affairs. According to the lengthy Politico story, former staffers of Hunter’s have raised concerns over Hunter and a group of his Republican colleagues — who aides have dubbed “the bros caucus” — and their regular excursions to the Capitol Hill Club, a known Republican hangout, sometimes during daytime hours. Aides also recounted instances to the magazine of Congressional Committee meetings, where Hunter appeared to be intoxicated, with some present taking note of his “bloodshot eyes and speech and questioned whether Hunter was under the influence.” Hunter himself has denied having ever attended an official Congressional meeting while inebriated. Federal prosecutors have interviewed a female lobbyist that Hunter is suspected to have had an affair with. Aides have also taken issue with a young woman who initially worked in Hunter’s office as an intern, but whom Hunter then hired on full time. The

woman, according to staffers, often failed to show up to work, was hostile to co-workers, and tended to dress unprofessionally. Hunter aides told Politico that the woman would often text Hunter, occasionally join him at the Capitol Hill Club, and showed up uninvited to campaign events, both in Washington and San Diego. As for his campaign finance problems, Hunter has placed the blame almost entirely on his wife and former campaign manager, Margaret Hunter. The couple has had to sell their house in order to pay their debts, and Hunter’s family has moved in with his parents while he’s in Washington. “My wife, she ran my dad’s [former Congressman Duncan Hunter, Sr.] FEC reports and his campaign prior to us getting married,” Hunter told Politico, “so I assumed — not assumed, she knew the rules. She knows the FEC rules … as much as anybody knows that stuff.” In the last quarter of 2017, Hunter compiled $179,000 in legal fees, while raising only $51,000 in campaign funds (it is legal to use campaign funds to pay for legal fees). Not everyone, however, believes the junior Hunter is in big trouble. Hunter Sr. told the magazine that his son is “a highly moral person of great character,” and that “he is going to be president someday.” Well, if Donald Trump can do it …

The problem with Peters

Last month I chronicled the AIDS Healthcare Foundation’s campaign against Scott Peters (D-52) and his bipartisan efforts to clean up what he and some of his colleagues view as a flawed 340B drug pricing program. The program is intended to be used by hospitals and clinics to provide vital medications to poor and uninsured patients at often highly discounted prices. But many health care providers are using the program to increase their profits by applying the discounted prices to fully insured patients and billing insurance companies for reimbursement of the full price of the medicine. When hospitals manipulate the program in this manner, it means there are fewer funds available for rural or underprivileged patients who could truly benefit from the program. However, Andrea Fetchko, a spokesperson from JPA Health Communications, a

PR firm specializing in representing health care providers, pharmaceutical companies, and medical professional associations, among others — presumably on behalf of a client, who went unidentified despite the exchange of several emails — continues to take umbrage with the proposed changes of Peters’ co-sponsored bill. Among their main concerns are actions taken by the Trump administration. “HHS [Health and Human Services] finalized a rule to cut Medicare Part B reimbursements to hospitals that participate in the 340B program,” Fetchko wrote. “Essentially, this is allowing Medicare Part B to capture the 340B savings, rather than letting the hospitals receive the savings.” While this is true, these actions were taken at the executive branch level and have nothing to do with the bill Peters co-sponsored with Larry Buchson (R-Ind) and others. “We absolutely oppose cuts to the 340B program,” wrote Anais Borja, a legislative assistant to Peters, in an email. “Reps. Buschon and Peters introduced a bill that would put a moratorium on new hospitals entering the 340B program for at least two years. The legislation would also require onerous transparency and reporting requirements for hospitals,” continued Fetchko. Again, it is true that the bill, entitled the “340B Pause Act,” calls for a halt on admitting new hospitals into the program for a period of two years. But entities currently enrolled in the program would continue on as normal and would see no changes until reforms are introduced. The point of the moratorium is to a) preserve the program as is for those already in it; and b) to give legislators time to refine the program and ensure the funds are going to those who need it most, not to bolster profits. A request for clarification of what was meant by “onerous transparency and reporting requirements” has thus far gone unanswered. Activists have been protesting Peters’ support of the legislation. Those protests are misguided, as the proposed bill does not shut down 340B as they’ve been led to believe it does.

Notes from Toni Toni G. Atkins Before I entered public service in the 1990s as an aide to Christine Kehoe — who was then a member of the San Diego City Council — I served as director of clinic services at Womancare Health Center. During that time, I saw firsthand how important it is to provide safety-net healthcare services for people who are uninsured or underinsured and can’t afford medical care. I myself grew up in a family with no health insurance. I watched my parents worry when someone in the family got sick. So, I understand the ever-present fear that many people feel — fear of how a sudden or chronic illness can cause financial hardship, if not utter devastation. That’s why I am an unwavering defender of the Affordable Care Act, and why I will continue to press for universal healthcare in California. Until we get there, I will work toward expanding healthcare however I can. In 2016, Gov. Jerry Brown signed my bill, AB 1795, which served two purposes: It removed the minimum eligibility age for symptomatic women to receive a breast-cancer screening, and it ensured treatment for women who experience a recurrence of cancer, regardless of whether or not it appears in the same part of the body as the first occurrence. This year, I introduced SB 945, which builds on AB 1795 by removing a third barrier blocking treatment for low-income Californians with breast cancer or cervical cancer. Currently, the Breast and Cervical Cancer Treatment Program caps care for breast cancer at 18 months and care for cervical cancer at 24 months. This means women


Giving Back

i cR n oW

to the


—Toni G. Atkins represents the 39th District in the California Senate. Follow her on Twitter @SenToniAtkins.v

Looking for a great

—Andy Cohen is a local freelance writer. Reach him at


lose coverage arbitrarily, with no regard for their health status. Those who need additional treatment are left with nowhere to turn. SB 945 removes these arbitrary limits, allowing the program to continue to treat women as long as necessary. Cancer doesn’t affect everyone the same way. Treatment time can vary dramatically from patient to patient. There is no valid reason to stop providing care while someone still needs it. I was proud to work closely on AB 1795 with Susan G. Komen, an organization dedicated to dramatically reducing the number of deaths in this country caused by breast cancer, and I am proud to work with Komen again on SB 945. Each of the bills is a life-saving measure positively affecting thousands of California women — as well as men, because men are susceptible to breast cancer, too. Healthcare advocacy, particularly providing access to care for struggling residents, will always be a priority for me — it’s in my DNA. I believe healthcare should be a right, just as we view education or public safety — for every San Diegan, every Californian, every American. With our uninsured rate down to a record-low 7 percent, California has done a good job of expanding access to care, but in addition to those who have no coverage, many people are underinsured, and healthcare costs are still too high. As the new President pro Tem of the Senate, I will look for any and all ways to keep our residents healthy and ensure peace of mind, at the lowest possible cost to their families.


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i cR n oW


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San Diego Downtown News | March 2018


The woman at the helm

Dedicating Easter lilies, a tree, and updates on the carousel Growing Balboa Park John Bolthouse Friends of Balboa Park, a nonprofit that preserves the legacy and beauty of the park, is stewarding a number of exclusive opportunities for the community to become a part of enhancing Balboa Park.

Dedicate an Easter Lily

Friends’ partner with the city of San Diego’s Park and Recreation Department to facilitate seasonal floral displays in the Botanical Building to add festive and colorful enjoyment for visitors. In the spring, the community is invited to dedicate an Easter lily for this annual display for just $25 each. Dedications must be received by March 16. Donors will be recognized on the dedication panel in the Botanical Building.

Dedicate a Tree

Since 2008, Friends has partnered with Park and Recreation to plant new trees in Balboa Park, encouraging the public to be part of the beautification and greening initiative — repopulate with trees. Trees are planted once a year on National Arbor Day, which this year is April 27.Donors can select from seven tree varietals in a designated grove within the park. Although there is no plaque at the dedication site (per city

policy), donors or honorees will receive a certificate, tree specimen summary, and a map of the tree dedication site. There are limited quantities available, and they sold out last year, so act fast if you want a piece of the park.

Downtown Partnership News Lana Harrison

Balboa Park Carousel

Friends recently purchased the historic Balboa Park Carousel and launched a threeyear, $3 million fundraising capital campaign to restore and complete the purchase of the carousel. This campaign surpassed the first $1 million, thanks to the comSponsoring tree dedications and Easter lillies munity’s generosity. We still have a way to help beautify the park. (Photos courtesy Friends of Balboa Park) go to reach our next milestone and need your support. Please consider throughout the park, including a donation today and help preinformation kiosks, restoration serve one of the park’s most of the historic gate houses shining jewels. and lily pond, Adopt-A-Plot, For more information on dedicated bench program, tree tree or lily dedications or dedications, and other proto support the Balboa Park grams that facilitate the comCarousel, call 619-232-2282 or munity’s direct involvement visit our website. in the enhancement of Balboa Friends of Balboa Park Park. is an affinity group that enhances and maintains the —John Bolthouse is the park through donations and executive director of nonprofpark programs. The group it Friends of Balboa Park. has spearheaded major capFor more information, visit ital improvement initiatives

A changing of the guard poses both unique challenges and opportunities to an organization. We bid a fond farewell to Kris Michell in October 2017, who after seven years of tenacious leadership at the Partnership moved on to serve as San Diego’s chief operating officer. We continued to thrive as a staff and as an organization under the interim leadership of Bill Geppert. Now, after a thorough selection process and much anticipation, we enthusiastically welcome Betsy Brennan to the helm. Who is Betsy? After a week into the job as president and CEO of the Partnership, we are eager to share not only who she is, but what her goals and vision are as a leader in collaboration for all of Downtown.

What is your professional background and what drew you to the Partnership?

I’ve had a two-decade career in government, public policy, land-use law, philanthropy and higher education. That mixture gave me a real good foundation on which to start at the Downtown Partnership, because of the work we do in all of those areas. I consider


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San Diego my home. When the opportunity came to work with the Partnership members and board, and elevate what was happening Downtown, I jumped at the chance to be a part of it.

What is your leadership style?

My leadership style is characterized by an openness to hearing different ideas and voices, but also an understanding that plans must be implemented. We have a great staff at the Partnership, so I want to empower the employees we have to go out and do great things in their areas of expertise — whether that’s placemaking, our Clean & Safe program, or advocating for Downtown policies at City Council.

What excites you the most as you start this next journey with the Partnership?

I was really excited to come into a solid organization. As Downtown grows up, it’s becoming more and more important to celebrate the uniqueness of each neighborhood and how distinct characteristics of each community make Downtown vibrant as a whole. We don’t take a onesize-fits-all approach to our work. We’re going to take the best parts of each area of Downtown and advance those aspects for those who live, work, and visit.

Describe some immediate challenges and your general approach to addressing those.

Oftentimes, different entities get a lot of pressure to make change or implement action and they’re not always working collaboratively. It is both a challenge and an opportunity to ask, “How do we get more voices around the table to really get thoughtful solutions?” Homelessness is a very important issue for our entire region. We want to be compassionate with our solutions, find out best practices across the nation, and work collaboratively to put those solutions into action.

How involved is the Partnership in placemaking?

Having lived abroad at points in my life and seeing the 24/7 activation of public space both in parks and plazas, I think there is a lot of opportunity in Downtown San Diego to do similar activation. We recently launched CANVAS, which is a neighborhood enhancement program designed to build on the unique assets already present in our communities. That can look like painting utility boxes in the Columbia District specific to the personality of that neighborhood or transforming a parking lot after hours into an outdoor urban movie theater experience. Placemaking efforts are what transform

see Betsy Brennan, pg 21


San Diego Downtown News | March 2018


NEWS BRIEFS lab. It features three hands-on science experiments, virtual reality, 3-D printers and more. The Cube is available for students at the San Diego Festival of Science and Engineering on Saturday, March 3. Additionally, the touring lab will be stopping at various schools and events in Ramona, Carlsbad and Temecula. For more information on the Curiosity Cube, visit For event details, visit

HERE it all comes together.


San Diego Downtown Lions Club invites the community to celebrate its 95th anniversary on Tuesday, March 13. According to their website, the Lions Club is a “a pride of community-focused, engaged professionals and citizens who create and support programs that impact and change people’s lives throughout San Diego.” The Lions Club International is the world’s largest service club organization, and the Downtown chapter is one of the biggest in the nation. This free event will take place 4–7 p.m. at Lions Manor, Sheffield Room, 310 Market St. All attendees must be 21 years or older and RSVP online. The evening includes food from Mexican restaurant Las Hadas, live music from steel drummer Patrick Burke, games and raffles. Attendees are encouraged to bring along ideas for helping individuals in the Downtown region, as well as business cards to enter in the opportunity drawing. For more information and registration, visit or call 619-239-7264.

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The 17,462-square-foot property located on the corner of Fifth Avenue and G Street recently sold for approximately $20 million. Colliers International San Diego Region, a real estate company, represented the seller, ASB/Blatteis, and the undisclosed buyer. Bill Shrader, senior vice president at Colliers International, noted that the Gaslamp Quarter is an appealing option for retail shops in California. “Institutional investors continue to show strong demand for high street retail,” Shrader said in a press release. “San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter, specifically Fifth

see News Briefs, pg 20

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San Diego Downtown News | March 2018


SOLAR TARIFFS wage, healthy jobs that often encourage education, vocational training and community engagement. Jobs in solar have been experiencing growth in traditionally low-income, high-unemployment areas like Oakland, California, filling in the gaps where local fossil-fuel jobs have left employees unhealthy and unfulfilled. While the move feels more like an aftershock rather than an earthquake itself, effects will be felt in solar employment from surges in pricing and subsequent lower demand. Some local solar design and installation companies who anticipated the tariff secured a stockpile of tariff-free modules and are offering those to prospective clients while supplies last. The bottom line is that solar will persevere. While the tariff will have its affects, it will not stunt the solar industry’s inevitable growth. Southern Californians are still subjected to some of the highest costs of electricity in the nation, thanks to investor-owned San Diego Gas & Electric and its parent company, Sempra. Despite tariffs, solar remains a more affordable option than sticking with the utility and has a bright future. —Daniel Sullivan is founder and president of Sullivan Solar Power.v

‘More News About Downtown Than Any Other Newspaper in the World’


Local landscape architect rides the recessions Art on the land Delle Willett Greg Hebert got his start in landscape architecture while an undergraduate and graduate student at the University of Colorado. By owning a “design-build” business, he designed residential landscapes in the evening and installed them during the daytime. He worked with a crew of up to four college-age men and a woman who helped install the projects. When Hebert graduated with a B.A. in Environmental Conservation (’81) and a Master of Landscape Architecture (’85), Denver was in an oil-industry recession and the economy was hurting. Jobless, he seized an opportunity to drive a client’s car from Denver to Coronado, and earned $500 getting here! That changed everything. San Diego was booming, and Hebert got a job with landscape architects DeweeseBurton in the spring of 1987. He worked as a draftsman on the landscape of Rancho Valencia Resort and Spa in Rancho Santa Fe, learning nearly everything about the resort.His second recession experience happened in 1990– 91, this time in San Diego, so he fell back on his college experience. “I started designing residential landscapes in 1992 out of my house,” he said. “Fortunately, Burton Studio

[a spinoff of Deweese-Burton] wanted to concentrate on resort development so they introduced me to the developer and home-owners who were building homes in Rancho Valencia.” Hebert, 58, is best known for his custom residential design. He believes that the residences at Rancho Valencia resort best exemplify his brand. Homes are designed in early California Rancho style and landscapes created with drought-tolerant plant materials, along with unique decorative tile features (benches, fountains, niches and raised planters), that blend in with the resort. “I like to think we design with an awareness towards the environment,” Hebert said. “We have always shied away from high water-use plants and specified stone and brick on sand even before the terms ‘xeriscape’ and ‘permeable’ were used.” Hebert said his clients are his best inspiration. “We strive to create landscapes that make them happy and unique to their lifestyles.” Part of two Orchid-winning projects, Hebert’s first Orchid award came in 2000, when he collaborated with artist Denny Haskew of the National Sculptors’ Guild to site “The Greeters” public-art piece at the entry to the Barona Casino & Resort. In 2016, the St. Thomas More Catholic Church in Oceanside won the Grand Orchid. As Hebert described, the church has a public garden with a contemplative olive tree

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Hebert’s landscaping around the Britt Scripps Inn, located in Park West (Photos courtesy Greg Hebert)

grove and decomposed granite paving. Shade from large coast live oaks softens the church and a special Stations of the Cross garden is planted with plum trees and perennials. Hebert’s residential landscape designs were featured in San Diego Home & Garden magazine’s Garden of the Year issues in 2005, 2008 and 2015. The 2015 Annual Garden of the Year for Residential Design was recognized for the “structural approach” (l to r) Valerie and Greg Hebert in designing the garden to enhance the Rancho Santa Fe architecture of the Hope (, an home. One juror pointed out organization that helps young that there was great concrete women recover from forced sex work throughout and was trafficking. especially in love with the “Generate Hope has been barbecue and entry courtyard gifted a historic home in fountain. Hebert received the Coronado and we are prepargreatest compliment from the ing landscape construction homeowner who said that the documents for the renovation landscape is “perfect” and her of the former gardens. We are “husband is in heaven.” striving to create a landscape In both 2001 and 2008, the that will provide solace and Rancho Santa Fe Association’s encouragement to the young Lily Award was presented to women,” he said. Hebert for his landscapes. The Hebert’s current office is Rancho Santa Fe Covenant in his Bankers Hill courtyard presents awards to built debungalow, where he works signs that celebrate excellence with staff members Gail E. in architecture in the tradition Zerbe, a licensed landscape of historic Rancho Santa Fe. architect, and Mark Fuerte, Hebert also has an interest an AutoCAD specialist who in historic landscapes and is studying to become a landenjoys the opportunity to rescape architect. Lola, Hebert’s search and design based on Portuguese water dog, goes to original designs while updatwork every day with Hebert ing the design to fit current and his wife of 26 years, lifestyles. Valerie, a fiber artist, who Downtown, Hebert was the shares the office space. landscape architect for the In keeping with his interest renovation of the Britt Scripps in historic landscapes, Hebert Inn at Fourth Avenue and and Valerie live in a 1923 hisMaple Street in Bankers Hill. toric, Coronado Spanish home The concept of the boutique ho- that was included in the 2005 tel landscape is that Victorian- Save Heritage Organisation era owners traveled the world (SOHO) Home Tour. They have and brought plants back from two sons, ages 19 and 21. the tours. As a small business owner, Another historic home projHebert has little spare time, ect created by Hebert is the but when he does, he enjoys 1905 Alice Lee and Katherine working in his garden, enterTeats home at 3574 Seventh taining friends and family, and Ave. by Balboa Park. A major riding bikes around Coronado. restoration recently completed on the home was designed by —Delle Willett has been a Irving Gill with the planting marketing and public relations design using many species professional for over 30 years, that were known to have with an emphasis on conserbeen grown by Kate Sessions. vation of the environment. She Hebert’s team is currently can be reached at dellewillett@ working pro bono for Generate

Sudoku & Crossword puzzle answers from page 25

Hebert’s award-winning public garden with a contemplative olive tree grove at St. Thomas More Catholic Church


Starry Lane Bakery

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Cafe Gratitude

Downtown San Diego is known for its vibrant neighborhoods, with their mixture of conference attendees, tourists, locals and residents, all sharing together in the culture, food, music and non-stop entertainment found there. For years we have let the readers of San Diego Downtown News choose their favorite businesses in and around the Downtown area, and awarded those through our annual “Best of Downtown” awards. We again reached out and asked those readers to share with us their favorites when it came to the restaurants, bars and retail businesses they found and enjoyed patronizing throughout 2017. From the reaches of the ever-expanding East Village, to the majestic Gaslamp Quarter, through the twinkling lights of the Core/Columbia and Financial districts, to the shores of the Marina District and the Embarcadero, and to the piazzas of Little Italy, once again our readers have spoken. They have chosen the Best

— in such categories as breakfast, happy hour, late-night dining, various ethnic cuisines, coffee shop, wine bar, gallery, romantic dining, florist, cocktail, live entertainment venue and many, many more. Some of the winners have been servicing customers in Downtown San Diego for decades, while others just recently opened their doors and are already making an impact. In this month’s special “Best of Downtown” section, we offer an assemblage of these top establishments, showcasing them with colorful ads, photos, contact information and descriptions, outlining their missions to serve. To each of our 2017 “Best of Downtown” winners, we extend hearty congratulations on your recognition. We hope our loyal readers — and your loyal customers, both new and old — continue to show you patronage for years to come. — the staff at San Diego Community News Network (

City Dragon

Queenstown Public House

Rio de Gao Brazilian Steakhouse

Cafe Sevilla

Osetra Seafood & Steaks


Best of Downtown San Diego 2017

San Diego Downtown News | March 2018

CITY DRAGON Thank you for voting us Best Chinese Cuisine in Town!

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GOLD – The Smoking Gun

555 Market St. 92101 | 619-233-3836

SILVER – Hob Nob Hill

2271 First Ave. 92101 | 619-239-8176 Opened in 1944 with the sole intention to provide quality food and exceptional services at reasonable prices, Hob Nob Hill has worked hard to stay true to its commitment. A full-service restaurant and bakery, Hob Nob Hill and its American country-style furnishings offer their guests comfortable seating while they enjoy an array of tasty American classics. Whether it be breakfast, lunch or dinner, Hob Nob Hill’s American-styled menu provides their guests with generous portions, affordable pricing and a taste that’s sure to entice its patrons for more. Just about everything — from baking fresh muffins and cakes, to curing corned beef — is done on the premises. And each recipe has been home-developed and home-tested to ensure that you, their customer, will experience the ultimate dining pleasure. For more information regarding business hours and menu details visit Hob Nob Hill on the web at


GOLD – Starry Lane Bakery

3925 Fourth Ave. 92103 | 619-328-0500 The Schwartz sisters opened Starry Lane Bakery in November of 2011 to make the lives of those of us with food allergies a little bit easier and a whole lot sweeter. Chocolatey and gooey, or sweet and crispy, the simple pleasure of a freshbaked cookie is an experience that everyone should be able to enjoy. All Starry Lane Bakery products are made on-site in a dedicated facility that is free of gluten, soy, dairy, eggs, tree nuts, peanuts, fish, and shellfish, as well as being vegan and free of all artificial food dyes.

The taste and appearance of each pastry is just what you remember from your own childhood. Share the heartwarming experience of a fresh-baked cookie with the ones you love!

SILVER – Solunto Restaurant & Bakery 1643 India St. 92101 619-255-7826


GOLD – Gaslamp Barbecue

524 Island Ave. 92101 | 619-696-6996

SILVER – Kansas City Barbecue 600 W. Harbor Dr. 92101 | 619-231-9680


GOLD – Jolt ’N Joe’s Gaslamp 379 Fourth Ave. 92101 | 619-230-1968

SILVER – East Tavern and Bowl 930 Market St. 92101 | 619-677-2695


GOLD – Richard Walkers

520 Front St. 92101 | 619-231-7777 This is a place that you’ve heard everybody talking about. The Baked Apple Pancake is to die for. The service is consistent and coffee cups are kept full. We’re voted one of the 10 Best Breakfast places the United States by USA Today. Voted Best Thick Sliced Bacon in Southern California. Very popular! Don’t let the long lines discourage you — the line moves very fast. You could even be served by the oneand-only Richard Walker, owner of the restaurant. Come to the pancake party at Richard Walker’s Pancake House!

SILVER – Breakfast Republic

707 G St. 92101 | 619-501-8280


GOLD – Fig Tree Café

416 University Ave. 92103 | 619-298-2010

SILVER – Le Fontainebleu

1055 Second Ave. Westgate Hotel 92101 | 619-238-1818


GOLD – Rei Do Gado Brazilian Steakhouse 939 Fourth Ave. 92101 | 619-702-8464

SILVER – Bali Hai Restaurant

2230 Shelter Island Dr. 92106 | 619-222-1181


GOLD – Barleymash

600 Fifth Ave. 92101 | 619-255-7373

SILVER – Hodad’s

945 Broadway 92101 | 619-234-6323


GOLD – Mexican Fiesta (CLOSED)

SILVER – Cocina 35

1435 Sixth Ave. 92101 | 619-431-5611 Cocina 35 is dedicated to bringing you the essence of Mexico, presented to you the old school way — the way our grandparents cooked. The flavors, aromas and textures that were given to us when we were growing up with them. We use nothing but the freshest ingredients and highest quality meats. We are well-known for the best chilaquiles and burritos in town. Come visit us today! We will make sure your experience is a one that you’ll love, since our customer service will round it up; focusing on anything you may need as soon as you step one foot inside Cocina 35. We also do catering for any events, gatherings or parties.


GOLD – Fishmonger’s Market 1735 Hancock St. 92101 619-756-7345

SILVER – Mister A’s

2550 Fifth Ave. 92103 | 619-239-1377


GOLD – Sycuan Casino

5469 Casino Way El Cajon 92019 | 619-445-6002

SILVER – Viejas Casino & Resort 5000 Willows Rd. Alpine 91901


GOLD – Viejas Casino & Resort 5000 Willows Rd. Alpine 91901

SILVER – Barona Resort & Casino

1932 Wildcat Canyon Rd. Lakeside 92040


GOLD – The Smoking Gun

555 Market St. 92101 | 619-233-3836

SILVER – The Crack Shack

2266 Kettner Blvd. 92101 | 619-795-3299


GOLD – Brothers Signature Catering 7830 Trade St. #100 92121 | 858-397-1777

SILVER – Park Boulevard Catering 734 Park Blvd. 92101 619-458-9595


GOLD – City Dragon

2885 El Cajon Blvd. 92104 | 619-280-2255 City Dragon is a family-owned and -operated, home-cooked-style neighborhood Chinese restaurant. We serve appetizers, soups, rice bowls, classic dishes, low-calorie option dishes, seafood, Hong Kong style chow fun, fried rice, vegetable plates, chef’s specials, fried noodles and more. Order online now! Free delivery with a minimum purchase of $20 or more.

SILVER – China Too

916 Fifth Ave. 92101 | 619-239-4283

see Best of Downtown, pg 13

Best of Downtown San Diego 2017 FROM PAGE 12


GOLD – The Smoking Gun

555 Market St. 92101 | 619-233-3836

SILVER – Monkey King

467 Fifth Ave. 92101 | 619-359-8897


GOLD – Spill The Beans Coffee and Bagels 555 Market St. 92101 | 619-233-3836

SILVER – Old Gallery Coffee House 641 B St. 92101 | 619-231-4405

Old Gallery Coffee House is a Mexican restaurant with menu specials, on-line delivery, pick-up, take-out, carry-out, and catering. We have a variety of Mexican dishes as well as breakfast and lunch specials, including burritos, wraps, sandwiches, burgers, omelets, fruit and vegetable salads, cappuccinos, lattes and much more! This is the reason why we have been nominated the Best Coffee Shop in Downtown. Come visit us today!


GOLD – Brian’s 24

828 Sixth Ave. 92101 | 619-702-8410

SILVER – The Smoking Gun

555 Market St. 92101 | 619-233-3836


GOLD – Ballast Point Brewery

Come stroll through the Little Italy Mercato farmers market every Saturday, rain or shine, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., where over 200 tents line West Cedar Street from Kettner Boulevard to Front Street. The options are endless — you can enjoy an incredible selection of farm fresh produce, pastured eggs and poultry, meat, fish, flowers, local artisan food and more! Find food purveyors with sauces and relish, oysters, coffee beans, spices and more; as well as vendors selling plants, including orchids, fresh flowers, and bedding plants. Dine on crepes, paninis, green smoothies, lemonade and local chef’s specialties, best enjoyed with our live music. Visitors come from all over the world to indulge in our farmers market, whether it’s to get a taste of the just-caught sea urchin or to simply soak in the beautiful atmosphere. Mangia Bene!

SILVER – Hillcrest Farmers Market 3960 Normal St. 92103 619-237-1632


GOLD – In-N-Out Burger

2005 Camino Del Este 92108 | 800-786-1000

SILVER – Chick-fil-A

3570 Sports Arena Blvd. 92110 | 619-758-1555


GOLD – Osetra Seafood and Steaks 904 Fifth Ave. 92101 619-239-1800

SILVER – Top of the Market 750 N. Harbor Dr. 92101 619-234-4867

San Diego Downtown News | March 2018



GOLD – Café Chloe

721 Ninth Ave. 92101 | 619-232-3242

SILVER – Et Voila! French Bistro 3015 Adams Ave. #103 92116 | 619-209-7759


GOLD – Meze Greek Fusion

345 Sixth Ave. 92101 | 619-550-1600

SILVER – Greek Islands Café

879 W. Harbor Dr. 92101 | 619-239-5216


GOLD – Torrey Pines Golf Course

11480 N. Torrey Pines Rd. La Jolla 92037 858-452-3226

SILVER – Mission Trails Golf Course 7380 Golfcrest Place 92119 | 619-460-5400


GOLD – The Oceanaire Seafood Room

400 J St. 92101 | 619-858-2277

SILVER – The Fish Market

750 N. Harbor Dr. 92101 | 619-232-3474


GOLD – Jimbo’s Naturally! 92 Horton Plaza 92101 | 619-308-7755

SILVER – Trader Joe’s

1090 University Ave. #100 92103 | 619-296-3122

see Best of Downtown, pg 14

2215 India St. 92101 | 619-255-7213

SILVER – Stone Brewing

795 J St. 92101 | 619-727-4452


GOLD – BB’s Deli

1321 Fifth Ave. 92101 | 619-238-4567

SILVER – The Deli Llama

3702 Fifth Ave. 92103 | 619-295-4666


GOLD – Extraordinary Desserts 1430 Union St. 92101 619-294-7001

SILVER – San Diego Gaslamp Chocolate Dessert Café

509 Fifth Ave. 92101 | 619-238-9400


GOLD – The Fish Market


750 N. Harbor Dr. 92101 | 619-232-3474

SILVER – The Smoking Gun

555 Market St. 92101 | 619-233-3836


GOLD – Donut Bar

631 B St. 92101 | 310-625-5571

SILVER – Winchell’s Donuts

1501 Rosecrans St. 92106 | 619-222-1653


GOLD – Mariscos Nine Seas Food Truck 3030 Grape St. 92102 619-279-0010

SILVER – Pierogi Truck

3441 Adams Ave. 92116 | 858-205-3995


GOLD – Osteria Panevino

722 Fifth Ave. 92101 | 619-595-7959

SILVER – The Fish Market

750 N. Harbor Dr. 92101 | 619-232-3474


GOLD – Little Italy Mercato 519 W. Cedar St. 92101 little-italy-mercato

Office meeting? Party? Gathering? WE CATER!! (619) 431-5611

1435 6TH Avenue, San Diego, CA 92101 (Downtown San Diego)


San Diego Downtown News | March 2018

Best of Downtown San Diego 2017 SILVER – The Westgate Hotel



1055 Second Ave. 92101 | 800-522-1564



GOLD – Taste & Thirst

715 Fourth Ave. 92101 | 619-955-5995

SILVER – Dirty Birds

2970 Truxtun Rd. #9 92106 619-756-7576


GOLD – Urban India

1041 Fourth Ave. 92101 | 619-238-8380

SILVER – Royal India

329 Market St. 92101 | 619-269-9999


GOLD – The Field

544 Fifth Ave. 92101 | 619-232-9840

SILVER – Dublin Square 554 Fourth Ave. 92101 619-239-5818


GOLD – Osteria Panevino

722 Fifth Ave. 92101 | 619-595-7959

SILVER – Bencotto Italian Kitchen 750 W. Fir St. #103 92101 | 619-450-4786


GOLD – Tajima Hillcrest

3739 Sixth Ave. 92103 | 619-431-5820

SILVER – Sushi 2

135 Broadway 92101 | 619-233-3072


GOLD – Prohibition

548 Fifth Ave. 92101 | 619-501-1919

GOLD – The Vitality Tap

650 First Ave. 92101 | 619-237-7625

SILVER – Unico Juice Shop

631 Ninth Ave. 92101 | 619-863-4164


GOLD – Brian’s 24

828 Sixth Ave. 92101 | 619-702-8410

SILVER – Denny’s

2445 El Cajon Blvd. 92104


GOLD – Music Box

1337 India St. 92101 | 619-795-1337

SILVER – The Casbah

2501 Kettner Blvd. 92101 | 619-232-4355


GOLD – Union Kitchen & Tap

1108 S. Coast Hwy 101, Encinitas 92024 | 619-795-9463

SILVER – The Fish Market

750 N. Harbor Dr. 92101 | 619-232-3474


GOLD – La Puerta

560 Fourth Ave. 92101 | 619-696-3466

SILVER – Puesto at the Headquarters

789 W. Harbor Dr. 92101 | 619-233-8880


GOLD – Martinis Above Fourth Table + Stage 3940 Fourth Ave. 92103 | 619-400-4500

SILVER – Blonde Martini (CLOSED)


GOLD – Puesto

789 W. Harbor Dr. 92101 | 619-233-8880

SILVER – El Chingon

560 Fifth Ave. 92101 | 619-501-1919


GOLD – Cinepolis Luxury Cinemas 12905 El Camino Real 92130 | 858-794-4045


8657 Villa La Jolla Dr. Suite 129 La Jolla 92037 | 858-458-1098


GOLD – The Smoking Gun

555 Market St. 92101 | 619-233-3836

SILVER – Born & Raised 1909 India St. 92101 619-202-4577


GOLD – Omnia San Diego

454 Sixth Ave. 92101 | 619-544-9500

SILVER – The Tipsy Crow

70 Fifth Ave. 92101 | 619-338-9300


GOLD – Queenstown Public House 1557 Columbia St. 92101 619-546-0444

SILVER – The Fish Market

750 N. Harbor Dr. 92101 | 619-232-3474


GOLD – Parq Restaurant

615 Broadway | 619-727-6789

SILVER – San Diego Pier Café 885 W. Harbor Dr. 92101 | 619-239-3968


GOLD – Tajima Hillcrest

3739 Sixth Ave. 92103 | 619-431-5820

SILVER – Pho Noodle Bar

550 Cedar St. 92101 619-821-8182



GOLD – Filippi’s Pizza Grotto

1747 India St. 92101 | 619-232-5094

SILVER – Berkeley Pizza

539 Island Ave. 92101 | 619-937-0808


Thank You For Voting Us Gold Winner Of The Best Rooftop Lounge In Downtown!

Rooftop pool with stunning views Day time cabana rentals available VIP bottle service available Farm direct American cuisine Classy rooftop lounge

2550 Fifth Ave. 12th Floor 92103 | 619-239-1379

SILVER – Top of the Market

750 N. Harbor Dr. 92101 | 619-232-3474

By day, day The Rooftop by STK will sweep you away with stunning city views and creative regional cuisine. Using organic, locally sourced ingredients, our rooftop restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner featuring American dishes with a cool SoCal spin. By night, The Rooftop by STK is San Diego’s ultimate rooftop destination and nightlife experience high above the city. Enjoy great music and views while relaxing next to the fire pit or enjoying a private table for dinner or bottle service. This cool sky-lit lounge is the place to be seen in San Diego.

• • • • •

GOLD – Mister A’s


GOLD – The Rooftop Bar 600 F St. 92101 619-814-2060

HOURS Breakfast: Sunday-Saturday: 6:30am-11:30am Happy Hour: Happy Hour: Sunday-Friday 5:00pm-8:00pm -$6 beer, $7 wine, $8 well cocktails, happy hour bites

All day dining: Sunday-Thursday: 11:30am-11:00pm Friday & Saturday: 11:30am-2:00am Lounge Hours: Sunday-Thursday: 11:00am-12:00am Friday & Saturday: 11:00am-2:00am

Reservations: Call +1 619 814 2002 • •

Lounge poolside, sip on one of our creative signature cocktails and enjoy a delicious lunch in your private cabana. Indulge in exclusive bottle service, with premium liquor, mixers and your own cocktail server, at our fabulous San Diego rooftop bar. By day, the Rooftop by STK will sweep you away with stunning city views and creative regional cuisine. Using organic, locally-sourced ingredients, our rooftop restaurant serves breakfast and lunch with a cool SoCal spin. By night, The Rooftop by STK is San Diego’s ultimate rooftop destination and nightlife experience high above the city. Enjoy great music and views while relaxing next to the fire pit or enjoying a private table for dinner or bottle service. This cool sky-lit lounge is the place to be seen in San Diego!

SILVER – Altitude Sky Lounge 660 K St. 92101 619-446-6086

see Best of Downtown, pg 15

Best of Downtown San Diego 2017 FROM PAGE 14


GOLD – Salad Style

611 B Street | 619-255-6731

SILVER – Tender Greens

110 W. Broadway 92101 | 619-795-2353


GOLD – The Fish Market

750 N. Harbor Dr. 92101 | 619-232-3474

SILVER – Top of the Market

750 N. Harbor Dr. 92101 | 619-232-3474


GOLD – Café Sevilla

353 Fifth Ave. 92101 | 619-233-5979

SILVER – Costa Bravo

1653 Garnet Ave. 92109 | 858-273-1218


GOLD – True North Tavern

3815 30th St. 92104 | 619-291-3815

SILVER – Dussini’s Loft Bar 275 Fifth Ave. 92101 | 619-233-4323


GOLD – Donovan’s Steak and Chop House 570 K St. 92101 619-237-9700

Donovan’s Steak & Chop House sets the standard for fine dining excellence where USDA 100 percent prime steaks reign supreme. Complemented by cordially friendly service and an award-winning wine list, in a stylish lively atmosphere, Donovan’s is the perfect setting for an intimate dinner for two, or a special celebration with friends, family and associates.

After 18 years, Donovan’s Steak & Chop House in University Town Ce has moved to a new location on 1250 Prospect St., in the Village of La Jolla. We look forward to serving you in our new oceanfront location. Our Downtown location is located at 570 K St. Created with the needs of a highly selective clientele in mind, Donovan’s evokes the classic steakhouse experience, providing prime steak and chops in a sophisticated atmosphere, for a one-of-a-kind dining affair. It is the perfect destination for getting lost in luxury and enjoying epicurean delights where mouth-watering prime steakhouse fare is paired with a thoughtfully selected wine program that has earned the prestigious Award of Excellence from Wine Spectator magazine. For the ultimate dining experience, the only name you need to know in San Diego is Donovan’s! Call 877-698-6666

SILVER – Osetra Seafood and Steaks 904 Fifth Ave. 92101 619-239-1800


GOLD – Full Moon Sushi & Kitchen Bar

926 Fifth Ave. 92101 | 619-233-3711 Fool Moon use the freshest ingredients that will rock your taste buds out of this world! Sushi – Luxurious yet affordable. Full Moon is catered for the casual upscale, and when you combine unparalleled hospitality with great food, Full Moon is the sushi lover’s defining sushi restaurant. Kitchen Bar – All items are tapas style with international influences. Seasonal seafood varieties from around the world are offered to guests, assuring the menu evolves with the changing seasons. Lounge – The lounge-like setup caters to those with a discerning taste, giving people the room to sit and talk while enjoying a drink or bite. The space is anchored by an open kitchen and surrounded by intimate banquette seating to satisfy your choice of dining experience. Come visit us today.

San Diego Downtown News | March 2018



SILVER – Shino Sushi + Kappo 838 W. Ash St. 92101 619-255-2527

641 B Street San Diego, CA 92101 Order on line at (619) 231-4405


GOLD – Lotus Thai Cuisine

906 Market St. 92101 | 619-595-0115

SILVER – Thai Island

1134 Seventh Ave. 92101 619-232-7576


GOLD – Café Gratitude

1980 Kettner Blvd. 92101 | 619-736-5077

SILVER – Pokez

947 E St. 92101 | 619-702-7160


GOLD – Carruth Cellars Urban Wine Garden

2215 Kettner Blvd. 92101 | 858-847-9463

SILVER – Vin de Syrah Spirits & Wine Parlor

901 Fifth Ave. 92101 | 858-437-3985 v

thank you for voting

SAN DIEGO’S TRUSTED SOURCE FOR NON-GMO PRODUCTS! Incredible selection of local and organic produce Full line of all natural groceries Large selection of vitamins, supplements, health & beauty aids

the best health food store for downtown!

Hormone-free and antibiotic-free beef, poultry and pork Seafood delivered fresh daily Deli selections prepared fresh right in the store A made-from-scratch bakery A refreshing juice bar Huge selection of raw and vegan products!





San Diego Downtown News | March 2018

Best of Downtown San Diego 2017

San Diego Downtown News | March 2018



Eclectic cuisine and inventive cocktails fit for a king and queen Perched on a prime corner lot in Little Italy, King and Queen Cantina at 1490 Kettner Blvd., is like a two-story castle that welcomes everyone into its domain for a magical good time. Customers are greeted by eye-popping artwork that pays year-round tribute to Dia de Los Muertos, a festive Mexican holiday celebrated Nov. 1 and known otherwise as Day of the Dead. In keeping with the theme, creative paintings of skulls by artist Genaro Garcia abound throughout the 5,000-squarefoot establishment. There are bars and dining areas on each floor amid inviting design elements such as natural woods, exquisite mood lighting, hand-made metal tables and colorful décor that transcends what you’ll find in traditional cantinas. Restaurateur Jorge Cueva opened King and Queen Cantina in October and has since attracted everyone from locals and tourists to famous musicians and actors. Jorge also owns the wildly popular Tempo Urban Kitchen in Orange County, which recently won Orange County’s “Restaurant of the Year” for its full-of-flavor menu and enticing cocktails. From dishwasher to restaurateur, Jorge’s success is no accident. With dozens of restaurants, a catering company and food trucks on his resume — totaling more than 25 years in the industry — he isn’t slowing down, but rather just getting started. Equipped with a seasoned palate and a keen knowledge of world cuisines from his global travels, Jorge has deliciously bent the rules on Mexican dining. The menu at King and Queen taps into culinary influences from all over the world, from Europe to Asia to South America. Those influences are then introduced into soulful Mexican cooking, which results in bold and unique flavors in every dish.

Restaurateur Jorge Cueva has brought a lively drinking and dining concept to Little Italy. From the tacos selection, for example, you’ll find the hot-selling short rib mole taco enveloped in a house-made chocolate tortilla. It’s also filled with pickled onions, crispy carrots and lime crema. Savory and spellbinding, there is nothing else like it in San Diego. Other fillings extend to Korean-style pork belly, grilled octopus, chipotle steak, roasted veggies and more. Fuller meal options include everything from the kingly “tempo burger” (a beef patty crowned with pork belly, cheddar cheese, a fried egg and shishito peppers) and well-stuffed burritos to fresh oysters, seafood rice and zesty ceviche. Or for a perfect shareable dish, the “Tijuana grill” is all the rage. And from the grill, you’ll find expertly cooked carne asada, salmon, octopus, shrimp, New York steak, Korean-style ribs and more. King and Queen’s festive atmosphere is fueled by upbeat music and an extensive cocktail program that features a fun invention called the tableside hickory smoked old fashioned. Imagine smoked Old Forrester bourbon combined

The “award-winning” Gardez Margarita showcases mango serrano-infused tequila.

One of two inviting bars inside King and Queen Cantina (Photos courtesy King and Queen Cantina)

“Costa azul” bacon-wrapped shrimp with maple syrup, Angostura bitters and orange zest, before the glass is smoked in front of your eyes on hickory wood. If you’re looking for a playful and addicting cocktail, this is it. With a large collection of tequilas and mezcals in stock, not to mention house-made syrups and fresh fruit juices, the drink list sparkles with some of the best margaritas in town — and in many different varieties. The bar offerings

King and Queen’s unique short rib mole tacos


“Day of the Dead” artwork adds colorful flair to the two-level establishment. also feature numerous signature and classic cocktails as well as craft and domestic beer. King and Queen Cantina has unbeatable deals on taco Tuesdays, when select tacos are only $2 each and certain beers sell for $3. Additional specials on food and drink are available during happy hour, which is held twice daily from 3 to 6 p.m., and then from 9 p.m. until closing.

But the convivial vibe isn’t confined only to late afternoons and evenings. If the hankering strikes for a shrimp-topped bloody mary with a chorizo omelet or plate of deluxe chilaquiles, for example, you’re in luck with King and Queen’s impressive brunch, which is held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturdays and Sundays. For more information, call 619-756-7864 or visit

The tableside hickory smoked old fashioned



San Diego Downtown News | March 2018


Restaurant Review Frank Sabatini Jr. Nary a photograph of Athens or Santorini island hang inside Meze Greek Fusion. The typical aesthetics seen in most Greek restaurants, such as blue and white walls, are completely missing while the menu succumbs slightly to the culinary influences of Mexico, Italy and Downtown’s modern Greek restaurant offers a high-design atmosphere and California. quality food. (Photos by Frank Sabatini Jr.) A server prepares saganaki at the table The massive, industrial space flows warmly throughout two levels. On the ground They also recently opened an oversee an extensive wine prosinful creaminess to a grilled floor are a couple of giant, offshoot of Meze in Point Loma’s gram. Silver is also a magician Portobello mushroom, stuffed gold-colored coins rotating Liberty Public Market. and performs tableside tricks also with red and green bell above a handsome bar. They For Meze, they brought on Wednesday, Friday and peppers. However, a quartet are the only decorations that in Greek transplant Aleko Saturday evenings. Visiting for of dolma (grape leaves stuffed suggest Greece, specifically its Achtipes to head the kitchen lunch, we sadly missed out. with rice, green onions and Hellenistic period. Ample seatand sommelier Ben Silver to My go-to dish in Greek herbs) sported leaves too thick ing options abound beneath restaurants, albeit an invention and stringy for my taste. an over-sized chandelier born 50 years ago in a Chicago A sidekick of baba ghanoush with additional tables restaurant, is saganaoffered desirable smokiness and extending into the ki. It’s a dramatic a silkier texture than most. mezzanine, which starter of buttery The pita bread served with it feels more intikasseri cheese (and the saganaki) flaunted mate and rustic that’s flambeed puffy waffle marks and tasted in comparison. before your eyes so fresh we couldn’t believe Brothers in brandy and ex- when told that it’s imported Raymond and tinguished with from Greece. Patrick Davoudi fresh-squeezed Before proceeding to entrees, launched Meze in 2014 lemon. we shared a sizable Greek salunder GBOD (“Go Big or In praise of the ad containing the usual mix of Die”) Hospitality Group, formidable flames, romaine, cucumbers, red onwhich also operates the server shouts ions, tomatoes and feta cheese, Prohibition, El Chingon “opa!” And before you dressed lightly in standard vinBad Ass Mexican, and know it, you’re swiping aigrette. Served well-chilled, it Havana 1920, all located warm pita bread through was neither bad or exciting. Baba ghanoush with veggies and imported pita bread the seared curd, which in the Gaslamp Quarter. Then came the dish that is crispy on the outside sent me over the moon — pork and fondue-like on the inside. souvlaki marinated overnight Everything about it was done and flecked heavily in herbs. right here. Skipping over Pork souvlaki with rice and veggies the Italian-inspired “caprese greca” using feta cheese Commercial & Residential instead of mozzarella, and the “Greek tacos” (available “The most thorough BBQ and with chicken, lamb, gyro meat or oven cleaning service!” falafel), we opted instead We come to you! Have your BBQ or oven professionally for several steam-cleaned using non-toxic, biodegradable, Greek-leaning USDA-approved products. appetizers. • We service all makes and models Potatoes lemonato were tender and • Experienced, reliable, local staff stained deliciously ad • Extend the life of your BBQ yellow from citrus and with this good-quality olive oil. A It’s served with • Improve the quality and flavor of food bouquet of herbs — rosemary, saffron-kissed basmati rice • Eliminate carcinogens for healthier cooking oregano, dill and parsley — im- and sautéed vegetables, which parted exceptional flavor to the struck that coveted duality of • Use your appliance the same day after cleaning wedges. Varying combinations tender and crispy. You will be amazed at the transformation! of those herbs arose without Maybe because the pork was complaint in most other dishes so flavorful, I felt there should we ordered. have been more of it, either addFeta, kasseri and gorgonzoed to a longer skewer or overr afte before la cheeses added flowing onto a second one. I didn’t want it to end. Yet in no time at all only a shiny metal rod sat under my chin. Conversely, my friend’s falafel plate yielded leftovers. The tasty chickpea croquettes were in abundance. Though fried to a dark and sturdy crisp, they were steamy and fluffy inside. His accompaniPotatoes lemonato ments included pickled turnips

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Meze Greek Fusion 345 Sixth Ave. (East Village)

619-550-1600 Prices: Soup, salads, appetizers and small plates, $7 to $14; plates, $18 to $38 cut into the shape of french fries and excellent cilantro-jalapeno hummus (substituted for plain) boasting a leafy-green glow. One of the more unique entrees that we almost ordered is pasta lahano, a loose take on a cabbage-tomato-rice medley popular in rural Greece. This version excludes the rice in lieu of penne pasta and replaces the cabbage with artichoke hearts. Feta cheese and Kalamata olives are also present, which I imagine provides appealing bursts of salinity to the dish. Also on my must-try list are the lamb-beef meatballs in roasted red pepper-tomato sauce; the charbroiled lamb chops in lemon sauce; and the Aegean octopus salad. Or if I’m hankering for a Greek take on something Americana, the “fiery feta” mac n’ cheese topped with pita crumbs sounds like a winner. With or without a poster of the Acropolis staring you in the face, no Greek meal is complete without jabbing into a triangular slice of sweet baklava. To our satisfaction, this wasn’t so cloying. And it was packed densely with minced nuts and seasoned liberally with cinnamon. A number of small plates, premium cocktails and Greek beers and wines are available for $3 to $8 during happy hour, which is held from 3 to 6 p.m., Sunday through Friday, and 10 p.m. to closing, Friday and Saturday. —Frank Sabatini Jr. is the author of “Secret San Diego” (ECW Press), and began his local writing career more than two decades ago as a staffer for the former San Diego Tribune. You can reach him at


San Diego craft breweries will be in abundance at the fourth annual Best Coast Beer Fest, which takes place from 2 to 5 p.m., March 10, at Downtown’s Embarcadero Marina Park South. (VIP admission begins at 1 p.m.) Presented by Sycuan Casino, this year’s fest will

benefit Cuck Fancer, a nonprofit that supports young adults through cancer treatments. More than 75 breweries will pour their signature suds along with new and limited releases. Participants include Jacked Up Brewery, Mission Brewery, 21st Amendment,

San Diego Downtown News | March 2018


Mason Ale Works, Bear Republic and more. The event also features live entertainment, along with several food trucks, which will include Deli Doctor, Super Q and Eat Your Heart Out. General admission ranges from $40 to $50 and includes unlimited beer samples. Tickets for VIP guests range from $95 to $115 and include beer and scotch pairings, a lounge area with snacks, early entry and other perks. Tickets can be purchased on site or through ticketsauce. com. 200 Marina Park Way, bestcoastbeerThe fourth annual Best Coast Beer Fest is on tap this month. (Courtesy Eder Photo)

(Courtesy Good Time Design)

Down-home Southern fare rules the day at the new Suckerfree Southern Plate & Bar. (Facebook)

The current six-year anniversary of Lucky’s Lunch Counter in the East Village brings a consumer advantage. All of its classic and overstuffed sandwiches are selling for an easy $6 between March 12–16. The sandwiches normally range between $9 and $13. 338 Seventh Ave., 619-255-4782,

The locally based RMD Group has opened Volcano Rabbit, a Gaslamp Quarter Mexican restaurant and nightclub boasting gourmet tacos and a formidable collection of agave spirits. Among the unique offerings are tequila lockers which, for an annual fee, can be rented by guests choosing to store their booze onsite; Octopus tacos at a new restaurant and nightclub venue in the Gaslamp Quarter. plus monthly ultra-luxe tacos that (Courtesy Volcano Rabbit) sell for $20 each. The spendy tacos can include marrow butter. 527 Fifth Ave., historic Grand Pacific Hotel fillings such as lobster with 619-232-8226, volcanorab(366 Fifth Ave.), which was caviar and poached quail eggs; built in the late 1800s. It will sea scallops with crispy yams In addition, RMD has in the be redeveloped in conjunction and bacon pop rocks; and beef pipeline plans to open a restauwith HP Investors and accomcheeks with foie gras and bone rant and bar next year in the modate live music. If corned beef and green beer served in a rowdy atmosphere isn’t your thing on St. Patrick’s Day, perhaps a mellow three-course afternoon tea with Champagne is — and with a literary spin to boot. The Westgate Hotel’s frilled Le Fontainebleu Room is the setting for the tea, which features “Memento Park” author Mark

Sarvas, who will discuss the book’s narrative of a son who unravels the story of his father. The event takes place from 2:30 to 5 p.m., March 17 and costs $45 per person. 1055 Second Ave., 619-238-1818, —Frank Sabatini Jr. can be reached at

Daniel Catán

A sandwich shop is offering anniversary prices on its specialties, such as this jalapeno patty melt.

Florencia en el Amazonas

Restaurateur Ron Suel has upped the Southern emphasis of his StreetCar Merchants eatery in North Park with a more expressive version of it in the Gaslamp Quarter. His recent opening of Suckerfree Southern Plate & Bar, which offers an all-day breakfast menu, spotlights dishes such as seafood gumbo, fried chicken and waffles, shrimp-n-grits, pork chops with dirty rice, and more. The restaurant is open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., daily. 751 Fourth Ave., 619-892-7744.

Opens March 17

Florencia and her fellow travelers begin a magical journey down the Amazon River, experiencing awakenings and SAN DIEGO transformations when CIVIC THEATRE fantasy and reality become enmeshed. Inspired by the magical (619) 533-7000 realism writings of This project supported in part Gabriel García Márquez. by an award from the National Libretto by Marcela Endowment for the Arts. Fuentes-Berain. PHOTO: KINGMOND YOUNG


San Diego Downtown News | March 2018


NEWS BRIEFS Avenue, continues to be an attractive investment opportunity along with renowned shopping districts like Girard Street in La Jolla, Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica, Old Town Pasadena and Union Square in San Francisco.” The space is part of a three-unit property, which houses Urban Outfitters and Ghirardelli Ice Cream & Coffee Shop. These two companies have been tenants of the building since the late 1990s.


The Parkinson’s Association of San Diego will hold its annual “Step by Step 5K” fundraiser on Sunday, April 8, at Liberty Station. The dog-friendly, walking event will feature live music,

a beer garden and an expo. Check in starts at 7:30 a.m. and the walk begins at 9 a.m. Registration fee is $50 and includes a T-shirt. Sponsorship and vendor opportunities are also available. RideFACT will provide free transportation for individuals needing assistance. All proceeds will benefit the Parkinson’s Association of San Diego, a group that helps connect resources to local individuals with Parkinson’s disease. For more information and event registration, visit or call 858-200-7277.


Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer has proposed to stop late fees for the San Diego Public Library system. According to Mayor Faulconer, these fines often discourage individuals from using the library. The new model is intended to

see News Briefs, pg 23


A campout to remember Theater Review Jean Lowerison Henry Ford and Thomas Edison camping together? What will these playwrights think of next? In fact, Ford and Edison apparently did camp together annually for some years, and in 1921, even invited President Warren G. Harding to join them. It would prove to be the last camping trip for Ford and Edison. Playwright Mark St. Germain (whose previous work “Freud’s Last Session” posits a meeting between the well-known founder of psychoanalysis and writer C.S. Lewis), begins here with the facts and imagines what Ford, Edison and Harding did out there in the woods together in “Camping With Henry & Tom,” playing through March 25 at Lamb’s Players Theatre. The trip starts with a less-than-felicitous event: Ford, driving his signature Model T, swerves to avoid a deer, but ends up hitting both the deer and a tree, cracking the car’s block, leaving the deer in distress and the campers without transportation out of the forest. What do you do when you’re stuck in the woods with no escape? Why, talk. St. Germain is known for characters who engage in clever repartee, and “Camping” is no exception. And these three are different enough characters to make this almost a discussion of how (or how not to) live one’s life. Robert Smyth plays Edison, the quintessential inventor geek, who comes on these camping excursions with at least one book and has enough self-confidence to admit gamely (after a failed joke) “Don’t worry; most of my inventions don’t work either.” He has a sharply cynical side (demonstrated in many

(l to r) Robert Smyth (Thomas Edison), Fran Gercke (Henry Ford) and Manny Fernandes (Warren G. Harding) have a mishap while on a camping trip. (Photos by John Howard)

funny comments), but most of the time, Edison just wants to be left alone with his imagination — and a book. Francis Gercke plays Henry Ford, the driven inventor of the machine that has since become the bane and/or pride of many commuters’ lives. Ford has invited Harding because he wants something: title to the Muscle Shoals, Alabama, area in which to build a power plant. It will take Congressional approval, and Ford (who also has presidential aspirations) is willing to do almost anything to get it ... even blackmail. Ford’s other less-than-admirable character traits (such as arrogance and virulent anti-Semitism) are not glossed over either. Manny Fernandes plays Harding, a senator who freely admits that he never wanted to be either married or president. He was named on the 10th ballot in 1920 after the convention deadlocked on the leading candidates because, he says, “I look like a president.” He died in 1923, about 2 1/2 years after his inauguration. He was popular at the time, but after his death, corruption in his administration (such as the infamous Teapot Dome scandal) sullied his reputation.

(l to r) Fran Gercke (Ford) tells a tale while Robert Smyth (Edison) and Manny Fernandes (Harding) react.

(l to r) Manny Fernandes (Harding), Robert Smyth (Edison), and Fran Gercke (Ford) at their camp.

“Camping with Henry & Tom” Through March 25 Lamb's Players Theatre 1142 Orange Ave. Coronado Wednesdays and Thursdays, 7:30 p.m. Fridays, 8 p.m. Saturdays, 4 and 8 p.m. Sundays, 2 p.m. Tickets 619-437-6000 or St. Germain brings these characters up to date with frighteningly familiar comments, like Ford’s desire to “make America great again” (but without the hats). But “Camping” isn’t about plot. Ford’s ambition drives what does happen, but it’s more a character sketch of these two American geniuses and the accidental president who went along for the ride one weekend. A fourth character is Col. Starling, Harding’s Secret Service man, who gets very little to do but is well played by Jordan Miller. Deborah Gilmour Smyth’s assured direction helps by staying out of the way and not trying to engineer plot points. But her most amusing choreography for Harding and Ford deserves mention. Ford conveniently brought the Edison-designed sound system, and the two cut a hilarious nonrug. Edison, of course, has his face buried in a book the whole time. Marty Burnett’s woodsy set (with trees, downed stumps and the like) certainly sets the tone for a camping trip. He’s aided by Nathan Peirson’s fine lighting and Patrick Duffy’s excellent sound design. Jemima Dutra provides clothes that no real camper would wear, but these guys had come from another event. Michael McKeon provides some excellent projections. “Camping with Henry & Tom” gives these four fine actors both the chance and the huge responsibility of creating drama out of words rather than action. They rise to the occasion brilliantly. —Jean Lowerison is a long-standing member of the San Diego Theatre Critics Circle and can be reached at


San Diego Downtown News | March 2018



The Boxing Club is coming

buildings, streets and businesses into a community with character.

yoga and Pilates classes in the state-of-the-art facility. A 30-foot graffiti mural will balance out the crystal chandelier which will hang over the boxing ring, while the grand glass ramp will lead to a massive painting of Edward Norton’s character in the famed “Fight Club” film. “With the first step into the club, you’ll know and feel that this isn’t just your regular fitness gym, this is a club that becomes a part of who you are,” Sharoshkin said. “And with the distinctive design weaved into the complete experience, we are making that difference known immediately.” Sharoshkin is actively working to make an impact on the progress of East Village with this new location. After emigrating from Russia in 2004, Sharoshkin worked as the janitor for The Boxing Club to pay for his fighter training. While fighting as a professional muay thai fighter, he worked his way up to a trainer and then became the training director for the gym. After years of fighting, he decided to hang up his gloves and set his sights on a new goal. In May of 2014, Sharoshkin was able to fully realize the dream he had when he first moved to the U.S. from Russia a decade earlier, when he became the owner of The Boxing Club. Since taking over, he has been able to not only grow the company, but also give back to the San Diego community. With his amazing drive and lack of fear, he hopes to expand the brand and culture he has created at The Boxing Club to the Downtown area of San Diego.

Why is the Clean & Safe program important to the Downtown community?

East Village Biz News Dora McCann Guerreiro I am pleased to announce that The Boxing Club – a fast-growing, award-winning fitness club in San Diego – is expanding to East Village this spring. Originated in La Jolla’s University Town Center shopping area, The Boxing Club (TBC) tapped into the growing demand for high-quality fitness training based on combat arts. With most fight clubs lacking upscale facilities and fitness clubs missing real-world combat proficiency, TBC filled the void by creating a unique experience for its customers, which brought together the two worlds of fitness and combat in an ultra-modern setting and customer-centric environment. “Our up-and-coming club mirrors the ‘happening’ nature of East Village,” said Artem Sharoshkin, owner and managing director of The Boxing Club. “The energy of Downtown is changing, and East Village is the latest neighborhood to drive that change — it is a perfect location for The Boxing Club, which we believe will become the new destination for the local residents as well as tourists.” The yin yang design of the 13,000-square-foot TBC East Village location will reflect the company’s approach to fitness and training programs that offer rigorous boxing, kickboxing, muay thai and jiujitsu training, alongside indoor cycling, high intensity interval training,

Padres Block Party in East Village

The East Village Association (EVA), the nonprofit that represents the 130-East Village Business Improvement District, has announced their largest fundraising event of the year, the eighth annual Padres Opening Weekend Block Party. Scheduled for March 30–31, the popular and festive block party is held on J Street to celebrate the first home games of the Padres’ 2018 season. Funds raised from this annual event allow for the successful planning and operation of EVA community beautification projects, business networking events and a “seat at the table” as the leading community voice. The EVA is looking for local sponsors to participate and are offering several unique sponsorship tiers. Those interested would not only increase their brand awareness and help the EVA meet its goals, but also support and interact with San Diego’s local Major League Baseball team and its many fans who enjoy the block party each year. For more information, visit We at the East Village Association are delighted to welcome TBC to our developing footprint. Artem and the rest of the team have been great to work with both professionally and personally. With their passion for sport, attention to detail, and a sense of community, TBC offers a new tone in gym appreciation, in that working out is not only good for your health, but is a healthy way to network and make lasting neighborhood connections. TBC East Village membership pre-sale specials are currently available. To learn more or sign up visit bit. ly/2ETCJwT or stop by their pre-sale studio location on 15th and J streets.

The Boxing Club’s 13,000-square-foot facility includes a grand entrance and a full service gym. (Courtesy EVA)

—Dora McCann Guerreiro is the executive director of the East Village Association. To learn more, visit or you can reach her at dora@ eastvillagesandiego. com.v

Clean & Safe is an integral part of the fabric of Downtown. Our safety and maintenance ambassadors do such important work. The Family Reunification Program is an initiative we can hold up as a successful collaborative effort between the Partnership, city, Housing Commission and the Police Department. Since June, we’ve placed more than 500 homeless individuals with support systems and loved ones. We also collected data from follow-up communication, which is important because we want to make sure that programs are results-based — and this one is. In general, we want to continue to give excellent customer service to all our residents, business owners and visitors to Downtown.

What do the next couple of months on the job look like as you settle in?

When I lived here, I was very involved in civic issues and in the Downtown community for more than a decade. Now, I’m taking some time to re-energize the relationships I already have, but I’m also focusing on forming new relationships with residents, business owners and Partnership board members. I also want to spend time getting to know staff members to better understand the strength of the team we have and to use our resources most efficiently and most effectively.


What do you most love about living in San Diego?

Because of its topography and the natural features that shape the land, there is so much uniqueness and vibrancy in many different parts of San Diego — particularly in Downtown. I like that when you walk out of your office door, you might see a farmers market or see people doing yoga in the park. That sort of vibrancy and excitement and joy is what excited me most about being back. I like to explore different neighborhoods and the best way to do that is on foot. You really get a sense of the area and the quirkiness of the different places. I love going to Padres games, going to the beach, getting a bite to eat at one of the hundreds of restaurants we have — and doing all of that with my kids.

Describe your experience specifically as a woman in leading an important Downtown organization.

Diversity and inclusion are really important tenets that I’ve focused on throughout my career and my life. I want as many different kinds of voices and people with different perspectives and experiences, so that we can have richer solutions. I also care very much about empowering other historically underrepresented communities throughout San Diego, whether that’s Latino, African-American, or low-resourced communities. It’s important to have these voices at the table to move forward together as a region. —Lana Harrison is the communications coordinator for the Downtown San Diego Partnership. She can be reached at

Having recently relocated back to San Diego with her two kids, Betsy Brennan takes on the role of president & CEO of the Downtown San Diego Partnership. (Courtesy DSDP)


San Diego Downtown News | March 2018

‘Save the date’ to honor Italian heritage with baseball Little Italy News Christopher Gomez The Little Italy Association will be partnering with other Italian cultural groups, Convivio and the Italian Cultural Center, to celebrate Italian heritage through the

sport of baseball in San Diego this spring. On Thursday, May 31, the organizations will come together to celebrate America’s favorite pastime — baseball — at the San Diego Padres “Italian Heritage Night” at Petco Park at 6:10 p.m. as part of the Padres vs. Marlins game. It’ll be a night-long celebration filled with Italian culture,

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special guests from Italy, a musical star from “America’s Got Talent” and, of course — baseball! Guests will have the option to purchase general admission tickets for $32–$33 or an elevated VIP experience for $95 on Petco Park’s Pacific Porch. General admission tickets include a commemorative hat and a complimentary mini-Italian flag. VIP ticket holders will receive additional perks, like unlimited food during the hour before and hour after the first pitch; unlimited Pacifico beer and soft drinks one hour before the first pitch until the seventh-inning stretch; a commemorative hat and limited-edition swag. Only a limited number of these tickets are available, so plan ahead. For every ticket sold, $3 will be split between the Rady Children’s Hospital President’s Fund, which supports any Rady Children’s Hospital department with the highest need at that time; and the Washington Elementary School Foundation, a nonprofit that promotes Italian culture education in schools and supports homeless youth. Sal Valentinetti, ItalianAmerican vocalist and 2016 “America’s Got Talent” contestant, will sing the national anthem at the game. An ItalianAmerican from New York, Sal’s family and friends refer to him as “Sal the Voice” for his flawless vocals and style influenced by Frank Sinatra. There will also be special guests from Italy. The first pitch will be thrown by Team Italy Baseball players Nico Garbella, and Giovanni Garbella; and Team Italy Softball player, Erika Piancastelli. San Diego locals and visitors alike are encouraged to honor Italian heritage with friends and family by attending Italian Heritage Night at Petco Park for a night filled with history, a live musical performance, a Padres game, food and more.

Join the Little Italy Association for Italian Heritage Night with the San Diego Padres (Courtesy LIA) To purchase tickets, visit The Little Italy Association is excited to join Convivio and the Italian Cultural Center to celebrate Italian culture and bring the community together. With Convivio advancing Italian culture in San Diego through educational events and programs, and The Italian Culture Center promoting Italian culture through language courses, arts and culture events, and special guests — this year’s Italian Heritage

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Night will be authentic and unforgettable. To stay connected with the Little Italy, check out what’s going on in the neighborhood by following us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @LittleItalySD. To learn more about the Little Italy Association, visit —Christopher Gomez has been Little Italy’s district manager since 2000. Reach him at

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Convivio honors Ann Navarra

Little Italy Heritage Tom Cesarini The Buzz: The life, passions, and accomplishments of San Diego’s Ann Navarra will take center stage at a dinner recognizing her as the 2018 recipient of the Convivio Communitas Award for Leadership. The annual award honors San Diego’s Italian-American community leaders who have transformed our region through their academic, business and civic achievements. A second-generation ItalianAmerican, Navarra cherishes memories of her Sicilian heritage as a child growing up in San Diego’s Little Italy. After graduating from Our Lady of Peace, Navarra earned a bachelor’s degree and a lifetime teaching credential from San Diego State University. Her passion for education inspired her to accept a teaching position at Marshall Elementary. The next chapter in her career found Navarra immersed in the family business — Jerome’s Furniture — a journey that culminated in her appointment as vice president of finance. Throughout her life, Navarra has answered the call to volunteer for many important causes. In 1979, she served as president of the San Diego Home Furnishings Association. Her regional leadership inspired appointments to the boards of the National Home Furnishings Association and the Western Home Furnishings Association. She was honored by the City of Hope in 2001, representing the home furnishings industry. In 1980, Navarra was elected to the board of the San Diego County Office of Education, where she served for three terms. She chaired the first board of AVID, now a globally recognized model of outstanding education, and is currently honored as a director emeritus. Navarra also served as chair of the board of the Academy of Our Lady of Peace. Currently a board trustee at the University of San Diego (USD), Navarra remains an advocate of

Ann Navarra (Courtesy Convivio) numerous local organizations, including the San Diego History Center and the Sulpizio Hospital at UC San Diego. The Scene: USD will provide a fitting backdrop for this celebration of Navarra’s lifelong commitment to education, quality health care and the dedication to excellence that defines her family’s entrepreneurial legacy. San Diegans are welcome to attend a dinner and awards ceremony (“roast style”) in her honor. In keeping with Navarra’s delightful sense of humor, the roast was her idea. The Convivio Communitas Award program will take place March 21, 6:30–9 p.m, at La Gran Terraza, located at 5998 Alcala Park, Hahn University Center, on the USD campus. Tickets will be available through the Convivio website. The Cause: Convivio is a San Diego nonprofit dedicated to promoting Italian arts, culture and heritage, through education and research, while embracing an innovative approach to cultural advancement. Join in our online community conversation. We look forward to learning your ideas and insights as we strive to realize Convivio’s vision: To be San Diego’s premier Italian cultural organization by cultivating enlightening and inspiring educational and social experiences. You can find all our program information at conviviosociety. org. Stay connected through Facebook and Twitter @ conviviosociety. —Tom Cesarini is the executive director of Convivio. Reach him at tom@conviviosociety. org.v

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NEWS BRIEFS motivate these people to check out books and utilize library resources. “Libraries are hubs for inspiration, discovery and opportunity that can change lives,” Faulconer said in a press release. “This new model encourages patrons to renew, return or replace materials they borrow and allow continued access to library services for San Diegans who need them the most.” Instead of late fines, patrons would only be required to pay for a book replacement if they do not return it within 30 days after the first overdue notice. This notice is given after the fifth, and final, renewal period. Aside from replacement costs, the patron would not accrue additional fees. Though the city currently collects $700,000 in overdue fees, over $1 million is spent for staff and materials to handle these fi nes. Most of the individuals billed with these late fees live in low-income communities, according to a library analysis by local zip code. “Overdue fines are creating unnecessary barriers to many of the people we're trying to serve,” said Misty Jones, San Diego Public Library director, in the release. “Too often I have heard librarians tell me stories about children who want to check out books to take home, but whose parents are unable

San Diego Downtown News | March 2018 to pay overdue fines to make this possible.” Mayor Faulconer’s proposal is a component of the city’s annual review of user fees, which will be in April. For more information about the library, visit


The Hopper, an integrated transportation and attraction service, will launch in San Diego this spring. The double-decker buses feature food concessions, Wi-Fi, electric outlets and on-board restrooms. All buses are ADA accessible and include underground storage. Customers can hop on and off the busses at six locations: Balboa Park, Embarcadero, Gaslamp Quarter, Little Italy, Old Town and Seaport Village. “We are thrilled to introduce this differentiated experience into San Diego and provide an unprecedented level of travel around the city with comfort and ease,” said Tom D’Amato, CEO of The Hopper, in a press release. “The Hopper will make it easier than ever for people to see the best spots in America’s Finest City, whether you’re visiting for a family vacation or making the most of a business trip.” The Hopper Plus package includes access to local attractions, such as Hornblower Harbor Cruises, the USS Midway Museum, Maritime Museum and more.


For more information, visit, email or call 833-RIDE-HOP.


InterContinental San Diego, a new 400-room hotel on the Downtown waterfront, is expected to open fall of 2018. This new establishment is part of Associated Luxury Hotels International’s (ALHI) West Coast expansion, which also includes a second California location, Portola Hotel and Spa at Monterey Bay. “California continues to be a very popular choice for groups of all sizes. We are very proud to offer these two outstanding new options to address the great demand,” said Mark Sergot, ALHI’s chief sales officer, in a press release. “InterContinental San Diego has a prime Downtown location and will offer incredible views as well as exceptional meeting space.” The San Diego hotel will include 35,000 square feet of meeting space, 7,000 square feet of outdoor space, two ballrooms, a restaurant with a bar, and an additional rooftop bar — The Sky Bar — with panoramic views of the Downtown area. It is located five blocks from Gaslamp Quarter, six blocks from the San Diego Convention Center and two miles from the San Diego International Airport. For more information, visit or call 866-303-A LHI (2544).v


San Diego Downtown News | March 2018


The colorful history of the Gaslamp Quarter Hotel

Gaslamp Landmarks Sandee Wilhoit To say that the Hotel Lester building has an ethnically-varied and colorful past would be a major understatement. Like all property in the Gaslamp, the original owner of the lots from 1301-1319 H St. (now 401-417 Market St.) was Alonzo E. Horton. He sold the property, lots A and B, to William and Mary Smith in 1868, but regained the property in 1872. On Nov. 11, 1872, he sold lot A to William T. McNealy and James McCoy for $1,000. Both are important figures in early San Diego history. McCoy, the county assessor, was a leading Democratic official, and over the years held the posts of county sheriff, city trustee, city tax collector and state senator. He was also a director of the Commercial Bank of San Diego, founded the Daily World newspaper, and owned 2,186 acres of county land, including Rancho Bernardo. McNealy was an elected district attorney, a member of the company receiving the street railway charter and the youngest judge in the state. They did not keep the property long though, and in 1885, the entire property was sold to Allen W. Hawley. A small building on the east end of the property, used by

J.N. Young as an undertaking business, was the only structure on the property until 1888. This small building was later to become the Sun Cafe. Tenants on the west end of the lots were A.D. Stewart and Thomas Stratton. They were blacksmiths and the same trade was continued at this location until 1897, although under several different tenants. In 1895, Hawley lost the property due to foreclosure, a mystery since his estate was valued at $60,000. The bank sold the property to John Nock for $10, who then resold it two years later to Archie and Maggie St. Peter for a considerable profit, $5,000. In 1904, Maggie St. Peter applied for a building permit for a two-story building with the lower floor to be used for stores or offices and the upper floor for lodgings. The architect of the structure was William Quayle, who also designed the Granger Building located at 964 Fifth Ave. The building was white-pressed brick with a composition roof, a basement, and an exterior stairway on the east side. The roofline featured denticulated cornices. The fi rst tenant at the west end of the building was William Sprague, who ran the Goodwill Saloon. The business remained, under several different proprietors until 1930. Walter V. Thomas, who became a part-owner of the structure, operated the

Goodwill from 1912-1921. Joseph B. Chamberlain took over operation of the Goodwill bar from Thomas and remained until 1925. As Prohibition was then in effect, the City Directory claimed that he sold “soft drinks.” After midnight, very strong coffee was served presumably laced with alcohol. In 1926, the Goodwill changed hands to Amerigo and Columbo Dini, who passed it off to their younger brothers, Mike and Sam McIntosh, in 1945. Mike and Sam originated the famous “McDini” corned beef sandwich, which is still proudly served at McDini’s in National City. In the 1980s and early ’90s, a popular coffee house, Bassam, operated in that location. It has now moved to Fifth Avenue. Other businesses operated in the building. The longest-running barber shop of the Gaslamp, the Panama Barber Shop, operated from 1921 until 1928 by James Murphy. The second-hand goods store proprietors, Max Radin and Nathaniel Kohn, remained until 1930. The billiards parlor, under the operation of Arisel Uribe and T. Arrellano, remained until 1920. In 1923, Aurelis Abito operated a billiards parlor in the same location calling it the International Pool Hall. Abito, a Filipino immigrant, was closely associated with developing the Filipino community and Filipino business enterprises in

The former Hotel Lester, 1906 and 1914; architects: William Quayle and Quayle Brothers; style: Romanesque (Courtesy GQHF) the Gaslamp. Additionally, he is credited with operating one of the finest ethnic restaurants in the area. One small business establishment is also reputed to have operated at this location, a Chinese lottery, located on the property’s west side. Although no mention can be found in the City Directory, many people claim to remember it fondly at 557 Fourth Ave. The Hotel Lester building was renovated and enlarged in 1914 by architects Charles and Edward Quayle, sons of the original architect, William Quayle. The original design of the building was seamlessly incorporated into the enlarged structure with one exception — the new addition did not have a basement. As the PanamaCalifornia Exposition was opening in 1915, the enlarged structure served as housing for exposition visitors, as well as additional commercial enterprises. The upper floor has always been a hotel; initially the Brighton Hotel and after 1915, Hotel Lester. The hotel has 23 rooms and in European fashion, bathing and toilet facilities were centrally located. While providing tourist accommodations, the Hotel Lester was the scene of less socially acceptable activities. Between 1921-1923, one of the most colorful residents, Bertha “Bonnie” White, arrived in San Diego with the intent of opening a “respectable” brothel. Her great-niece describes her as “one determined woman,” as Bonnie needed to provide for a very large extended family. She was born in a two-room shack on a “dry” ranch in Cokeville, Wyoming. Her grandfather, Samuel Whitney Richards, was a fi rst cousin of Joseph Smith, the founder of the Mormon Church. Richards, a practicing Mormon, had six wives. Bonnie’s mother was one of his 30 children. White was listed in the 1930 City Directory as “proprietress” of a hotel. Her permanent tenants were four gentlemen. She was later joined by her sister, Grace, who became dreary of the business shortly after her arrival and married John

DuPont. Yes, he was a member of the DuPont family, one of the richest families in America. White’s business lasted until 1940 when a new police chief, who was less amenable to this type of hotel, took office. During earlier times, the hotel was reputed to have a wire or a creaking mechanism under the 13th step to alert the ladies upstairs to police raids, enabling them to make a timely escape down the back-exterior stairway! Everyone but the police supposedly knew about this ploy. By 1978, the hotel was owned by Marilyn and Eugene Marx, local philanthropists, and Gaslamp restoration supporters, who renovated the building. Marilyn Marx founded the Gaslamp Gazette in 1979 and printed the first edition that November. The Gazette’s office was located in the 557 Fourth St. storefront, the former address of the Chinese lottery! Now called the Gaslamp Quarter Hotel, the hotel operates under a much higher standard than in White’s day, even housing law students from nearby Thomas Jefferson Law School. It was meticulously and beautifully restored by Chris and Vicki Eddy, the current owners who purchased the property in 2007 from the Rose family, owners of the Horton Grand Hotel. Vicki Eddy’s artistic and creative talents can be seen throughout the hotel’s Victorian-themed decor. Chris Eddy is a board member of the Gaslamp Quarter Historical Foundation and as he fondly says, “There’s so much charm and character and even something soulful about an historic Victorian building. The Hotel Lester building has been a steady, loyal host to generations of family businesses and served countless customers and guests in their lives and time. We feel privileged to be stewards for a brief bit of her colorful history.” —Sandee Wilhoit is the historian for the Gaslamp Quarter Historical Foundation. She can be reached at





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San Diego Downtown News | March 2018

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San Diego Downtown News | March 2018

Downtown News



Finish Chelsea’s Run 5k



Club Crawl San Diego

Join singles, tourists, locals and birthday groups as you are escorted to the best clubs in Downtown. Four clubs in one night. $25. 9:30 p.m.- 2 a.m. next day. Analog Bar, 801 Fifth Ave. Gaslamp, Downtown.

8th annual Finish Chelsea’s run, in honor of Chelsea King. The event will take place in Balboa Park, where Chelsea loved to visit and she practiced with the San Diego Youth Symphony. The event will feature a competitive 5K race and fun run/walk, family festival, children’s activities, team competition, entertainment and refreshments. 6:30– 11 a.m. Sixth Avenue and Olive Street, Balboa Park. bit. ly/2F3O3qw


Friday Night Liberty

From Gypsy to Belly Dancing to Flamenco

Every Friday night, Cafe Sevilla hosts this dinner show featuring an authentic threecourse meal. $45. 7 p.m. Cafe Sevilla, 353 Fifth Ave. bit. ly/2FbNQ3N

Science Festival ‘Expo Day’

Expo Day is a free, one-day event of the San Diego Science Festival, featuring 130 exhibits with hands-on learning activities and experiments. All ages. 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Petco Park, 100 Park Blvd.





Returning to the Balboa Theatre stage for the first time in seven years, Stomp is explosive, inventive, provocative, witty and utterly unique. Starting at $60. 2 p.m. Balboa Theatre, 868 Fourth Ave., Downtown.


Spill the Beans’ Bagels and Brews Pairing Event

Attendees will sample five unique bagel courses from Chef Andy Weiss to pair alongside pale ales, amber ales, IPAs and more. $20. 2–4 p.m. 555 Market St. bit. ly/2F77BJP

‘You are Here’ Student/ Faculty Art Show

This exhibit celebrates the creative energy found within San Diego-area higher education art departments and shifts that energy off campus to the Central Public Library. On display through May 6. 330 Park Blvd., East Village.

To be Wed, A Bridal Marketplace

Looking for a unique wedding space? Check out San Diego’s newest wedding venue, the Sandbox. This event features food and drinks from all wedding menus from We Cater San Diego. Sample food, get instant wedding quotes from reputable vendors and book them for your special day. We Cater San Diego is offering a special event promotion, $500 off your wedding catering package. Meet the vendors and plan your special day at Sandbox, 325 15th St. from 2–6 p.m. http://


The Super Run 5k

Seaport Village Spring Busker Festival

Professionals from across the country will perform their bizarre talents from sword swallowing to knife throwing to pogo stick tricks and juggling on unicycles. Free. 12–6


Music and Wine Pairing

India. The conversation features prominent professionals working in India as well as those with expertise treating the collections of Indian art that reside outside the subcontinent. Free. 10 a.m. San Diego Museum of Art, Museum Boardroom, Balboa Park.




Norwegian Cruise Line career fair. Free. Two sessions: 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. San Diego Marriott, 660 K St., Gaslamp Quarter. Apply bit. ly/2F7HSRA



The Super Run is the country’s largest Superhero Run that supports local and national charities. All ages. $45. 8-11 a.m. Embarcadero Marina North, 400 Kettner Blvd., Downtown.

Enjoy a beautiful evening at the San Diego Library where you can enjoy a beginner-friendly swing dance lesson and then some social dancing, to great music with a view. Free. 6:30–8 p.m. San Diego Central Library, 330 Park Blvd., East Village. bit. ly/2F7RDz4

Cruise Ship Job Fair


San Diego’s biggest monthly art walk. Meet working artists, enjoy dance, theatre, music performances and more. Free. 5–9 p.m. Dick Laub NTC Command Center, 2640 Historic Decatur Road, Liberty Station.

Swing Dance Under the Dome



Candidate Forum — the District Attorney Race

Come hear from two candidates vying for one of the most powerful roles in our local criminal justice system, Genevieve Jones-Wright and Summer Stephan. Free. 6–8 p.m. The Jacobs Center, 404 Euclid Ave., Rolando. bit. ly/2t2vu03




Founded in 2012, the San Diego Half Marathon is a premier race that celebrates the beauty and uniqueness of San Diego while raising money to help its communities. All net proceeds are donated to community service projects and local charitable causes. San Diego Half Marathon & 5K includes five miles of waterfront, four historic communities, three beautiful parks, two miles downhill through Downtown and an epic fi nish inside Petco Park. bit. ly/23ZQUEo

East Village Association Parking/Transit Committee Meeting

San Diego Central Library, Room 563 at 4 p.m.






‘Shutout! The Battle American Women Wage to Play Baseball’

The San Diego premiere of a new film by filmmaker Jon Leonoudakis. The feature-length documentary chronicles more than a century of gender discrimination infecting the national pastime; profiles the women who have succeeded in spite of it; and considers the path forward to make baseball more available to women. Fox 5 Sports anchor Tabitha Lipkin will join the fi lmmaker for Q&A. 1–4 p.m. San Diego Central Library, 330 Park Blvd., East Village.

See original musicians in a stripped down acoustic fashion paired with the best wines. An intimate, unique evening of wine, music and Panel discussion at community. $25. 21-and-up. SDMOA Vino Carta, 2161 India St., Mission Hills. “Approaches to Conversation: Works of Art from India” — Relish Speed Dating This panel discussion will exSingles event. If you’re tired plore the message that conserof online dating, this event is vators use to preserve works a fresh alternative. $29. Ages of art, with special focus on 25–39. 7–9 p.m. Upper East the materials, techniques, Bar, 616 J St. #101, East Vil- and challenges related to conservation of works of art from lage.




Lions Club 95th anniversary celebration

The event includes food from Mexican restaurant Las Hadas, live music from steel drummer Patrick Burke, games and raffles. Attendees are encouraged to bring along ideas for helping individuals in the Downtown region, as well as business cards to enter in the opportunity drawing. Free. 21 and up. 4–7 p.m. Lions Manor, Sheffield Room, 310 Market St., Gaslamp Quarter. Must RSVP at or call 619-239-7264.


Culinary Historians of San Diego will present “Contemporary Cuban Cuisine: Global Hybrid, World-Class Quality,” featuring Richard Feinberg. Professor Feinberg will speak on the ways Cuban cuisine has been influenced by the dishes of Spain, France, Africa, and China, as well as the broader Caribbean Basin. Free and open to the public. 10:30 a.m. Neil Morgan Auditorium, Downtown Central Library, 330 Park Blvd., East Village. Visit



Film Screening

Special screening of “The Homeless Chorus Speaks,” a documentary about The Voices of Our City Choir, produced by Susan Polis Schultz acclaimed documentarian and poet. Q&A with Steph Johnson, 8 p.m. Free. 6:45– 8:45 p.m. San Diego Public Library, Neil Morgan Auditorium, 567 S. 28th St., Sherman Heights.

Wine and Canvas: Hawaiian Tropics



27th Annual San Diego Music Awards

House of Blues presents the best of San Diego’s music scene honoring its 2018 winners. Awards will be presented for Artist of the Year, Song of the Year, Album of the Year, Best New Artist, Best Live Performer, and the best of all musical genres. It also includes a Lifetime Achievement Award. Performances by P.O.D., Trouble in the Wind, Sure Fire Soul Ensemble, Berkley Hart, Whitney Shay and Parker Meridian. 6 p.m. House of Blues San Diego, 1055 Fifth Ave.




March for Our Lives San Diego

The San Diego community has heard the call from our kids, the survivors of the school shooting in Florida, who are calling for a March on Washington and across the country to demand action on gun control. 10 a.m.–1 p.m. Waterfront Park, 1600 Pacific Highway, Embarcadero North.

Enjoy a fun evening at Hotel Indigo’s Table 509 in East Village. Admission includes everything needed to recreate the featured painting including easels, paints, brushes, aprons, step-by-step instructions from a local artist, and a 16-inch by 20-inch gallery-wrapped canvas. Tonight’s painting “Starry Mission Bay.” 6–9 p.m. Hotel Indigo Table 509,, 509 Ninth Ave., East Village.




Padres Opening Day Weekend Block Party

Swing into the 2018 baseball season with the 8th annual East Village Opening Day Block Party on March 30 at 2 p.m. and Saturday, March 31 at noon. Root for San Diego as the Padres play the Milwaukee Brewers. This is free, family community event and has become a San Diego tradition where locals and visitors show off their team spirit at Petco Park while exploring East Village. Games, live entertainment from local bands and DJs, baseball themed beverages and lots of great food. 2 p.m. J Street, adjacent Petco Park.



the Open Air. This concert will include works by today’s most compelling composers, such as Matt Aucoin, John Luther Adams and others. 7 p.m.


Contemporary Cuban Cuisine


San Diego Half Marathon




16 March




Padres Opening Day Weekend Block Party

Salsa Under the Stars

Dance the night away with Manny Cepeda and his orchestra in our beautiful outdoor courtyard. No partner or experience necessary for this free event. 6–9 p.m. The Headquarters Seaport, 789 W. Harbor Dr., Marina District, Downtown. Visit bit. ly/2CqnCtu.

Museum concert — Art of Élan: Lessons in Fragility

The gallery concert begins outside the San Diego Museum of Art with a special musical prelude linked to the outdoor sculpture The Watchers by Lynn Russell Chadwick, part of the museum’s public sculpture exhibition, Art of

Swing into the 2018 baseball season with the 8th annual East Village Opening Day Block Party as the San Diego Padres play the Milwaukee Brewers. This is free, family community event and has become a San Diego tradition where locals and visitors show off their team spirit at Petco Park while exploring East Village. Games, live entertainment from local bands and DJs, baseball themed beverages and lots of great food. Noon. J Street, adjacent Petco Park. v


San Diego Downtown News | March 2018


Fashion Files Diana Cavagnaro ‘Pretty in Pink’

The San Diego Opera (SDO) presented “Pretty in Pink” on Feb. 8 with a glamorous fashion show featuring the designs of Dame Zandra Rhodes. Held at the Del Mar home of Veronica and Miguel Leff, attire for the afternoon event was comfortably chic with a touch of punk, and took place around the pool with breathtaking views. The SDO Special Events Director Darin Dietz and San Diego Opera Ball “Pretty in Pink” Chair Sherry Ahern were there to greet the guests. The fashion show showcased 30 couture gowns ready for purchase and to wear at the upcoming Opera Ball. Mistress of Ceremonies Rhodes and the SDO provided entertainment for the event. Rhodes designed for Diana, Princess of Wales and continues to design for royalty and celebrities. The SDO commissioned her to design the costumes for her first opera, “The Magic Flute,” in 2001. Rhodes continued her association with the SDO in 2004 when she designed the set and costumes for Bizet’s “Les pecheurs de perles.” On April 7, the 2018 “Pretty in Pink” Opera Ball begins at 6:30 p.m. at The US Grant Hotel. The event will honor Rhodes. “Turandot” by Puccini, will be the next opera (previously held Feb. 24, Feb. 27 and March 2) on March 4. It is based on an ancient Chinese fable and some say that Puccini left the best for last. For tickets to both events, check out

Valentine’s Day fashions

McKenzie Rae Dresses presented a Valentine’s fashion show on Feb. 9, held Downtown at its store on G Street, featuring designs by Mac Duggal. Free gift bags were given out to the first 20 guests. Prizes donated by Gaslamp Quarter merchants were handed out such as a Valentine’s date night giveaway that included a free dress. Guests mixed and mingled enjoying a Champagne social. McKenzie Rae Dresses began the fashion show on a 50-foot permanent runway. The first half of the show presented cocktail dresses highlighting many red dresses in grand Valentine’s Day style. Designer short dresses and 2018 Mac Duggal prom dresses took over the second half of the show. Pageant Planet announced that they were the official pageant/prom retailer for the state of California. McKenzie Rae Dresses has a program that gives away free prom dresses. You can also enter a raffle to have your entire prom night paid for, including dress, dinner, flowers, limo, hair, makeup, airbrush tan, photo session, and a helicopter ride for you and three friends. If you would like to see these dresses up close, visit the store at 643 G St.

Models wearing Zandra Rhodes design Dame Zandra Rhodes with models at ‘Pretty in Pink’ show, presented by the San Diego Opera. (Photos by Diana Cavagnaro) Park. Showcases local students from San Diego Mesa College with a fashion show on April 26 and lecture by Susan Lazear. For more information, visit ●● March 1 | Open Hearts, Helping Hands: Enjoy this luncheon, awards and fashion show presented by Soroptimist International of San Diego from 10 a.m.–3 p.m. at the Sheraton Harbor Island Hotel Bay Tower. For more information, visit soroptimistinternationalofsandiego.og.

●● March 24 | Fashion with a passion: Hosted by Fashion Institite of Design & Merchandising, located at 350 10th Ave., third floor. From 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Benefits the Make-A-Wish Foundation. For tickets, visit —Diana Cavagnaro is an internationally renowned couture milliner based in the Historic Gaslamp Quarter. Learn more about our hat designer, teacher and blogger at

Models wearing McKenzie Rae Valentine’s fashions

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●● March 3 to June 26 | Fashion Redux: 90 Years of Fashion exhibition at the San Diego History Center in Balboa

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964 5th. Ave. 222 second st. / island market st. / 1rst. St. 500 w. broadway / india 600 w.C. St. / india 631 B st. 909 E st. 2500 6th. St. 1230 park blvd. 222 J. st. / 2nd. St. 1980 kettner bvld. #140 1747 kettner bvld. 1742 india st. 610 W. ash st. #110 1155 11 st. / B ave. 1549 india st.


San Diego Downtown News | March 2018

CalBRE License #00809392

Before you put your home on the market, call for a FREE marketing package.

Neuman & Neuman Real Estate successfully represented more buyers and sellers in 92101 than any other agent, team, or brokerage during the past 12 months with 118 closed transactions.

2BD / 2.5BA / 2,580

/ $1,750,000

2+BD / 2.5BA / 2,036

1+BD / 2BA / 1,474

/ $1,450,000

2BD / 2.5BA / 1,941

/ $1,589,000



2BD / 2BA / 1,474


/ $1,449,900


2BD / 2BA / 1,192

/ $1,199,000

2BD / 2BA / 1,572

LOFT / 2BA / 1,951

/ $899,900

2BD / 2BA / 935

2BD / 2.5BA / 1,338

/ $749,900

2BD / 2.5BA / 1,501




/ $439,900


/ $1,195,000

/ $735,000


2BD / 2BA / 1,474

/ $1,200,000


/ $1,175,000

/ $1,499,000

2BD / 2BA / 1,548


2BD / 2BA / 1,194

/ $1,199,000

/ $1,049,000


2BD / 2BA / 1,156

2BD / 2BA / 1,199

/ $799,900

1BD / 1BA / 1,036

coM co M


/ $624,900


/ $410,000

3BD / 3.5BA / 2,831


2+BD / 2BA / 1,404


/ $829,900

/ $1,499,900

Loft / 1BA / 734

2BD / 1BA / 958


loFT lo FT / 1BA / 441

/ $799,900


/ $533,900

/ $339,900

Š2017 Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties (BHHSCP) is a member of the franchise system of BHH Affiliates LLC. BHH Affiliates LLC and BHHSCP do not guarantee accuracy of all data including measurements, conditions, and features of property. Information is obtained from various sources and will not be verified by broker or MLS.

An Independently owned and operated franchisee of BHHS Affiliates, LLC. Data from Sandicor as of 2/27/2018

San Diego Downtown News March 2018  
San Diego Downtown News March 2018