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Columbia • Core/Civic • Cortez Hill • East Village • Gaslamp/Horton Plaza • Little Italy • Marina


Repurposed for a purpose CLIENT




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ShamROCK Page 3

Films that tell ‘every story’ Latino Film Festival changes venues and expands Timothy Rawles | Contributor The 22nd annual Latino Film Festival (SDLFF) is coming to San Diego and it promises to be more exciting than ever. With a new venue and the addition of a career expo, organizers expect that this year’s event will go beyond anything attendees have experienced before.

Woman of the year

➤➤ DINING P. 11

The four principals of RAD LAB, developers of Quartyard: (l to r) CFO Adam Jubela, COO David Lowenstein, CCO Jason Grauten and CEO Philip Auchettl (Courtesy Philip Auchettl) From the ocean

➤➤ THEATER P. 16

Politics and opera

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Downtown’s new pop-up urban park was the people’s choice Delle Willett | Contributor At San Diego’s NewSchool of Architecture and Design (NSAD), one of its core principles is teaching students to be independent, innovative, collaborative, and to engage in the local community. Three former students — Philip Auchettl, Jason Grauten and David Lowenstein — worked as a team and went well beyond the standard schematic or strictly research-based theses during their senior project in 201213. They actually went out and built something, with the hopes of making a difference in the community by making a thesis project into a reality. “They didn’t just talk about their project in theory, they lived it in practice, which is a testament to their personal drive,” said Chuck Crawford, NSAD associate professor and graduate coordinator. “We couldn’t possibly be more proud of them.” Two years in the making, the result of their efforts is “Quartyard” — a creative new gathering place for local residents, college students, businessmen and women, and

even dog owners — located at the corner of Park Boulevard and Market Street. It’s the first of its kind in San Diego — an innovative urban park using a former vacant lot Downtown— with a name that’s a play on the word “courtyard” due to the quarts of beer they plan to sell there. Believing everything has a purpose and a repurpose, the three grad students turned a 30,000-square-foot, longtime vacant and blighted lot into an exciting active space with a coffee shop, food trucks, live entertainment, and a beer garden that serves over 20 types of local craft beer. Quartyard also features a 5000-square-foot dog park, the first in Downtown San Diego, serving an estimated 13,000 dogs in the area. “It’s what the people told us they wanted,” Auchettl said. “We put up a sign that said, ‘What do you want here?’ and left some Sharpies so they could tell us. The poster was filled up in a matter of days. The community gave us lots of input with an overall constant theme — ‘somewhere to gather and socialize outdoors.’” Australian native Auchettl, 29, is CEO of a venture the three entrepreneurs now call RAD LAB (for Research Architecture Development). They hope that Quartyard

see Quartyard, page 4

Residents review plans for Lane Field Port’s development honors history with its future Catherine Spearnak | Contributor

A new fashion series

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Downtown residents recently got their first look at the proposed Lane Field South hotel complex, set to open on the Embarcadero in spring 2018, and they seemed to like what they saw. “The spatial layout is absolutely perfect,” said San Diego Downtown Residents Group President Gar y Smith,

to about 75 members of the public who attended a meeting held by the Port of San Diego. Smith and others gathered Feb. 19 to get a glimpse of initial renderings of the proposed hotel, retail and parking complex. Port commissioners will decide in June whether to approve the Lane Field South project design as presented. The public hearing was a chance for people to comment so the commission

see LaneField, pg 18

An artist’s rendition of Lane Field South (Courtesy Port of San Diego)

Ethan Van Thillo (Photo by Hutton Marshall) The festival begins on March 12 and will run through March 22, with films screening at both the AMC Fashion Valley 18 and the Digital Gym Cinema. Celebrating Latino films and the artists that make them, SDLFF will not only bring cultures together for 10 days of film, food and glamour, but also provide plenty of opportunities for aspiring artists to learn more about the entertainment industr y. Festival founder and Executive Director Ethan Van Thillo said

see SDLFF, pg 21


San Diego Downtown News | March 2015


(clockwise from above) St. Patrick's Day fun; revelers at last year's shamROCK (Courtesy McFarlane Promotions); a couple enjoys the Irish Festival in Balboa Park (Courtesy Irish Congress of SoCal)

Prepare to be shamROCKED

The luck of the green comes to San Diego Morgan M. Hurley | Editor San Diego is gearing up for the biggest celebration of green it’s ever seen. On Saturday, March 14, starting at 9 a.m. with the Irish Congress of Southern California’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade and 35th annual Irish Festival in Balboa Park and ending with the Gaslamp Quarter’s 21st annual shamROCK, San Diegans are in for an entire day filled with the luck of the Irish. Organizers say the parade is the largest this side of the Mississippi. St. Patrick’s Day, as observed by the Catholic and Anglican churches, is a cultural and religious celebration honoring the death date (March 17) of the most recognized patron saint of Ireland. A public holiday in both the Republic of Ireland

and Northern Ireland, St. Patrick’s Day — or the “Day of the Festival of Saint Patrick” as it is referred to there — not only celebrates Irish culture and heritage, it honors the arrival of Christianity to Ireland. Though widely celebrated in North America since the late 1800s, according to Wikipedia, there are only two places in the United States where St. Patrick’s Day is an official holiday; Suffolk County, Massachusetts, and Chatham County, Georgia. Despite this fact, here in America we still have to kick that celebrator y nature up a notch. The rest of us still use our unofficial holiday as a day to celebrate Irish culture and heritage by throwing lavish and often controversial parades, the wearing of green attire and by adding green

food coloring to ever ything we deem edible or drinkable. It is also a day known for its imbibery and overindulgence, and as Wikipedia says, “It is one of the leading days for consumption of alcohol in the U. S.” Here in San Diego, the Irish Festival — and its beer garden — opens its doors at 9 a.m. in Balboa Park west of Sixth Avenue and north of Laurel Street with a flag ceremony. San Diego’s St. Patrick’s Day parade starts at 10:30 a.m. at Fifth Avenue and Laurel Street and will have over 120 contingents. The parade will proceed north up Fifth Avenue to Upas Street, where it will turn right over to Sixth Avenue and proceed south on Sixth Avenue back

San Diego Downtown News | March 2015

to Juniper Street. This year’s theme is “Celebrating Faith and Freedom.” Following the parade, the Irish festival will continue until 6 p.m., with two stages and a beer garden. Bands include SDFFES Pipes & Dreams, The Fooks, Pocket Whiskey Fellas, Highland Way, Irish Rockin’ Rebels, The Shamrockers, Lexington Field, and Tony Cummins. shamROCK takes place that same day from 4 p.m. – midnight in the heart of the Gaslamp Quarter. Its huge block party, four stages, a 150 foot-long pub, more green beer than you can imagine, Jameson Whiskey flowing, go-go dancers, Irish river dancers, Celtic crooners, plenty of deejays and dozens of bands will help you keep your “Irish on” for the rest of the evening. Presented by Jameson Irish Whiskey, Bud Light and The Field, shamROCK will benefit the Gaslamp Historical Foundation, located at 410 Island Ave. The block party will feature 80,000 square feet of Astro turf starting at the main gate and its “pot of gold” at Sixth Avenue and E Street, all the way down to G Street. F and G streets between Fifth and Seventh avenues and will also be part of the sprawling block party. Over 20,000 revelers are expected


to take part in the event. Free designated driver shuttles will be available to all those wearing a shamROCK wristband. Shuttles will be available (look for signage) on E Street between Fifth and Sixth avenues and will take you home anywhere in the county. First come, first served, and VIP get front-of-the-line privileges. VIP ticket holders with wristbands also get complimentary drinks and in-and-out access to the block party as well as no cover and other food and drink specials at participating Gaslamp nightclubs, bars and restaurants. Three stages will be host music: The Pub Stage, located on Sixth Avenue between F and G streets: the Celtic music of Sligo Rags; the Fenians; the Ass Pocket Whiskey Fellas; The Fooks; the Shamrockers; and Down’s Family. The Luck of the Irish stage on Sixth and G streets: Jesse Marco; Rock It Scientists; DJ G-Roy; Fresh One; Deejay O; and DJ Big Dude. The Clover Stage, located on F Street between Fifth and Sixth streets: Hot Mouth; Kristina Sky; Adam Auburn; Brady Spear; Beefam; Huy Believe; and DJ Engage. The Field Irish Stage will feature live bands performing Irish rock, Irish punk rock and other Irish favorites. Tickets are available online and cost $40 for general admission $40 through March 13, and will be $45 the day of. VIP tickets are $85 through March 13, and $95 the day of. For more information about shamROCK or to buy tickets, visit For more information about the St. Patrick’s Day parade and Irish Festival, visit —Reach Morgan M. Hurley at


San Diego Downtown News | March 2015


(l to r) a shipping container gets placed on the Quartyard lot; a bird’s eye view of the multi-use space; a phone booth gets a new life as an ATM machine (Courtesy Philip Auchettl) FROM PAGE 1

QUARTYARD will serve as a national model for how vacant lots can be used for more than parking, and demonstrate how positive changes can quickly and economically turn an empty lot into a thriving interactive urban space. Here in San Diego they will continue to look for new locations, not just in Downtown, but in the greater San Diego area. “Quartyard is a model that can be taken anywhere,” Auchettl said. “If there’s a piece of property sitting and collecting vagrancy, we can get in there — we’d love to be a part of it.” Though unique to San Diego, this is not the first urban park of this nature. Parks like Quartyard have been done for years in other parts of the world, but the creators are taking urban parks to a whole new level with shipping crates,

food trucks and a dog park. One of the challenges the team faced was that since this type of multi-use space had never been done in San Diego before, there was a substantial learning curve in the process for securing a conditional-use permit from the city. There was no box for them to check or model for them to look to for guidance. Despite the challenges, the team looks forward to seeing their hard work come to fruition during a grand opening that will take place Saturday, March 7, from 5 – 10 p.m. The permanent tenants at Quartyard include Best Beverage Catering, which operates the beer garden and a full bar; restaurateur Scott Slater operating a Sausage & Meat sandwich shop; and a mini version of John Bertsch’s Meshuggah Shack coffee shop. The Quartyard is open every day of the week, closing at 10 p.m. weekdays and midnight on weekends.

Just about everything at Quartyard is repurposed, starting with the 14 full-size shipping containers on the lot. They were purchased in Long Beach, shipped to San Diego and lifted into place, where they now serve as restaurants, shops and restrooms. Paul Basile of Basile Design customized the containers to fit the individual needs of each tenant. When it’s time to move to a new location, the vendors have the option of packing up their crate and moving with Quartyard’s RAD LAB to their next venue or going somewhere else on their own. Also repurposed are large oil barrels as trash receptacles; dumpsters made into tree planters; a Britishstyle phone booth is now an ATM machine; and the colorful bar tables and benches were made from old wooden fences. Half a dozen large African Sumac trees from a local nursery are placed among the family-style tables, providing shade. The repurposed planters are wrapped with a recycled wood shelf to hold beverages and snacks. Kudos to Brennan Hubble — of Mooch Exterior Designs in North Park — for overseeing the outdoor furniture and landscaping. A canopy structure inside the beer garden has an event stage and everything needed to showcase musical events and other performances. They’ve also installed a 40-square-foot prep kitchen and an event-catering station to service the catering needs of the event stage. In addition, the entire space has WiFi, a feature sure to please students and business folk alike. Other intended uses for the Quartyard include art and fashion shows, film festivals, educational events, farmers and craft markets, as well as rotating food trucks. The RAD LAB team also hopes to feature NewSchool student work, including pop-up exhibitions. The Quartyard was partially funded by San Diego residents through Kickstarter, a crowd sourcing campaign that generated $60,000 from nearly 3,000 donors in just 30 days.

The city will receive performance-based rent from the space, and those proceeds will be earmarked for the city’s Affordable Housing Fund. Civic San Diego is currently looking for a developer of a high-rise residential tower for that same block. When that happens, Quar tyard will pack up and move to a new site when the lot is sold. The existing lease can be extended in 12-month increments if the permanent development is not yet ready to break ground by July 2016. “We are very grateful to Richard Seges of Civic San Diego, who’s been on board with us from the start,” Auchettl said. “Everyone there has been wonderful.” Auchettl said he is also grateful for the NewSchool of Architecture and Design. “The faculty pushed us to interact with the community to make this project a reality,” he said. “We were encouraged to meet with local community groups, the mayor and Civic San Diego. “Meeting with so many different influential community members opened up a lot of doors. Without the encouragement of the NewSchool of Architecture and Design, this project would not have been possible,” Auchettl said. “RAD LAB has inspired a new class of NewSchool of Architecture and Design students to follow in their footsteps,” Crawford said. “The whole student body is excited and motivated to actually go out and do something to improve our local neighborhood.” Crawford said the Downtown architectural school has a group of students that are currently working on a similar project in North Park, and their graduating class is working on a proposed “parklet” for East Village. “Not only is RAD LAB personally advising a small group of students, but we have them talk to every incoming class at NewSchool,” Crawford said. In addition to Auchettl, RAD LAB consists of Grauten as chief creative officer, Lowenstein as chief operating officer, and Adam Jubela, who wasn’t part of the original thesis team but provided financial input and is acting as the general contractor for the site’s development work. For more information or tickets to the grand opening, visit To learn more about RAD LAB, visit —Delle Willett is a PR consultant and a freelance journalist. She does pro-bono work for organizations that empower women and work to end world hunger. Reach her at

San Diego Downtown News | March 2015




San Diego Downtown News | March 2015


Renewed Starlight Bowl use Suggestion [See “Balboa Park: Starlight continues to dim,” Vol. 16, Issue 2]: Starlight seems like an ideal place for young folk band concerts starting around 10 – 11 p.m., Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Here’s why: plenty of parking after museum and theater closings; no concern for noise level or air traffic; room for dancing in the parking lots; bring in a few food trucks; designated drinking area for those over 21, or designated area for people under 21. Maybe even allow some tent pitching until 10 a.m. the next morning in the local grass areas. Keep the bathrooms open all night. —Elizabeth Nolan via email


Californians need ‘death with dignity’ law By Judy Waterman I am writing in strong support of the “End of Life Option Act” (SB-128). This legislation would allow a mentally competent, terminally ill person in the final stages of their disease to request medication from a physician to bring about a peaceful death. The availability of this option can also provide peace of mind to those who are dying and for their families. Aid in dying is a very important issue to me and I’d like to tell you why. At the end of my mother’s life, she was in excruciating pain from cancer. Her life had become unbearable. One night, alone, she went to her garage and took her life with a gun. A very violent act, that is hard to erase from my mind. She would not have had to do it if the “end of life option” had been in place in California. SB 128 is modeled after Oregon’s 1997 “Death with Dignity Act.” The extensive — and important — safeguards in SB-128 will ensure that the choice made by a terminally ill person to access aid in dying is informed, deliberate and voluntary. Oregon’s experience demonstrates that this law, with safeguards to protect against any abuse, can improve end-of-life pain management and health care for all terminally ill people whether choosing to access aid in dying or not. We should always provide quality end-of-life care for people who are suffering from an incurable and irreversible terminal illness. Yet if a person has only months, weeks or even days to live, when there is nothing else that medicine can treat and it becomes impossible to provide relief from pain, we should allow that person the option to end their pain and suffering by shortening their dying process. I urge you to support this important bill. For more information, contact   —Judy Waterman is a local retired freelance ar tist and photographer who is now dedicating her time to the passage of California›s SB-128, the End-of-Life Option Act. She can be reached at  

What to do after an accident to save time, money and your sanity By Evelyn Levine Solis The biggest risk a person can take is getting behind the wheel of a car. According to a study by IHS Automotive, an auto industry research firm, the United States reached a record-breaking 253 million vehicles vying for space on roads across the nation this year, an increase of more than 3.7 million and levels the auto industry hasn’t seen since 2004. With the number of automobiles approaching the population of the U.S., the odds of getting into an accident are stacked against even the most cautious drivers. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) approximates 16 million auto accidents occur in the U.S. each year, with only about 30 percent reported to law enforcement. The majority stem from the use of alcohol or drugs, excessive speed or distractions that range from texting, daydreaming, to primping in the rearview mirror. Within that wide range, it isn’t any big surprise that the use of cell phones accounts for one in every four accidents. To minimize lost time, money and gain peace of mind after an automobile accident, follow this five-step protocol: 1) Stay calm and pull over to the side of the road.  In the aftermath of an accident, it is common for those involved to experience extreme anger, fear, panic or shock. But it’s times like these where staying calm benefits not only those directly involved, but also those who are indirectly affected. To ensure the safety of everyone, turn on your hazard lights, remain in the vehicle and

pull over to the right shoulder if possible. 2) Call 911 and seek medical attention if necessary. Even in minor accidents, alert police and first responders immediately. Sudden rushes of adrenaline or shock from the impact can often temporarily mask injuries. Take precautions and call for help, but only discuss apparent or potential injuries and damages with law enforcement or insurance company personnel. 3) Exchange information, but watch what you say. In the absence of law enforcement, it is critical to obtain information regarding the other driver. In addition to name and contact numbers, record license plate numbers, model and make of cars involved, proof of vehicle registration and the name of the insurance carrier with a policy number. Exchanging information is important, but at no point apologize, admit fault or assign blame — even in a situation where it is apparent — leave judgment to the authorities and insurance adjusters. If faced with belligerent or accusatory drivers or passengers, stay focused on productive actions. An accident can have a lasting impact on a driver’s future, as well as insurance premiums. 4) Make an accurate record. Photographs and video can play a significant role in determining fault, damages and insurance compensations. The most opportune time for photographs is before police officers or paramedics appear, as accident scenes are often cleared by

see Opinion, page 7

America’s Finest City needs more toilets For many years, designers of Downtown San Diego have restricted, eliminated, exempted, and otherwise reduced the number of toilets in the Downtown area. We have such things as a CVS Pharmacy at Fifth and C, for example, with no toilets, as well as a Fed-Ex (formerly Kinko’s) in the same block without any. We seem to be the only U.S. city where using a toilet, or even finding one, is a huge problem. None of this has to do with saving water, as it all goes back many years. With the graying (aging) of our average population, plus our emphasis locally on tourism, this is unacceptable. If water is the current issue, then we need to flush toilets with seawater, or use the no-smell, water-free toilets currently available, such as the Rockefeller Family’s Clivus Multrum design [composting] toilets. For years, the perception has been that toilets bring in homeless, and that brings in drugs. Wrong. Homeless in the U.S. stay out of San Diego as it is an awful place for them to live. Our homeless here are from San Diego’s suburbs, as well as nearby rural places. They would prefer to live someplace else, but that is not practical, and most do not use drugs, nor would they have the money to buy drugs, anyway. If you ask them where they were born, it is another city, but that was long ago, and they have been working here and been a San Diegan for 15 or 20 years before becoming homeless. So, not only do the tourists, the elderly, and the older tourists need them, but the business people also need more toilets Downtown. The problem has become a critical one due to many years of preventing and eliminating toilets. And, yes, the homeless need toilets, too. Look at all the brown sidewalk stains, which are dried urine, and the cost of power-washing every day. Costly. Look at the city›s reputation and public relations regarding tourism. Important. We cannot afford to be laughed at as America’s Toilet-less City. The homeless issue isn›t going to go away just by having no toilets. The sidewalks will be cleaner, sanitation will be better, the city will be healthier, look better, have more prestige, and invite better tourism with more toilets Downtown. Toilets aren›t cheap, but are an excellent investment in the future (and present). Let›s live up to what we say we are, America›s Finest City.v —Dr. John Kitchin, publisher, San Diego Homeless News, via emailv

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OPINIONS/LETTERS: San Diego Downtown News encourages letters to the editor and guest editorials. Please email either to morgan@ 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 morgan@ 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 2015. All rights reserved


Atkins with members of women’s caucus (Photo by Jeff Walters)

Notes from Toni Toni G. Atkins | Assembly Speaker March is National Women’s History Month. Every year the National Women’s History Project selects a theme through which to examine women’s history. This year’s theme, “Weaving the Stories of Women’s Lives,” reminds us that women’s voices matter. Women are an integral part of our nation’s history, from Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton who inspired the nation-wide women’s suffrage movement, to California-native Sally Ride, who was both the first woman and youngest American to travel to space. While these women have set historical milestones, this year’s theme recognizes the everyday contributions that women make to our society. Women make a big impact whether or not their deeds are recorded in histor y books. Nearly half of all households with children under the age of 18 include mothers who are either the sole or primar y source of income. In addition to being the cornerstone of many California


Taylor Schulte, founder and CEO of Define Financial and a regular finance contributor for San Diego Downtown News, has received SD Metro’s 2015 “Metro Movers Award” for his contributions to the financial planning profession. “I am honored to receive the Metro Movers award and be part of this select group of San Diegans making a difference in their professions and in the community,” Schulte stated in a press release. “I started this company to provide objective financial advice and help clients build a successful financial future, and I am thrilled to be recognized for my work.” The award is given to those in the local community who have made outstanding contributions to their fields and are poised to add to their achievements in 2015. Schulte, a resident of Normal Heights, founded Define Financial in June 2014. His firm specializes in financial planning and wealth management for people and small businesses. Prior to that, Schulte worked as a financial advisor at Morgan Stanley and had previously launched the San Diego operations for Beverly Hills Wealth Management. Schulte can be reached at


The San Diego Health & Wellness Fair for Veterans is being held April 25 at Liberty Station in Point Loma, the former site of the Naval Training Center and Navy Recruit Training Command. Hosted by KAPN Consulting, the event is free

families, women are leaders in sectors as diverse as biotech, hospitality and education. Unfortunately, gender disparities still exist in the workplace. Nationally, women continue to make an average of 77 cents for every dollar made by their male counterparts. This statistic hasn’t budged in the last decade. Despite holding 52 percent of all professional level jobs, women only account for 14 percent of executive officers and only 8 percent are top earners. That is why this year the Legislative Women’s Caucus is focusing their legislative agenda on securing economic opportunity for all women and families. We will be looking at legislation to ensure fair pay and just working conditions, expand affordable childcare, and to ensure that working families have the resources and opportunities they need to provide for their loved ones. We also look forward to recognizing extraordinary women from our communities during our annual Woman of the Year ceremony in Sacramento. This year’s honoree is Ms. Betty Peabody of Point Loma. For the last 30 years, Betty Peabody has worked toward the success of San Diego’s treasured Balboa Park through her duties as a founding member of the Balboa Park Millennium Society, a member of the board of directors of the San Diego Museum of Man, and as a member of the Central Balboa Park Association. It’s fitting to honor Betty — particularly as we celebrate the Centennial of the California-Panama Exposition in Balboa Park. Over the course of her career she was also a historian and author of “Women Physicians in Early San Diego.” She served for all veterans and active duty military attendees and their families, with free, on-site childcare offered. The event will provide information about automobiles, education, finances, law enforcement/security, nonprofit organizations, promotional products, real estate, and aid for at-risk veterans. Created to provide information and services for both male and female veterans, the fair will also cover emotional, physical, spiritual, social, environmental and medical services. Other health and wellness-related organizations that wish to participate can rent booth space for $105. The event will be held at the Liberty Station Conference Center, 2600 Laning Road from 9 a.m. to noon. For more information, visit


The San Diego Festival of Science & Engineering needs science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) professionals to volunteer for some events. The festival is a weeklong event that encourages children to engage in STEM-related fields. It begins on March 14 and runs through March 21, when the festival culminates with its Expo Day at Petco Park. There are still volunteer positions open for the “Ask Me Booth” on Expo Day. The volunteers are given buttons labeled “Ask Me, I’m A Scientist (or Engineer).” While there, they answer questions in order to inspire kids and adults who hope to become future scientists or engineers. Various times for shifts are available and the booth is located in a lounge setting. The festival also needs help with its Fireside Chats on Expo Day. Industry experts host something similar

on many community boards while helping raise four children and eight grandchildren. Ms. Peabody’s story is a microcosm for the contributions that women make all over California and our great nation. Women bring diverse perspectives to the work place. They support their families financially and emotionally. They make our communities stronger. This month, take the opportunity to say thank you to the women who make a difference in your life. Around the District and the Capitol Please join us at River Kids Discovery Days the morning of March 14 for our monthly Team Toni volunteer event. We’ll be painting a community art project along the San Diego River … In my local office and on the Assembly floor in Sacramento, we wore red for the “Go Red for Women” campaign, to raise awareness about women and heart disease … We’re working on several proposals this session, including plans to increase funding for affordable housing and transportation and to take a closer look at University of California funding in the push to keep tuition affordable for California’s college students. We also have drawn wide support in San Diego for the Pacific to Plate Act to make it less complicated for local fishermen to organize fish markets in their communities. For more information, please go to my website, where you can sign up for my enewsletter or get the latest news on legislation and other activities. You also may follow me on Twitter, @toniatkins.v to TED Talks that give attendees the opportunity to listen and ask questions. The Fireside Chats are held in the Mercado areas. There are also spots open for the Nifty 50 Speaker Series. Volunteers will partner with teachers and college students studying STEM topics to hold exciting classroom presentations. More than 80,000 people are planned to participate in festival week and Expo Day. For more information and program applications, visit


The city of San Diego will once again consider its own plastic bag ban now that the statewide ban has been put on hold until a referendum vote decides the law’s fate in 2016. California Secretary of State Alex Padilla certified the signatures gathered to put a referendum on the November 2016 ballet to repeal the state’s plastic bag ban (SB 270) that Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law last year. According to the American Progressive Bag Alliance, more than 800,000 signatures were submitted by Dec. 29, which is the deadline to qualify the referendum. Mayor Kevin Faulconer instructed the city staff to restart the environmental review process needed to bring a plastic bag ban to the City Council for a vote. Council President Sherri Lightner reaffirmed her support for the measure. “The citizens of San Diego treasure our vibrant communities and beautiful coastline, as well as a healthy ocean, and that’s why the pollution caused by billions of these single-use plastic bags simply can’t continue,” Lightner stated in a press release. To date, 138 California municipalities have enacted a plastic bag ban.v

San Diego Downtown News | March 2015 FROM PAGE 6

OPINION police soon after they arrive. Before taking the first shot, activate the camera’s date and time indicator. Start with general photos, followed by scene-specific images that capture the conditions of the road, weather, obvious obstructions, traffic indicators, broken glass, skid marks on the pavement and any damage to signs, trees, guardrails or fences. Also document all cars involved in the accident — from every angle — and include images of any injuries. Evidence from photographs can serve to reconstruct the scene for law enforcement and insurance adjusters and lend strong support to a claim in the days and weeks ahead. In the absence of a camera, take copious notes. Record everything, from the officer’s badge number to the accident case report number, as well as the accident location, date, time of day, weather, road conditions and names and contact information of any witnesses to the crash. 5) Report a claim. In addition to wrecking a fender or a taillight, accidents have the potential to derail a person for a day, a week or several months if proper actions and protocol are ignored.


Laws regarding claims differ from state to state, but California law, for example, requires a motorist to report to the DMV within 10 days any accident with property damage over $750 and where an injury or death occurs. Regardless of severity, always report an accident. Keep any relevant information and images organized in a safe place and provide them to the insurance adjuster when appropriate. Accidents are unfortunate but common in every state across the U.S., and though it is almost a rite of passage — albeit an unpleasant one — to at some point experience the frustration and inconvenience of being involved in one, minimize the fallout by following this five-step protocol and utilize the services of law enforcement, medical and insurance professionals — and if necessary, consult a lawyer. — Evelyn Levine Solis is a partner at Pyka Lenhardt Schnaider Zell and practices in civil litigation with an emphasis in personal injury cases involving motor vehicle accidents, trucking accidents, slip-and-fall accidents, construction accidents and wrongful death. She has successfully defended city governments, police officers, school districts and private businesses throughout the state of California. You can reach her through the firm’s website,


San Diego Downtown News | March 2015


The interior of Parq Restaurant & Nightclub (Photo by Mike Newton)

On the scene Downtown Posh new nightclubs are upping the energy level Kai Oliver-Kurtin | Contributor The Gaslamp Quarter recently welcomed several new nightclubs to the district, bringing lavish parties, celebrity entertainers, luxurious ambiences and upscale dining to the quintessential hub of San Diego nightlife. Here are a few of the new venues drumming up buzz among partygoers.


A brick tunnel separates the dining room from an adjoining nightclub at Parq Restaurant & Nightclub, where diners can enjoy contemporary American fare before heading over for a night of dancing. After sitting vacant for two years, Parq took over the space at 614 Broadway, formerly occupied by On Broadway. Following a multimillion-dollar renovation, Parq opened in October. “My vision for Parq is to be the first dining and nightlife venue in San Diego that incorporates the best of Las Vegas, Ibiza, Miami and New York hospitality,” said owner Carlos Becerra. “The restaurant and nightclub are tied together with the overall theme of playfulness of being in a park,” Becerra said. “Design-wise, the two areas are juxtaposed — the restaurant is light and airy with high, open-air ceilings, while the nightclub is more dark, sultry and cavernous.” Prior to taking the helm at Parq, Executive Chef Errol LeBlanc was working in the kitchens of Paris Las Vegas, Aureole Las Vegas and Mandalay Bay. Most recently, he served as the executive chef of Downtown’s Cafe Sevilla. The ladies lounge at Parq has makeup artists available for touchups throughout the evening and its own private bar. The open-air restaurant contains a 12-foot vertical organic garden, and the nightclub has aerialist acrobats and a massive LED screen. Something entirely unique to Parq is its mascot, Rocatron, a 10-foot robot whose job is to keep guests entertained. With so much to share on social media, phone chargers are located in every booth to allow guests to keep their personal electronics in working order. The 20,000-square-foot nightclub is open Fridays and Saturdays from 9:30 p.m. — 2 a.m., and the restaurant serves dinner Tuesday through Saturday from 5 — 10 p.m. Soon the restaurant will be introducing Sunday brunch and a weekly happy hour. For more information, visit


A smaller, more intimate venue, AD Nightclub opened last August, inheriting its unique, L-shaped

floor plan from Red Circle. With religious undertones apparent throughout the 4,300-square-foot space at 905 Fourth Ave., AD’s modern cathedral setting includes vaulted ceilings and stained-glass chandeliers. The staff’s uniforms are ornate, avant-garde costumes made exclusively for AD, playing into the fantasy element of the nightclub’s whimsical theatrics. “AD is exquisite [with] exceptional attention to detail,” said Bayless Cobb, principal partner. “Every nook and cranny has something new to explore — even if you come a dozen times, you haven’t seen all the details.” Due to its limited capacity, Cobb said AD has a different dynamic than its larger Downtown competitors. After undergoing a $3 million renovation, the space has 12 tables that surround the dance floor, disc jockey booth and performance hubs, and all bottle service booths include safes and cell phone chargers. Though originally designed as a sister club of AV Nightclub in Hollywood — which is open only one day a week — for now, AD is open Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays, and being a smaller venue, it will allow them to open for special events on off-nights during the week as well. Once the Horton Plaza park redevelopment project across the street is finished and the park is open, AD will pull up its garage door windows and incorporate a full-service restaurant into the business. In the mean time, they have a monthly dinner club where well-known chefs take over the kitchen for a night, offering five – 10 courses with drink pairings. “When we started out, we emphasized local talent — DJs, Cirque de Soleil performers, contortionists, aerial acrobats, stilt walkers and dancers,” Cobb said. “Since then, we’ve added in lots of topselling artists and celebrities.” Previous per formers at AD include French Montana, DJ Mustard, Tinashe, K Camp, Jeremih, Mya and Fabolous. For more information, visit adnightclub. com.

taurant, R Gang Eatery in Hillcrest. Taking its name from the historical Florentine architectural style of the building, Florent serves “global gastro” fare, ranging from duck à l’orange meatballs to creole risotto. A popular happy hour destination during the week (Monday through Friday from 4 – 7 p.m.), the venue transforms from a restaurant into a nightclub on the weekends starting at 10 p.m. “We’re an upscale but casual restaurant and lounge where dining meets dancing on the weekends,” said General Manager Jared Vallon. “We have some fun DJs that come in and bring up the energy level.” Florent has live acoustic music on Wednesday nights during happy hour, and disc jockeys play dance music Thursday through Sunday nights. A versatile space, Florent has become a place to watch the game, host private parties, or enjoy VIP bottle service. “We thought Fifth Avenue needed a place like this,” Vallon said. “We wanted the décor to be sexy, chic and approachable, and I think we nailed that.” Florent is open daily for brunch, lunch and dinner, plus latenight dining. The 8,000-square-foot venue has two levels and outdoor patio seating. Visit for more information.

Coming soon

Cake San Diego is set to open this month at 755 Fifth Ave., replacing Voyeur. It comes after the success of Cake Scottsdale, open for the last year in Arizona. This 10,000-square-foot Las Vegas-style club will have disc jockeys, acrobats and dancers. Omnia San Diego is taking over the building formerly occupied by Stingaree at 454 Sixth Ave. Following the debut of Omnia Las Vegas at Caesars Palace, Omnia San Diego is set to open in April after completing a full remodel. It will remain multi-level and include both indoor and outdoor spaces. Avalon San Diego will open at 345 B St., a 25,000-square-foot music venue that previously housed 4th & B. The club will be modeled after the 10-year-old original Avalon Hollywood in Los Angeles, and its primary focus will be electronic dance music. An opening date has not yet been announced. —Kai Oliver-Kurtin is a local freelance writer. She enjoys covering events, restaurant news, culture and entertainment. Contact her at kai.


A more casual environment for dining and dancing, Florent Restaurant & Lounge opened last July in the Old City Hall building at 672 Fifth Ave., replacing Jimmy Love’s. Executive Chef Rich Sweeney competed on Bravo TV’s “Top Chef” before opening his other San Diego res-

Florent on Fifth Avenue and G Street (Photo by Demi Johnson, A7D Creative Group)

San Diego Downtown News | March 2015


BUSINESS SPOTIGHT Banc Home Loans Steven Sawyer 858-465-1008 | With building on the upswing and the housing market in recover y, there are more new home options on the horizon in San Diego than there have been in many years. Given the time that has passed since the early downturn of the housing market here in San Diego, many previous owners who lost their home due to economic difficulties may now be able to again pursue the dream of home ownership. “At Banc Home Loans, our mission is to open more doors to homeownership with programs unmatched in our industr y,” said realtor Steven Sawyer. “We offer borrowers a comprehensive suite of loan programs such as VA, FHA, jumbo and conventional loans, but in addition, we offer flexible common sense portfolio programs.” Some of these more flexible lending programs use alternative qualifying methods. “Good people deser ve a second chance, and our one-day out of short sale or foreclosure program provides that,” Sawyer said, adding that the flexible programs Banc offers allow previous buyers to get back into a home following a mortgage default faster than they dreamed possible. For individuals looking to get back in the game of home ownership, Sawyer stressed the importance of education and learning about all lending options now available under changing lending guidelines. To learn more contact


San Diego Downtown News | March 2015


Eat your way toward a chance at winning a free seven-day trip (for two) to Milan for the city’s Expo Milano 2015, an arts and culinary celebration that runs from May through October. Guests ordering from the “expo prixe fixe” menu at Monello in Little Italy between March 1 and June 30 will be entered into the raffle. The prize package includes roundtrip airfare, lodging at Park Hyatt Milan, four meals at restaurants selected by Monello’s owners, two-day expo passes and more. San Diego Councilmember Todd Gloria will pick the winning entry on July 6 at Monello. 750 W. Fir St., 619-501-0030.

Chef Christian Graves (Courtesy The Nth Element)

While two-thirds of the country remains blanketed in snow, cocktail wizard Anthony Schmidt has rolled out a new menu of “drinksfrom-sunny-places” at Fairweather overlooking the gates of Petco Park. Among the newcomers Schmidt resurrected and revised from old cocktail journals is the “tropical itch,” a Hawaiian bourbon-rum concoction with fresh pineapple that reportedly became the first cocktail served with a paper umbrella. Others include classic Caribbean pina coladas, Trader Vic mai tais and pre-WWI Singapore slings. 795 J St., 619-255-6507

Chef Christian Graves of Jsix has launched a series of theme dinners throughout the month of March in collaboration with other local chefs. The lineup includes “obscure seafood” with Jason Knibb of Nine-Ten on March 9; “eggs” with Matt Gordon of Urban Solace, Moonlight Lounge and Sea & Smoke on March 16; “regional American cuisine and whiskey” with sausage master Carlos SanMartano of Salt & Cleaver on March 23; and “old school classics” with Tim Kolanko of Stake Chophouse on March 30. The four-course dinners begin at 6 p.m. and cost $40 per person. Seating is limited to 20 guests. Reservations are required. 616 J St., 619-531-8744.

Acclaimed meatballs at Davanti Enoteca (Courtesy Wagstaff Worldwide)

In celebration of National Meatball Day on March 9, Davanti Enoteca in Little Italy and Del Mar is offering a special menu card of veal meatballs served with a variety of sidekicks such as braised greens, spaghetti and polenta. Available through March 12, each dish is priced at $10 and features three meatballs, which were touted by The Food Network as “some of the top in the country.” 1655 India St., 619-237-9606 and 12955 El Camino Real, Del Mar, 858-519-5060.

The historic Singapore sling at Fairweather (Photo by Lyudmila Zotova)

The powerhouse culinary team at Juniper & Ivy, which includes celebrity chef Richard Blais of Top Chef All-Stars, has introduced a multi-course “Left Coast” tasting menu available to eight guests only at 6 p.m. every Thursday. The intimate meals feature locally sourced ingredients, with each weekly menu created on the whims of the chefs. The cost is $95 per person or $155 if opting for various alcohol pairings. 2228 Kettner Blvd., 619-269-9036.

Unlimited samples of more than 60 craft beers will be doled out at this year’s Rock Star Beer Festival, from 7 to 10 p.m., April 11 at Hard Rock Hotel in the Gaslamp District. Now in its third year, the event has sold out weeks in advance. Headliners include the AC/DC tribute band, Back to Black, plus Houston rockers, Fenix TX. Tickets range from $35 to $60 and can be purchased online at 207 Fifth Ave., 619-702-3000. —Frank Sabatini Jr. can be reached at


Shrimp galore

San Diego Downtown News | March 2015

which dominates every category from appetizers and ceviches to entrees and specialties. This, despite a separate section titled, “shrimp dishes.” Yet if you come knocking for octopus, king crab legs, whole snapper or red meat for that matter, the menu obliges. We started with the popular “ceviche Karina’s,” a very-green commingling of lime-marinated shrimp cloaked in avocado, cucumber, cilantro and Serrano chili sauce. It’s served with crispy corn tortillas and a squirt bottle of mayo should you want to inject creaminess along the way. Though addictively bright and Karina’s Mexican tangy, the abundant portion of the ceviche made Seafood Cuisine it impossible for only the 925 B St. (Cortez Hill) two of us to finish. 619-546-7667 (clockwise from above) Lobster sandwich; shrimp ceviche in serrano chili Other ceviche sauce; and battered shrimp tacos (Photos by Frank Sabatini Jr.) Prices: choices mix shrimp with either scallops or octoAppetizers, soups and salads, $3.50 to $25; Situated at the pus or stand alone with entrees and specialties, $14.95 to $49.99; Restaurant ground floor of an ahi tuna and white fish. lunch specials, $9.95 to $24.95 office building, the bigSome are citrus-based Review windowed space marks while others feature Frank Sabatini Jr. the eighth restaurant clam or tomato sauces. within Karina’s Group. It was previously home Trios of tacos span across the appetizer It’s the opposite of how most San Diego (under different ownership) to the fly-by-night list as well. You can get them filled with restaurant groups have typically taken root. Chaplos Restaurant & Bar, which attempted a marlin, lobster, abalone, rib-eye and of course, Family names like Cohn, Busalacchi and Rubio supper-club theme that was perhaps too unapshrimp. We chose the latter in beer-battered have grown their kitchens from metro locaproachable for this unassuming location. form, assuming their crispy jackets would add tions before fanning outward. Karina’s Mexican Karina’s feels much warmer with colora modicum of novelty to the flavor profile. Seafood Cuisine did it the other way around. ful murals and whimsical décor extending But not really. They tasted like shrimp In 1981, Don Arnulfo Contreras and his wife, to imitation cardinals perched overhead tacos I’ve had everywhere else. We did, Maria Ines Curiel, opened a restaurant in Spring on faux, leafy branches. Vintage black-andhowever, enjoy the contrasting textures of Valley and tailored it to Mexican immigrants. They white movies are projected regularly on a the batter and shredded cabbage against the eventually branched into Chula Vista, National wall toward the back of the dining room, pillowy corn tortillas. City and El Cajon before their children carried and a handsome, wood bar mantle flaunting Sipping on “Cadillac” margaritas spiked the torch into San Diego proper earlier this year, ornate columns and arches that Chaplos with Grand Marnier to appropriately celebrate entering straight into Downtown at the east end of brought in remains in place. my companion’s recent purchase of a CadilB Street, where no other restaurants reside. The jumbo menu is a study in shrimp, lac, we veered from shrimp by ordering a lob-


ster sandwich and a chile rellenoenchilada combo plate. The lobster, trawled from Baja waters and cut into large chunks, was lopped generously onto a nicely buttered roll with a light smear of mayo. But if only lemon came with it the sandwich would have mimicked an actual lobster dinner, allowing the citrus to compliment the sweetness of the meat and butter. Kudos to the kitchen anyhow for cooking the lobster so tenderly. The chile relleno harbored three cheeses: mozzarella, cotija and queso fresco. The light, spongy batter, however, was tainted by so much salt in the recipe that we couldn’t eat it. Conversely, the chicken enchilada went down in a jiff, revealing moist breast meat inside and well-constructed tomatillo sauce on top. We also enjoyed the accompanying black beans, which were supple in texture and subtly spiced. Tangy guava cheesecake made likely with desirable measures of sour cream brought a fine end to our lunch amid a mixed clientele of office workers, condo residents and what appeared like a handful of tourists who strayed from the Gaslamp District. For them, and anyone else on the hunt for seafood dishes cooked with authentic Mexican flair, Karina’s offers family-style meals in a playfully stylish atmosphere. —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 Downtown News | March 2015

Science and engineering festival comes to Downtown Dave Schwab | Contributor Students Downtown will go crazy for science March 14 – 21 at the seventh annual San Diego Festival of Science & Engineering. During that week, some 80,000 people will participate in STEMrelated activities and workshops countywide, culminating in an Expo Day at Petco Park on March 21. STEM stands for science, technology, engineering and math. Those subjects are an educational focus because the skills and knowledge in each discipline are essential for student success in the real world in the technology-driven 21st century. The San Diego Festival of Science & Engineering is a program of the BIOCOM Institute in partnership with UC San Diego, Reuben H. Fleet Science Center and the San Diego County Office of Education. It aims to encourage and get kids excited about science and related fields to inspire them to become tomorrow’s STEM innovators. The festival, presented by Illumina, also helps continue the San Diego region’s reputation of being a leader in the science industry. The goal of the festival is to show how science and engineering is “right in our backyard.” “We all know San Diego is a hotbed for scientific innovation, in a region which offers a uniquely collaborative spirit, high concentration of world-class research institutions, and a strong foundation for new company creation and development,” said Sara Pagano, the festival’s managing director. “Our festival is a catalyst to transfer that knowledge and collaboration to show students and their parents how science translates into careers and further fuels our economy in San Diego County.” Noting the festival was originally started with a grant from the National Science Foundation, Pagano said the event was adopted by the nonprofit BIOCOM Institute three years ago. Pagano said there’s something for everybody during the weeklong series of science and

Teens at last year’s EXPO Day at Petco Park (Courtesy STEM) engineering-related activities. “Events range from tours of companies to a speaking series to hands-on activities that families and students can attend,” she said. “We expect to have 25,000 people in attendance at that event,

this year’s participants and a big winner at the festival last year — is one of the oldest elementary schools in Downtown San Diego. It is also one of the few elementary schools in the county focusing on both STEM and STEAM, which

Kids of all ages enjoy EXPO Day (Courtesy STEM) that has more than 100 different hands-on exhibitor booths,” she said, adding that each student booth will be interactive and instructive, featuring “a different concept within STEM.” Washington Elementary School on State Street — one of

encourages the integration of art and design with STEM. Rodger N. Ashworth, a magnet science resource teacher at Washington, said the festival is an opportunity for people of all ages

see Festival, page 13


FESTIVAL to get turned on to science and technology. “What we tr y to do is teach an interdisciplinar y approach to real-world problems,” Ashwor th said. “Students use all the disciplines [STEM] to create a solution for a problem that teaches them to be critical thinkers and problem solvers.”

EXPO Day is March 21 (Courtesy STEM) The Expo is a great icebreaker, enabling people to become better acquainted with science, Ashworth said. “It’s one of the biggest events in the city for kids,” he said. “It draws families together to share a lot of good, positive things about education. Part of that involvement is from the business community and the private sector.” Noting STEM is “the reason I’m a teacher,” Ashworth said the curriculum “allows us to do fun and interactive things.” Ashworth’s fifth grade students will have an exhibit booth at the Expo that exemplifies their use of STEM, featuring interactive arcadestyle games that the students both designed and built themselves. “[It helps them] learn together as a team employing the scientific method and engineering principles.” BIOCOM’s Pagano said the festival showcases the STEM career paths that San Diego has to offer and could lead to the creation of “a future workforce here in San Diego that really sparks innovation.” The festival’s signature event is the Expo Day on March 21, with more than 130 local businesses, corporations, and organizations providing interactive, hands-on science, technology, engineering and math exhibits and activities to budding K-12 science lovers. For more information, visit the festival website at lovestemsd. org or call 858-455-0300 ext. 104. You can also find STEM on Facebook and Twitter.    —Dave Schwab came to San Diego 30 years ago with a journalism degree from Michigan State University and has worked and freelanced for numerous dailies, weeklies and other regional publications. He can be reached at


San Diego Downtown News | March 2015



San Diego Downtown News | March 2015


What’s hot and not with outdoor spaces Cannon Christian | Guest Contributor

Homeowners will be spending more time outside once daylight saving time goes into effect on March 8. Naturally, spring and summer are heavy seasons for the outdoor remodeling business due to longer days, lighter evenings and temperate weather. The National Association of Realtors lists exterior home improvements as the most valuable projects, but these renovations are also a popular choice for homeowners wanting to take advantage of the spring and summer months. Choosing the right renovations is crucial to create an outdoor living space that appeals to you and a potential future buyer. So what’s hot and what’s not when it comes to your home’s outdoor spaces? Here are a few outdoor home improvement tips that will benefit your lifestyle, wallet and future sales price.


Wood decks and patio additions. Decks and patios become an extension of the home, providing an enjoyable outdoor location for homeowners to host backyard barbeques, family dinners or to simply relax and capture open-air views. According to Remodeling Magazine’s 2015 “cost vs. value report,” deck additions are also a smart financial decision. On average, 80.5 percent of the cost of installing a wood deck is recouped when selling, one of the highest rates in exterior projects. Additionally, the cost per square foot to add on a deck is extremely minimal compared to the cost of creating space by adding another room or indoor space. Add a small fire pit, table, seating or bar area on the deck and create an additional living area that will appeal to your family and future buyers. Natural landscaping. Homeowners are embracing the eco-friendly trend in outdoor spaces by incorporating efficient irrigation, native plants and flatter slopes. Research what watering system is best, based on the size of your lawn and garden. As a rule of thumb, sprinklers are best for large areas, drip irrigation systems are best for smaller yards or gardens and single plants, and hand watering is always a good option because of the ability to control the amount of water used. Stay sustainable with solar-powered LED path lights that can be placed along paths, throughout gardens and near seating areas. Vinyl siding. This doesn’t seem like the most appealing project, but it is low cost and easy to install and maintain, making it a great option for you and future home buyers. Vinyl siding is plastic siding for the exterior of the home, and acts as a weatherproof protectant. It comes in many colors and has a wood panel look. Due to its durability and price, it is estimated to recoup 81.5 percent of its cost; more than a 10 percent increase since 2011. If you aren’t a fan of vinyl, House Logic reports that fiber-cement is another valuable siding option, but is more expensive upfront.


Sunrooms. What was a huge trend before the housing bubble hit is now declining in popularity and value. A sunroom addition will only recoup 50 percent of its out-of-pocket cost once selling. The turn-off lies in the cost compared to usefulness. These rooms are hard to heat and cool, leaving the room unused except for select temperate months for many regions. Potential homebuyers would rather use that space as an add-on to the home or tear it down for more outdoor space. Either way, it’s a hard sell due to extra work for the buyer. Water features. Many homeowners are refraining from installing fountains, ponds and other water fixtures because of drought in a large portion of the western states. Potential homebuyers see this as a money-sucker and burden, and now can even be fined by the government for excessive water usage in some states. It’s best to steer clear of adding new water features for now. If you already have a fountain fixture, fill it with stones and plants to maintain appeal and beauty in an outdoor space without wasting water. Fancy, high-end materials. Consumers are still very wary of the housing market and are looking for durable products at a good value that will not need to be replaced quickly. Due to an uncertain market, homeowners are playing it safe and planning to stay put for now. As mentioned before, the eco-friendly movement is also steering homeowners toward all natural materials. Before planning outdoor projects for the next few months, think about how to incorporate these tips into your ideas, even if it’s just a few changes here and there. After time, these small improvements can add up! —Cannon Christian is president of Renovation Realty, a full service residential renovation contractor and real estate brokerage. The company adds monetary value to customer homes by using its own capital to renovate the property before placing it on the market for sale as the listing brokerage, with no out-of-pocket costs to the homeowner. Contact Cannon at

More than pasta! Little Italy News Christopher Gomez Little Italy San Diego is best known for its historic preservation of its Italian culture, and as the most expansive and most successful Little Italy neighborhood in the country. However, just as close as it holds its authentic culture to its heart, it has also opened its arms wide to welcome dozens of forward-thinking, community-enhancing and non-Italian businesses into its 48 square blocks. Little Italy is much more than just pasta, and we wanted to share with you some of its most diverse features to introduce this new wave of culture: Eccentric Eats: While visitors and locals know they can chow down on the best Italian food here, Little Italy has been dubbed “the best foodie neighborhood” in the city, thanks to the likes of adventurous restaurateurs such as Richard Blaise (Juniper & Ivy), Arsalun Tafazoli (Craft & Commerce, Underbelly, Ironside Oyster), Brian Redzikowski, (Kettner Exchange), and PJ Lamont (Queenstown Public House). Get Healthy: San Diego is a health-conscious place to live, and the Little Italy neighborhood is no different. For example, the Physical Therapy Effect offers physical therapy treatment, massage and health education for its patients, is one of the many Pilates studios, and Juice Crafters offers fresh squeezed juice and healthy food options. Shop ‘Til You Drop: You won’t find dozens of shops filled with kitschy Italian souvenirs here; instead source gifts from upscale shopping boutiques such as Vocabulary, Stroll, Love & Aesthetics, Vitrium and the new shopping hive at James Coffee Co. building. Works of Art: Along with dozens of spots for hidden street art, Little Italy has several exquisite art galleries, for both the art lover and seasoned collector. Explore venues such as Adelman Fine Art, specializing in contemporary art, Meyer Fine Art featuring print works and jdc Fine Art, focused on photography. Little Italy is undoubtedly one of San Diego’s most coveted neighborhoods, and with good reason! It never questions its true identity, but always finds new ways to show its personality and forward-thinking community. Locals and visitors can always find something new to explore in Little Italy, and that is just how they like it. —Christopher Gomez has been Little Italy’s district manager for the past 15 years. Reach him at chris@


San Diego Downtown News | March 2015



San Diego Downtown News | March 2015

An amazing chunk of truth


not come to light until the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1989. In 1952, 26 celebrated Yiddish writers were rounded up by Joseph Stalin and summarily executed. “The Twenty-seventh Man” takes place in a prison cell where three of the detainees (Robert Dorfman as Vasily Korinsky, Hal Linden as Yevgeny Zunser, and Ron Orbach as Moishe Bretzky) discuss their arrests. They are joined by a 27th man, the uncelebrated, unpublished Pinchas Pelovits (Eli Gelb), who represents the future that is

“The Twenty-Seventh Man” by Nathan Englander Tuesdays – Sundays Old Globe’s White Theatre 1363 Old Globe Way, Balboa Park Tickets $29 and up or (619) 23-GLOBE

(l to r) Eli Gelb as Pinchas Pelovits and Hal Linden as Yevgeny Zunser in “The Twenty-Seventh Man” (photo by Jim Cox)

Theater Review Charlene Baldridge Stunned and amazed; that seemed to be the tenor of audience comments following the Feb. 21 West Coast premiere production of Nathan Englander’s “The Twenty-seventh Man” at the Old Globe’s White Theatre. Based upon Englander’s short story, it continues in an extended

run through March 22. As he did in New York, Barry Edelstein, now the Globe’s artistic director, stages the work, reimagining it in the round upon Michael McGarty’s surprising set. This is the work’s first production since its premiere at the Public Theatre in 2012. The play concerns a little-known bit of history (here slightly fictionalized for dramatic clarity) that took place behind the Iron Curtain. It is called “The Night of the Murdered Poets,” little known because it did

destroyed by the purge. Each deals with a separate reality as well as a Guard (Lowell Byers). Korinsky, who still believes in a benevolent Stalin, also deals with the Agent in Charge (James Shanklin), who serves him tea in an office that seems to materialize from thin air. Needless to say, after all the words are said, all the dreams are divulged, the denouement is not a happy one, but one that brings home the fact that writers are the bane of totalitarianism. Anyone who takes up the pen is courageous, the purges and persecutions continue worldwide and regimes continue to obfuscate their real purposes. The same day I attended Englander’s play, McClatchey News reported that a Russian newspaper claims that an official government strategy document outlined the invasion of Ukraine weeks prior to the collapse of the Ukrainian government.. Remember Rome? Impressively, young Gelb holds his own among the illustrious company of esteemed actors whose credits began long before his birth. To many the name Hal Linden is synonymous with the television series “Barney Miller,” though if that is one’s only association, one is sadly bereft. Dorfman, though lesser known, has an equally impressive array of credits coast to coast. An onstage giant, the impressively credentialed Orbach exudes charm as well as gravitas. Edelstein is responsible for attracting such an assemblage. His staging of this important work, truly a wake-up call for us all, is impeccable. Costume designer Katherine Roth underscores the message by garbing the elder detainees as if they were arrested hours ago, the press still in their suits, and the shine still on their shoes. The imminent tragedy is also upheld by Russell H. Champa’s lighting, Darron L. West’s sound, and Brian Byrnes fight direction. We walk out into the freedom we take for granted, perhaps unaware of the Globe program’s names and photos of writers imprisoned in Iran, China, Cameroon and Syria, a mere four of 900 currently ser ving time. That’s according to PEN’s 2014 list [PEN International is a leading international literar y and human rights organization]. —Contact Charlene Baldridge at v

Franco Pompoi as Nixon greets Mao (Photo by Ken Howard/Opera Theatre of St. Louis)

‘Tricky Dick’ in baritone

A unique opera comes to San Diego David Dixon | Contributor An opera about a former president of the United States visiting communist China in 1972 might seem like an unusual idea. In fact, when “Nixon in China” first premiered in 1987 at the Houston Grand Opera, many critics had mixed reactions. Some were not sure what to make of John Adams’ minimalist music or Alice Goodman’s libretto. But time has been kind to the operatic piece, and it has since been reproduced all over the world the last few decades. A new interpretation from Director James Robinson, starring acclaimed baritone Franco Pomponi, will have a limited engagement with the San Diego Opera March 14, 17, 20, and 22. This is the first time the piece has been performed in San Diego. Robinson has his own theory about why reviewers have warmed up to the story over the years. “There are always new pieces, whether they’re plays or operas, that come out and people don’t know what to think of them,” he said. “They might be a little too close to the subject matter before people have a chance to step back and reassess it. I think with this one, it was just a very original subject and nobody had really heard anything like this. Now that it’s been produced so many times, a newer generation of people have come to appreciate it.” Although Robinson and Pomponi have never worked together on “Nixon In China,” neither of them are strangers to the opus. Robinson has directed renditions for numerous companies including Vancouver Opera, Chicago Opera Theatre, and Opera Colorado. Pomponi’s introduction was a televised version staged by the Houston Grand Opera and shown on PBS. “At the time, I had never seen or heard anything like it before,” Pomponi said. The day after seeing “Nixon in China” live at the New York Metropolitan Opera, Pomponi got a call asking if he would play Nixon in Paris, at the Theatre du Chatelet. “At first I didn’t think it was pos-

sible, so I looked at the score and I had a lot of talks with my agent who thought it would be great to do the title role in Paris,” he said. “It turned out to be a fantastic experience.” To get prepared for the part in Paris, Pomponi conducted a lot of research in order to channel the spirit of Nixon. “I must have watched between 40-50 documentaries about the time period,” Pomponi said. “I watched documentaries on Mao Zedong’s March as well as the Trial of Jiang Qing [known to many as Madame Mao].” Pomponi said he didn’t want to do a direct imitation of the infamous Head of State. “I’m more interested in the man that he was,” he said. “He was a very iconic president. He was egomaniacal and completely frail at the same time. He had a lot of paradoxes … there is a lot of information to grab onto. The psychology is really important to me.” Robinson feels that Nixon comes across as somewhat empathetic throughout the evening. “There are times where he does have his meltdowns, but it’s a very fair depiction of him,” he said. “The opera is a fictionalized account, but I think that is what the creators intended to do.” The director believes that people who are intrigued by Nixon’s life and have never seen an opera before will enjoy “Nixon in China.” “People who remember Nixon in that time will find it fascinating,” he said. Robinson also feels that it will hold equal appeal for music lovers. “Because it does require a lot of really great singing, I think an opera audience is going to like the piece,” he said. “Nixon in China,” presented by the San Diego Opera, will see a limited engagement March 14 – 22 at the San Diego Civic Theatre, located at 1100 Third Ave., Downtown. For more information, specific show dates and times, and tickets, visit —A fan of film and theatre from a very young age, David Dixon has written reviews and features for various print and online publications. You can reach him at

San Diego Downtown News | March 2015






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San Diego Downtown News | March 2015

Wide-open spaces Downtown Partnership News Kris Michell Is Downtown San Diego a concrete jungle? Hardly. In fact, it’s time to take a jackhammer to that old notion. Open space — both large and small — will be opening up throughout our community in the coming year. Just look at what is on tap: There’s Horton Plaza Park at the corner of Fourth Avenue and Broadway that will provide a gathering spot for the entire region, offering up 200 unique events a year. Along our waterfront, there is the much-anticipated two-acre park at Lane Field, which will enhance the recently revitalized North Embarcadero and complement the nearby County Waterfront Park. And in the shadow of a soaring residential high-rise in the heart of the East Village, there is Pinnacle Park, which will soon offer a playground, grassy areas, gardens and shade trees. And make no mistake: Parks, plazas and open space are serious business — especially in urban areas like Downtown San Diego. Urban parks create community, bolster our economy, improve health and wellness, promote sustainability, and yes, they give us a place to play and relax. In short, parks and urban open space are the very foundation needed to create a vibrant and world-class Downtown. So it is clear that we must do more — much more. We need to ensure that the longpromised East Village Green moves from being an architectural rendering to a reality that serves this growing urban neighborhood. But when it comes to parks and open space in Downtown, thinking big has its limits. Because space is at a premium in urban areas, we have to get creative and look at all public space — no matter the size — through a different lens. And frankly, some of the big things happening Downtown are small, yet full of impact. Take for instance, the “pocket park” in East Village. The Downtown Partnership joined up with HP Investors, the East Village Association and RAD Lab, a design firm, to transform a small parking lot at 13th Avenue and J Street into an innovative and engaging public space. And the pocket park is not the

only parking lot that has been transformed, either. This month, what was once a blighted stretch of asphalt at Park Boulevard and Market Street will become Quartyard — a community gathering spot that will offer food, fun and a dog run — a much-needed amenity for the canine companions of Downtown’s dwellers. Not to be out done, parking spots are getting in on the fun, too. Last year, the City of San Diego and the Downtown San Diego Partnership sponsored a competition to help deliver a moving parklet, which is a tiny park that can be moved around to parking spots throughout Downtown to create temporary community gathering spots. The winning mobile parklet is in the final permitting stages and will be coming to a Downtown parking space near you later this year. But we cannot just create space for space sake. With every park, plaza and open space we build, we have to figure out ways to ensure that there are people-focused places, offering opportunities to engage, connect and create. An empty stretch of grass is not a park. We must be mindful of the design and the function of all our open spaces. The Downtown San Diego Partnership understands this and that is why we have worked so hard to come up with strategies to enliven our open spaces. Whether it be pop-up concerts, free yoga classes or strolls, we want open spaces that breathe with life and energy. In Downtown, space may be limited but our creativity is not, and we hope you will work with us to create engaging spaces that serve our residents, our workers and our region. Have an idea to transform Downtown? Let us know what areas in Downtown are ripe for some sort of placemaking and park space activation. Public, private, small or large — it doesn’t matter, so long as there is an opportunity to improve the Downtown experience. Whether it’s your own property or just one you have an idea for, please reach out to Greg Parkington at so that we can continue to do great things Downtown. —Kris Michell is the president and CEO of the Downtown San Diego Partnership, a nonprofit, member-based organization that serves as the leading advocate for the revitalization and economic health of Downtown. To learn more about the Downtown Partnership, visit

Downtown’s Sudoku Puzzle DIRECTIONS: Enter digits from 1 to 9 into the blank spaces. Every row must contain one of each digit. So must every column, as must every 3x3 square.

Sudoku Solution Answer Key, page 23


LANEFIELD receives input before voting. A developer, LPP Lane Field, LLC, comprising of Portman Holdings, Phelps Development and Lankford & Associates, is currently working with the Port to develop the majority of the northern portion of the Lane Field site into a 400-room hotel in a single building fronting Pacific Highway with a public park on the western portion fronting Harbor Drive. The proposed hotel features a slim design to keep views open, offering a building with a narrow profile. Planned green spaces will create an urban public waterfront. In addition to the hotel, complex plans include 33,000-square-feet of retail and restaurant space and 686 parking spaces, with 271 reser ved for public use. The three levels of parking will be below ground, hidden from view. San Diego resident and local baseball historian Bill Swank said he was surprised there were no complaints about the project at the Lane Field South meeting, because they had occurred at other meetings he had attended about the site. “I’ve been attending these North Embarcadero planning meetings since 1997 and they can be contentious; this meeting was quite civil,” Swank said later. “Nobody objected to the second, taller, high-rise hotel at the corner of Broadway and Pacific Highway.” The planned development is the southern portion of the Lane Field project, located at 900 W. Broadway, in the North Embarcadero area of Downtown, with Broadway to the south, Harbor Drive to the west and Pacific Highway to the east. In recent years the site has been used as a surface parking lot for cruise ship and general public parking since the 1960s and was formerly a baseball stadium known as “Lane Field,” home of the minor league Pacific Coast League (PCL) Padres from 1936 to 1957. As a result, the development will include a two-acre “Lane Field Park” dedicated to the former PCL team, who left Downtown for Mission Valley in 1957 when the wooden bleachers of the Lane Field ballpark began rotting away. The park will be dedicated March 16 during a ceremony that will include comments by Councilman Todd Gloria and feature former Padre Rudy Regala, now in

The diamond at Lane Field Park under construction (Courtesy Bill Swank) his 80s, who played with the PCL club in the 1950s. The park includes a replica baseball diamond to commemorate the ballpark. “My goal has always been to preserve the history of baseball at the Lane Field site and I like Lane Field Park,” Swank said. “I’m pleased with the replica diamond at the corner of Broadway and Harbor Drive and the 2003 SABR bronze plaque was moved there from Broadway and Pacific Highway, too. I gave the original blueprints to the developer and it’s exactly 87 feet from home plate to first base, just like it was at [the original] Lane Field until the error was discovered in the 1950s.” One critical comment did ring throughout the Feb. 19 Port meeting — no one seemed to want the palm trees planned around the outside perimeter of the hotel. Several speakers asked Portman Holdings, the designers, to plant something else. One Downtown resident called palm trees “foreboding and looming”; another said they looked like telephone poles. The entire room perked up when Dorothy Carroll of the Village Garden Club of La Jolla volunteered the group’s efforts to help raise funds to replace the palm trees with jacaranda trees around the hotel. The La Jolla Village Garden Club has already planted 42 jacarandas — ornamental trees that bloom with lavender blossoms every spring — in the North Embarcadero area. The group has planted a total of 2,200 of the colorful trees around the county since 1986, Carroll said. Jacarandas grow up to 30-feet tall and cost $350 – $600.

A representative for Portman Holdings said that although the Port’s plans call for palm trees, a Port spokesperson took notes at the meeting and those comments will be shared with the Port Commissioners before they vote to approve the project. The firm must submit any changes in design to the Port by April 30. A second public meeting for comments on Lane Field South is in the works, but a date has yet to be announced. For more information visit portofsandiego. org/lane-field.html. —Catherine Spearnak is a San Diego-based freelance writer. She can be reached at catherine. —Editor Morgan M. Hurley contributed to this report.v

Blueprints show the approximate location of home plate from 19361957 (Courtesy Bill Swank)

There’s an app for that contractor

Los Angeles ‘on-demand’ services firm enters San Diego market Dave Fidlin | Contributor SERVIZ wants to be to home ser vice repairs what Uber is to car sharing. In mid-January, the emerging Los Angeles-based ondemand technological resource provider made its initial foray into most of San Diego — including all Downtown neighborhoods, from East Village, the Gaslamp to Little Italy. Their entry into the city’s service market means residents will soon be able to use the app-based service to hire plumbers and electricians, get their carpets cleaned and their HVAC and other appliances repaired, among many other services. Company CEO and co-founder Zorik Gordon said the 6-month-old company aims to take the guesswork out of finding affordable, reputable professionals. “This is a way of bringing traditionally offline businesses online,” Gordon said. “We think the whole service industry has been kind of broken, and we see this as a next stage in the evolution for a lot of companies. Up until now, it hasn’t been a very transparent process.” Gordon maintains SERVIZ is entering a new frontier with features in its app-based technology that are not easily replicated by competitors. The company serves as an intermediary, linking specific service providers with residential and commercial customers.

BUSINESS Prior to the company’s late summer 2014 debut in Los Angeles, Gordon said he and other SERVIZ officials embarked on an extensive research project that spanned several years. As a culmination of that research, Gordon said the company has set fixed costs for such services as unclogging a toilet to mounting a 60-inch TV. The fixed costs take into consideration the average price providers are offering for a specific service. “With technology constantly evolving and people using it for different reasons … we feel we can provide a better experience for consumers,” Gordon said when asked about the reasoning behind the creation of the company. The goal, Gordon said, is to turn the previous practice of seeking out quotes from different service providers on its head. Gordon likens the company’s focus to the trust most online users have in purchasing items through mega online retailer Amazon. In Los Angeles, SERVIZ links consumers to service providers in more than a half-dozen different categories. For the time being, Gordon said SERVIZ is providing San Diego consumers with resources for plumbing, handyman, carpet cleaning and appliance repair, and plans to expand that soon to HVAC, garage door and electrical repair and services. To be included in SERVIZ’s directory, technicians need to jump through a series of hoops, Gordon said, including a background check and a high degree of customer satisfaction ratings. Additionally, the service providers are required to carry insurance and have all of the necessary licensure requirements. As the southerly expansion continues, Gordon said he expects to link San Diegan mobile users with service providers in other industries as well. “Right now, we’re focused on perfecting the

Health, productivity and more

Corporate wellness programs strengthen businesses By Kai Oliver-Kurtin To invest in employees’ health and wellbeing, an increasing number of companies are offering corporate wellness programs that encourage employees to be active. The rewards of this long-term commitment to employee health include lower employer health care expenses, a stronger team dynamic and an increase in interdepartmental communication, among others. Red Door Interactive, a Downtown marketing and advertising agency, is one company benefitting from such a program. As the company’s top leader, President and CEO Reid Carr eagerly took ownership of the investment, as one of his roles is to set the tone for the organization and he saw this as one way to do that. “It is a personal commitment I have made for myself, so I felt it was appropriate to share that with our employees,” he said. Carr said they chose Downtown’s Fit Athletic Club as their health and wellness partner for a number of reasons. “They are in our building and were able to craft a program that fit our company’s goals,” he

San Diego Downtown News | March 2015

said. “We could do it as a private group so that we could share in the experience together and people didn’t have to be a member; it was appropriate for different fitness levels; it fit within the lunch hour; and it was measured — something core to our business as a data-driven marketing agency.” Fit, located at 350 10th Ave., works with six other local corporate clients — including Downtown businesses Bumble Bee and Houzz — offering each customized employee wellness programs similar to what they offered Red Door. “None of our wellness programs are exactly alike, because no two companies are exactly alike,” said Scott Lutwak, owner and CEO of Fit. “By tailoring the program specifically to each corporate client, we can optimize their results — whether [their goals are] employee health, increased productivity, better boardroom discussions, or all of the above.” Fit also has numerous small- to mediumsized businesses that take advantage of group memberships, which offer their employees discounted or complimentary memberships at Fit. “For most companies, the biggest barrier to integrating a corporate wellness program is cost,” Lutwak said. “Many executives see

model and making sure the early markets are working well,” he said. While it is too early to gauge SERVIZ’s reception in San Diego, Gordon said user results in the company’s home base have been encouraging. Since the company’s launch five months ago in L.A., Gordon asserted the number of providers has grown by 50 percent in each recent month. And as of January, SERVIZ has booked more than 10,000 customer appointments. Gordon, who built SERVIZ from the ground up with colleague Michael Kline, admits the company still has some bugs and kinks to work out as it perfects its business model, but he has grand visions on the not-too-distant horizon for SERVIZ. The company recently received an infusion of $20 million in cash to continue fostering its advancements, Gordon said. Investors have included the backers of such high profile ventures as Groupon and PointGuard Ventures. “Our goal, within the next 18 to 24 months, is to be in the top 10 to 20 markets,” he said. “We are definitely looking to continue broadening our coverage area.” Steps for accessing the service: Download the SERVIZ app on your iPhone or Android device. Launch the app and select the service you need. Enter your preferred date of service or an appointment window. Enter your name and contact information. Hit “complete booking” and you’re done. For more information on SERVIZ, visit the company website at —Dave Fidlin has been a professional journalist for more than a dozen years and has contributed to a variety of newspapers, magazines and websites across the nation. He has a special affinity for San Diego and its people. Contact him at v

The SERVIZ app is available on Android or iOS (Courtesy SERVIZ)

corporate wellness as an expensive and optional perk to employment, but numerous reputable studies have confirmed that it saves employers substantial health care costs over time.” Wellness program options might include personalized boot camp-style classes, group fitness classes especially for employees, fitness classes that incorporate team building and camaraderie, those designed for inexperienced exercisers, or coworkers training for a charity race. Red Door added a weekly boot camp class to their corporate wellness program at Fit about a year ago. The idea came as a suggestion from employees through their internal morale and wellness committee. “Anything we do that fosters teamwork outside the office brings the teamwork back into the office,” Carr said. “When you have people from different teams and departments who come together, it fosters unique communication that you can’t get in any other way. Ideas are shared and people are just generally more comfortable and in tune with one another.” For clients whose employee schedules don’t allow for time to leave the office, Fit will bring the personal trainers to them. Typically lower intensity sessions that can be done in work clothing, these might incorporate stress management, breathing technique, or yoga pose; movements that aim to get employees out of their chairs and become more alert. Red Door employee Justin Gabbert said


the boot camps have helped him push himself harder in the gym, and have served as a great way to form friendships with other colleagues. Another employee, Macy Fackrell, said she appreciated that Red Door places a large emphasis on staying active and feeling good both inside and outside of the office. “We provide a number of activities to share with and inspire one another,” Carr said. “Among other things, we do weekly ‘we:30s’ where everyone gets together, shares snacks and features a ‘star of the day’ to get to know them. We also have our summer games, baseball outings, [and other events] that are now traditions.” Carr said his managers and their direct reports even go walking together, something they call ‘walking 121s.’ “[They] get out, get some exercise and enjoy the beautiful outdoors,” he said. “It is why we live here.” For more information on Fit’s corporate wellness program, visit   —Kai Oliver-Kurtin is a local freelance reporter who also works full-time doing social media marketing for the U.S. Navy. She enjoys covering events, restaurant news, culture and entertainment. Contact her at  —Editor Morgan M. Hurley contributed to this report.v



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San Diego Downtown News | March 2015

DOWNTOWN CALENDAR FRIDAY – MARCH 6 Insurance: How to Protect You and Your Business: Seminar by Bill Pope, a SCORE mentor, on insuring your business. Free. 1 – 4 p.m. SCORE Entrepreneur Center, 550 West C St. Suite 550, Downtown. Visit SATURDAY – MARCH 7 Family friendly yoga: Free class sponsored by Scripps Health and taught by Yoga One; part of Downtown San Diego Partnership’s “Healthy Living in the City” series. Bring your own mat, all levels welcome. 9 a.m. Tuna Harbor Park, 700 North Harbor Dr., Downtown. Visit SUNDAY – MARCH 8 San Diego Great Books: Free discussion group, open to the public. This month’s topic: “To Perpetual Peace — A Philosophical Sketch” by Immanuel Kant. 2 – 4 p.m. Room 221, San Diego Central Librar y, 330 Park Blvd., Downtown. Visit MONDAY – MARCH 9 Film Forum: Free screening of “Dear White People.” 6:30 p.m. Auditorium, San Diego Central Librar y, 330 Park Blvd., Downtown. Visit freelibrar ymovies. TUESDAY – MARCH 10 Business Basics Seminar: Stephen Eisold on starting a business for prospective and new owners. $49-59. 9 a.m. – noon. SCORE Entrepreneur Center, 550 West C St. Suite 550, Downtown. Visit WEDNESDAY – MARCH 11 “The Women Who Keep Us Safe”: Little Italy Residents Association (LIRA) will welcome San Diego County District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis and San Diego Chief of Police Shelley Zimmerman to their general meeting. 6 p.m. (Arrive early to be seated). Firehouse Museum, 1572 Columbia St., Little Italy. Visit THURSDAY – MARCH 12 2nd Annual San Diego State of the Market: Real estate professionals will discuss topics regarding the real estate

market. $79. 8 – 11 a.m. Sapphire Ballroom, Hilton San Diego Bayfront, 1 Park Blvd., Downtown. Visit Community landfill tour: By the City of San Diego Environmental Ser vices Department (additional tour April 16). 9 a.m. – noon (approximately). Email Coffee with a Cop: A chance for students to talk to San Diego Community College District Police Department officers about any safety issues. 10 – 11:30 a.m. AH/ BT Quad, City College, 1313 Park Blvd., Downtown. Visit

FRIDAY – MARCH 13 Lunchtime shop and stroll: Free, 30-minute guided walk held twice monthly by San Diego Downtown Partnership. Begins at noon at East Village Tavern and Bowl, 930 Market St. Visit SATURDAY – MARCH 14 San Diego Festival of Science and Engineering: The festival starts today with events all around San Diego to get kids excited about science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) subjects. Locations, times and pricing for individual events var y. Visit lovestemsd. org. Shamrock 2015: This annual St. Patrick’s Day bash presented by Jameson and The Field will take over the streets of the Gaslamp with live entertainment, green beer and more. 4 p.m. – midnight. Visit SUNDAY – MARCH 15 US Grant wedding show: Explore four ballrooms for wedding ideas including fashion, invitations, lighting, hair and makeup and more. Includes three-course lunch with wine and a bridal fashion show. 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. 326 Broadway, Downtown. Visit 2015sandiegoweddingshow. Barr y Edelstein in conversation with Carey Perloff: One-night-only free event with a special discussion between Old Globe Artistic Director Barr y Edelstein and Artistic Director of the American Conser vator y Theater Carey Perloff. Perloff will also discuss her memoir “Beauti-

ful Chaos: A Life in the Theater” and sign copies after the presentation. 4 p.m. Hattox Hall at the Karen and Donald Cohn Education Center at The Old Globe’s Conrad Prebys Theatre Center, 1363 Old Globe Way, Balboa Park. Visit

MONDAY – MARCH 16 Book club: Meet to discuss “The Ocean at the End of the Lane” by Neil Gaiman. 7 p.m. Upstart Crow Bookstore and Coffeehouse, 835C W. Harbor Dr., Seaport Village. Visit TUESDAY – MARCH 17 – ST. PATRICK’S DAY Irish Festival: In conjunction with the St. Patrick’s Day parade, this family friendly event features live entertainment on two stages. 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. Balboa Park. Visit WEDNESDAY – MARCH 18 Omnia San Diego job fair: This soon-to-open nightclub by Hakkasan Group is holding a two-day job fair for front- and back-of-house positions. 1 – 7 p.m. San Diego Training and Conference Center, 350 10th Ave. Suite 950, East Village. Visit THURSDAY – MARCH 19 Live music – Susan Narucki: Part of the “Art of Music” concert series by the San Diego Museum of Art in conjunction with an exhibition of the same name. Narucki is a Grammy Award-winning singer and pianist. 7 p.m. San Diego Museum of Art, 1450 El Prado, Balboa Park. Visit FRIDAY – MARCH 20 Live comedy: Actor/comedian Christopher Titus brings his newest show, “Angr y Pursuit of Happiness,” to town for three nights. 7:30 and 9:30 p.m. American Comedy Company, 818B Sixth Ave., Gaslamp. Tickets $20. SATURDAY – MARCH 21 Auditions for 2015 Summer Shakespeare Intensive: The intensive is a four-week program for high school actors and actresses to hone their craft in a professional setting. Auditions today and tomorrow. 9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. (by appointment). Visit San Diego Festival of Science and Engineering: The festival celebrating science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) subjects wraps today with the EXPO Day. Free. 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Petco Park, 100 Park Blvd., East Village. Visit “The White Snake”: Previews start tonight for this play written and directed by Tony Award winner Mary Zimmerman. Opens March 26, runs through April 26. Donald and Darlene Shiley Stage, Old Globe Theatre, 1363 Old Globe Way, Balboa Park. Tickets start at $29. Visit or call 619-234-5623.

SUNDAY – MARCH 22 The Art of Riding: Monthly (fourth Sunday) bike ride with Bike SD to experience art, music and culture. 9:30 a.m. Decobike station 197, Fourth Avenue and Fir Street, Bankers Hill. Visit MONDAY – MARCH 23 Film Forum: Free screening of “Gabrielle,” a French film with English subtitles. 6:30 p.m. Auditorium, San Diego Central Librar y, 330 Park Blvd., Downtown. Visit ymovies. TUESDAY – MARCH 24 “Go, Be, Write” discussion: Author Cathy Scott will talk about publishing, social media and more. 7 p.m. Upstart Crow Bookstore and Coffeehouse, 835C West Harbor Dr., Seaport Village. Visit WEDNESDAY – MARCH 25 Film: Each month Women Occupy San Diego (WOSD) holds a special movie night with refreshments. Tonight: “Blue Gold: World Water Wars.”. Doors 6:30 p.m., film 7 p.m. Women’s Museum of California, 2730 Historic Decatur Rd., Barracks 16, Liberty Station. Visit THURSDAY – MARCH 26 Urban Discover y Academy fundraiser: A fundraiser for the k-8 school coming to Downtown. 6 p.m. Moniker Warehouse, 705 16th St., East Village. RSVP to FRIDAY – MARCH 27 ‘Journey to Space’: The debut of this giant-screen film on NASA’s Space Shuttle and the future of space exploration including sending humans to Mars. Noon, 2, 4 and 6 p.m. showings. Reuben H. Fleet Science Center, 1875 El Prado, Balboa Park. Visit Rock in the Park: For the second year, this concert series will bring a variety of bands to

Reuben H. Fleet Science Center once a month. This show features Earl Thomas with Michael Tiernan opening. 7:30 p.m., 1875 El Prado, Balboa Park. Visit

SATURDAY – MARCH 28 ET Awareness Walk: Fundraising walk to celebrate National Essential Tremor Awareness Month. 10 a.m. Crown Point Park, Moorland Drive, Pacific Beach. Visit “A Walk on the Exposition Side”: Four architecture tours and four expert histor y talks given today and tomorrow in Balboa Park (only to be repeated June 6 – 7). Part of SOHO’s Centennial celebration. Times and prices var y. Visit SUNDAY – MARCH 29 Fight for Air Climb: A unique fundraising “vertical road race” to raise money for the American Lung Association. 8:30 a.m. One America Plaza, 600 W. Broadway, Downtown. Visit MONDAY – MARCH 30 Film Forum: Free screening of “On My Way,” starring Catherine Deneuve (with English subtitles). 6:30 p.m. Auditorium, San Diego Central Librar y, 330 Park Blvd., Downtown. Visit facebook. com/freelibrar ymovies. TUESDAY – MARCH 31 – CESAR CHAVEZ DAY Painting and Vino: Local professional artists instruct attendees on painting a masterpiece. Tonight: – “Desert Cactus.” 6 – 9 p.m. 21+ up. $45., Aall supplies included, registration is required. You may bring your own wine for a $15 corkage fee. 98 Bottles, 2400 Kettner Blvd., Suite 110. For more info, visit paintingandvino. WEDNESDAY – APRIL 1 Good Neighbor: Taste of Downtown: This event will feature over 20 local restaurants, live music, guest speakers and more. Silo in Maker’s Quarter, 753 13th St., Downtown. Visit THURSDAY – APRIL 2 East Village Association Board meeting: All monthly board meetings are open to the public. 5 p.m. Room 219, Thomas Jefferson School of Law, 1155 Island Ave. Visit —Please send items for inclusion to Editor Morgan M. Hurley at



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San Diego Downtown News | March 2015 festival, one might think that speaking Spanish is necessar y to fully appreciate all it has to of fer. However, Lorenzo said that is not the case, adding that attendees merely need to keep their minds open. “The stories that Latino filmmakers tell are the stories of you and me; they are every story,” he said. “Humanity is the key in filmmaking, it is tapping into the vein of what makes us, well, us.” Organizers assure that all films will be screened with subtitles and many of them are

Kate del Castillo in “Visitantes” (Courtesy San Diego Latino Film Festival) FROM PAGE 1

SDLFF this year’s event includes a new “Creative Careers Expo” that will not only showcase opportunities within the film industry but also many other industries. The expo is free for all ages and will take place on March 14 from 10 a.m. — 4 p.m. at the Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation, located at 404 Euclid Ave., in City Heights. Van Thillo said the new partnership with the Jacobs Center will allow people to take part in the festival in a unique way. “We need more young Latinos, African-Americans and immigrant youth to get involved in careers in technology, software, visual arts, journalism, film and video, music, fashion and more,” he said. “Additionally, we need young people who will help our country grow by being creative and innovative, no

matter what industry they choose.” Exhibitions Director Phil Lorenzo thinks the new venue at Fashion Valley will give loyal attendees a new appreciation for the festival. He is excited to bring an element of fashion into the works — through both the expo and the new venue — something he said has been a big part of both the Tribeca and Sundance Film festivals. The SDLFF will also include a showcase of films for the LGBTQ community. Cine Gay began nine years ago and consists of films from Venezuela, Mexico, Chile and Brazil. Van Thillo explained why this aspect of the festival is important, not only to the LGBTQ community, but the Latino community as well. “The annual San Diego Latino Film Festival has for years been working on breaking down borders and barriers,” Van Thillo said. “Not only have we strived to create a better understanding between the Latino and Anglo-American communities through film, we’ve also

Hector Jimenez in “Fachon Models” (Courtesy San Diego Latino Film Festival) strived to celebrate the diversity within the Latino community itself. It’s important to fight for the rights of the LGBT community. It’s important to fight against machismo and make sure women’s voices are heard. Diversity is what makes our country great and is what makes our communities and neighborhoods even stronger.” Though this is a Latin film

already in English. If you plan on attending the festival this year, expect ever ything a Hollywood-type experience would include: stars, directors and Latin filmmakers, because Van Thillo said he wants attendees to be immersed in the Latin entertainment culture. While listing off some of the more well known Latin celebrities


that will be joining the festivities — including Kate del Castillo, Adal Ramones, Edward James Olmos, Maria Rojo, Sandra Echeverria, Cassandra Ciangherotti, Hector Jimenez, and Julio Bracho — Van Thillo said getting the chance to meet the films’ makers and stars and participate in Q&As is what make all the annual festivals so special. “The recent wins at the Oscars were a wonderful victory for both the filmmakers, producers and Latino cinema in general,” Van Thillo said. “It shows the world what we’ve known for 22 years now; that Latino filmmakers and storytellers are some of the best artists in the world.” With Alejandro González Iñárritu’s best director and best picture awards for “Birdman” being a first for the Latin community, Van Thillo said he hopes the SDLFF will continue to foster Hollywood’s — and the public’s — appreciation for Latino filmmakers and their talents for years to come. And who knows? Maybe this year’s SDLFF will be the place where Hollywood finds its next Oscar winner. The 22nd annual San Diego Latino Film Festival will run March 12 — 22, at the AMC Fashion Valley 18, located at 7037 Friars Road in Mission Valley, and the Digital Gym Cinema, located at 2921 El Cajon Blvd., in North Park. For tickets and more information about the festival or the Creative Careers Expo, visit

—Timothy Rawles is a local freelance writer. He and his husband live in Mission Hills with their two children. He can be reached at


San Diego Downtown News | March 2015

Get your financial advice … cold pressed! Financial News Taylor Schulte Juicing, the latest food trend in San Diego, is nothing new. We have been crushing our fruits and vegetables using blenders and juicers for decades. But, the latest argument is that traditional centrifugal juicers aren’t cutting it anymore. Your juice should be “cold pressed,” according to the experts. Apparently, cold pressed juicers extract juice more safely by slowly grinding and pressing the fruits and vegetables, instead of shredding them with fast-spinning blades. Those high velocity blades in a traditional juicer generate heat, which can destroy many of the nutrients and enzymes in your fruits and vegetables. Cold pressed juicers reduce the heat and create a more nutrient-filled snack. Similar to the cold press-

ing juice aficionados, I’m a firm believer that the way financial advice has been delivered for decades can be greatly improved upon. I believe there is a safer way to extract financial advice from the experts — a way that puts your interests ahead of theirs, at all times. The traditional model that many financial advisors have adopted and still operate under today is called the “suitability standard.” Simply put, if these advisors, often known as “brokers,” can determine that a financial product is suitable for your investment profile, he or she can sell it to you. They are not obligated to consider costs, expenses, or even the best interests of the client. If that’s not enough to cause some concern, these fast-spinning brokers are often selling a product in return for a commission. Not only does this compensation model present a potential conflict of interest, the client typically pays more for their advice than necessary. Needless to say, the characteristics of the suitability standard model can destroy the value often found when working with a financial professional. On the other hand, the “fiduciary standard” is a more appropriate way to render financial advice, in my opinion. A financial professional adhering to the fiduciary model is required by law to put your interests ahead of theirs at all times.

TOWN VOICES Fiduciaries — often referred to as registered investment advisors (RIAs) — typically charge a flat, transparent fee in return for the advice they provide. This fee is usually billed as a percentage of assets, an annual fee, a monthly fee, or even an hourly fee. Regardless of how the fee schedule is structured, the consumer is always informed of the amount and their interests are always put first. Costs, expenses, quality of product and more are taken into consideration before making any recommendations. Due to the stricter obligations of a fiduciary, the advice process is often longer than a commissioned broker. A fiduciary will take their time extracting the unique characteristics of the client and prepare a plan that puts them in the best possible situation for success. In addition, RIAs will typically render advice on more than just investments. This might include tax planning, estate planning, charitable giving, college planning and more. Financial professionals have been rendering advice under the suitability standard for decades. Like traditional centrifugal juicers, it is a solution, but not the best one. If you want objective, conflictfree financial advice, get it “cold pressed” and work with an advisor who has adopted the fiduciary standard. —Taylor Schulte, CFP® is the founder of Define Financial in Downtown San Diego. Schulte specializes in providing independent, objective, financial advice to individuals, families and businesses. He can be reached at 619-577-4002 or

Weather is no object Civic Organist News Dr. Carol Williams Come rain, hail, sleet or snow ... there’s a concert every Sunday. Twenty years ago, I had never heard of San Diego. I was living in the south of England, with frequent drives back to visit family in Wales, attending school and lessons for music and organ, and enjoying the old English village life — with gossip flourishing, the local vicar checking in, thatched roof cottages, narrow cobblestone streets, the town green and full of mums with prams (baby carriages) watching over children playing, and evening gatherings at the local pub. I know this sounds like 100 years ago but, like many Brits, this was my childhood. Think Downton Abbey (without the money). Afternoon tea, dressing for dinner, watching the Queen’s speech on the telly on Christmas afternoons — so many customs steeped in time. I do have my moments of homesickness. Now though, I have come to know San Diego as the largest small town in America. It truly encompasses facets of my past, although things look and sound different. It is surprising how people pull together and instinctively find that small-town feel in a city with well over a million residents. I remember the blackout we had here in 2011. Much of the southwestern states were without electricity (by the way, we’d get power cuts quite often in England). My husband and I were living next to Balboa Park at the time. It was rather warm inside and I noticed neighbors coming out to the street to stroll and mingle with others. We joined them, enjoying the evening like people must have done in the 1800s, without TV or radio. Some people would normally be out at this time, but this night it seemed like everyone was there, all taking advantage of the opportunity to enjoy a sit or a walk out in the moonlit, cool night air. It was wonderful and enchanting. These are the people of the San Diego that I have come to know and love every Sunday afternoon since 2001. As Civic Organist, I proudly carry the tradition inspired by John and Adolph Spreckels, who built the Spreckels Organ for “the enjoyment of all the people of San Diego and the world.” Those words are engraved on a plaque near the Spreckels Organ Pavilion stage. I see their vision of this organ

come true every Sunday. I think it should reach all nationalities, all religions, all genres of music, and fill all aspects of life for everyone; give them something they can take away, a spiritual experience; something for the soul. After all, that is where music reaches people: to raise their consciousness. Even if for a short moment. March will be bustling for us at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion. Our next Family Festival Day will take place Sunday, March 15 at 2 p.m. Lots of activities, great family fun and music for all. Before enjoying the concert that day, I encourage you to visit the Thursday Club’s 85th annual rummage sale. It will be open from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. at the Balboa Park Activity Center, located at 2145 Park Blvd., and the Spreckels Organ Society is one of the honored recipients of the proceeds generated from this year’s sale. Perhaps donate some of your old stuff or go for a browse. A nice outing. If you like to sing or just listen to great singing, San Diego Sings! will take the Organ Pavilion stage March 21 from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. The Choral Consortium of San Diego joins the Spreckels Organ Society to present 20 of San Diego’s finest choral groups in live performance. Enjoy each choir performing on their own and then joining the 1,000 voices of the combined choirs, accompanied by the Spreckels Organ, for the world-premiere of “How Can I Keep From Singing?” by Bradley Nelson. Hear choral ensembles of all ages perform a variety of musical styles, from pops, barbershop, classical, musical theater, and gospel. It’s a grand day for singing! Lastly, remember there is a free concert every Sunday at 2 p.m. on our soon-to-be largest outdoor pipe organ in the world (Austria holds that title at the moment). After each Sunday afternoon concert, you are welcome to tour the building and view the historical photos in the lower hall and peer into the pipe chambers upstairs. You see, the pavilion itself is the actual organ case. Come say hello! —Civic Organist Carol Williams is proud to serve as an ambassador of San Diego’s arts and culture arena. Through her concert performances at home and abroad, Carol offers a fresh take on the classical organ concert. She is committed to illuminating San Diego’s colorful romance with the “King of Instruments,” always seeking to bring the organ to new audiences. For more information visit

Wine, Wednesdays and WoW

TOWN VOICES Fashion Files Diana Cavagnaro

never experienced this form of It’s All Happening theater, it’s a fun, interactive Wearing the performance that allows the By Darlynne and ‘California dream’ audience to be part of the show. Marc Menkin Luv Surf is an apparel line for In “The Grift,” small groups of young women, first introduced at 10 or so people visit different It’s hard to believe but it’s the Surf Expo in Orlando, Florida, rooms of the Lafayette Hotel been 24-plus years since we left in Januar y 2014. The most excitand at each stop, you have to the East Coast and moved to ing part of this junior brand is solve a clue in order to move San Diego. During that time, that it’s made domestically — on. The moving show accomwe’ve never once said to ourand locally. All the clothing says modates 50 audience members selves “we’re bored.” Far from “Made in the USA.” Most recently and requires some walking and it, as we’re always uncovering three styles will be sold at Urban climbing stairs. cool things to see and do. Outfitters in the spring. The deIt starts out with five groups Take for instance the last signer for the apparel line is Ashand several people in each time we were Downtown. We ley Villatuya, who graduated from group are given colored armhad just wrapped up one of our San Diego State with a degree in bands with a key attached. You fun Urban Challenge Scavenbusiness management, went on aren’t told how these keys will ger Hunts and didn’t feel like to FIDM for a digital communicabe used. It’s all ver y mysterious going home yet, so we headed tions degree, and then landed an but fun. One of the rooms even to the Marina Kitchen at the internship with Luv Surf. features food and drinks, which Marriott Marquis near SeaI asked Ashley what direction is a nice touch. “The Grift” runs port Village. We heard about Luv Surf would go in the future. “We through March 22 and tickets their “Wine Wednesdays” event want to stay true to California, the are $40. For more information, that happens from 6 – 7 p.m. dream,” she said. “We want to spread visit on select Wednesdays. It was the Luv with peers and friends by And finally, if you’re into a warm, summer-like evening, inspiring and giving back to the music like we are, the Reuben so it was the perfect way to end community. Luv Surf is not just about H. Fleet Science Center in surfing but a beach lifestyle with Balboa Park is sand, sun, and water.” offering some great They are currently giving back concerts. The next to the community by offering a show is March 27 design contest for all high school and will showcase students in San Diego County. Each blues artist Earl student can enter three different Thomas. designs to be considered. The de“Earl Thomas signs can be freestyle or digital but has been selling out shows in San Diego must be original artwork. Students since the 1990s,” can send their entries to: contest@ said Nathan Young, and the deadline promotions manfor submissions is March 6. ager for the science The top five entries will be ancenter. “He sings a nounced March 9 when voting begins style of blues and on the Luv Surf apparel Facebook and (l to r) Josh Orr and some shiny happy wine people soul music that we Instagram page. The winner will be (Photo by Marc Menkin) don’t often get to announced March 16. hear in San Diego.” The grand prize-winning design Other upcoming concerts are our long day. We were with four will be printed on tank tops sold Eve Selis and Berkley Hart on other people giving it a nice, in the Luv Surf Apparel Shop and April 17 and Steve Poltz on May 22. intimate feel, which allowed us the winner’s school will receive 50 We want to hear from you to really interact with Josh Orr, percent of the proceeds. This is a — DecoBikes are the new bikethe sommelier and his sidekick wonderful opportunity for all upcomshare program installed DownAmanda. ing fashion designers. town. Take a creative photo with “I like when it’s 12 or less Luv Surf just returned from the you and a friend with a DecoBike. people,” Josh said. “We can do Magic Show in Las Vegas and they Do something fun like a popping a the event in the cellar and have are growing by leaps and bounds. A wheelie! The best picture will win great conversations. I get a kick swimwear line will be their next projtwo tickets to a Downtown Urban out of interacting with people.” ect, so look for this in the future. Luv Challenge/Scavenger Hunt and He added that when they have Surf is located in Mission Beach. For two tickets for a biking adventure more than 18 people, they will more info visit to secret spots in Coronado! sometimes do the tastings out Turning heads on the patio, which has great Topping the Internet will be a —Darlynne and Marc Menviews of the bay and Coroseries of hatmaking videos by yours kin are co-owners of Where You nado. Josh had a nice, laid-back truly. I have been in the millinery Want To Be Tours. Several of style and his passion and knowlbusiness for years and decided to their teambuilding adventures edge for wines really came make a series of videos to share are Downtown and on Coronado through in his stor ytelling. my knowledge. After a gazillion Island and their niche is Hidden The wine tastings were exhours in the recording studio, I am San Diego. Visit cellent and they complemented finally ready to release “Your Guide and for the food nicely. We had Marina to Hatmaking.” There will be an more information.v Kitchen’s signature homemade bread, featuring a special olive oil and tomato spread that PUZZLE SOLUTION FROM PG. 18 literally exploded with flavor in our mouths. They also ser ved samples of their fish and pork specialties, both mainstays at the restaurant. In addition to the food and wine pairing class, Marina Kitchen also offers a blind tasting. That’s when the identity of the wine is unknown to the taster, allowing for an unbiased evaluation. The cost for the food and wine combo is $40 per person, $20 for the regular tastings. In addition to wine and culinar y adventures, immersion theater is something else we truly enjoy. We recently checked out La Jolla Playhouse’s “The Grift” — part of their Without Walls (WoW) Festival — playing at the Lafayette Hotel in Uptown and it was quite a treat. It’s a unique way to immerse yourself into a myster y. If you’ve

San Diego Downtown News | March 2015 Internet launch that will include celebrity award-winning journalist, Phoebe Chongchua, as host. During one of the segments I will have a very special celebrity fashion designer who will also make an appearance. For the date of my upcoming launch, visit my website

Upcoming Events

March 5 | FIDM All Stars — Seventh annual Runway 2015 from 6:30 p.m. – 9 p.m. at the Moniker Warehouse. This is a fundraiser for the Princess Project San Diego. For more info visit March 6 | America the Beautiful — Hats Off to San Diego (the Gold Diggers) will present luncheon and hat parade at the Hilton La Jolla Torrey Pines from 10:30 a.m. – 2 p.m. For reservations call Jackie Bailey at 619-670-3643. March 6 | Fashion Redux! 2015 – a gala showcasing the finalist designs from San Diego Mesa College students inspired by the time period of 1915. The event will begin at 6 p.m. at the San Diego History Center and include an illustrated fashion lecture by Mesa Fashion Professor Susan Lazear. Garments will be on view from Feb. 23 through March 8. For more info call 619-232-6203, ext. 129. March 7 | Back 2 Basics — presented by Exhibit Ambush. This art, fashion, and beauty event will feature unique designs and art made from food and eco-friendly materials. Located at the Women’s Museum at 730 Historic Decatur Road Ste. 104 from 5 – 10 p.m. This event will


benefit Hidden Treasures. For info visit March 13 | Bollywood — luncheon and fashion show presented by friends of Vista Hill. This event will begin at 10 a.m. at the Town & Country Resort and Convention Center. For more info call Jenny Cairncross at 858-514-5155 March 15 | The US Grant Luxury Wedding Show & Luncheon — features celebrated bridal and evening couture designer, Ines Di Santo, presented by M Bride. The fashion show will launch Di Santo’s new eveningwear collection. 11 a.m. — 2 p.m., US Grant Hotel Downtown. For tickets visit March 18 | Honeybee Fashion Buzzzzz — this fashion show and luncheon will be at the Hilton La Jolla Torrey Pines beginning at 10:30 a.m. Proceeds go to Epilepsy Foundation of San Diego County. 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

The columnist on set of her series (Courtesy Diana Cavagnaro)


San Diego Downtown News | March 2015


New Children’s Museum

Amici Pet Hospital Stuart Benjamin

Bodhi Massage

Hornblower Cruises

Dr. Evelyn Ascough


Inner Balance Institute Crimson Chic

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 “Reader’s Choice” 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 2014. But this year we made a change; we have rebranded our “Reader’s Choice” awards to our “Best of Downtown” awards. 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

Brian’s 24

Market Steet Vet

readers have spoken. They have chosen the Best — in such categories as breakfast, happy hour, late-night dining, various ethic cuisines, coffee shop, wine bar, galler y, romantic dining, florist, cocktail, live entertainment venue and many, many more. Some of the winners have been ser vicing 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 ser ve. To each of our 2014 “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 staf f at San Diego Community News Network

LION Coffee

Action Property Management Mission Hills Auto


San Diego Downtown News | March 2015



Best of Downtown San Diego 2014 GOLD barleymash Donut Bar Phil’s BBQ San Diego Brewing Co. Jolt’n Joe’s Broken Yolk Burger Lounge Lolita’s The Prado at Balboa Park Hornblower Brunch Cruise Viejas Casino Barona Resort & Casino Burger Lounge Lucky Liu’s Chinese Polite Provisions LION Coffee American Comedy Club Crest Café Fluxx Mona Lisa Italian Foods Extraordinary Desserts Hornblower Cruises Donut Bar IHOP Little Italy Mercato In & Out Burger Bertrand at Mister A’s Café Chloe Athens Market Taverna La Puerta Jimbo’s...Naturally! Buffalo Wild Wings Bombay Exotic Cuisine of India The Field Buca di Beppo Izakaya Masa Croce’s Restaurant & Jazz Bar Brian’s 24 House of Blues Big Front Door La Puerta Babycakes La Puerta Ballast Point Brewing and Spirits Natural History Museum Bottega Americano Fluxx Café Chloe LION Coffee Isola Pizza Bar Hornblower Cruises Rooftop at Andaz Tender Greens Big Front Door Orfila Vineyards & Winery The Oceanaire Seafood Room Bub’s at the Ballpark Morton’s | Donovan’s Sushi Lounge on Market Lotus Thai Plumeria Vegetarian Restaurant Vin de Syrah

SILVER Brian’s 24 Extraordinary Desserts Kansas City Barbeque Ballast Point Brewing and Spirits Moonshine Flats The Mission Hodad’s El Zarape Bottega Americano Café 21 Barona Resort & Casino Valley View Casino Werewolf Wang’s North Park Hilton San Diego Bayfront Influx Mad House Comedy Club Panera Bread Air Conditioned Lounge D.Z. Akin’s Chocalat Bertrand at Mister A’s Antique Row Café Hillcrest Farmers Market Jack in the Box Morton’s The Steakhouse Hexagone Olympic Café Isola Pizza Bar Whole Foods Market Bub’s at the Ballpark Royal India Dublin Square Filippi’s Pizza Grotto Azuki Sushi Eddie V’s Prime Seafood Whiskey Girl Shout House La Puerta Blind Burro BiCE El Comal Stone Brewing Co. New Children’s Museum Ironside Double Deuce C Level Café 222 Filippi’s Pizza Grotto Bertrand at Mr. A’s Altitude Big Front Door Con Pane Rustic Breads & Cafe San Pasqual Winery Ironside Tilted Kilt Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse Sushi Deli Mint Downtown Thai Pokez Café Chloe



Best of Downtown San Diego 2014 GOLD New Era CPAs LLP Andreia Saboya, LAC Hillcrest Pawnbrokers The Chuck Jones Gallery Frank Toyota Mission Hills Automotive Chase Floyd’s 99 Mission Hills Bike Shop Barnes & Noble Frock You Frock You Body Beautiful Car Wash Inner Balance Institute San Diego City College Buffalo Exchange Barry S. Handler, MD, FACS San Diego County Credit Union Bodhi Massage and Bodywork Center Cosmetic Dentistry Center 99 Cent Store Dr. Robert Houghton Daisy Dry Cleaners Bill McCall at Morgan Stanley Allen’s Flowers Cost Plus World Market 24 Hour Fitness Dapper Dolly Scripps Mercy Hospital Andaz San Diego Daniel Egan - Allstate Insurance Stuart Benjamin Bodhi Massage and Bodywork Center Nordstrom Doozydog! Club Downtown Optometry Hillcrest Pawnbrokers Kelly Johnson Fitness Doozydog! Club Doozydog! Club Bill Howe Greater Good Realty David Stone - Greater Good Realty Greater Good Realty Belmont Village Senior Living iTan Downtown Church of Steel Gentlemen’s Tuxedo Shop Market Street Veterinary Clinic The Prado at Balboa Park Nordstrom Hale Holistic

SILVER Debra K. Haverly, CPA APC Snowden Integrative Acupuncture Consignment Classics Shorelines Gallery Mossy Nissan Griffin’s Auto Repair Union Bank of California Barber Side The Bike Revolution Upstart Crow Bookstore Dolcetti Boutique Isis Bridal Boutique North Park Car Wash Gaslamp Chiropractic San Diego State University Hillcrest Pawnbrokers Dr. Charles J. Sarosy, MD Mission Federal Credit Union Happy Head Massage and Foot Reflexology Dr. Evelyn G. Ascough DDS Hillcrest Pawnbrokers Dr. Arvin Saluta, MD Uptown Cleaners Candace Berkman Northwestern Mutual Green Fresh Florals Jerome’s Furniture Fit Athletic Club Crimson Chic Sharp Memorial Hospital Hotel Solamar David Muscat - State Farm Jessops Jewelers Happy Head Massage and Foot Reflexology Macys Greater Good Realty Urban Optiks Vickie Nickerson at Envisions The Golden Paw City Dog GPS Plumbing Action Management Jim Abbott - ARG ARG Merrill Gardens at Bankers Hill Hollywood Tan Apogee Mens Warehouse Amici Pet Hospital Ultimate Sky Box at Diamond View Tower Dolcetti Boutique Bird Rock Yoga

San Diego Downtown News | March 2015



Best of Downtown San Diego 2014

San Diego Downtown News | March 2015


GOLD – barleymash 828 Sixth Ave. 92101 (619) 255-7373

Located in the heart of the Gaslamp, barleymash is a fun, high-energy Downtown restaurant and bar that celebrates the richness of American culture through its appetizing and progressive bar fare. Both the restaurant philosophy and menu offerings draw heavily from two barroom staples: beer and bourbon. barleymash is the Downtown placeto-be for locals and tourists alike. Set amidst reclaimed wood from the original foundation and a warm modernist design, the restaurant and bar support San Diego’s best micro- and nano-breweries. Best of all, though the evening may get started in barleymash, this top-notch eatery also encourages patrons to visit ginger’s, a sophisticated, yet laidback lounge located downstairs. With entertainment slotted seven nights a week for everything from bands to deejays, as well as various special events like beer tastings and food pairings, San Diegans can consider their social calendar full of memorable moments at barleymash.

SILVER – Brian’s 24 600 Fifth Ave. 92101 (619) 702-8410


GOLD – Donut Bar

631 B St. 92101 (619) 255-6360

SILVER – Extraordinary Desserts 1430 Union St. 92101 (619) 294-7001


GOLD – Phil’s BBQ

3750 Sports Arena Blvd. 92110 (619) 226-6333

SILVER – Kansas City Barbeque 600 W. Harbor Dr. 92101 (619) 231-9680


GOLD – San Diego Brewing Co. 10450 Friars Rd. 92120 (619) 284-2739

SILVER – Ballast Point Brewing and Spirits 2215 India St. 92101 (619) 255-7213


GOLD – Jolt’n Joe’s

379 Fourth Ave. 92101 (619) 230-1968

SILVER – Moonshine Flats 344 Seventh Ave. 92101 (619) 255-7625

Allen’s Flowers


GOLD – Broken Yolk 355 Sixth Ave. 92101 (619) 338-9655

SILVER – The Mission 1250 J St. 92101 (619) 232-7662


GOLD – Burger Lounge 528 Fifth Ave. 92101 (619) 955-5727

SILVER – Hodad’s

945 Broadway 92101 (619) 234-6323


GOLD – Lolita’s

202 Park Blvd. 92101 (619) 269.6055 Lolita’s prides itself by selling quality fresh Mexican food and appreciates all the customers that have shown their loyalty over the years and look forward to meeting new customers. Our food taste home made because we make it from the heart with quality ingredients. We proudly serve Angus beef. Visit

us and enjoy our award-winning burritos, tortas, rolled tacos and many other specialty dishes. Our Downtown location is across the street from Petco Park and our sixth location is opening late 2015, Eastlake Chula Vista area. Visit our website to find the location closest to you. Make sure you sign up for our customer loyalty program launching in April 2015!

SILVER – Bottega Americano

SILVER – El Zarape

Hornblower Cruises & Events combines dining and sightseeing on San Diego Bay for one-of-a-kind events on the water. Hornblower is famous for sunset dinner cruises and weekend champagne brunches. San Diego Bay provides some of the best views in Southern California and mixed with cool bay breezes and endless sunshine, the deck of a yacht is one of the best places to be. Hornblower is located in the heart of Downtown along the beautiful Embarcadero. The ticket booth sells scheduled cocktail cruises, whale watching, and short one- and two-hour harbor cruises. Hornblower has a fleet of seven luxury yachts for private charters, weddings, company parties and corporate events for groups from 20 – 1,000. Experienced event planners handle the details from food and beverage, to décor, A/V and entertainment. Hornblower is recognized as a leader on the California waterfront in environmental stewardship and with more than 100,000 corporate and private functions planned in their 35-year history, every event is safe, unique and unforgettable for your guests.

4642 Park Blvd. 92116 (619) 578-2600


GOLD – The Prado at Balboa Park 1549 El Prado 92101 (619) 557-9441

1195 Island Ave. 92101 (619) 255-7800


GOLD – Hornblower Brunch Cruise 970 N. Harbor Dr. 92101 (619) 686-8715

SILVER – Café 21

2825 Fifth Ave. 92101 (619) 234-8687


GOLD – Viejas Casino

5000 Willows Rd. Alpine 91901 (800) 847-6537

SILVER – Barona Resort & Casino

1932 Wildcat Canyon Rd. Lakeside 92040 (619) 443-2300

see Dining & Drinks, page 5

Best of Downtown San Diego 2014 DINNER

GOLD – Hornblower Cruises 970 N. Harbor Dr. 92101 (619) 686-8715

SILVER – Bertrand at Mister A’s 2550 Fifth Ave. #406 92103 (619) 239-1377


GOLD – Donut Bar

631 B St. 92101 (619) 255-6360

Hilton Bayfront


Dining & Drinks CASINO BUFFET

GOLD – Barona Resort & Casino 1932 Wildcat Canyon Rd. Lakeside 92040 (619) 443-2300

SILVER – Valley View Casino 16300 Nyemii Pass Rd. Valley Center 92082 (760) 291-5500


GOLD – Burger Lounge 1608 India St. 92101 (619) 237-7878

SILVER – Werewolf

627 Fourth Ave. 92101 (619) 234-0094


GOLD – Lucky Liu’s Chinese 332 J St. 92101 (619) 255-5487

SILVER – Wang’s North Park 3029 University Ave. 92104 (619) 291-7500


GOLD – Polite Provisions 4696 30th St. 92116 (619) 677-3784

SILVER – Hilton San Diego Bayfront 1 Park Blvd. 92101 (619) 564-3333


GOLD – LION Coffee

101 Market St. #100 92101 (619) 299-5466 LION Coffee was founded in 1864 and has a rich history dating back to early Americana. Over a century of experience in every roast! In 1969, LION moved to Hawaii, the only state that grows coffee. There, they are able to offer the freshest Kona and Hawaiian coffee grown on the land that surrounds them. We blend and roast the finest Arabica coffees from Hawaii and other international regions, to offer our customers the best tasting coffees in the world. At LION, we are also known for our outstanding, and

filling, Sambazon Acai bowls. Our bowls combine the high antioxidant Acai with blueberries, strawberries, bananas, granola and honey. We have three locations in San Diego — Downtown on Market Street and two in Kearny Mesa at 7504 Mesa College Blvd., and 6137 Balboa Ave.

SILVER – Influx

750 W. Fir St. 92101 (619) 255-0735


GOLD – American Comedy Club 818 Sixth Ave. 92101 (619) 795-3858

SILVER – Mad House Comedy Club 502 Horton Plaza 92101 (619) 702-6666


GOLD – Crest Café

425 Robinson Ave. 92103 (619) 295-2510

SILVER – Panera Bread

225 Broadway #160 92101 (619) 544-7400


GOLD – Fluxx

500 Fourth Ave. 92101 (619) 232-8100

SILVER – Air Conditioned Lounge 4673 30th St. 92116 (619) 501-9831


GOLD – Mona Lisa Italian Foods 2061 India St. 92101 (619) 234-4893

SILVER – D.Z. Akin’s

6930 Alvarado Rd. 92120 (619) 234-4893


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

SILVER – Chocolat

509 Fifth Ave 92103 (619) 238-9400



711 Fourth Ave. 92101 (619) 330-5975

SILVER – Antique Row Café 3002 Adams Ave. 92116 (619) 282-9750


GOLD – Little Italy Mercato 434 W. Cedar St. #400 92101 (619) 233-3901

SILVER – Hillcrest Farmers Market 3960 Normal St. 92103 (619) 299-3330


GOLD – In & Out Burger

2005 Camino Del Este 92108 (800) 786-1000

SILVER – Jack in the Box

7740 Hazard Center Dr. 92108 (619) 295-6421


GOLD – Bertrand at Mister A’s 2550 Fifth Ave. #406 92103 (619) 239-1377

SILVER – Morton’s The Steakhouse 285 J St. 92101 (619) 696-3369


GOLD – Café Chloe 721 Ninth Ave. 92101 (619) 232-3242

SILVER – Hexagone

495 Laurel St. 92101 (619) 236-0467


GOLD – Athens Market Taverna 109 W. F St. 92101 619-234-1955

SILVER – Olympic Café

2340 University Ave. 92104 (619) 234-1955

see Dining & Drinks, page 6

San Diego Downtown News | March 2015



San Diego Downtown News | March 2015

Best of Downtown San Diego 2014


Dining & Drinks HAPPY HOUR

GOLD – La Puerta

560 Fourth Ave. 92101 (619) 696-3466 El Santo says drink: A whole lotta love in your low rider while barking at the moon and getting some skinny love thinking you are bad to the bone but you are really just a jackass. Ride on the wheel in the sky taking in all the bad medicine making you see colors and purple haze. If you are hot for teacher take a sip out of her loving cup while rocking out to barracuda. When doves cry they were shocked by your organic electricity. If you dream of Californication come eat carnitas and pancakes. Don’t remember the Alamo just remember La Puerta.

SILVER – Isola Pizza Bar 1526 India St. 92101 (619) 255-4230

Panera Bread




GOLD – Jimbo’s...Naturally!

GOLD – The Field

GOLD – Brian’s 24

SILVER – Whole Foods Market

SILVER – Dublin Square

Brian’s 24 is Downtown’s only 24hour, full-service restaurant. It truly is the “restaurant that never sleeps.” Brian’s copper-clad, open kitchen with its beautiful, historic “Joan Crawford” mahogany bar, combined with a beveled glass window wall and crystal chandelier, create an atmosphere enjoyed by all who visit. Breakfast is served 24 hours a day and can be as simple as bacon and eggs or if you are looking for something unique, try the chicken and waffles, krab cake benedict or their famous Gaslamp power breakfast. Brian’s delicious hotcakes and malted waffles — both made with real buttermilk, fresh eggs and butter — leave many guests talking about one of the best breakfasts they have ever eaten. A huge selection and oversized portions of home-style comfort food includes enormous sandwiches, bountiful salads and burgers, joined by certified Angus choice steaks, hand-tossed pizzas, and house-made meatloaf and mashed potatoes. Inspiring breakfasts to start the day, meeting friends or business associates for lunch, a quiet dinner, late night snack or nightcap — only Brian’s can make it happen 24 hours every day.

92 Horton Plaza 92101 (619) 308-7755

711 University Ave. 92103 (619) 294-2800


GOLD – Buffalo Wild Wings

1640 Camino Del Rio North #1376 92108 (619) 298-7068

SILVER – Bub’s at the Ballpark 715 J St. 92101 (619) 546-0815

544 Fifth Ave. 92101 (619) 232-9840 554 Fourth Ave. 92101 (619) 239-5818


GOLD – Buca di Beppo 705 Sixth Ave. 92101 (619) 233.7272

SILVER – Filippi’s Pizza Grotto 1747 India St. 92101 (619) 232-5094


GOLD – Izakaya Masa

928 Fort Stockton Dr. C109 92103 (619) 542-1354

SILVER – Azuki Sushi 2321 Fifth Ave. 92101 (619) 238-4760


GOLD – Bombay Exotic Cuisine of India 3960 Fifth Ave. 92103 (619) 297-7777

SILVER – Royal India 329 Market St. 92101 (619) 269-9999


GOLD – Croce’s Restaurant & Jazz Bar 2760 Fifth Ave. 92103 (619) 233-4355

SILVER – Eddie V’s Prime Seafood 789 W. Harbor Dr. 92101 (619) 615-0281

828 Sixth Ave. 92101 (619) 702-8410

SILVER – Whiskey Girl 702 Fifth Ave. 92101 619) 236-1616

see Dining & Drinks, page 7

Best of Downtown San Diego 2014



Dining & Drinks GOLD – House of Blues

1055 Fifth Ave. 92101 (619) 299-2583

SILVER – Shout House

500 Fourth Ave. 92101 (619) 232-8100

GOLD – Big Front Door

SILVER – Double Deuce

4135 Park Blvd. 92103 (619) 255-4100

528 F St. 92101 (619) 450-6522

SILVER – La Puerta


560 Fourth Ave. 92101 (619) 696-3466

GOLD – Café Chloe 721 Ninth Ave. 92101 (619) 232-3242


GOLD – La Puerta


GOLD – Babycakes

3766 Fifth Ave. 92103 (619) 296-4173


425 Island Ave. 92101 (619) 239-2423


GOLD – La Puerta

560 Fourth Ave. 92101 (619) 696-3466

SILVER – El Comal

3946 Illinois St. 92104 (619) 294-8292


GOLD – Ballast Point Brewing and Spirits 2215 India St. 92101 (619) 255-7213

SILVER – Stone Brewing Co.

2816 Historic Decatur Rd #116 92106 (619) 269-2100


GOLD – Natural History Museum 1788 El Prado 92101 (619) 232-3821

SILVER – New Children’s Museum 200 W. Island Ave. 92101 (619) 233-8792

The New Children’s Museum is a new model of children’s museum whose mission is to

SILVER – Filippi’s Pizza Grotto

GOLD – Fluxx


639 J St. 92101 (619) 795-7880

SILVER – Ironside


655 Fourth Ave. 92101 (619) 231-6700

SILVER – Blind Burro

GOLD – Isola Pizza Bar

1526 India St. 92101 (619) 255-4320

Hexagone stimulate imagination, creativity and critical thinking in children and families through inventive and engaging experiences with contemporary art. Located in Downtown San Diego’s Marina District, the Museum brings families together in a rich educational environment that fosters creativity by blending elements of children’s museums and art museums. Its current interactive

exhibition, “Feast: The Art of Playing with Your Food” features 13 artist installations and eight other projects that are all uniquely focused on food. From thematic exhibitions like Feast to seasonal camps, cooking classes and a STEAM-based workshop series, the Museum offers a variety of programs throughout the year. To learn more about the Museum’s innovative programming, visit them online.

SILVER – C Level

880 Harbor Island Dr. 92101 (619) 298-6802


GOLD – LION Coffee

101 Market St. #100 92101 (619) 299-5466

SILVER – Café 222

222 Island Ave. 92101 (619) 236-9902



GOLD – Bottega Americano 1195 Island Ave. 92101 (619) 255-7800


560 Fourth Ave. 92101 (619) 696-3466

San Diego Downtown News | March 2015

1526 India St. 92101 (619) 255-4230

1747 India St. 92101 (619) 232-5094


GOLD – Hornblower Cruises 970 N. Harbor Dr. 92101 (619) 686-8715

SILVER – Bertrand at Mister A’s 2550 Fifth Ave. #406 92103 (619) 239-1377


GOLD – Rooftop at Andaz 600 F St. 92101 (619) 814-2060

SILVER – Altitude

660 K St. 92101 (619) 696-0234


GOLD – Tender Greens 110 W. Broadway 92101 (619) 795-2353

see Salad, page 8


San Diego Downtown News | March 2015

Best of Downtown San Diego 2014 FROM PAGE 7


SILVER – Big Front Door 4135 Park Blvd. 92103 (619) 255-4100


GOLD – Big Front Door 4135 Park Blvd. 92103 (619) 255-4100

SILVER – Con Pane Rustic Breads & Cafe 2750 Dewey Rd. #105 92106 (619) 224-4344


GOLD – Orfila Vineyards & Winery

13455 San Pasqual Rd. Escondido 92025 (800) 868-9463

SILVER – San Pasqual Winery 8140 Center St. La Mesa 91942 (619) 469-9463


GOLD – The Oceanaire Seafood Room 400 J St. 92101 (619) 858-2277

SILVER – Ironside

1654 India St. 92101 (619) 269-3033


GOLD – Bub’s at the Ballpark 715 J St. 92101 (619) 546-0815

SILVER – Tilted Kilt 310 10th Avenue (619) 814-5458


GOLD – Morton’s The Steakhouse 285 J St. 92101 (619) 696-3369

GOLD – Donovan’s Steak & Chop House 570 K St. 92101 877-698-666

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 awardwinning 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 15 years, Donovan’s Steak & Chop House in UTC 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. 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 oneof-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. For the ultimate dining experience, the only name you need to know in San Diego is Donovan’s!

SILVER – Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse 380 K St. 92101 (619) 237-1155


GOLD – Sushi Lounge on Market 411 Market St. 92101 (619) 696-6262

SILVER – Sushi Deli

228 Washington St. 92103 (619) 231-9597


GOLD – Lotus Thai

906 Market St. 92101 (619) 299-8272

SILVER – Mint Downtown Thai 732 Fourth Ave. 92101 (619) 546-8424


GOLD – Plumeria Vegetarian Restaurant 4661 Park Blvd. 92116 (619) 269-9989

SILVER – Pokez

947 E St. 92101 (619) 702-7160


GOLD – Vin de Syrah 901 Fifth Ave. 92101 (619) 234-4166

SILVER – Café Chloe 721 Ninth Ave. 92101 (619) 232-3242

Best of Downtown San Diego 2014


GOLD – New Era CPAs LLP 835 Fifth Ave. #309 92101 (619) 255-4630

New Era CPAs LLP is professional services firm located in Downtown San Diego. The firm provides a range of accounting, tax and consulting services to a variety of clients and industries throughout the West Coast. Specific lines of service include bookkeeping, payroll, tax preparation, business consulting, and forensic accounting.

SILVER – Debra K. Haverly, CPA APC

411 Camino Del Rio South #203 92108 (619) 567-2014


GOLD – Andreia Saboya, LAC 1804 Cable St. 92107 (619) 664-9907

SILVER – Snowden Integrative Acupuncture 4313 La Jolla Village Dr. Ste. K4 92122 (858) 333-7603

Mission Hills Bike Shop



GOLD – Hillcrest Pawnbrokers

GOLD – Frank Toyota

SILVER – Consignment Classics

SILVER – Mossy Nissan

3748 Sixth Ave. 92103 (619) 297-1224

1895 Hancock St. 92110 (619) 491-0700


GOLD – The Chuck Jones Gallery

232 Fifth Ave. 92101 (619) 294-9880

SILVER – Shorelines Gallery

918 Orange Ave., Coronado 92118 (619) 727-4080

2400 National City Blvd. National City 91950 (888) 445-0657


GOLD – Mission Hills Automotive

308 Washington St. 92103 (619) 299-9367 Established in 1981, Mission Hills Automotive is located in the heart of historic Mission Hills. Here you can find expert service at a reasonable cost. Our mission is to

see Auto Repair Shop, page 10

San Diego Downtown News | March 2015



San Diego Downtown News | March 2015

Best of Downtown San Diego 2014


Auto Repair Shop never have an unsatisfied customer and we take it very seriously. We provide all automotive repairs for both domestic and foreign vehicles at a fair price to ensure that all of our customers and their cars leave happy. All of our professional technicians are ASE Master certified and provided with ongoing training, as our field is constantly changing with new technology. We want to make sure you are in good hands with our guys and up-to-date training is a sure way to promise this. We strive to be the dealership alternative. Transportation to and from the shop is also extended to our customers if needed. Come and experience Mission Hills Automotive for yourself with a free maintenance inspection from us.

SILVER – Griffin’s Auto Repair 1542 State St. 92101 (619) 234-7991

Thank you, for voting Griffin’s Auto Repair the Best Auto Repair Shop in town. Griffin’s is family owned and operated and has been ever since 1959. Our customers are our most valuable asset and as such we strive to give every customer top of the line service on every job, every time. We have certified ASE master technicians and use high quality factory parts and offer the best warranty in the business — two years or 24,000 miles. So come see why our customers have voted us Best Auto Repair Shop in town.


GOLD – Chase

101 W. Broadway Ste. 100 92101 619-615-0600

Hillcrest Pawnbrokers and water lilies, before the birth of Albert Einstein, before the Statue of Liberty and the world’s first skyscraper, before Nebraska, Colorado, North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, Washington, Idaho, Wyoming, Utah, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Arizona, Alaska and Hawaii were admitted to the Union, before the ice cream cone was invented and yo-yos captured children’s imaginations, and while Abraham Lincoln was president, a bank, now known as Union Bank, was established in 1864. Union Bank is still your one-stop resource for all your personal and business banking needs.


GOLD – Floyd’s 99

899 Market St. 92101 (619) 546-6860

SILVER – Barber Side 3506 Adams Ave. 92116 (619) 347-1057


GOLD – Mission Hills Bike Shop 141 Washington St. 92103 (619) 296-0618

SILVER – The Bike Revolution

SILVER – Union Bank of California

522 Sixth Ave. 92101 (619) 564-4843

Before the light bulb, before the phonograph or the telegraph, before the telephone, before the automobile and the airplane, before Picasso was born, before Monet painted haystacks

The Bike Revolution opened its doors in 2008 after identifying a need for a local community bike shop in the Gaslamp District. With over 30 years of combined experience in our industry, we pride ourselves in our ability to identify our customers’ needs and

1201 Fifth Ave. 92101 619-230-4666

leave them with a lasting, positive experience. Looking to rent a bike? We are best known as having the largest fleet of rental bikes in San Diego. We offer comfort, road, mountain, kids, tandems, and now electric bikes for rent. Not sure where to ride? Let our expert staff help you tailor a route that fits your needs. We are also a full-service bike shop offering sales and repairs. Whether you need a simple adjustment or a full overhaul on your ride, you are in excellent hands with our professional staff. In addition to basic repairs we also offer custom bike builds and wheel builds. Every member of the staff at The Bike Revolution are avid cyclists. We expect the very best from our personal bikes and we feel our customers deserve the same quality and attention to detail that we’ve come to demand. We only carry reputable brands such as Giant, Kona, and Bianchi Bikes. Whether you need some advice, help finding a new bike, or just need some air, come on by our shop. We’re here to help you.


GOLD – Barnes & Noble

SILVER – Upstart Crow Bookstore 835 W. Harbor Dr. 92101 (619) 232-4855

see Business & Retail, page 11

Best of Downtown San Diego 2014


Business & Retail BOUTIQUE

GOLD – Frock You

4121 Park Blvd. 92103 (619) 220-0630

SILVER – Dolcetti Boutique 635 Fifth Ave. 92101 (619) 501-1559


GOLD – Frock You

4121 Park Blvd. 92103 (619) 220-0630

SILVER – Isis Bridal Boutique 9863 Pacific Heights Blvd. H 92121 (858) 554-0568


GOLD – Body Beautiful Car Wash 2045 Pacific Hwy. 92101 (619) 544-7070

Body Beautiful Car Wash has washed over 11 million cars in San Diego since 1979. We have four locations in San Diego County: Downtown, Mission Valley, El Cajon and Poway. All four locations provide full service car wash, full service detailing, hand washes, express detailing services and have a c-store. We offer Mobil unleaded gas and diesel at our Downtown and Mission Valley locations at very competitive prices. If your car needs a little extra TLC, our detail department will give you and your car the personal touch, with our while-you-wait express services for cars that need a little extra attention, all the way up to our full serve detailing services for cars that have some oxidation on its finish, or might need extra interior cleaning on the inside. For more information, visit us online and be sure to take advantage of the discount coupons there.

SILVER – North Park Car Wash 3401 University Ave. 92104 (619) 280-5484


GOLD – Inner Balance Institute 1816 Lincoln Ave. 92103 (619) 543-9999

Inner Balance Institute, San Diego’s premier chiropractic and performance center, is conveniently located in the Hillcrest, North Park and University Heights neighborhoods of San Diego. We have provided superior and consistent chiropractic care since 1997. We’re committed to helping our patients achieve health, vitality, and performance. Our care is effective because we discover the underlying root cause of your suffering, and customize an effective chiropractic and physical medicine treatment solution for lasting and permanent relief. Chiropractic care is more than just

Buffalo Exchange alleviating pain temporarily. The Chiropractic care we provide is a lifestyle change, and we are here to guide you to improve your overall health and quality of life. Our caring and professional team utilizes chiropractic care, physical medicine, core strengthening and stateof-the-art equipment. Our warm and relaxing healing environment melts away the pain and stress of everyday life. Did we mention that we have won several awards for best chiropractor in San Diego? We attribute our success to the commitment we make to our patients and the San Diego Community! See our best chiropractor awards in the testimonial section.

SILVER – Gaslamp Chiropractic

500 Third Ave. 92101 (619) 321-0093


GOLD – San Diego City College 1313 Park Blvd. 921-1 (619) 388-3400

Celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2014, San Diego City College was the first community college established in San Diego and the fifth in California. As the educational cornerstone of Downtown San Diego, the 60-acre campus comprises one fifth of the Downtown footprint. Five new classroom buildings were recently added along the 16th Street corridor and the transformed college is now home to nearly 17,000 students and offers more than 100 majors and 100 certificate programs. With a median midcareer salary of $70,900 a year, San Diego City College alumni are among the highest paid two-year college graduates in the country (2014 Payscale Report). City College is well known for its high quality education programs including nursing, business, graphic design, sustainability, fine arts, child development, languages, machine technology, cosmetology, radio, television and film. Visit the campus for community open house day on April 16. Visit them online and find them on Facebook as SanDiegoCityCollege and Twitter @CityLead.

SILVER – San Diego State University 5500 Campanile Dr. 92182 (619) 594-5200


GOLD – Buffalo Exchange 3862 Fifth Ave. 92103 (619) 298-4411

SILVER – Hillcrest Pawnbrokers 3748 Sixth Ave. 92103 (619) 297-1224


GOLD – Barry S. Handler, MD, FACS

6699 Alvarado Rd. #2305 92120 (619) 583-4222

SILVER – Dr. Charles J. Sarosy, MD 8881 Fletcher Parkway #241 La Mesa 91942 (619) 697-1325


GOLD - San Diego County Credit Union

2245 Fenton Parkway #107 92108 (877) 732-2848

SILVER – Mission Federal Credit Union 1370 India St. 92101 (800) 500-6328


GOLD – Bodhi Massage and Bodywork Center 3678 Fourth Ave. 92103 (619) 274-2744

SILVER – Happy Head Massage and Foot Reflexology 200 Market St. 92101 (619) 333-8190


GOLD – Cosmetic Dentistry Center Dr. Hornsby 702 C St. 92101 (619) 544-0544

see Dentist, page 12

San Diego Downtown News | March 2015



San Diego Downtown News | March 2015

Best of Downtown San Diego 2014 Greater Good Realty



SILVER – Dr. Evelyn G. Ascough DDS 3333 Fifth Ave. 92103 (619) 298-0821

Dr. Evelyn Ascough, affectionately known by her patients as Dr. Ybee (pronounced “E-Bee”) provides complete dental care for people of all ages. She will make you feel safe and comfortable with her warm, soft-spoken approach, and she takes time to answer your questions. Dr. Ybee believes healthy gums and teeth are essential to your total wellbeing. In fact, the conditions of your gums and teeth have a direct effect on your whole body. Your smile on the other hand, is an essential part of your identity. It’s the cornerstone of your expression and the first thing people notice about you. Each time you meet someone face-toface, it makes a lasting impression. That’s why Dr. Ybee cares for your oral health and the appearance of your smile with a different kind of dentistry. Her advanced cosmetic dentistry and caring heart creates beautiful smiles. She and her staff use their advanced training, significant experience and stateof-the-art dental capabilities to ensure you achieve and maintain an attractive and healthy smile.


GOLD – 99 Cent Store 2611 Market St. 92101 (619) 238-2406

SILVER – Hillcrest Pawnbrokers

3748 Sixth Ave. 92103 (619) 297-1224


GOLD – Dr. Robert Houghton 1855 First Ave. 92101 (619) 233-4044

SILVER – Dr. Arvin Saluta, MD 2001 Fourth Ave. 92101 (858) 499-2703


GOLD – Daisy Dry Cleaners 3994 30th St. 92104 (619) 298-0815

SILVER – Uptown Cleaners 1020 University Ave. 92103 (619) 299-2378


GOLD – Bill McColl at Morgan Stanley 101 W. Broadway #181 92101 (619) 238-6212 mccoll

SILVER – Candace Berkman Northwestern Mutual 600 W. Broadway #181 92101 (619) 230-8095


GOLD – Allen’s Flowers 620 Market St. 92101 (619) 233-7673

Allen’s Flowers and Plants has made its name as San Diego’s number one florist by offering outstanding custom flower arrangements created by the cities top floral designers. Allen’s Flowers uses the finest and freshest flowers available and are one of the first San Diego florists to understand the importance of buying locally grown flowers and supporting San Diego’s local farmers. Today, our second-generation, family-owned company is one of the nation’s most highly regarded florists, with a worldwide online presence and three shops in and around San Diego offering same day delivery 365 days a year. Allen’s Flowers is a preferred florist of the San Diego Convention Center along with many of the hotels located both in downtown and other parts of San Diego.

SILVER – Green Fresh Florals 3785 Fourth Ave. 92103 (619) 544-0504

Green Fresh Florals creates custom contemporary floral designs for San Diego’s top brands and discerning clients. Trained in London and a former Art Alive rotunda designer, owner Carlos Franco takes inspiration from European floral shops; clients are welcomed to a design bar where Franco and his designers create the perfect arrangement. Carlos and his team are experts in wedding and event design. From a small intimate gathering to a large industry event, Green Fresh Florals can transform any space into a living work of art. They are proud to work with the area’s finest corporate clients throughout various industries, including high-end brands such as Gucci, Westin Hotels & Resorts and Bloomingdales. In addition to flowers, topiaries,

succulents and plantings, Green Fresh Floral’s concept store and outdoor patio also carry a range of home décor, including unique gifts, cards, candles, vases and pots.


GOLD – Cost Plus World Market 372 Fourth Ave. 92101 (619) 236-1737

SILVER – Jerome’s Furniture 1190 W. Morena Blvd. 92110 (858) 924-1871


GOLD – 24 Hour Fitness 1 Horton Plaza 92101 (619) 232-4024

SILVER – Fit Athletic Club 350 10th Ave. 92101 (619) 764-5348


GOLD – Dapper Dolly

3405 Kenyon St #202 92110 (858) 357-6505

SILVER – Crimson Chic 171 W. Market St. 92101 (619) 231-2442

Crimson Chic salon is celebrating 13 years in business. The salon, one of the best kept secrets in Downtown’s Marina District, has a reputation that goes far beyond its San Diego clientele and includes a dedicated following from as far as Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York and beyond. Our salon professionals have a wealth of experience in classic and contemporary haircutting, and also specialize in custom and corrective hair color, highlights, extentions and ethnic hair. Crimson Chic salon is located on west Market Street, on street level, between First and Front streets. The owners and all our staff would like to thank all our dedicated clients and all those whom have chosen us to be the #1 salon in Downtown San Diego. Please phone us or visit our Facebook page.


GOLD – Scripps Mercy Hospital 4077 Fifth Ave. 92103 (619) 294-8111

see Hospital, page 13

Best of Downtown San Diego 2014 Doozydog! Club

New Era CPAs



SILVER – Sharp Memorial Hospital 7901 Frost St 92123 (858) 939-3400


GOLD – Andaz San Diego 600 F St. 92101 (619) 849-1234

SILVER – Hotel Solamar 435 Sixth Ave. 92101 (619) 819-9500


GOLD – Daniel Egan - Allstate Insurance

award winning service, its easy to see why Stuart Benjamin & Co. Jewelry Designs, remains a favorite in San Diego.

SILVER – Jessops Jewelers 401 W. C St. 92101 (619) 234-4137


GOLD – Bodhi Massage and Bodywork Center 3678 Fourth Ave. 92103 (619) 274-2744

SILVER – Happy Head Massage and Foot Reflexology 200 Market St. 92101 (619) 333-8190


11590 W. Bernardo Ct, Ste 130 92127 (858) 487-6111

GOLD – Nordstrom

SILVER – David Muscat State Farm

SILVER – Macy’s

2856 University Ave. 92104 (619) 795-3853


GOLD – Stuart Benjamin

510 Hazard Center Dr. 92108 (619) 297-7666 When shopping for a ring, would you rather speak to a jewelry expert or a salesperson? Expert, of course! That’s why more people look to San Diego’s trusted third generation jeweler, Stuart Benjamin & Co. Jewelry Designs for professional knowledge on their purchase and repair. This exceptional level of service and integrity has been rewarded, with Stuart Benjamin & Co. becoming an American Gem Society (AGS) member, which only five percent of jewelry stores in the nation qualify for. In addition, their staff are all graduates of the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), which means you can feel confident with your purchase and know they stand behind their jewelry and reputation of quality. From their intimate showroom highlighting a beautiful selection of bridal rings, exquisite diamonds, custom jewelry and repairs, to their

103 Horton Plaza 92101 (619) 239-1700 160 Horton Plaza 92101 (619) 231-4747


GOLD – Doozydog! Club 634 14th St. #104 92101 (619) 231-4701

Doozydog! Club is the first club for dogs and their humans offering dog daycare, dog boarding, dog grooming and a boutique shop. The hours are perfect for any dog or human, 7 a.m. – 9 p.m., daily. The club is recognized as an irresistible and unique brand that resonates quickly and strongly to dog owners, giving them a sense of reassurance that their dog is safe, loved, and cared for by good humans — all in a fun, sparkling clean environment. Conveniently located on 14th Street at the corner of G Street in the East Village, Doozydog! Club is situated at the base of the 13th & Market luxury apartment homes. The sidewalk comes alive with entertainment and vitality as humans pass by and can’t resist the cute pups in the window. The 5,500-square-foot club is perfect for dogs of all shapes and sizes that play nicely and want to hang with the gang. Dogs get away from it all and enjoy a convivial atmosphere at the club.

Dogs socialize and play with their special pack in one of five play parks; enjoy daily organic treats and lap up filtered water; unwind in quiet digs at the sleep & eat; and get cleaned, fluffed and styled at the state-of-the-art style bar. After dogs enjoy the day, they go home clean, happy, fresh and relaxed!

SILVER – Greater Good Realty 639 Kettner Blvd. 92101 (619) 473-2837


GOLD – Downtown Optometry

330 K St. 92101 (619) 231-5799

SILVER – Urban Optiks 3788 Park Blvd. #5 92103 (619) 683-2020


GOLD – Hillcrest Pawnbrokers 3748 Sixth Ave. 92103 (619) 297-1224


GOLD – Kelly Johnson Fitness 619-786-6074

SILVER – Vickie Nickerson at Envisions 4620 Alvarado Canyon Rd, Ste. 14 92120 619-229-9695


GOLD – Doozydog! Club 634 14th St. #104 92101 (619) 231-4701

SILVER – The Golden Paw 3915 Ninth Ave. 92101 (619) 299-2068


GOLD – Doozydog! Club 634 14th St. #104 92101 (619) 231-4701

SILVER – City Dog

550 Park Blvd. 92101 (619) 269-0201

see Business & Retail, page 14

San Diego Downtown News | March 2015



San Diego Downtown News | March 2015

Best of Downtown San Diego 2014 Diego “family” for your support year after year.

Donovan’s Steak & Chop House

SILVER – GPS Plumbing

P.O Box 1431 Spring Valley 91979 (619) 312-0585

GOLD – Greater Good Realty

Greater Good Realty would like to send a heartfelt thank you to all our clients, supporters and friends who voted for us for the 2014 Best of Downtown San Diego Awards and a special congratulations to all the nominees! We are delighted to be have won in the categories: Best Real Estate Agent, David Stone, Gold winner recipient; Best Real Estate Office, Gold winner recipient; Best Property Management Company, Gold winner recipient; Best New Business, Silver winner recipient. We are proud to be representing San Diego and are committed to being the BEST for you and the community we serve. We are thankful for the ability to give back 10 percent of our commissions to

Action Property Management is honored to receive the title of “Best Property Management Company” in Downtown San Diego for 2014. Action stands out in the marketplace because of their dedication to providing the highest level of customized management services for over 30 years. Action celebrates the unique qualities of each client and combines the appropriate resources with best practices to capture the vision and enhance the quality of life of the residents of each community. Action’s priorities are to provide services that focus on flexibility, efficiency, transparency, and accountability. Combining these principles makes Action noticeably different and results in communities that provide five-star service to their residents. Downtown San Diego is an exciting

639 Kettner Blvd. 92101 (619) 473-2837

Business & Retail PLUMBER

GOLD – Bill Howe

9085 Aero Dr. 92123 (619) 286-6348 San Diego has trusted the name Bill Howe for 35 years. Unwavering in their philosophy of providing the highest quality work, outstanding customer service and giving back to the community originally set forth by Bill in 1980, the company has grown

into a family of companies offering honest services at a fair price. From one truck in 1980 to over 80 in 2015, Bill Howe has grown to be the premier one-stop shop for plumbing, heating, air conditioning, water treatment, sewer relining, restoration and flood services. Committed to creating a happy and healthy workplace for our employees, delivering five star service every time and giving back to our community continues to be our mission. We are honored to be recognized by the San Diego Downtown News readers and promise to continue with excellence in all that we do. Thank you, our San

SILVER – Action Property Management

1133 Columbia St. #106 92101 (800) 400-2284



local charities. To learn more about us or our listings and services, please visit on the web or call us at 619-GREATER. marketplace and Action is proud to be serving its 3,000 homeowners among 22 urban communities. For more information regarding how we can serve your community, please call us or visit our website.


GOLD – David Stone - Greater Good Realty 639 Kettner Blvd. 92101 (619) 473-2837

SILVER – Jim Abbott - ARG 501 First Ave. 92101 (619) 234-3995


GOLD – Greater Good Realty 639 Kettner Blvd. 92101 (619) 473-2837


501 First Ave. 92101 (619) 234-3995


GOLD – Belmont Village Senior Living

13075 Evening Creek Dr. S 92128 858-486-5020 Belmont Village is a senior living center and a leader in whole brain fitness. In 2005, Belmont Village launched an award-winning program called “Circle of Friends” for people with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and early-stage memory loss. It was designed to bridge a gap of unmet need between normal cognitive function and Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. Memory changes in the brain do not occur overnight but begin decades before symptoms appear. Research indicates that it is possible to build cognitive reserve that may delay functional loss and maintain ability levels, even after some loss. Belmont Village’s tiered program approach seeks the “just right challenge” for each resident. Daily activities involve physical exercise, mental workouts, social interaction and good nutrition, all to help residents maintain whole brain and body fitness and lead engaged and purposeful lives. Take a tour by calling one of San Diego’s Belmont Village locations or visit us online.

SILVER – Merrill Gardens at Bankers Hill 2567 Second Ave. 92103 (618) 752-1099

Merrill Gardens at Bankers Hill offers a casual elegance and sophistication found only in the prestigious Bankers Hill neighborhood of Downtown San Diego. Downtown retirement living has never been this good — or as much fun — as it can be at Merrill Gardens! Merrill Gardens at Bankers Hill is a short stroll from fine dining, quaint Victorian homes and Balboa Park, and the community is just minutes from top-ranked physicians, clinics

see Retirement Living, page 15

Best of Downtown San Diego 2014

Griffin’s Auto Repair


Retirement Living

companies from all over the county bring their clients to work with us.

SILVER – Mens Warehouse and hospitals. The apartments are spacious and most have a full kitchen, balcony, washer and dryer. And while the community is second to none, the residents who choose to live here make the community truly unique. Residents take advantage of the salon, bistro, fitness center, multiple gathering spaces, secure underground parking and landscaped courtyard areas. Merrill Gardens at Bankers Hill is happy to help residents enjoy more.


GOLD – iTan Downtown 107 W. G St. 92101 (619) 238-7161

SILVER – Hollywood Tan

1400 Camino De La Reina Ste. 121 92108 (619) 260-9017


GOLD – Church of Steel 750 Broadway 92101 (619) 232-5752

SILVER – Apogee

935 E St. 92101 (619) 702-2612


GOLD – Gentlemen’s Tuxedo Shop 999 F St. 92101 (619) 239-8901

Greetings of peace and goodwill. No longer just for the rich and famous, The Gentlemen’s Tux Club rents and sells tuxedos to individuals, weddings and groups. We have been conducting business here in Downtown San Diego for over 20 years. Our clients range from Hollywood actors, civic and entrepreneurial leaders, to the young man attending his first formal dance. Our company has been “the place to go” for those who appreciate expert advice in formalwear, measured and tailored just for you. With over 3,000 tuxedos in stock, we can fit just about anyone who walks through our door in just a few minutes. People often tell us they are amazed at our quality products, professional service and very reasonable prices. Please see us for your next formal event or wedding and experience first-hand why wedding coordinators, event planners and destination management

5171 Mission Center Rd. 92108 (619) 294-6660


GOLD – Market Street Veterinary Clinic 633 Seventh Ave. 92101 (619) 230-1220

Market Street Veterinary Clinic is proud to serve the Downtown San Diego area for everything pet related. Our veterinary clinic is owned and managed by Dr. Raffy Dorian, who is a compassionate

and experienced veterinarian. Our team is committed to educating our clients in how to keep your pets healthy year round, with good nutrition and exercise. Market Street Veterinary Clinic stays on top of the latest advances in veterinarian technology and above all, remembers that all animals and pets need to be treated with loving care during every check-up, procedure, or surgery. When you are looking for a veterinary care clinic you should be able to count on superior care and excellent service. We at Market Street Veterinary Clinic have assembled an expert team of veterinary professionals to bring you the best possible healthcare for your pet. We have a state-of-the-art veterinary facility that is clean, comfortable, and efficient. Call us to schedule an appointment and we will find a time that is convenient for you.

SILVER – Amici Pet Hospital 2135 Columbia St. 92101 (619) 795-2400

Amici Pet Hospital is proud to be a part of the Little Italy

San Diego Downtown News | March 2015

Downtown area. Dr. Crystal Van Lom and Dr. Marla Saltzman opened the hospital with the common goal of creating a loving and caring place for animals to come for veterinary care. This experienced veterinary team offers services for dogs and cats that include general health exams, vaccines, spays and neuters, surgeries, lab work, dental, digital radiographs, private cat exam rooms, ultrasound, and a high standard of excellence in all care. The friendly and full service pet hospital offers free parking, a convenient location, and a yard for playtime. The welcoming and knowledgeable staff takes pride in offering outstanding customer service. This is a hospital where the veterinarians are committed to keeping your pet healthy and enjoy the connection to their patients and owners. Amici Pet Hospital of Little Italy is a modern and state of the art facility, with a philosophy that goes back to the basics — a true love of animals and a dedication to their wellbeing.



GOLD – The Prado at Balboa Park 1549 El Prado 92101 (619) 557-9441

SILVER – Ultimate Sky Box at Diamond View Tower 350 10th Ave. 92101 (619) 993-0710


GOLD – Nordstrom

103 Horton Plaza 92101 (619) 239-1700

SILVER – Dolcetti Boutique 635 Fifth Ave. 92101 (619) 501-1559


GOLD – Hale Holistic 1227 J St. 92101 (619) 804-9430

SILVER – Bird Rock Yoga 910 Grand Ave. #206 92109 (858) 207-6246


San Diego Downtown News | March 2015

Best of Downtown San Diego 2014

San Diego Downtown News - March 2015  


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