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March 15–28, 2013

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Old Town • Mission Hills • Bankers Hill

➤➤ NEWS P. 4

Hillcrest • University Heights • Normal Heights • North Park • South Park • Golden Hill • Kensington • Talmadge

Reaching for the stars


for the

Bombing South Park

➤➤ DINING P. 10


Passionate organizers have been part of Reuben H. Fleet Science Center for 40 years By Dave Fidlin SDUN Reporter

Franklin students learn tree conservation, safety at Arbor Week event

Mary Anderson remembers the momentous day as if it had just taken place. Having gained an appreciation of astronomy from a young age, Anderson was enthusiastic about a new job as she attended classes as a freshman at San Diego State University. On March 10, 1973, she assumed her duties as an usher at what was then known as the Fleet Space Theater and Science Center. It was opening day at a venue that would be touted for using cutting-edge technology and bringing the wonders of the solar system to the masses. The rest, as they say, is history. The Balboa Park-based facility, known today as the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center, is celebrating its 40th anniversary. With sweeping technological changes and new discoveries, the venue has evolved.

By Anthony King SDUN Editor

Authentic Wellington

➤➤ FEATURE P. 12

Annie’s Hairspray quest

➤➤ EVENTS P. 14

St. Paddy’s green

Index Opinion…………………6 Briefs……………………8 Theater…………………13 Calendar………………17 Classifieds……………18 Parenting……………21

Contact Us Editorial/Letters 619-961-1952



Several Benjamin Franklin Elementa Elementary School students celebrated California Arbor Week by planting 15 trees around the school’s perimeter in Kensington with the help of Urban Corps of San Diego County and Councilmember Marti Emerald. Held Tuesday, March 12, the event brought together Franklin faculty, representatives from San Diego Gas & Electric and several community groups. Cindy Marten, the new San Diego Unified School District superintendent, was also present. “It all started, of course, with a desire to help the kids,” Emerald said before taking a group of 15 ASB students to plant the first tree with the help of Urban Corps volunteers. The first four trees planted lined Copeland Avenue, facing the front of the school. “We want more trees, we want more shade [and] we want a more beautiful community,” she said. A special Watering Club at the school will care for the trees, along with the Garden Angels of Kensington, a volunteer resident group that has been tending sidewalk tree plots on Adams Avenue. Emerald said the Franklin project began with the efforts of Dixie Blake, a Franklin volunteer with a personal connection to the school. “Her sons went to this school many years ago,” Emerald said, “and she remembers the way Franklin was when her kids were growing up here. … She has made it her life’s mission now, along with all her friends here in the neighborhood, to restore Franklin to its greatness.” Blake has been volunteering at the school for

see Fleet, page 16 A Franklin ASB student helps his friends plant trees at the Arbor Week event March 12. (Photo by Dixie Blake) nine years, building a core group of 40 tutors who give their time to help students and faculty. Focusing on nature and the environment, the volunteers have put in a vegetable garden at the school, as well as a hummingbird and butterfly habitat. “The idea of planting the trees came to mind about four years ago,” Blake said. “There must have been trees in all those spaces at some point, but from the outside it looked bare.” Franklin Elementary Principal R. Akoni Derige said he hoped to continue the tradition year after year, and felt it was a great opportunity for the students to learn about the importance of caring for trees. The sentiment is at the heart of Blake’s mission. “They are happy and proud of these new trees, and will be keeping them watered during the rest of the school year,” Blake said. “There are so many learning

see Franklin, page 23

(l to r) Joy and Jeffrey Kirsch. (XXX) Courtesy Reuben H. Fleet Science Center)

Whole Foods Market receives Zero Waste certification After reducing and recycling waste, Hillcrest location given first national business environmental honor By Anthony King SDUN Editor

The Whole Foods Market Hillcrest store received a certification plaque from the San Diego-based United States Zero Waste Business Council at a ceremony held March 7. Zero Waste Council founder and Executive Director Stephanie Barger presented Whole Foods Market Marketing Supervisor Ray Kau with the honor, highlighting ways the retail store was making strides to reduce their carbon footprint.

“They have diverted over 90 percent of their waste from landfill, incineration and the environment by reducing, reusing and recycling,” Barger said, calling the store a leader in the region. The store received the bronze level requirement for the Zero Waste certification, and is now eligible to pursue the platinum, or top level. “We are thrilled to launch the new certification program and to verify the achievements of Whole Foods Market,” Barger said in a

(l to r) Renee Robertson, Nancy Moors, Stephanie Barger and Ray Kau at Whole Foods Market’s certification ceremony (Photo by SDUN) press release. “Our goal is not only to provide credibility to Zero Waste businesses, but also to offer the resources needed to create value and save money.” The Zero Waste Business Coun-

cil was formed in 2012 to “educate, inform and document” businesses in environmental best practices that support a healthy and sustainable

see WholeFoods, page 9


San Diego Uptown News | March 15–28, 2013


San Diego Uptown News | March 15–28, 2013


Heights Tavern opens on Adams Ave Business owner Bill McHugh sees long-term success in new development By Dave Schwab SDUN Reporter

Heights Tavern, the latest edition to the Normal Heights pub scene, is certainly aptly named, said Bill McHugh, owner of the recently opened bar and restaurant at 3377 Adams Ave. Dubbed “the Heights,” the restaurateur’s latest venture will host a grand opening celebration Thursday, March 21. McHugh said he is bringing something different to the local bar scene, something he thinks it did not previously have. “I noticed this was one of the communities in San Diego that hadn’t been developed with a space like this,” he said. “A lot of the bars here were either drinking bars, or they were food establishments. There wasn’t one that really crossed over.” The sports-themed tavern may serve to be that missing hybrid: the perfect blend of pub and eatery. McHugh, no stranger to the San Diego restaurant scene, previously owned Jose’s Courtroom, which overlooks the La Jolla Cove and is known for its circular, wraparound bar. He opened The Regal Bar in La Mesa in 2009. Chef Matt Gordon from Urban Solace created Heights’ menu, which McHugh said offers one of “the best burgers in San Diego.” Food is served late at the new restaurant-bar. Promotional materials refer to

Called the Heights, the new location employs over 50 staff. (Photo by Dave Schwab)

The inside of the new restaurant shows off several TV for sports fans. (Photo by Dave Schwab)

Heights’ atmosphere as “relaxed and unpretentious built on the foundation of the community.” Featuring a full liquor bar and 40 beers on tap, as well as 26 TVs, the Heights delivers on its sports theme. McHugh said his new establishment is a fun, family friendly atmosphere by day, which will heat up for nightlife in the evenings with resident DJ Scott Martin. “The neighborhood was in need of something like this,” McHugh said. “I made it happen.” McHugh cut his teeth in the local nightclub scene working as a DJ with Z90.3 radio. After that, he became entertainment coordinator for Black Angus restaurants.

From 2000 to 2008, he operated a successful mortgage company. But sensing a change in the wind, he said he decided to get his feet wet in the restaurant business with Jose’s Courtroom, which led him to the new venture in Normal Heights. “In 2011, I started work on this project,” McHugh said. “I sold my shares in my two other businesses to have the money to take on this project.” Heights Tavern now occupies the space formerly inhabited by three retail establishments, covering approximately 3,800 square feet. Acquiring a lease for the building housing all three retail

properties was McHugh’s first challenge in making the Heights a reality. “The first hurdle was getting enough face time with the landlord,” he said, adding that the retail spaces had already been leased. Ultimately, McHugh was successful in making a pitch for his new restaurant-bar being the best long-term option for that location. Heights Tavern recently held a soft opening and employs a staff of 52, including a dozen kitchen staff, over 15 food servers and 10

bartenders. The March 21 Grand Opening, will feature a special guest DJ. “Opening our location in the heart of Normal Heights has been a great honor, and we want to invite all of our neighbors and friends to help us break in the new spot,” organizers for the event said. “To give you a taste of the great times to come, we will be serving up our refreshing drinks and tasty eats with specials all night long.” For more information call 619501-3455 or visit


San Diego Uptown News | March 15–28, 2013


Yarn bombing South Park Graffiti Beach owners launch fundraising campaign through unconventional, artistic method By Anthony King SDUN Editor

South Park-based retailer and emergingartist supporter Graffiti Beach used a some what unusual method to launch a new fundraising campaign. On March 1, owners Melanie Michaud and Brandie Mata invited Crochet Grenade artist Marcy Kraft to “yarn bomb” the front of their store, where Kraft knitted and placed multi-colored covers for surrounding trees and streetlights, as well as a bike rack and surf board.

The knitting covered the entire tree trunk. (Photo by Corrinne Bollendorf)

“Graffiti Beach’s partnership with Marcy Kraft is founded on the company’s commitment to support emerging artists, designers and creative types from dynamic backgrounds,” organizers said in a release for the event. Kraft, who began her work out of “boredom and curiosity,” they said, is known for similar “bombings” around San Diego, including a recent Westfield Mission Valley event promoting a do-it-yourself workshop. “Many street artists today are re-evaluating the term ‘graffiti,’” organizers said. “As street artists seek to express themselves without damaging property, yet in a style that conveys their dynamic personalities, they are challenging the negative connotations associated with street art.” The three-day public art installation ended March 3, and Michaud and Mata said the exhibition could come down at any time. The co-owners have a mission to promote emerging artists worldwide, in part from Michaud’s own personal experience of watching her father Thomas – a Flamenco guitarist – have a difficult time in reaching a larger, public audience. “My mission in life became to create events, stores, marketing techniques and tools that would help support these talented individuals,” Michaud wrote on the company’s website. The pair is looking to fulfill this mission in ways that reach beyond giving space to designers and artists at their retail store. “We chose to bring yarn-bombing to our store front and our lovely South Park neighborhood as a part of an effort to raise money to print our ‘Unconventional Street

Artist Marcy Kraft and her kitted Graffiti Beach surfboard (Photo by Corrinne Bollendorf) Art’ issue of Graffiti Beach Magazine,” Michaud said in the release. “Our magazine is based on highlighting emerging creatives around the globe in order to give them a voice and a place to showcase their talents. The mission of our magazine is to create an advertisement-free publication that puts the power of design and creativity back into the artist’s hands.” The March 1 yarn bomb served as a launch to Michaud and Mata’s Kickstarter campaign, an online-based fundraiser they said would help print the summer issue of Graffiti Beach Magazine. The initial goal is to raise $18,000, however organizers of the yarn bomb event said the more the company raises, the longer they can continue to print. “This is more than just a magazine, it is a carefully crafted soft book filled with rich

imagery and content that acts as an avenue of inspiration as well as creative freedom,” Michaud said. If Michaud and Mata are able to raise the initial amount, the first print edition of the magazine on May 7 will feature Kraft’s yarn bomb with 20 other “unconventional” street art installations, including a San Diego Street Art map, they said. Supporters of the Kickstarter campaign will receive their own issue as well as merchandise packages from the Graffiti Beach store in South Park. The campaign will run through March 31, and at 18 days remaining organizers had raised over $2,500. For more information, visit Graffiti Beach at 2220 Fern St. or call 858-433-0950. Additional information, including the link to the Kickstarter campaign, can be found online at


San Diego Uptown News | March 15–28, 2013


From political to nonprofit leader Center for Civic Engagement Vice President BongHwan Kim promotes community participation in Greater San Diego Vision By Dave Schwab SDUN Reporter

In a recent open-forum discussion with BongHwan “BH” Kim, the vice president and executive director of The San Diego Foundation’s Malin Burnham Center for Civic Engagement openly discussed his experience in Los Angeles politics – including racial tensions following the 1992 Rodney King riots – and, ultimately, what led him to oversee a multi-year vision for San Diego. The San Diego Foundation, one of the region’s premiere philanthropic organizations, is currently implementing the Our Greater San Diego Vision initiative, set to guide the region’s growth over the next 50 to 100 years. Kim took the newly created position at the Malin Burnham Center August 2012, and said the Vision’s focus is on quality-of-life issues. The Malin Burnham Center for Civic Engagement, housed at the Foundation’s Point Loma office, was initially funded by a $5 million endowment from retired real estate executive Malin Burnham. The gift was in part to help underwrite a permanent organization to maintain, promote and implement the regional vision. Kim talked about his role in articulating that vision during the hour-long conversation with Voice of San Diego CEO Scott Lewis, held at the Top of the Park penthouse restaurant in Bankers Hill. The Feb. 28 discussion, part of the nonprofit media organization’s ongoing speaker series “One Voice at a Time,” was open to the public. Lewis first asked Kim to explain the work of the San Diego Foundation, which was incorporated in 1975.

“There are community foundations all through the country,” Kim said, noting such foundations foster “civic engagement for public problem solving” by helping people “who want to make a difference in a more intelligent way.” “Donors come to us who want to make a difference, and we manage their funds,” he said. Turning to politics, Lewis asked Kim about his candidacy for L.A. City Council, to which Kim answered that he had experienced “the worst and the best of urban democracy” in his 25 years in L.A. The worst, he said, was the Los Angeles riots in April 1992 and the backlash against Korean storeowners, which culminated in racial conflict, fire bombings and an economically destructive boycott of Korean merchants and goods. “A few of us fluent in English had to speak,” Kim said, calling the moment his initiation into politics. “It was trial by fire that taught me a lot about how disconnected communities have become from government and the consequences of failed political leadership.” An integral part of the Neighborhood Councils system established in L.A. after the riots as a way to support grass-roots democracy, Kim said he became convinced to run for a council seat. He was the longest-serving general manager of the city’s Department of Neighborhood Empowerment when he decided to run, and then ultimately when he resigned from the race to take the position in San Diego. When he heard of the Foundation’s search for a director for its new Center for Civic Engagement, Kim said that it was “a pretty unique opportunity to work with San

(l to r) Voice of San Diego CEO Scott Lewis and Malin Burnham Center for Civic Engagement Executive Director BongHwan Kim (Photo by Dave Schwab) Diego government, trying to make changes from within.” Kim said he backed the Greater San Diego Vision survey completed last year, which solicited San Diegans’ opinions on what problems they saw and what goals they wanted to achieve going forward. The results can be found at “SANDAG [San Diego Association of Governments] has said our population in the next 40 years is going to increase Our Greater San Diego Vision is a multi-year San Diego Foundation by the size of the city of initiative. (Courtesy San Diego Foundation) San Diego. That means “We have to figure out ways to work the region has to accommodate 300,000 with government and communities to more jobs and an additional 350,000 housmake sure government can be as adaping units,” Kim said, adding that increases mean “a lot of challenges related to growth tive as possible to meet the challenges,” he said. “If people are given a meaningful facing the region.” opportunity to participate in qualify-of-life In articulating San Diego’s long-term issues, they will participate. … What I’m vision, Kim said he would like to engage public participation for future challenges by trying to do is figure out ways in which we connecting the public and private sectors. can do that.”u


San Diego Uptown News | March 15–28, 2013


3737 Fifth Ave. Suite 201 San Diego, CA 92103 (619) 519-7775 PUBLISHER David Mannis (619) 961-1951 EDITOR Anthony King (619) 961-1952 ASSISTANT EDITOR Morgan M. Hurley (619) 961-1960


100 Days of Progress By Council President Todd Gloria One hundred days ago, on December 3, 2012, I was humbled to be selected as San Diego’s City Council President. When I was sworn in for my second term as the Councilmember representing the Third District, I laid out my vision through which we would remain fiscally disciplined, focus on infrastructure, end homelessness Downtown in four years, establish parklets and bicycle systems, and develop an appropriate celebration for Balboa Park’s 2015 centennial of the 1915 Panama-California Exposition. I am pleased to present to you this update of my first 100 days in the position and in my second term, which have demonstrated that collaboration and public participation generate results. Much more work is ongoing, and I’ve highlighted several efforts below that will likely be addressed throughout the course of 2013. My goals as Council President remain simple: to strengthen the City Council as a legislative body and to work cooperatively to improve the quality of life in San Diego. … Currently, restaurant owners face a permitting process that is costly, long and unpredictable. A new proposal, allowing restaurants to keep a row of tables within 4.5 feet of the building, will soon be heard by the City Council. As the representative of almost one third of all restaurants in the City, I look forward to adding more curb cafes next to our sexy streets and sidewalks. Streets and sidewalks are two key parts of City infrastructure, which also includes our water and sewer systems and public facilities like fire stations, libraries, parks, and recreation centers. … One specific aspect of our roadway and transportation network that has gained tremendous traction in the last 100 days is bicycle infrastructure. On February 25, Mayor Bob Filner and I cut the ribbon on the City’s newest bike corral, located on Richmond Street just south of University Avenue in Hillcrest. It was originally somewhat controversial to transform an on-street parking space into safe parking


for more than 10 bicycles when the first corral was installed on Fifth Avenue. Yet now, it is amazing and gratifying to see local businesses initiate requests for additional corrals. The need for bike parking demonstrates the reality that San Diegans use bicycles for more than recreation; they are truly a regular mode of transportation. I was excited to hear of Mayor Filner’s commitment to create our first ciclovia, CicloSDias, this August 18. CicloSDias will open the streets to folks who want to walk, bike, or mingle in the roadways without concern for vehicle interference. The idea of ciclovia originated in Bogata and has since spread internationally. As part of a longer term, sustainable active transportation vision, I am working with the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG), neighbors, and the bicycle community to add safe bikeways along the two regional bike corridors in Council District Three, in Uptown and North Park — Mid-City. San Diegans are heavily and passionately involved in the planning and development of both projects through a well-organized public input process that I kicked off on December 5. Since then, three additional meetings have produced ideas that are now being analyzed to determine potential design and alignments between City Heights and North Park to Uptown and Downtown. I look forward to presenting the alternatives to the community by this summer. Summer is also when I expect San Diego’s new bike sharing program to start. Imagine taking the bus from your apartment in Hillcrest to North Park where you can access a well-maintained bike to ride to your friend’s house, which may be too far from the bus stop to walk. Or accessing a bike a few blocks from your condo Downtown and riding to the Embarcadero without having to consider getting in your car or finding a parking space. It’s going to happen, San Diego. … As we prepare for the Park’s centennial celebration in 2015, I am pleased about the exciting possibilities that are taking shape. I continue to work with my colleagues to ensure that our nonprofit partner, Balboa Park Celebration, Inc., has the City’s support and seed-funding necessary to plan a world-class

event that will inspire San Diegans and invite the world back to Balboa Park. I am disappointed, however, that the celebration will not likely include a fully-reclaimed Plaza de Panama and Plaza de California. The City Council will soon better understand our options related to the future of our crown jewel since a judge determined the pedestrianfocused Plaza de Panama renovation project approved last July cannot move forward. As the City Attorney provides insight on potential alternatives to rectify the conflicts between the law, the Balboa Park Master Plan and Precise Plan, the needs of the park, and the desires of San Diegans, I will ensure public input is an integral part of the decision-making process. … It is clear that the needs of our City and our citizens are many. Fortunately, the team is in place to meet those needs. … While we consider restoring some services, like more library hours, we must ensure we can afford the improvements not just for a few months, but on an ongoing basis. We have worked too hard and too many people have sacrificed too much to revert to irresponsible, though perhaps well-meaning, fiscal decision-making. I’d love to repave every street, shelter and assist every homeless person, expand hours at every recreation center, and build every needed new fire station. Unfortunately, vision alone doesn’t pay the bills. Our hard work and sacrifice are paying off. Varying from this disciplined strategy cannot happen. … I look back at the last 100 days as a tremendous growth and learning experience, and also as a sense of pride. I believe the City’s sustained success will require us to look at both our past and future realistically; we must track and celebrate milestones while remaining dedicated to the long-term vision of moving San Diego forward. Editor’s note: Council President Todd Gloria’s complete statement on his first 100 days as Council President, including his comments on the City’s water-supply strategy, the Infrastructure committee, combatting homelessness and the River Walk Master Plan, can be found in its entirety online at and

Praise for new construction in Marston Hills

Greywater systems required

I love the openness and the huge windows. This is what the neighborhood needs! And such height! I might be able to see the sea from the bedroom [see “C2 Lofts in Uptown highlight customizable, flex design,” Vol. 5, Issue 5]. I really hope that InDev and C2 lofts can find more properties in Marston Hills to develop in this “green” and Eco-Friendly way. Certainly, $600,000 is nothing for what you get and it sends a message that Marston Hills is a neighborhood of quality.

Hopefully someday soon we will all be required to use greywater for our gardens. Fascinating topic. Excellent article [See “From wastewater to gardens,” Vol. 5, Issue 5].

—Joachim P. Johnson, via

Kensington group reaches out to address concerns from San Diego Uptown News reader Mr. Bruce, Our Kensington Street Gardeners agree parking on Adams Avenue is very difficult if not often impossible. Our only goal in planting the gardens was beautify what we saw as ugly. We are very sorry if we made your wife’s problem worse [see the original story, “Garden Angels of Kensington,” Vol. 5, Issue 4, and Mr. Bruce’s letter to the editor in “Letters,” Vol. 5, Issue 5]. It’s probable the trees and boxes that cause you problems will be radically changed. Please join our efforts to make the situation better including disabled parking. Email me and let’s talk. —Dale Larabee,, via email

—Celia Bloom, via Hi, Celia. I just read that Chula Vista may require that all new construction have greywater systems installed. Let’s hope that goes through. —Bonnie Nicholls of, via

Uni Heights mural a gift I’m driving over to have a look. Anything that is done from joy and the heart is a gift in my opinion. And Habib, how nice to see someone actually give the artists a little money for their creativity [See “Bringing ‘good, positive energy’ to Uptown,” Vol. 5, Issue 5]. I don’t know about the rest of your readers, but I am sick of plain ol’ stucco. A little creativity makes life better for us all! I hope Habib’s neighbors support him as well as his vision for his store. —Emmy, via sduptownnews.comu

REPORTERS & COLUMNISTS Celene Adams Jason Alderman Charlene Baldridge Logan Broyles “Dr. Ink” Dave Fidlin Monica Garske Michael Good Andy Hinds Frank Sabatini Jr. Dave Schwab Anulak Singphiphat Brian White DIRECTOR OF SALES & MARKETING Mike Rosensteel (619) 961-1958 ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES Jennifer Muth (619) 961-1963 Sloan Gomez (619) 961-1954 Deborah Vazquez (619) 961-1956 ART DIRECTOR Rebecah Corbin (619) 961-1961 ASSISTANT ART DIRECTOR Anulak Singphiphat (619) 888-3344 ACCOUNTING Denise Davidson (619) 961-1962 SALES ASSISTANTS Charlie Bryan Baterina Lisette Figeuroa Andrea Goodchild Marie Khris Pecjo OPINIONS/LETTERS San Diego Uptown News encourages letters to the editor and guest editorials. Please email both to Include phone number and address for verification. We reserve the right to edit letters for brevity and accuracy. Letters and guest editorials do not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher or staff. SUBMISSIONS/NEWS TIPS Press releases and story ideas are welcomed. Send press releases, tips, photos or story ideas to For breaking news and investigative story ideas contact the editor by phone or email. DISTRIBUTION San Diego Uptown News is distributed free, every other Friday. COPYRIGHT 2013. All rights are reserved. Printed in the United States of America.


San Diego Uptown News | March 15–28, 2013


Editorials San Diego should protect the integrity of Balboa Park and its own Municipal Code By Bruce Coons, Save Our Heritage Organisation SOHO continues to urge the City Council to move ahead with an alternate project that both removes parking from the Plaza de Panama and respects the integrity of the park and its own Municipal Code and land use plans. The court ruling in favor of SOHO respects the City’s ordinances and plans that prohibit needless harm to any City landmark. San Diego landmarks may not be substantially harmed unless they would other wise have no reasonable beneficial use. In the words of Judge Timothy Taylor, the “critical finding” made by the Council to comply with its own Code “is so lacking in evidentiar y support as to render it unreasonable; it must therefore be set aside.” The ruling could not be more clear. Without the damaging features of the Plaza de Panama project, would the historic Cabrillo Bridge and California Quadrangle still have a reasonable beneficial use? As a visit to the park any day of the week makes clear, the answer is most definitely yes. The marvels of the well-loved park are enjoyed by thousands of San Diegans and international visitors every week. So what’s next for the Plaza de Panama? Council President Todd Gloria is now pursuing two alternate paths, according to a news release from his office. One is to set aside the City’s July 2012 approval of the Plaza de Panama project’s Centennial Bridge and simply remove it from the Balboa Park Master Plan and Central Mesa Precise Plan. SOHO supports that option as it would cure the Code violation and protect the park’s historic qualities and National Register status. The second option is to

amend the Municipal Code to exempt the project from its protective terms. The City Council would attempt to cure its “unreasonable” violations of the Code by eviscerating the Code. … SOHO trusts that no member of the City Council will choose to weaken or avoid such important protections and goals for a City asset as magnificent as Balboa Park, when there are many alternatives. And doing so would not resolve further legal problems relating to land use plan inconsistencies, because the Plaza de Panama project violates other sections of the Municipal Code. … At the mid budget hearing on Monday, March 11 Mayor Filner sought $500,000 to make the dream to reclaim the Plaza de Panama a reality, hearing the majority of supportive testimony for the item at the publically noticed hearing, Council President Todd Gloria postponed action on the item, even though he had the votes to approve it. He did so proclaiming that he wanted to hear from District Three on it. It is worth noting that SOHO, who spoke in favor of it, has three businesses in District Three and several thousand SOHO subscribers in the same district. It was Todd Gloria who just months ago said he was approving the 45 million dollar destructive project because his District Three constituents wanted the parking out of Plaza de Panama at any cost, even at the cost of destroying the park’s historic integrity and risking its national landmark status. At “any cost” but apparently not at the cost of Mayor Filner’s $500,000 simple, flexible solution that is ready to implement immediately. Something is terribly wrong with this scenario. In his 100day report as Council President on Tuesday, March 12 he

Finding a solution to the sequester By United States Rep. Scott Peters I’ve been in Congress for two months now and something that still surprises me is how out of touch and political Washington is. I ran for office because I believed I could make a difference, and I still do. I am as tired as you are of partisan posturing, and a perfect example is the sequester. The sequester was crafted in 2011 to force legislators from both sides of the aisle to come to an agreement on a bipartisan budget. It was intentionally nonsensical, so that Congress would do everything in its power to avoid it. But Congress proved once again how broken it truly is. Two weeks before the sequester took effect, House leadership called a recess and sent us home. As a former Port Commissioner and City Council president, that was foreign to me. I could not believe, with the amount of work still to be done, that we were sent home. Even more frustrating was that we were sent home without being allowed to vote on a single alternative to the sequester, because leadership didn’t agree with the legislation. This is not the democratic process that the United States is regarded for. The belief that the indiscriminate cuts from the sequester are minimal and won’t affect everyday people is unique to Washington. This is why I spent my time at home sending a message back to Congress. I enlisted the help of our port commissioners, scientific research community and maritime workers to tell Congress that San Diego will feel the negative effects of the sequester through layoffs, furloughs, stifled research and decreased GDP. I spent every day on the House floor bringing

said when discussing the 2015 celebration, “I am disappointed, however, that the celebration will not likely include a fully reclaimed Plaza de Panama and Plaza de California. The City Council will soon better understand our options related to the future of our crown jewel since a judge determined the pedestrian focused Plaza de Panama renovation project approved last July cannot move for ward. As the City Attorney provides insight on potential alternatives to rectify the conflicts between the law, the Balboa Park Master Plan and Precise Plan, the needs of the park, and the desires of San Diegans, I will ensure public input is an integral part of the decision-making process.” Why is Council[member] Gloria digging his heels in for a dead project that today’s sitting council did not vote for and that was deemed illegal by the courts, and that the proponent of the project Dr. Jacobs has said he is no longer interested in pursuing? Why proclaim that he cares deeply about “a pedestrian focused Plaza de Panama” on the ver y same day he postpones the vote for a pedestrian focused Plaza de Panama? That is the question District Three constituents should be asking. What should the City Council do next? Surely the answer is that it should proceed with an alternate, lawful solution that can remove parking from the Plaza de Panama in plenty of time for the 2015 Centennial Celebration. Surely the leadership shown by Mayor Filner should be both applauded and supported instead of creating more delay.



Answer key, page 19

Uptown Crossword

Editor’s note: Reprinted in parts, the full Save Our Heritage Organisation letter can be found online at or

attention to the sequester and urging Congress to work together. On … our last legislative day to avoid the sequester, I asked leadership to stay in session to find a solution. Leadership decided to adjourn the House but my appeals did not fall completely on deaf ears. This week, since returning, I have heard from both Democrats and Republicans who want to find a responsible alternative to the sequester, and who believe these solutions can be accomplished in our upcoming budget negotiations. On March 27, the stopgap bill that Congress passed last year in lieu of a budget, called the “continuing resolution” will expire. My colleagues on both sides of the aisle see an opportunity for us to stop the politics enough to address our serious fiscal problems – including the sequester – with a responsible budget that raises revenues by closing tax loopholes and reins in our spending. I’m determined to do my part to get Congress working again. Since day one I’ve looked for partners on both sides of the aisle who have a similar mindset and determination to put aside political agendas and problem solve. I’ve found a group of lawmakers in my freshman class, known as the United Solutions Caucus, which I am proud to be a part of and look forward to working with. I have also joined a group of lawmakers who are not only freshman or members of the House. In February I joined No Labels, a bipartisan group of lawmakers from both the House and the Senate who have been in office for a variety of years but who haven’t forgotten that they were sent to Congress to serve and get things done. This is just the beginning of a trying journey, but if we remember our purpose, this journey will also be rewarding. I thank you for the opportunity that you have given me to represent you in Congress, and I am working hard every day to make you proud.u

Jack of All Trades

Answer key, page 19


San Diego Uptown News | March 15–28, 2013


New sign welcomes travelers to Uptown neighborhoods Pedestrian improvements made along Texas Street open access to Mission Valley By Anthony King SDUN Editor

At the northern entrance into University Heights and North Park on Texas Street, a new welcome sign for the two Uptown neighborhoods was revealed Tuesday, March 12, in part to unveil several dedicated pedestrian improvements that help facilitate easier access to and from Mission Valley. The monument, which reads “Welcome to The Historic Communities of North Park & University Heights,” is situated at the bottom of Texas Street near its intersection with Camino Del Rio South. Pedestrian improvements along Texas Street include widening of the street to make room for a sidewalk, a new half-mile pedestrian walkway that stretches from Mission Valley to Madison Avenue in University Heights, upgraded street lighting for safety and several retaining walls. The streetlights resemble the historic acorn-style lights already found in the neighborhoods. “The monument sign, sidewalk and decorative streetlights are great additions to Texas Street,” Council President Todd Gloria said. Gloria’s council district, District Three, includes the two neighborhoods served by the improvements. “The neighborhoods of North Park and University Heights will be well served by these improvements, and I personally appreci-

(l to r) Mark Radelow, Pat Grant, Rob Steppke, Alan Grant, Rene Vidales, Mary Grant, Vicki Granowitz, Dionné Carlson, Council President Todd Gloria and Marco Sessa (Courtesy Metz Public Relations) ate the addition of a safe, active transportation element between these communities and Mission Valley,” he said. The real estate group Sudberry Properties financed the improvements as part of the company’s “traffic mitigation responsibilities” for the Circa 37 development at Civita Mission Valley, event organizers said in a press release. Civita is a 230-acre, multiyear and multi-million-dollar housing, commercial and park project near the center of Mission Valley owned by the Grant family. Sudberr y Properties committed $47.5 million in off-site traffic improvements between their Mission Val-

ley and Serra Mesa projects, including those along Texas Street unveiled March 12. “Sudberr y … went above and beyond the call of duty in navigating complex City restrictions and in assisting the community to achieve our goal of making Texas Street an attractive, walkable route,” said Vicki Granowitz, North Park Planning Committee chair, in the same release. Along with Gloria, Granowitz and representatives from Sudberry Properties and the Grant family, former and current North Park Planning Committee members Rob Steppke, Rene Vidales and Dionné Carlson attended the unveiling ceremony.u

UptownBriefs NORMAL HEIGHTS ARTIST RECEIVES WATERCOLOR AWARD Susan Weinberg-Harter received the Best Miniature award for her painting at the San Diego Watercolor Society’s March show, “California Gold.” The painting, titled “California Oranges,” received compliments from one juror on Weinberg-Harter’s “expert use of a difficult medium and her clear colors in an excellent composition.” WeinbergHarter grew up in London and moved to San Diego in 1970. She studied calligraphy and began incorporating watercolor illustrations in her work. She currently resides in Normal Heights. The SDWS’s gallery show, located in Point Loma’s Liberty Station, is free and open to the public Wednesdays through Sundays 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. until March 29. BANKERS HILL BUSINESS GROUP SCHEDULES FIRST 2013 FESTIVAL Formed in 2011, the Bankers Hill Business Group has scheduled their first festival of 2013 to bring attention to the businesses and community in Bankers Hill. Called the Bankers Hill Art & Craft Beer Festival, the event will take place Friday, March 22 from 5 – 9 p.m. at The Abbey, 2825 Fifth Ave. The festival is being presented by a partnership with the Business Group, San Diego Brewers Guild and Metro CDC. Local artists will be showing their work and Bankers Hills restaurants will be offering food, along with 10, four-ounce beer tastings for $20. Tickets can be purchased at For more

information visit

NORMAL HEIGHTS COMMUNITY PLANNING GROUP ELECTS NEW REPRESENTATIVES At the March 5 meeting of the Normal Heights Community Planning Group, eight new people were added to the board through the organization’s annual elections. The newly elected fullterm board members are Judy Elliot, Art Harrison, Scott Kessler, Caroline McKeown, Rick Rios, Mark Rowland and Dan Soderberg. They were elected to twoyear positions. Earlene Thom, who reached her current term limit, received two-thirds of the vote and was elected to a second, one-year term. The newly elected board members are residents of the area, except for Kessler, who is president of the Adams Avenue Business Association. Also at the meeting, the community group discussed the June 2 Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon, which will route through Normal Heights. The group meets monthly at the Normal Heights Community Center, 4649 Hawley Blvd. SOUTH PARK SCENE TO STAGE FIRST WALKABOUT OF 2013 South Park Scene, the neighborhood’s business group and organizer of the quarterly South Park Walkabouts, has been prepping for this year’s premiere event, scheduled for March 23 from 6 – 10 p.m. Called the Wild West Walkabout, neighborhood merchants will be open late for residents and visitors to spend the eve-

see Briefs, page 20 FROM PAGE 1

WHOLEFOODS community. “Implementing Zero Waste will eliminate all discharges to land, water or air that are a threat to planetary, human animal or planet health,” representatives said. Renee Robertson of the San Diego Environmental Service Department and Nancy Moors, publisher of, were also on hand at the ceremony to show their support. “We see this as a journey and we still have a ways to go,” Kau said. “We’re off to a good start, and with your help we’ll make it.” The presentation comes at the end of several months of construction at the store, which Kau said would be complete within the week. The renovation is the largest in the location’s 16-year histor y. Kau said they remained focused on zero-waste practices during the entire renovation. Whole Foods Market was the first to receive the Zero Waste award, helping to launch the Zero Waste business certification program nationwide. The goal of the program is to encourage and reward businesses to “divert all end-use material” from landfills. The standards are set by the Zero Waste International Alliance. The Zero Waste Council also offers businesses guidance and tools to help achieve the environmental goals, and Barger said the nonprofit organizes workshops and peer-to-peer networking for them to share ideas in reducing waste. “We really try to get out and work with our partners … to really try to mobilize the effort and break down the barriers,” she said. “Our goal is to have all businesses and communities get to zero waste.” Three Whole Foods Market stores in the area, including the Hillcrest location, received the new certifications after excelling in six key areas: • Committing to zero waste with over 90 percent diversion, • Utilizing locally grown, organic food including donating excess to organizations in need,

NEWS/MONEY • Re-sorting trash, recycle and compost bins by team members, • Separating recyclable materials, • Purchasing materials with a highrecycle content and • Encouraging customers to bring renewable bags. “Whole Foods Market is proud to receive the U.S. Zero Waste Business Council’s first Zero Waste certification,” Dave Sanders, Whole Foods Market La Jolla team leader, said in the release. “We are proud to partner with [the Zero Waste Council] and help to further its work helping communities become more healthy and sustainable, a value which our company fully supports and is passionate about.” Part of the chain’s success, both Kau and Barger said, occured in the last focus area, where team members were active in promoting customer involvement. “Whole Foods has a lot more engagement with their customers,” Barger said. “Here it’s very embraced.” Kau agreed. “I think they’re really aware of what we’re doing. … They support it,” he said. For more information on the Zero Waste Council visit

The Zero Waste award (Photo by SDUN)

San Diego Uptown News | March 15–28, 2013


Tax deadlines are real By Jason Alderman SDUN Guest Columnist

Congress could well debate the debt ceiling, tax reform and other important economic issues until the cows come home, but one thing’s for sure: if you don’t pay your income taxes – or at least file for an extension – by April 15, you could be in for a world of financial hurt. That’s because the IRS probably won’t give you a break on the penalties it levies on unpaid taxes unless you were the victim of a natural disaster, suffered death or serious illness in your immediate family, or experienced another catastrophic event. You must file your 2012 federal tax return (or request an extension) by midnight on April 15, 2013, otherwise the penalty on any taxes you owe will increase dramatically. You’ll be charged an additional 5 percent of taxes owed for each full or partial month you’re late, plus interest, up to a maximum penalty of 25 percent of the amount owed. The interest rate currently charged is 3.22 percent. If you file your return or extension request on time, however, the penalty drops tenfold to only 0.5 percent per month, plus interest. Here’s how it adds up. Say you owe $2,500 in federal income tax. If you haven’t requested an extension, you would be charged an additional $125 (5 percent), plus interest, for each month you’re late in paying off your bill. Had you filed for an extension, the penalty would drop to only $12.50 per month (0.5 percent). Be sure to contact the IRS early if you won’t be able to pay on time so you keep as many payment options open as possible: either call 800-829-1040 or visit your local IRS office. Also check out the IRS’s “Filing Late and/or Paying Late” webpage for helpful information at One way to avoid this penalty is to pay

by credit or debit card before the filing deadline. You’ll pay a convenience fee, which is tax-deductible if you itemize. Fees var y depending on which payment processor you choose. If you use a credit card, make sure you can pay off the balance within a few months; other wise the accrued interest might exceed the penalty. Other payment options include: • If you can pay the full amount within 120 days, you may qualify for a short-term extension. If granted, you’ll still owe interest on your debt, but will avoid the application fee for an installment agreement. • If you need longer than 120 days, an installment agreement lets you pay off your bill in monthly installments. • To apply for either, fill out an online payment agreement application at or call an IRS representative at 800-8291040. • Under certain dire financial-hardship circumstances, the IRS will allow some taxpayers with annual incomes of up to $100,000 to negotiate a reduction in the amount owed through an offer in compromise. For step-by-step instructions, read the IRS Form 656 booklet. If you’re unable to make payments on your installment agreement or offer in compromise, call the IRS immediately for alternative payment options, which could include reducing the monthly payment to reflect your current financial condition. Also read the IRS’s guide, “The What Ifs for Struggling Taxpayers,” which contains helpful information on the tax impacts of different scenarios such as job loss, debt forgiveness or tapping a retirement fund. —Jason Alderman directs Visa’s financial education programs. To participate in a free, online Financial Literacy and Education Summit on April 17, 2013, go to


San Diego Uptown News | March 15–28, 2013


F R A N K S A B AT I N I J R .

Famed author Fran Lebowitz summed up her love of red meat unapologetically when she declared, “My favorite animal is steak.” Combined with her eye for high style, she’d feel right at home supping inside The Wellington Steak & Martini Lounge. The Wellington surprises with an insular, upscale élan that feels more fitting of a boutique Manhattan hotel rather than a restaurant you’d stumble upon in a San Diego neighborhood. The intimate dining room is dimly lit by high-hanging crystal chandeliers that might seem otherwise gaudy without the support of elegant mirroring, bold wall patterns and twinkling tea lights below. In other words, leave your painter’s pants at home and make a reservation before visiting. Wellington’s latest chef, Miguel Valdez, also oversees a completely different menu for the adjoining Red Door, which boasts a cottagelike charm that reflects its Mission Hills setting. Both restaurants are owned by Trish Watlington, who supplies the kitchen with a plethora of fresh organics grown in a quarter-acre garden at her Mount Helix home. The namesake, signature entrée is beef Wellington, a labor-intensive dish involving tenderloin encased in puff pastry. Depending who you ask, the invention was named in the early 1800s after the first Duke of Wellington, Arthur Wellesley. Or it may have already existed in France during Napoleon’s reign during the same period. Most culinary historians, however, are content settling on the theory that beef Wellington has its roots in American cookery, having risen to premier status in the 1960s. If you prefer your flesh naked, the menu offers other organiccertified steaks that are grilled and accompanied with a choice of sauces such as chimichurri, au poivre or maître d’ butter. But with pastry-wrapped beef so scarce these days, we couldn’t pass up the thrill of poking through a golden brown crust

Venus clams with pork skin (Photo by Frank Sabatini Jr.)


729 W. Washington St. (MISSION HILLS)

619-295-6001 Prices: Salads and appetizers, $8 to $14; entrees, $12 to $37 to discover medium-rare filet and a tumble of mushroom duxelle nestled inside. In addition, Valdez has begun introducing new items across the menu, such as an appetizer of Venus clams sourced from Carlsbad Aquafarm. Medium in size, he bathes them in white wine, garlic and butter. The clincher was salty pork skin appearing in small pieces along with firm cannelloni beans. The clams didn’t mind. In fact, the pork skins meshed more eloquently with them compared to the loud doses of bacon they often receive in casino recipes. In the chef’s current version of the “Wellington salad,” juicy tangelos from Watlington’s garden impart a citrus flair to homegrown lettuces, pickled onions and candied pecans. The fruit seemingly played a role in the sprightly vinaigrette dressing as well. Our only complaint was that when a salad is this good, there should be more of it on the plate. The filet tartare “taco” served in house-made wontons recently replaced the traditional version of the minced raw steak with no shell. We were lured instead by the filet crostini topped with goat cheese and generous heaps of the shredded beef braised in red wine. Dressed in lemon aioli, the dish was also expertly accented with shallots and capers.

Classic beef Wellington (Photo by Frank Sabatini Jr.)

In the entrée category, wild venison pan-seared in duck fat is a newcomer, reflecting Valdez’s intention to start adding more game meat to the menu such as elk and bison. Espying on the venison ordered by a nearby customer, I regretted passing up the beautiful-looking plate in lieu of beef bourguignon, if only because the beef turned out to be exactly the same shredded filet used in the aforementioned crostini appetizer. The bourguignon contained all of the traditional French flavors from red wine, pearl onions, bay leaf and thyme. But the joy of fork-cutting into tender chunked beef, the classic textural element to the dish, was sorely missed. Wellington’s slick, little bar fuels the carnivorous menu with sophisticated martinis, not to mention a decent wine list from which my companion discovered a delightfully earthy syrah from Santa Barbara’s Stolpman Vineyard that seemed tailor-made for his beef Wellington. We imagined the wine would have struck an ideal pairing also to the venison or Mary’s Farm duck breast that the chef treats with garlic butter. I adopted James Bond for the evening by sipping down his famous Vesper martini, made with Gordon’s Gin, shaken and not stirred, of course. But we would later cast aside our libations for caffeine in preparation of mini pies. Valdez rightfully prides himself on scratch-made banana cream pie constructed with walnut and graham cracker crust. Chocolate cream pie was also in the offing, tasting equally all-American and creamy. Or if your tongue craves that irresistible contrast of sweet and salty, his peanut butter chiffon torte deserves a blue ribbon. Meal deals on beef Wellington are available on Sundays, when it sells for $40 with salad and dessert. Also, on Tuesdays, guests can dine to live, contemporary jazz performed by accomplished music professor Fred Benedetti.u


3515 Fifth Ave. (Hillcrest)

619-501-8638 Happy Hour: 4 to 8 p.m., daily

Drinking with

man’s best friend Come On G e t H a p py ! D r. I n k

Whenever I tell Junebug that “we’re going to see the doggies,” we end up at the wideopen dog park on Fiesta Island. Last weekend was different. Our outing instead involved meeting a friend, who also has a small Chihuahua (named Guera), for a couple of brews at Sally & Henry’s Doghouse Bar & Grill. Since opening, the establishment reigns as the most dog-friendly watering hole for pet owners in San Diego. While dog masters wash down burgers and wings with beer and fireball shots on the sunny back patio, the canines socialize a few feet away within a leash-free grassy area, much like children frolicking in a nearby room as their parents enjoy a little adult time at the card table. Launched several months ago by Attorney Marc Bragg and his wife, Cynthia, they named the grill after their Newfoundland dogs. The exterior signage presently reads, “The Doghouse,” which might lead some at first glance to assume it’s a doggie daycare. But the sight of beer taps and liquor bottles behind the roomy front bar when you first walk in indicates otherwise. Dogs are allowed only on the back patio, which is furnished with wooden tables, flat screens and a few water bowls scattered across the cement. A separate entrance designated for customers with dogs in tow sits to the left of the main doors. No big deal if you miss it. The owners and staff are pretty laid back. During daily happy hour, all drinks are $1 off, with spontaneous shot deals selling for $3. In addition, an order of small fries or a bag of chips are free if you order a burger, which is fat, juicy and delectably charred. The menu also offers salads, hot sandwiches, chicken potpies and pizzas at regular prices. As for those “dog balls” listed under “Scooby snacks,” they are actually people food, a top seller of pineappleglazed shrimp wrapped in bacon. For young, peppy dogs like mine, which turn maniacal at the sight of food, the grill sells scrambled eggs and other treats to keep them content. Although before I could spring for a bowl of the eggs, Junebug had helped herself to another dog’s meal, which brings us to a few rules set in place at The Doghouse.

Little Guera shares a table (Photo by Dr. Ink)

Bragg urges that patio customers keep dogs with them at their tables as much as possible. “It applies mostly to dogs that don’t behave well,” he said. Needless to say, mine became overexcited in the midst of nearly a dozen other dogs and food all around, causing me to spend more time fishing her from beneath other people’s tables than drinking at the pace I prefer. Fortunately, nobody seemed to mind a small wagging tail intruding into their space.u

RATINGS: Drinks:

The grill offers a full bar, although we only drank beer (Ballast Point Sculpin IPA and Corona) from a list of commercial and craft labels, available on tap and in bottles.


The menu is well rounded and features excellent burgers along with colorful, unique fare such as “dog balls,” “extreme chili” and chicken pot pies.


Well drinks and beer are $1 off during happy hour, with most averaging around $5 after the discount. Three-dollar weekday deals are also available on well scotch and tequila sunset shots on Tuesdays; well gin and buttery nipple shots on Wednesdays; tequila wells on Thursdays; and banana cream pie shots and well whiskey on Fridays.


Expect casual and friendly service after seating yourself, with a few delays occurring during peak hours.


The happy hour runs for four hours daily, ending at 8 p.m., which gives you enough time to drink and eat before tucking in your pooch for the day.

San Diego Uptown News | March 15–28, 2013



food briefs By Frank Sabatini Jr. SDUN Reporter

Hillcrest welcomes Sloppy Burritos Bay Area transplants Matt Belkin and Sylvia Szudelski debuted their first-ever restaurant venture last week in the Hillcrest strip plaza at Fourth and University avenues. Named Sloppy’s Burritos, the fast-casual eatery is described by Belkin as “Chipotle meets Whole Foods,” with a strong emphasis on local, organic ingredients. The menu offers five types of tortillas and several protein choices that include grass-fed beef, free-range chicken and organic tofu. Lard-free beans are also in the offing. Visit by Friday, March 15 and receive a free four-ounce serving of guacamole, made from avocados grown at an Escondido ranch, plus a side of non-GMO “Cabo chips.” 3884 Fourth Ave., 619-269-2697. Salt & Cleaver to open by April 1 The vacant space left behind by Cote Sud on Fifth Avenue in Hillcrest makes way for Salt & Cleaver, an artisan sausage restaurant slated to open by April 1. Co-owner Galen Zanetakos says the idea came about based on the proliferation of so many burger joints popping up everywhere. “We wanted to do something different. And sausage is such an old, classic food,” he said. Some of the house-made specialties will include lobster sausage topped with shrimp mousse and rib eye steak sausage garnished with horseradish aioli. With more than a dozen other choices, customers can also imbibe from a full cocktail bar stocked with 50 beers on tap and bottled. Among the design features is a 19-foot perforated aluminum chandelier that runs the length of the bar. 3805 Fifth Ave. For updates, visit Chefs Feed app gives advice from local restaurateurs A speedy source for dish and restaurant recommendations has ar arrived to San Diego via a free iPhone app called Chefs Feed, which relies on the trusty advice of wellknown chefs, about 600 in all. Local contributors to the application include Chefs Deborah Scott of Indigo Grill and Island Prime/C Level; Jason McLeod of Underbelly, Craft & Commerce and Neighborhood; and Brian Malarkey of several area restaurants named after fabrics, including Searsucker. The app extends to dozens of cities throughout the U.S.

and is available through iTunes. To download, visit Polite Provisions & National Egg Cream Day's seltzer drinks From whoever comes up with designated days of the year celebrating certain foods, Friday, March 15 is National Egg Cream Day, and bartender Erick Castro of Polite Provisions in Normal Heights is paying tribute. In doing so, he’s slinging a selection of revived seltzer-based drinks such as the classic egg cream, a tropical phosphate and a frothy Balboa Park fizz using egg whites and baking spices. 4696 30th St., 619-677-3784. Gastro trucks help prepare for Dining Out for Life As a preliminary kickoff for Dining Out for Life San Diego on April 25, The San Diego LGBT Community Center is presenting Food Truck Fierceness in its parking lot from 5 to 8 p.m., Thursday, March 21. Participating gastro trucks include Chop Soo-ey, Pearson’s Cajun, Burger Lounge and more. Staffers from the Hillcrest Brewing Company will host the beer garden, and “dragioke” will be conducted by the rousing Dining Out for Life Divas. 3909 Center St., 619-692-2077. True North, Urban Solace partner for four-course dinner Expect some serious doses of barbecue, bourbon and cigar smoke at a special four-course dinner at 6 p.m., March 25 at True North Tavern in North Park. Chef Matt Gordon of the adjoining Urban Solace restaurant will head the menu and pair each course with various bourbons. The cigar pairings are courtesy of David Mogilner of Racine and Larime in Old Town. The cost is $50. Reservations are required. 3815 30th St., 619-291-3815.u

The Chop Soo-ey truck will join others on March 21. (Courtesy Chop Soo-ey)


San Diego Uptown News | March 15–28, 2013

Hold it,


is here to stay

Annie Har tigan in her waxing studio (Photo by Monica Garske)

Longtime Hillcrest salon prevails past obstacles and business woes By Monica Garske SDUN Reporter

The last several months have been a difficult and uncertain time for Hairspray, a longtime salon in the heart of Hillcrest. But despite an avalanche of obstacles, the business located at 141 University Ave. is here to stay. So says Hairspray owner Annie Hartigan, who has been putting up a fight for some time to save her salon from mounting, seemingly never-ending financial hardship. Hartigan, an eyebrow-waxing specialist, has worked at Hairspray since 1997, when the salon was called Hairspray Tan America. In 2000, Hartigan said that the previous owners filed for bankruptcy and, at the advice of her husband at the time, Hartigan spent her life savings to buy the salon. Upon taking over, Hartigan said she got a crash course in becoming a business owner. She quickly learned the previous owners had not kept proper records, and Hairspray was not yielding profits. In order to stay afloat, Hartigan said she had to take out loans and revamp the salon. She got rid of several tanning beds taking up space, and built more stations that she could then rent out to hairstylists. Hartigan said that after those business decisions, Hairspray – complete with a new, catchy tagline as a “high-energy, snobfree salon” – soared, becoming a Hillcrest beauty staple. “During our heyday, from 2000 to about 2006, we had 18 full-time hairstylists and could afford the whole, massive 3,000 square feet of space. We were doing great and had huge floats in the Hillcrest Pride parade and life was good,” she said.

But sometimes, things that rise can inevitably fall. After enjoying a period of success, Hartigan said her salon was hit hard by the dwindling economy. After the economy tanked, so did her business, as well as her marriage. “My husband of 20 years relapsed and everything was a mess. Then he just left … and I just didn’t know how to run my business anymore,” she said. Hartigan said her husband went to Hawaii in March 2011, taking all of their money with him. He said he would be back in several months, but never returned. With her marriage and business in shambles, Hartigan said she resorted to using an emergency credit card she kept hidden at home, behind her wedding picture. She used the card to pay salon bills and makeover the space in hopes of attracting hairstylists and patrons. Hartigan said one of her hairdressers then became a manager, taking over the bookkeeping and helping her run the salon. But it simply was not enough. “That first year alone, 2011, was a big struggle. I lost $30,000 that year,” she said. In 2012, Hartigan said she continued to lose hairstylists and money, and again, her salon was caught in an overwhelming downward spiral. “I just thought, ‘I can’t keep up; I’m drowning.’ It was awful,” she said. The bad times continued for Hartigan through the fall of 2012, with health issues, personal problems and more business woes piling up. Though at her wit’s end physically, emotionally, mentally and financially, Hartigan – who considers herself a fighter – pressed


“I didn’t want to sell the salon because I was always hopeful that things would get better,” she said. “Something told me to keep going.” During the 2012 holiday season, with Hairspray on the brink of closing its doors, Hartigan said she lost the majority of her longtime stylists and her salon manager, who moved on to other projects. With most of her staff gone, she thought for sure it was the end of the line for Hairspray. But then her remaining staff banded together and refused to throw in the towel. Hartigan said hairstylist Tony Serafini, who has been working at Hairspray for 15 years, told her he would stay at the salon, no matter what. In solidarity, her front desk manager, Elise Woodall, and stylist Alison Mattazaro, also vowed to stay by her side. With the small crew supporting her, Hartigan said she went to her tiny browwaxing room upstairs in the salon and began to pray, looking at photographs of her grandmother, Gladys, for inspiration. After that serious prayer session, Hartigan said she experienced a series of events that she likens to the Christmas film “It’s a Wonderful Life.” “I hadn’t prayed in 30 years, but that day I prayed to God like George Bailey from ‘It’s a Wonderful Life,’ which is my favorite movie,” she said. “And I said, ‘I haven’t prayed in 30 years, but if you’re there will

you please, please help me?’ Then I started shaking, and eventually calmed down.” By the first week of January – with ominous “for lease” signs lining the windows of the salon – things began turning around. Hartigan said Mattazaro posted an ad on Craigslist seeking new hairstylists to rent out booths and work at Hairspray. The ad resulted in three applications – something Hartigan said had not happened in years. After that, Hartigan received a message from a former Hairspray receptionist who said he heard about the salon’s financial troubles. He offered money to help. “It was almost like George Bailey and Sam Wainwright in the end of ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ [when Sam offers to save George’s business]. It was crazy,” Hartigan said. Then, a slew of other good people from

see Hairspray, page 23

Labor of

love Pg. 15


Volume 5, Issue 6 • March 15–28, 2013 • San Diego Uptown News

Dr. King at the mountaintop REP’s latest keeps secrets that unfold through exceptional acting By Charlene Baldridge SDUN Theater Critic

Through March 31, San Diego Repertor y Theatre presents the West Coast premiere of Katori Hall’s “The Mountaintop,” billed as a drama about the last night in the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The civil rights leader was assassinated April 4, 1968 on the balcony of the Lorraine Hotel in Memphis, Tenn. A graduate of The Juilliard School, Hall is the author of “Hoodoo Love,” seen last season at Mo’olelo Theatre. “The Mountaintop” received the 2010 Olivier Award for best new play and recently played on Broadway, starring Angela Bassett and Samuel S. Jackson. Theatergoers who experienced “Hoodoo Love” know that Hall employs excursions into other realms of reality. Knowing and allowing that prepares one for “The Mountaintop.” Where one might expect to find a man preparing his next speech and ruing the slim turnout for that day’s “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop” delivered in the rain, Hall gives much more. San Diego REP’s “Mountaintop” director, Roger Guenveur Smith, cast two exceptional West Coast actors in Hall’s play: Larry Bates as Dr. King and Danielle Moné Truitt as Camae, the sassy hotel maid who brings him a cup of coffee, shares her cigarettes (pantomimed) and flask, and provides the play’s unanticipated twist.

after another. Truitt’s extreme skill at building her character and delivering Hall’s irreverent words is motivation to attend. WHERE: San Diego Repertory Bates resembles Dr. King somewhat, which Theatre, 79 Horton Plaza helps create the illusion (Downtown) of a conflicted man about to become martyr. WHEN: Thurs. – Saturdays at King is tired; bone tired. There is little fire 8 p.m., Sun. at 2 p.m., and in the man this night, selected Sundays, Tuesdays and certainly a challenge for Bates the actor to limn Wednesdays at 7 p.m. Through without delivering a March 31. lackluster performance. In his hands King beINFO: 619-544-1000 comes extra human, and one feels that is Hall’s WEB: purpose. Without humor the piece would definitely sink. Without fine actors it would At first one suspects that bomb. the attractive Camae may have As affecting as it is, and as plans to seduce the man she so fine as these actors are, once admires and who is a known its secrets are revealed, Hall’s womanizer. Power attracts and play seems to loop around and God knows this man is attracaround, making little progress tive, fallible and human. Apparently this is what King expects of Camae. To divulge that the woman has a hidden agenda may come as no surprise to theatergoers, yet to reveal more would be a spoiler. Let us just say that the gradual unfolding of Camae’s mission – carried out with great humor and intelligence – is surprising and even thrilling. Certainly a feminist, she has one insouciant, defiant speech

‘The Mountaintop’

toward the mountaintop. When achieved, it is bleak. Scenic designer Christopher Ward provides a set evocative of room 304 at the Lorraine Hotel. Sherrice Kelly’s lighting and Marc Anthony Thomson’s light lighting and sound give onlookers a thrilling storm, replete with thunderclaps and lightning. Anastasia Pautova’s chambermaid getup is deliciously off the wall, and King’s attire is appropriate though perhaps not as worn as the man.u (l to r) Danielle Moné Truitt and Larry Bates (Photo by Daren Scott)


San Diego Uptown News | March 15–28, 2013


St. Patrick’s Day 2013

Irish Congress of Southern California’s parade and festival in Balboa Park just one event in and around Uptown Compiled by Logan Broyles SDUN Reporter

Whether you are looking for fun for the whole family or just trying to get your hands on some unappetizingly green beer, there is no shortage of St. Patrick’s Day events all around Uptown. The main event is the Irish Congress of San Diego’s parade and festival in Balboa Park, now celebrating 33 years. The event is one of the largest single-day happenings in San Diego. Here is a roundup of the best things to do to embrace the luck o’ the Irish this year. Saint Paddy’s Day PubCrawl Friday – Sunday, March 15 – 17 Beginning Friday, March 15 and running through Sunday, March 17 guests are invited to celebrate Saint Paddy’s Day the inebriated way, by going on this epic pub crawl through some of San Diego’s most popular bars. Each location will feature drink specials for at least three hours and there will be at least one afterparty each night with no cover. Presented by, tickets start at $10 per day and $20 for the three-day “all-access” pass. More info: Saint Patrick’s Day Parade & Festival Saturday, March 16 The quintessential St. Patrick’s Day celebration in San Diego returns for its 33rd year. Organized by the Irish Congress of Southern California, the Irish festival takes place in Balboa Park as the parade – with over 120 entries – routes along

Fifth and Sixth avenues in Bankers Hill. This year’s theme is “Celebrating the Gaelic Athletic Association,” Ireland’s largest sporting organization. There will be traditional dancers, music, marching bands and representatives from Ireland, along with a beer garden and a Celtic village at the festival, all starting with a flag raising ceremony at 9:45 a.m. The parade starts at 10:30 a.m., while the festival itself is from 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. More info: Saint Patrick’s Day 10k run, 2- & 4-mile run/walk Saturday, March 16 The annual 10k run and two- and four-mile run/walk held at Mission Bay Park, with funds benefitting Rady Children’s Hospital, will step off at 7:45 a.m. Registration for the 10k is $33 in advance and $42 day of, and walk is $27 in advance and $33 the day of. Sponsored by Stone Brewing Co. and Ballast Point Brewing & Spirits, attendees will get a chance to enjoy pizza and great local beers. More info: Fourth annual Zane Patrick’s Day Saturday, March 16 A St. Paddy’s bash that has become a yearly tradition at McFadden’s Restaurant and Saloon Downtown is hosted by Zane Lamprey of Three Sheets and Drinking Made Easy. The event features an open bar and an Irish band. Come back to McFadden’s the following day for kegs and eggs, DJs, bag pipers, Irish dancers and leprechauns. More info:

ShamROCK 2013 Sunday, March 17 ShamROCK is turning the Gaslamp Quarter green on St. Patrick’s Day from 2 p.m. to midnight. The 18th annual yearly block party closes down the streets of the Gaslamp Quarter, lines them with 80,000 square feet of green Astroturf and lets more than 20,000 at attendees roam from one bar to the next, while enjoying live Irish bands on the main stage, a 150-foot Irish pub on the street, and two DJ stages with amazing talent. More info: Voices of Ireland Monday, March 18 Join Write Out Loud at 7:30 p.m. for a celebration of traditional Irish stories, music and dancing, featuring performances by The Celtic Echoes and Champion Irish Dancers. San Diego actors will take to the stage for one of the organization’s most popular programs. Tickets start at $20 and there are discounts for seniors and military members. The event is held at the Horton Grand Theatre, 444 Fourth Ave. More info:

(Photo credits: top left courtesy Kathy Loper Events; top right courtesy Irish Congress of Southern California, and above courtesy

Labor of love FEATURE

Local author takes on task of sharing daughter’s poetic journey through cancer

comes directly from two poems, a metaphor often assigned to those challenged with cancer. “Although definitely she was a pacifist and did not approve of that metaphor, she never found anything that applied Established poet, author and theater critic Charbetter,” Baldridge said. lene Baldridge always expected her only daughter In a moment of serendipity during the editing would one day publish Baldridge’s more personal process, Baldridge recalled that years before, she writings posthumously. What she did not expect was had a random encounter with a man who was homethe reverse: taking on the task of publishing her less and felt the need to sketch him upon returning daughter’s work that way. home. Decades later, now screen-printed on the Laura Jeanne Morefield was an avid poet and cover of “The Warrior’s Stance” and dressed in Morewriter in her own right, though she spent the majorfield’s favorite colors, that random sketch has finally ity of her career in banking, and then philanthropy. reached its destiny. A graduate of Madison High School in Clairemont Another unique and personal touch was the Mesa, she received a communications degree from choice Baldridge made to use her daughter’s cursive Pepperdine University. – pulled directly from the journals – to adorn the Married for almost 30 years, Morefield chose to borders of each page in the chapbook. Morefield travel extensively with her mother the last 10 years preferred to write on graph-lined notebooks and the of her life. The two had just completed a cruise through the Baltics a few months prior to Morefield’s fine-lined boxes are evident between her handwriting along the borders. diagnosis. As mother and confiShe lived her life artdant first, and now editor, fully and generously, alBaldridge has carefully ways on the go, Baldridge (a journal fragment) woven her daughter’s said. In fact, when MoreI am not my cancer. I am me – journey together in a field was diagnosed with dramatic arc, and added Stage 4 colon cancer in lover of Dan, Child of God, squarer of notes when needed to November 2008, she had shoulders, digger of weeds and mistress assist the reader with triumphantly walked off of words. deeper insight into the an 18-hole golf course two work. days prior. A nagging pain (© from “The Warrior’s Stance,” 2013) The work ends with a in her side prompted her poem written by Moreto finally visit a doctor, and for the next two and a half years, Morefield faced field’s husband, which acts as a proper post-script as he uses similar style and prose. the most challenging battle of her life. Baldridge said The chapbook will come with a matching bookshe continued to play golf to the very end. mark, and all the proceeds from the book will go to Morefield’s choice to document that battle was the Colon Cancer Alliance. not a surprise to Baldridge, who had enjoyed a collaborative relationship with her daughter, sharing “By some miraculous, mysterious process, the first-draft poetry readings with her for decades. What book was completed by mother suffering eyestrain was a surprise to Baldridge, she said, was the day her and too many trips back to the scans, hoping to daughter gave her an assignment. decipher words, make out punctuation and hew to In the preface to “The Warrior’s Stance” – MoLaura’s intent as much as possible regarding line refield’s recently released chapbook that Baldridge lengths, words, repetitions [and] dashes,” Baldridge edited – Baldridge describes the assignment. said. “[The] big deal was did she really want amper“In one of her last conversations with her mother sands, or should ‘and’ be spelled out? I’ll find out … Laura, a lifelong poet, expressed the wish that her when I next see her.” post-diagnosis poems be collected and made into a A publication party has been set for March 25 chapbook. She believed them to be her best. These, from 4 – 7 p.m. at ion theatre comthen, are but a few fruits of the warrior’s last years,” pany, located at 3704 Sixth Ave. in Baldridge wrote. Hillcrest. RSVP to Baldridge The first draft of Morefield’s work amounted at To to about two-dozen poems, all piecing together the donate to the Colon Cancer difficult journey she had undertaken. Baldridge said Alliance in Morefield’s she thought she was done, but soon her son-in-law name, visit ccalalerted her to many more poems he found in various stages of completed prose while perusing Morefield’s laura.u personal journals. Morefield’s husband hired someone to extract the poems from the journals, something Baldridge could have done but not without bearing witness to personal thoughts that she said she knew she would be better left without knowing. Though the extraction amounted to 66 more poems that clearly fit the task at hand, Baldridge, after much thought and counsel, said she decided against using them out of respect to her daughter’s privacy. As a minor compromise, Baldridge pulled several fragments from the journals, and included a few other poems written throughout Morefield’s life to add context when needed. Baldridge said she went through each poem, each fragment and each line of prose with “a fine-tooth comb,” to ensure the line breaks, punctuation and spelling were accurate. The finished chapbook contains 39 poems, and was a “painstaking and emotional” task, Baldridge said, but something that makes her very proud. “It was a wonderful thing to be with (l to r) Laura Jeanne Morefield and Charlene Baldridge her through the work,” she said. (Courtesy Charlene Baldridge) The title “The Warrior’s Stance” By Morgan M. Hurley SDUN Assistant Editor

I am not my cancer

San Diego Uptown News | March 15–28, 2013




San Diego Uptown News | March 15–28, 2013



But one thing has not changed: Anderson continues to share her passion at the Science Center, just as she has from day one. She wears many hats and carries a variety of titles, including one as unofficial historian. “I used to ride my bike by the site as it was being built,” Anderson said. “I was excited that there was going to be something like this in San Diego because I was interested in astronomy all the way back to the third grade. I used to dream about working at a planetarium.” For Anderson, the dream came true through a side gig she deems richly rewarding. Over the years, she has undertaken additional responsibilities at the center, including working on the planetarium’s console and performing special effects during shows. Anderson, who works fulltime as a real estate appraiser, also travels across the world photographing solar eclipses with her husband, Les. In the past four decades, the Science Center has evolved beyond its planetarium roots. The venue has been noted for showing various films through the IMAX motion picture format, via the recently renovated Heikoff Giant Dome Theater. It is the only of its kind in Southern California. The most recent screening is “The Rocky Mountain Express,” a film chronicling the Canadian Pacific Railway. It launched in conjunction with the Fleet Science Center’s anniversary gala. The Science Center has also branched off to serve as an exhibition and learning site. Today, the venue hosts eight galleries that feature a variety of science-related exhibits. “The Origins of Life,” the latest exhibit, makes its debut Saturday, March 16. The person at the helm of the Science Center throughout most of its history has been Jeffrey Kirsch. This year, Kirsch is

Mary Anderson poses with a Science Center display in 1973. (Courtesy Reuben H. Fleet Science Center)

"It's very gratifying knowing there are people in this community who are dedicated to lifelong learning."

– Jeffery Kirsch celebrating a milestone of his own, having served as executive director of the venue for 30 years. In yet another important historical footnote for the Science Center, Kirsch will be retiring July 1, though he and wife Joy will remain in San Diego and stay involved in the

Mary Anderson and husband Les travel around the world photographing eclipses, like this one. (Courtesy Reuben H. Fleet Science Center)

venue’s continued evolution in a limited role. “It’s been incredible,” Kirsch said of his nearly completed career with the Science Center. “We’ve really made a major contribution, I think, to the development of museum and science centers.” Kirsch credits the Science Center’s success to the support of the San Diego community. In his three decades with the organization, he has witnessed membership skyrocket from 2,500 to 14,000 households. In addition to the swell in active membership, Kirsch said he takes pride in the fact that the Fleet Center was the first institution to feature an IMAX projector. “I think this has been a facility that has been very much appreciated in San Diego,” Kirsch said. “It’s very gratifying knowing there are people in this community who are dedicated to lifelong learning.” As he hands off oversight to a staff he calls “top notch,” Kirsch said he believes the Science Center will continue to evolve alongside technological advances. “I think the future is bright,” he said. “San Diego is a city that loves its museums.”u


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CalendarofEvents FRIDAY, MARCH 15 Preschool story time: 10:30 – 11 a.m., Mission Hills Branch Library, 925 W. Washington St., free Cinema Under the Stars: 8 p.m., screening “Hitchcock,” 4040 Goldfinch St., tickets start at $14 SATURDAY, MARCH 16 Jazz by Demand: 7:30 – 10:30 p.m., Cosmopolitan Hotel & Restaurant’s regular jazz series, with tonight’s guest Larry Okmin, leader of the six-piece, Chicagostyle High Society Jazz Band, 2660 Calhoun St., $5 Golden Hill Farmers Market: 8 a.m. – noon every Saturday, B Street between 27th and 28th streets, free University Heights library book sale: 8 a.m. – 3 p.m., Umbrella Friends of UH Library books sale, University Heights Library, 4193 Park Blvd. Old Town Farmers Market: 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. every Saturday, Harney Street, free Mission Hills book sale: 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., Friends of Mission Hills Branch Library monthly sale, Mission Hills Branch Library, 925 W. Washington St., free Vibrant San Diego: 10 a.m., community walk and rally for better roadway signs with Mayor Bob Filner and transportation, environmental and health advocate, meet at University Ave. and 32nd St. to walk to the rally stop at University Ave. and Mississippi St., both in North Park Vggie garden workshop: noon – 1 p.m., first in a three-part monthly series on gardening to give tips on how to create a productive vegetable

garden featuring Master Gardener Susan Taylor, North Park Branch Library, 3795 31st St., free T-32 Stroll About: 4 – 8 p.m., regular monthly Saturday stroll about in the T-32 neighborhood with this month’s theme of St. Paddy’s Day including a greed beer and food truck at Thorn Street Brewery, Lady Luck Doodle at Expressive Arts and Irish-flavored coffee at Santos Coffee House Thorn and 32nd streets Cinema Under the Stars: 8 p.m., screening “Hitchcock,” 4040 Goldfinch St., tickets start at $14

SUNDAY, MARCH 17 Hillcrest Farmers Market: 9 a.m. – 2 p.m., today’s special guest is Chef Larry Malone from Empire House, every Sunday, Hillcrest DMV, 3960 Normal St., free Organ Concert: 2 p.m., music by organist Carol Williams, Spreckels Organ Pavilion, Balboa Bark, free MONDAY, MARCH 18 Marston House Museum Tours: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays, Marston House Museum, 3525 7th Ave., $8 adults, $5 seniors and $4 children (6-12) Bankers Hill Residents: 6:30 – 8 p.m., regular monthly residents meeting, special guest Patty Fares of Urban Safaris will discuss historic Bankers Hill, Inn at the Park, 525 Spruce St., free TUESDAY, MARCH 19 Adams Ave. Business Association planning & development: 8 a.m., regularly monthly committee meeting, 4649 Hawley Blvd. Grant School fundraiser: all evening, fundraising event for Mission Hills Grant Elementary school with 20 percent of proceeds

from The Red Door and The Wellington restaurants going to education programs at the school, special guest guitarist Fred Benedetti will perform, reservations at 3619-295-600 (The Red Door) or 619-295-6001 (The Wellington), 741 Washington St. North Park Planning Committee: 6:30 – 8:30 p.m., regular monthly meeting, North Park Christian Fellowship, 2901 North Park Way

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 20 Old Town Chamber board meeting: 8:30 a.m., regular monthly meeting, Padre Trail Inn, 4200 Taylor St. North Park BID Collaborative: 9:30 – 10:30 a.m., rescheduled meeting from Feb. 6, El Cajon Boulevard BID office, 3727 El Cajon Blvd. LEGO play time: 5 – 6 p.m., children are invited to get creative with LEGOs, Mission Hills Branch Library, 925 W. Washington St., free THURSDAY, MARCH 21 Meet the Strings: 10 a.m., free 45-minute concert “Meet the Strings” at the Birch North Park Theatre with performances by members of the San Diego Symphony and led by Ken-David Masur, assistant conductor, 2891 University Ave. El Cajon Boulevard BID board: 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m., regular monthly BID meeting, 3727 El Cajon Blvd. North Park Farmers Market: 3 – 7 p.m. every Thursday, parking lot behind CVS at 32nd St. and University Ave., free North Park Historical Society: 6:30 – 8 p.m., regular monthly meeting, contact for location

San Diego Uptown News | March 15–28, 2013 FRIDAY, MARCH 22 Janis Ian in concert: 7:30 p.m., recording artist Janis Ian will perform all her hits, including “At Seventeen” as part of the AMSD concert series, 4650 Mansfield St., $30 Cinema Under the Stars: 8 p.m., screening “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,” 4040 Goldfinch St., tickets start at $14 SATURDAY, MARCH 23 Golden Hill Farmers Market: 8 a.m. – noon every Saturday, B Street between 27th and 28th streets, free Children’s craft time: 10 a.m., Mission Hills Branch Library, 925 W. Washington St., free Humanist Fellowship book club: 10 a.m., discussing “The World Until Yesterday” by Jared Diamond, Hanna’s Gourmet, 2864 Adams Ave. Experimental guitar: 8 p.m., third annual San Diego Experimental Guitar Show with Rob Crow, Bill Wesley and Jon Calzo at The Soda Bar, 3615 El Cajon Blvd., $7, 21+ Cinema Under the Stars: 8 p.m., screening “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,” 4040 Goldfinch St., tickets start at $14 Billy Watson on harmonica: 9 p.m., master-showman Billy Watson, Lestat’s, 3343 Adams Ave., all ages SUNDAY, MARCH 24 Golden Hill Farmers Market: 8 a.m. – noon every Saturday, B Street between 27th and 28th streets, free Hillcrest Farmers Market: 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. every Sunday, Hillcrest DMV, 3960 Normal St., free Organ Concert: 2 p.m., music by organist Carol Williams with Martha Jane Weaver, Spreckels Organ Pavilion, Balboa Bark, free


Robin Henkel Band with Horns!: 8 p.m., blues and jazz concert, Lestat’s, 3343 Adams Ave., $8

MONDAY, MARCH 25 North Park Recreation Council: 6 – 8 p.m., regular monthly meeting, North Park Rec Center, 4044 Idaho St. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: 7 p.m., join international spiritual leader Sri Sri Ravi Shankar in a stop on his “Non-Violence: No Higher Calling” tour, Spreckels Organ Pavilion, 1549 El Prado, Balboa Park TUESDAY, MARCH 26 Party for the Planet: 6 – 9 p.m., microloan fundraiser for the Whole Planet Foundation with food, a silent auction and raffle, Caffe Calabria, 3933 30th St. Talmadge Maintenance Assessment District: 6:30 – 8:30 p.m., regular monthly meeting, Franklin Elementary, room #2, intersection of Monroe and Copeland avenues WEDNESDAY, MARCH 27 Parking Meter District meeting: 12:30 – 1:45 p.m., El Cajon Boulevard BID office, 3737 El Cajon Blvd. North Park Community Association: 6 – 8 p.m., regular monthly meeting, Lafayette Hotel, 2223 El Cajon Blvd. THURSDAY, MARCH 28 North Park Farmers Market: 3 – 7 p.m. every Thursday, parking lot behind CVS at 32nd St. and University Ave., free North Park Action Team: 6 – 7:30 p.m., grassroots community group working on safety and quality of life issues, North Park Adult Community Center, 2711 Howard Ave.u


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Laura Hodge the artistic director of San Diego Dance Now! (SDDN!) has owned awardwinning companies back east, and performed and choreographed in musical theatre, film, television, and also done voiceovers. She has taught at Point Park University, JCC, Millenium in L.A., Malashock Dance, SD Junior Theatre, SDCYB, Garfield Elementary, and is directing “CATS” at The Salvation Army Kroc Center this spring. SDDN! is invested in planting seeds of creativity, forging community partnerships, outreach programs for schools, and providing an innovative opportunity to get in shape, in touch with your creativity, body and mind. SDDN! is committed to high training standards for students from beginner to professional in a structured and inspiring environment. Classes focus on proper technique and self-expression. Kid’s classes: musical theatre, ballet, and jazz/tap. Adult classes: ballet, barre and jazz/tap. Private coaching and choreography for events or plays is also available. Two Uptown Locations: Mary Murphy’s Champion Ballroom in Hillcrest and Vernetta’s in North Park. Contact us at | 619-501-4821 |

Sparacino Law : A San Diego Tax, Estates and Civil Law Firm


Demetrios A. Sparacino, Esq., is a tax, business and estate-planning attorney who recently moved his law office from Downtown San Diego to Adams Avenue in Kensington. A San Diego native, Demetrios understands the value that the businesses along Adams Avenue have to offer, and vice versa. He also believes that legal assistance should not be pre-packaged, but should adapt to the needs of the people it serves. That is, Demetrios focuses on individuals, small businesses, and client-centered advocacy. His range of practice includes tax litigation and planning, business litigation and planning, and estate planning. Demetrios also routinely serves as general counsel to families and small businesses and he enjoys the lasting relationships he has developed with his clients. His business is located at 2700 Adams Ave., Suite 209, San Diego, CA 92116. Demetrios Sparacino can be reached by telephone at 619-955-5254 and by e-mail at

GEORGE JONILONIS “The Estate Builder” 858-278-4040

3536 Ashford St., San Diego, CA 92111 in Clairemont. Fax 760-431-4744


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Ca. Contractor License #920677

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Kate Martin, a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, recently re-opened her private practice in the University City area. Kate is offering services both as a psychotherapist and an educational consultant. She specializes in the areas of adult and adolescent mental health, special education mental health, and substance abuse diagnosis and treatment. She has a certification as a Master’s Addiction Counselor from the National Association of Forensic Counselors, and has worked in the Alcohol and Drug field for the past 28 years. Kate’s experience includes working in Scripps McDonald Center and Mesa Vista Hospital with adults and adolescents who suffer from substance abuse, mental illness and co-occurring disorders. She spent 15 years in education, serving as teacher and counselor in settings from junior high to university levels. She has worked for seven years providing clinical assessments for Special Education students. Kate Martin can be reached at 858-635-1300.

Soulistic Total Health

Natalie Vail, L.Ac. Dip. O.M owns and operates an exceptional alternative to health and wellness, a practice called Soulistic Total Health. Natalie is a licensed acupuncturist who possesses a wide range of training and natural gifts and therefore creates a one stop holistic and spiritual shop for her clients. What you can expect from Soulistic Total Health: • a commitment to patient-centered care • positive transformation and balance for body, mind and soul • clarity and direction during times of life transition • a safe, non-judgmental healing environment with high ethical standards and total confidentiality • accurate answers and practical guidance to uplift and motivate • empowered solutions to allow breaking through negative thought patterns and physical obstacles that have prevented you from achieving your fullest potential. Best known for her work as a certified psychic-medium, Natalie is also an experienced energy healer, Chinese herbalist, massage therapist and classical Feng Shui consultant. For more information, call 619-206-6260 or visit

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San Diego Uptown News | March 15–28, 2013

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San Diego Uptown News | March 15–28, 2013


BRIEFS ning exploring and browsing, while enjoying food from restaurants, art and live music. Alchemy, Grant’s Marketplace and Hamilton’s Tavern will be ser ving “sidewalk specials,” said Marsha Smelkinson, South Park Business Group marketing director, and the Beech Street Buckaroo BBQ will highlight the theme. There will be free trolley ser vice between Juniper, Grape and Beech streets, as well as a free Urban Safaris walking tour. Other walkabouts are scheduled for July 20, Oct. 5 and Dec. 7. South Park Scene also runs the Old House Fair, scheduled this year for June 15. For more information visit

STEVEN SNYDER ANNOUNCED AS NEW EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF SCIENCE CENTER After an extensive, nationwide search, Stephen Snyder will become the new executive director of the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center starting July 1. Snyder is currently vice president of Exhibit and Program Development at The Franklin Institute in Philadelphia, where he oversaw the redesign of more than 80,000 square feet of exhibits and theaters as well as helped to create an “innovative and for ward-looking staff,” a release stated. His previous work includes opening the 65,000-square-foot Kansas City Museum/Science City. Snyder replaces Dr. Jeffrey Kirsch, who will be retiring after 30 years of ser vice to the Balboa Park museum and learning institution. Kirsch, who joined the Science Center in 1983, will remain as executive director through June 30. Following, he will remain active in the Science Center’s IMAX film productions, including an upcoming film about the Panama Canal that is scheduled to coincide with Balboa Park’s centennial celebration. Kirsch is former chair of the Giant Screen Cinema Association, and is recognized as a pio-


neer in bringing IMAX films to science centers across the United States.

ALBERT EINSTEIN ACADEMIES HOST DAY OF INNOVATION FOR STUDENTS Bordering South Park and Golden Hill at 3035 Ash St., Albert Einstein Academies (AEA) hosted their first Albert Einstein Day of Innovation on Thursday, March 14. The daylong event featured presentations from the Los Angeles German Consulate Consul General Bernd Fischer, American Council on Germany San Diego Director Eberhard Roehm and San Diego Germany Honorar y Consul Stephan Hollmann. In its first year, the special event offered students the opportunity to connect with local German businesses BOSCH, Bilstein and Carl Zeiss to learn about German innovations and the role they played in each company’s success. “As STEM [science, technology, engineering and math] fields remain at the center of innovation, we want to ensure that all of our students are exposed to the vast possibilities that exist in STEM, and they know that they can all be innovators,” said Principal David Sciarretta in a press release. AEA’s elementar y school German immersion program is the only one of its kind in the region, and the middle school offers German language courses and a Germany exchange program. BONNIE DUMANIS LAUNCHES ‘SAVE LIVES, DON’T DUI’ District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis announced in a press release that her office is launching a radio and online campaign to reduce the number of San Diegans who drive under the influence. Holiday weekends like St. Patrick’s Day typically have a higher occurrence of drunk driving. ‘Save Lives, Don’t DUI’ uses two local radio stations, Channel 933 and Star 94.1, to reach San Diego residents and visitors celebrating the holiday. “By partnering with two popular radio stations, we’re targeting our mes-

sage through on-air personalities who relate to their listeners,” Dumanis said in the release. “Our office prosecutes about 10,000 cases of driving under the influence ever y year. I hope this campaign will get people’s attention, cause them to think twice, take a cab or arrange for a designated driver, and maybe even save a life.” In 2011, 32 percent of fatalities from motor vehicle crashes were connected to drunk driving on St. Patrick’s Day.

KENSINGTON RESIDENT JOINS VOICES FOR CHILDREN Karen Van Riper, a Kensington resident, recently graduated from Advocate University and is now a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) for Voices for Children (VFC). Advocate University, VFC’s training program, is free to San Diego residents who want to ser ve the community’s more than 5,000 foster children. CASAs are volunteers recruited and trained by VFC to help the Juvenile Dependency Court judges determine and implement decisions that are in the best interests of the children in the courtroom, classroom and community. Van Riper said she approached VFC after learning from a friend the plight of abused and neglected foster children in the region. Volunteers go through 35 hours of free classroom and online training that includes topics such as child development, dependency law, relationship building, court report writing and foster child education. ST. PAUL’S SENIOR HOMES & SERVICES RECEIVE FIVE-STAR RATING U.S. News & World Report’s annual Best Nursing Homes list recognized San Diego-based St. Paul’s Senior Homes & Services as one of 3,036 nursing homes across the country to receive a five-star rating. St. Paul’s runs several homes in Bankers Hill. The ranking is based on data from Nursing Home Compare, a consumer website run by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Health Rankings Editor Avery Comarow said there will be an estimated 3.3 million Americans living in 16,000 nursing homes throughout the country in 2013. Homes earn an overall rating of one to five stars based on standards set and enforced by government agencies. Underlying categories that are included in the rating are health inspections, nursing staff and quality of care.

COUNCIL APPROVES RESOLUTION TO STRENGTHEN BICYCLE SAFETY Andy Hanshaw, executive director of the San Diego Bicycle Coalition, said in a released statement he is in full support of the San Diego City Council’s resolution on bicycle infrastructure improvements, and called for action on implementing cycling projects in the city. The Council passed the resolution March 5 after initial work between BikeSD and Councilmember Lorie Zapf’s office, and paves the way for the City to develop infrastructure projects making cycling safer, including supporting grants to fund the projects. “The resolution says all of the right things, and we appreciate BikeSD taking the lead on getting it through the City Council, but safety, sustainability and connectivity will only come with an implementation plan,” Hanshaw said in the release. In addition to other safety measures, the resolution suggested well-marked commuter bike paths, road improvements and the expansion of the 2002 Bicycle Master Plan. Left off from the approved resolution was one of BikeSD’s original concerns: bicycle right-of-way near freeway interchanges. While thankful for the resolution and continuing conversation with the council, BikeSD representatives said on their website the “resolution by and large missed the point” they initially raised. “The progress happening now is amazing, and speedy implementation of the City’s flagship cycling planning document can move San Diego even further forward in making transportation better holistically,” Hanshaw said. “We have multimodal roads and we’d like to see the action plan on how the city will improve roadways for all users.”u


In which we are unjustly judged and subjected to the stinkeye

Andy Hinds Parenting Last Friday, some friends and I converged upon a certain panAsian North Park eater y, whose exterior wall is adorned with a mural of a hipster gremlin riding atop a pink Tyrannosaurus Rex, enjoying refreshing cocktails along with zesty noodles, savor y won-tons and spicy chicken. Despite the rain outside, it truly was a lovely evening, as ever yone in our party of 11 deported themselves in a convivial and garrulous manner. In fact, even before the appetizers arrived there were moments when, I admit, some of my dining companions became a bit over animated and perhaps unnecessarily clamorous, as passionate as they were about their conversation. More than once, eyes turned toward our table, but we paid them no mind. It’s a capacious space, where music and table chatter merges to create an ambient hum that dulls the impact of all but the shrillest outbursts. As the dishes were passed around the table and the drinks refilled, my cohorts became even more rambunctious. They gesticulated wildly, and brayed at each other across the table. They clumsily switched seats with one another, upsetting cups and dragging their sleeves through saucy platters in their urgency to interact closely with this diner or to escape the attention of that one. When they began crawling under the table to switch positions or chase down a reluctant companion, I reached my limit. I

hissed at them to please exhibit some decorum, despite their high spirits. As I said, the atmosphere in the restaurant was lively; but we were now drawing unwanted attention, and more than one look that could easily be described as “the stinkeye.” I was sure that were the hour later, the ver y patrons who cast sidelong glances would have been far more boisterous than my young compatriots; nonetheless, I didn’t want to create any ill will if I could help it. As more diners arrived and the noise level relative to our table ascended, I ceased worr ying about our party creating a disturbance: in any case, my previous admonitions, and those of other, more sober, companions, seemed to have had the desired effect on the rabble-rousers among us. A contingent of the most ebullient of the young ladies in our group announced that they needed to retire to the restroom: so my male friend and I escorted them, lest they become distracted, lost, or simply begin eating off the plates of strangers. As my friend and I prepared ourselves to subdue them, they gamboled to the restroom happily, hand-in-hand. Adorable. Their business in the lavator y having transpired uneventfully, we set out on our return trip to the table. And then it happened: the aforementioned shrillest outburst. It arose first from the lungs of one of our three petite companions like the mighty cr y of a sea eagle. Then it escalated, as if the sea eagle were joined by a fire engine. Finally, when it seemed that the shriek could get no louder, the third girl opened her mouth, and an air-raid siren wailed loudly enough that I was concerned about the plate glass on the storefront. As the three tiny banshees synchronized their battle cr y, they took to their heels, sprinting the breadth of the vast floor of the department-store-turnedrestaurant. My male friend lit off after them, chanting “no, no, no.” But it was too late. Ever y eye in the restaurant turned toward the tiny procession that somehow

produced the sound of a ship’s whistle tr ying to drown out a foghorn. As for myself, I took quite the opposite tack of my friend. I strolled casually toward my seat, and when diners craned their necks to see whence came the bedlam that disrupted their repast, I contorted my face to mirror their grimaces, shrugged my shoulders in empathetic bewilderment, plugged my ears, winced, and said loudly, “I’ve never heard such a racket. Whose children are they, anyway?” I may have fooled some of the customers, but the waiter rolled his eyes: he had seen the culprits sitting on my lap and eating from my plate. The diners in adjacent tables, several of whom happened to be acquaintances, also recognized me as the father of two of the three feral children. There was no way I could get away clean. So I sat back down with my family and our friends, and told my daughters that they were never again to play “Satan’s Fire Truck” in a crowded restaurant. Did they take the message to heart? We shall see, the next time we go out to dinner. Some of the parents in our group were mortified by the spectacle our girls had created, but soon enough, a rowdy group of adults on the other side of the restaurant started shout-singing in the most cacophonous manner; something about “Happy Birthday to so-and-so,” followed by a cheer that reminded one of the drunken bellowing of spectators at a cockfight. “Ugh,” I said. “What do those people think this place is?” Anyway, I felt vindicated that the so-called grownups proved just as disruptive as our little darlings, and not nearly as cute. —Andy Hinds is a stay-athome dad, blogger, freelance writer, carpenter and sometimesadjunct writing professor. He is known on the internet as Beta Dad, but you might know him as that guy in North Park whose kids ride in a dog-drawn wagon. Read his personal blog at Reach him at or @betadad on Twitter.u

San Diego Uptown News | March 15–28, 2013



San Diego Uptown News | March 15–28, 2013


Kaizen: a new way to look at health Kaizen is basically defined as “continuous improvement.” It is a Japanese business philosophy and a key to steady innovation found at successful companies like Toyota. The philosophy of kaizen is about continual improvement each day, rather than a search for perfection. It is an approach that can be used when we are talking about our own health and fitness. It is very easy to look at a magazine cover or see someone on TV and be discouraged that you will never look like that or be that healthy. That vision of perfection can stifle an attempt to get in shape or to make lasting changes. You may ask yourself why even bother, or you may question if it’s even possible to achieve those types of bodies. The overriding principles of kaizen are daily, continuous, steady improvement, and to take a long-term view. Like anything worthwhile in life, achieving kaizen requires commitment and a strong willingness to change. So don’t get discouraged by images and perceptions of “perfection.” Focus on the small things each day that you can

improve, building momentum toward the changes you want to achieve. There is always room for improvement; that is the spirit of kaizen. It’s not about how much weight you have lost or how much weight you have to go, it is only about this moment – right now – and the willingness to learn and improve. Here are five ways to make your personal health about kaizen. 1. Ready, shoot, aim. Do not aim for perfection because you’ll never achieve it. This is about doing it daily. Take action on that gym membership even if you only have time for a 30-minute workout. Don’t wait until next Monday to start eating breakfast, begin today by eating an apple. Remember, it is about achieving big goals one little step at a time. 2. Correct things right away if you slip up. Stuff happens. Accept it, and adjust accordingly. If you adhere to not aiming for perfection, then you are accepting that there will be mistakes to correct. I love the

no limit to what you can achieve. Kaizen is about continuous improvement. It is not about taking one step forward and two steps back. So if your idea of a healthy lifestyle is being really good during the week and letting “all hell break loose” on the weekend, I suggest asking yourself where can you sacrifice in the short term to achieve Kaizen.

Brian White F itness

analogy of an airplane in flight to describe this. The plane is rarely “on target” in flight; it is usually a little off. But the pilot is constantly adjusting, and the plane ends up at its destination. 3. Sacrifice in the short term for long-term gain. Much of why we are not in the shape we would like has to do with giving up long-term gains because we are not willing to sacrifice in the short term. In fact, if you can understand this concept in the context of all the decisions you make within one day, there is

4. Break your goal down into small steps. Take your larger goal and make it manageable with small, actionable steps. You do have your goal written somewhere, right? Start with the big picture and break it down. It doesn’t have to be a complete master plan – once again, perfection is not an achievable goal – but build momentum with small steps, and you can achieve it. 5. Visualize. Visualize what it looks like when you achieve your goal. Visualize how you achieve each actionable step. The more you see the picture in your mind, the greater chance you’ll succeed. Your body can’t go where you mind has never been.

As a personal trainer, I am constantly working with people in regards to their daily habits. Whatever your situation is, it is mostly a collection of habits. Kaizen focuses on constant improvement, so it is excellent at building good daily habits and removing negative ones. Habits must be developed, and the steady, gradual approach of Kaizen lends itself nicely to creating success. Kaizen is an incredible tool for effective long-term change, and it maybe the fresh alternative approach you need to finally achieve your goals. Pick one portion of your health and fitness routine and apply this approach for a few months. And as always, let me know how it goes! —Brian White owns BWF, San Diego’s Premier Training Service located in Hillcrest. He runs boot camps in Balboa Park and trains clients in Diverge Gym. Go to to read his blog, or take his seven-day video challenge to get back into healthy habits. Contact Brian at or on his website.u


HAIRSPRAY her past started coming back into her life, offering to put up money to help save her business. And, while Hartigan said she could not bring herself to accept money from friends, she saw the string of offerings as a sign that she was meant to keep her salon going, somehow and in some way. “That’s when I said mentally, ‘Okay, you don’t have to knock me over the head. I know this is you,’” Hartigan said. “I thought to myself, ‘I’m going to save the salon.’” On Jan. 7, Hartigan announced to her remaining staff that they would not be closing. Several former employees reached out to Hartigan and came back to work. With that and some new applicants, Hartigan began to rebuild her styling staff. She took out a loan, repainted the walls and added more styling stations upstairs, as well as a spa area for facials, manicures and pedicures. She even dug out the original “Hairspray: A high-energy, snob-free salon” business banner first displayed 13 years ago,

and hung it back up on an awning outside the shop. Months later, Hartigan said there is a new buzz in the air and Hairspray is here to stay. She now has several full-time stylists on staff, including Serafini and Mattazaro as well as Larry Kuse, Carlos Vasquez and Sean Kerr. Chevy Cathcart handles facial, manicures and pedicures, while Woodall runs the front desk. And Hartigan, feeling like a guardian angel has given a second chance, still does eyebrows fulltime for more than 500 clients. “There’s fresh energy in here. It’s a wonderful life, and it’s a wonderful salon,” she said. Moving forward, Hartigan said she plans to finish building more stations so she can add additional hairstylists to her growing Hairspray family, whom she affectionately refers to as her “Hair Bears.” In time, she said she hopes to rebuild Hairspray into the bustling salon she believes it is meant to be – with her loyal Hair Bears by her side in the Uptown community she loves. For more information about Hairspray, including salon hours and services, visit or call 619-297-9333.u

San Diego Uptown News | March 15–28, 2013


(center l to r) Councilmember Marti Emerald and Principal R. Akoni Derige pose with Franklin ASB students (Courtesy Dixie Blake)


FRANKLIN opportunities with the gardens, and now the trees.” To help facilitate learning, Miss Smarty Plants of the Water Conservation Garden and representatives from Urban Corps came to the school during a morning assembly to speak to students about why trees are important, as well as safety regarding trees and power lines. “There are about five fatal electrocutions a year, and we really want to get that number down. This is one of the ways that we educate the youth,” said Urban Corps representative Katheryn Ramirez. One interactive activity Ramirez did with the students was a “City Planning” hands-on exercise using Legos to build a map of their school, including where to place trees in regards to power lines. The activity is part of the nonprofit’s Tree Smart Program. “They seemed to really, really like it,” Ramirez said. “We talked all about different types of trees they might

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see around their community [and] they had a lot of questions, which was really nice.” Urban Corps has been at the forefront of planting trees for San Diego since 2002, planting more than 14,000 street trees while educating youth at their charter school and through events like the one at Franklin. Their mission is to both provide job training as well as educational opportunities to young adults. “There has been such a tremendous response from the students and excitement from the faculty,” Blake said. “Everyone is working so hard each day on their schoolwork, it’s nice to have something fun going on.” The results of the March 12 event will be felt beyond the end of Arbor Week, or even National Arbor Day in April. Both Emerald and Blake said the trees will be something the children can look back on with pride. “As Marti Emerald pointed out, those trees will be there in the future and the students will have done something to help the environment,” Blake said. “After they leave … they can come back and see them to remind them of their time at Franklin.”u


San Diego Uptown News | March 15–28, 2013


Al Davis Furniture

Big City Tattoo

Crest Café

The Deli Llama

Good Vibrations Chiropractic Tony Azar Mission Hills Bike Shop

Jewels on Fifth


Filter Coffee House

San Diego is known for its thriving Uptown neighborhoods, with close-knit communities that are full of life – families, parks, culture, food, music and even non-stop entertainment. It has vibrant nooks and crannies where residents, locals and visitors return, again and again. We recently asked the readers of San Diego Uptown News to tell us their favorite restaurants, bars and retail businesses found throughout our Uptown neighborhoods and a few beyond. Uptown coverage starts at the birthplace of California – historic Old Town and Mission Hills – and moves to the lively and colorful “gayborhood” of Hillcrest, through the hip enclaves of North Park and University Heights and the cozy kick-back neighborhoods that cling to the canyons overlooking Mission Valley: Normal Heights, Kensington and Talmadge. It also extends down to those neighborhoods nestled along the border

of Downtown: Bankers Hill, South Park and Golden Hill. That’s a pretty wide swath and from each point far and wide, our readers have chosen the best of the best in such categories as server, breakfast, happy hour, wine bar, art gallery, romantic dining, cocktail, florist, museum, local bar, and many, many more. Some winners have been serving customers in their Uptown neighborhood for decades, while others are new to the scene but already making an impact. In this month’s special pull-out section, we offer the full list of readers’ choices, showcasing them with colorful photos and highlighting many of the winners and their missions to serve. To each of our winners, we extend a hearty congratulations on your Reader’s Choice Awards and we hope our loyal readers – and your loyal customers – continue to show you patronage and appreciation for many years to come.

(All photos by Anulak Singphiphat)

Sushi Deli One

Martinis Above Fourth

Kensington Pet Supplies


Reader’s Choice 2012

San Diego Uptown News | March 2013






Crest Café

City Delicatessen

Lalo’s - Rudford’s


Crest Café

Urban Solace

Martinis Above Fourth

Bread & Cie

Babycakes - Hillcrest

Con Pane Rustic


Urban Mo’s

Baja Betty’s

The Loft

Big Mike Phillips

Ryan Dick

Saul Mendoza


Phil’s BBQ

Brazen BBQ


Crest Café

The Mission

Kensington Café


Crest Café

Hash House A Go Go



Crest Café

Los Panchos

El Zarape


Burger Lounge

Crest Café


El Zarape

Los Panchos





Martinis Above Fourth

Urban Solace




Valley View


Crest Café

Empire House

Martinis Above Fourth




Abbas, Jenson & Cundari

Sahmel & Associates


Adams Integrated Health

Haunani Chong

Goldman Wellness Center

Pleasures & Treasures

F Street

The Crypt

Gledhill’s Vintage Furniture

Zac’s Attic

Newport Antique Center


Aztec Appliance

Sears Outlet

Best Buy


SD Museum of Art

La Jolla MOCA


Smitty’s Service

Hillcrest Smog & Repair

North Park Auto

Wells Fargo

Union Bank

California Bank & Trust

#1 Fifth Avenue

The Alibi

Triple Crown Pub



Adams Avenue Bicycle

Mission Hills Bike Shop

Cal Coast Bikes

House of Blues


Belly Up Tavern

24 Hour Fitness

Barry’s Bootcamp

Brian White

Pretty Please

Babette Schwartz

Pure Boutique

East Village Tavern & Bowl

Kearny Mesa Bowl




Good Vibrations Family


Adams Integrated Health


Claire De Lune





Villainous Lair Comics

On Comic Ground

Southern Cali Comics


Humphrey’s by the Bay

Symphony Hall

Viejas Arena




Crest Café



Deborah Scott

Stephen Bennett



Hong Kong Restaurant

Lei Lounge

Babycakes – Hillcrest

Martinis Above Fourth

Filter Coffee House




Crest Café

City Delicatessen

Hash House A Go Go


Hillcrest Brewing

Blind Lady Ale House


SDCounty Credit Union

Cali Coast Credit Union

Navy Federal Credit Union


City Delicatessen

DZ Akins Delicatessen

Mona Lisa


Anatomy Spa & Boutique

The Knot Stop

La Costa Resort & Spa


Crest Café

Kensington Grill

Pita Jungle


Evelyn G Ascough, DDS

Jeffery S. Keeny, DDS

Kensington Pediatric


Donut Star

Golden Donut





Brass Rail

Urban Mo’s & Fluxx


Dr. Darren Farnesi

Dr. David Shamblaw

Dr. Jeanette Gray


Hillcrest Cleaners

NP Cleaners

Veribest Cleaners

Eric Brown, Waddell & Reed

Stockton Financial

Sahmel & Associates

24 Hour Fitness

North Park Fitness

Chuze Fitness

Ace Hardware Hillcrest

San Diego Hardware

Scripps Mercy

UCSD Medical Center

Sharp Memorial


Balboa Park Inn

Sommerset Suites

Bluestocking Book

Adams Ave Bookstore

Fifth Ave Bookstore




Jimmy Carter’s

Jack in the Box





Cucina Urbana

Kous Kous


Bléu Boheme

Farm House Cafe



Hillcrest Farmers’ Market


Whole Foods Market



Fiji Yogurt



Alexi’s Greek

Luna Grill

Mediterranean Café


Trader Joe’s


Whole Foods Market




Crest Café




Green Fresh Florals

Baja Betty’s


Urban Mo’s



Whole Foods Market


Trader Joe’s





Mariposa Ice Cream

Coldstone Creamery

Gelato Vero Caffé


Kay Jewelers

Jewels on Fifth

Leo Hamel


Rachel Young

Kevin Wheeler

Tony Prost

House of Blues

Belly Up Tavern

The Casbah



Kous Kous


Soltan Banoo

The Field

Rosie O’Grady’s

The Ould Sod

Arrivederci Risto

ll Postino

Antica Trattoria


Kiki Sushi

Sushi Ota

Hamilton’s Tavern

Ruby Room

Tiger Tiger

Crest Café

Deli Llama

City Deli


Baja Betty;s




Martinis Above Fourth


Lei Lounge

Baja Betty’s

El Zarape



Urban Mo’s

Hamilton’s Tavern

Carnita’s Snack

Luna Grill

Pita Jungle


Martinis Above Fourth

Top of the Park

The Station

Crest Café

Blind Lady Ale

Lefty’s Pizzeria

The Prado

Kous Kous

Top of the Park

Bertrand at Mister A’s

Bronx Pizza


Diversionary Theatre

ion theatre


Mission Hills Nursery

Armstrong Garden Center

City Farmers’ Nursery


Martinis Above Fourth

Lei Lounge

Red Fox Room

The Knotstop

Massage Envy

Good Vibrations Chiro.

Al Davis Furniture

Sleep Train Mattress


Men’s Warehouse

San Diego Natural History

Museum of Man


Martinis Above Fourth


Urban Optik’s

Uptown Optometry

Specs Optometry


Unique Pawn

Hillcrest Pawn

Crown Jewelers

Chris Keith

Cory Russo

Brian White


Camp Run-a-Mutt

Golden Paw






South Bark Dog Wash


Kensington Vet


VCA Hillcrest

Bodhi Vet

Kensington Vet



Pet Smart

Kensington Pet Supply




Tony Azar

Mike Tristani

Tamara Zyhlij

Ascent Realty


Metropolitan Group

Buffalo Exchange




St. Paul’s

Merrill Gardens

La Costa Glen



Bernardo Winery



Magic 92.5

Elos Shoes


Hollywood Tans

iTan Hillcrest


Avalon Tattoo

Big City Tattoo

Sleeping Giant Tattoo


Hunt & Gather

Pretty Please

Pilgrimage of the Heart

Ginseng Yoga

Core Power


Crest Café


Tender Greens


Big Front Door

Crest Café

Bread & Cie


Point Loma Seafood

The Fish Market


Wade Montgomery

MOCA – Downtown


Jamba Juice

Kensington Café

Whole Foods Market

Fleming’s Steakhouse

Bully’s East

Morton’s Steakhouse

Sushi Deli One

Ichiban Sushi

Aloha Sushi

El Zarape


Lucha Libre



Taste of Thai

Pink Noodle


Wine Steals

Kensington Vine

Wine Lover




Reader’s Choice 2012


GOLD – Crest Café

425 Robinson Ave., 92103 (619) 295-2510

SILVER – City Delicatessen 535 University Ave., 92103 (619) 295-2747

BRONZE – Lalo’s

1266 University Ave., 92103 (619) 294-6810

BRONZE 2 – Rudford’s

2900 El Cajon Blvd., 92104 (619) 282-8423


GOLD – Crest Café

425 Robinson Ave., 92103 (619) 295-2510

SILVER – Urban Solace 3823 30th St., 92104 (619) 295-6464

BRONZE – Martinis Above Fourth

3940 Fourth Ave., 92103 (619) 400-4500 Martinis Above Fourth (MA4) is an eclectic contemporary restaurant, lounge, bar and cabaret, featuring award-winning martinis right in the heart of Hillcrest. Our dining options include a casual light menu in our lounge and bar area to a full dinner menu available in our dining room. We offer a broad selection of starters and entrees, from our famous in-house crab cakes to our blue cheese-stuffed filet. MA4 also presents some of the best names in the cabaret world from Broadway stars, to comedians, to musical acts, and beyond. In addition, we also offer a wide variety of “cover free” entertainment, including “Musical Mondays” and our piano bar in the lounge area, so there is something for everyone at Martinis Above Fourth.


GOLD – Bread & Cie

350 University Ave., 92103 (619) 683-9322

SILVER – Babycakes 3766 Fifth Ave., 92103 (619) 296-4173

Babycakes serves up a spin on traditional dessert flavors like blood orange, mocha, and red velvet, coupled with a casual atmosphere reminiscent of the same charm you’d expect from Grandma’s house. It makes desserts more social and conversational - definitely a place to hang out and enjoy the moment! Now with two Babycakes locations to serve you – Hillcrest and Morley Field – you get the best of both worlds. The Hillcrest location’s full bar has become a community hotspot where you can eat your cake and drink it, too! From chocolate martinis to butterscotch truffles and orange dreamsicles, their mixologists will tempt your tastebuds. The Morley Field location reflects the healthier side of Babycakes’

typically decadent cuisine but also offers a full coffee bar and selections of their world famous cupcakes. We promise you will leave with a smile on your face – or a guilty grin – either way, you’ll be satisfied!

BRONZE – Con Pane Rustic Breads & Café

2750 Dewey Rd. #105, 92106 (619) 224-4344


GOLD – Urban Mo’s Bar & Grill

308 University Ave., 92103 (619) 491-0400

SILVER – Baja Betty’s

1421 University Ave., 92103 (619) 269-8510

BRONZE – The Loft

3610 Fifth Ave., 92103 (619) 296-6407


GOLD – Big Mike Phillips

Jimmy Carter’s Mexican Café 3172 Fifth Ave., 92103 (619) 295-2070

SILVER – Ryan Dick

Martinis Above Fourth 3940 Fourth Ave., 92103 (619) 400-4500

BRONZE – Saul Mendoza Baja Betty’s 1421 University Ave., 92103

San Diego Uptown News | March 2013

(619) 269-8510


GOLD – Phil’s BBQ

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


441 Washington St., 92103 (619) 816-1990


GOLD – Crest Café

425 Robinson Ave., 92103 (619) 295-2510 •

SILVER – The Mission

2801 University Ave., 92104 (619) 220-8992

BRONZE – Kensington Café 4141 Adams Ave., 92116 (619) 640-0494

Kensington Cafe is truly a neighborhood cafe. We love our regulars, are always happy to have new faces walk in the door, and strive to make everyone feel at home … you can even bring your dog along for patio seating and people watching. We believe in bringing you a quality product at a reasonable price. We are very vegetarianfriendly and use only the freshest ingredients in all of our food. Every sauce, spread and dressing involved in your meal is made in-house and everything is made to order. We open our doors for early morning coffee, breakfast and serve a great lunch. We carry on through the night, bringing you beer, wine, desserts and happy hour specials daily. We embrace the arts and always try to keep things interesting with rotating entertainment, such as live music, movie nights and trunk shows.



GOLD – Crest Café

425 Robinson Ave., 92103 (619) 295-2510

SILVER – Hash House A-Go-Go 3628 Fifth Ave., 92103 (619) 298-4646

BRONZE – Snooze

3940 Fifth Ave., 92103 (619) 500-3344


GOLD – Crest Café

425 Robinson Ave., 92103 (619) 295-2510 •

SILVER – Los Panchos

409 Washington St., 92103 (619) 295-5828

BRONZE – El Zarape 4642 Park Blvd., 92116 (619) 692-1652


GOLD – Burger Lounge 4116 Adams Ave., 92116 (619) 295-2510

SILVER – Crest Café

425 Robinson Ave., 92103 (619) 241-2207

see Winners, page 4


San Diego Uptown News | March 2013

Reader’s Choice 2012 FROM PAGE 3


GOLD – El Zarape

4642 Park Blvd., 92116 (619) 692-1652

SILVER – Los Panchos

409 Washington St., 92103 (619) 295-5828

BRONZE – Lalo’s

1266 University Ave., 92103 (619) 294-6810


GOLD – Crest Café

425 Robinson Ave., 92103 (619) 295-5828

SILVER – Martinis Above Fourth 3940 Fourth Ave., 92103 (619) 400-4500

BRONZE – Urban Solace 3823 30th St., 92104 (619) 295-6464


GOLD – Viejas

5000 Willows Rd., 91901 (619) 445-5400 •

SILVER – Barona

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

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


GOLD – Crest Café

425 Robinson Ave., 92103 (619) 295-5828 •

SILVER – Empire House 127 University Ave., 92103 (619) 688-9283


GOLD – Filter

1295 University Ave., 92103 (619) 299-0145

BRONZE – Martinis Above Fourth 3940 Fourth Ave., 92103 (619) 400-4500


GOLD – Deborah Scott Cohn Restaurant Group

SILVER – Stephen Bennett Martinis Above Fourth 3940 Fourth Ave., 92103 (619) 400-4500


GOLD – CityWok

718 W. Washington St., 92103 (619) 220-8888

SILVER – Wang’s

3029 University Ave., 92104 (619) 291-9449

BRONZE – Hong Kong Restaurant 3871 Fourth Ave., 92103 (619) 291-7500


GOLD – Lei Lounge

All of us at Filter Coffee House would like to thank the community for its continued support. We couldn’t be here without you. Come by for breakfast any time, or try a delicious panini or salad. We also have a wide variety of delicious desserts! We’re open late every night, ‘till 2 a.m. Sunday through Thursday, and 3 a.m. Friday and Saturday nights. Bring your laptops and iPads, we offer free wifi!

SILVER – Lestat’s

3343 Adams Ave., 92116 (619) 282-0437

BRONZE – Twiggs

4590 Park Blvd., 92116 (619) 296-0616 •


GOLD – Crest Café

425 Robinson Ave., 92103 (619) 295-5828 •

4622 Park Blvd., 92116 (619) 813-2272

SILVER – City Delicatessen

SILVER – Babycakes

BRONZE – Hash House A-Go-Go

3766 Fifth Ave., 92103 (619) 296-4173

BRONZE – Martinis Above Fourth 3940 Fourth Ave., 92103 (619) 400-4500

535 University Ave., 92103 (619) 295-2747 •

3628 Fifth Ave., 92103 (619) 298-4646


GOLD – Hillcrest Brewing Company 1458 University Ave., 92103 (619) 269-4323

SILVER – Blind Lady Ale House 3416 Adams Ave., 92116 (619) 255-2491

BRONZE – Toronado

4026 30th St., 92104 (619) 282-0456 •


GOLD – City Delicatessen

535 University Ave., 92103 (619) 295-2747 •

SILVER – D.Z. Akin’s Delicatessen

6930 Alvarado Rd., 92120 (619) 265-0218 •

BRONZE – Mona Lisa 2061 India St., 92101 (619) 234-4893


GOLD – Crest Café

425 Robinson Ave., 92103 (619) 295-2510 •

see Winners, page 5

Reader’s Choice 2012 FROM PAGE 4

WINNERS SILVER – Kensington Grill 4055 Adams Ave., 92116 (619) 281-4014

BRONZE – Pita Jungle

1045 University Ave., 91105 (619) 255-7482 •


BRONZE – Ichiban’s

1449 University Ave., 92103 (619) 299-7203


GOLD – Busalacchi’s A Modo Mio 3707 Fifth Ave., 92103 (619) 298-0119

SILVER – Cucina Urbana

GOLD – Donut Star

505 Laurel St., 92101 (619) 239-2222

SILVER – Golden Donut

BRONZE – Kous Kous

601 W. Washington St., 92103 (619) 542-1809 2360 University Ave., 92104 (619) 563-6472


GOLD – Crest Café

425 Robinson Ave., 92103 (619) 295-2510 •

SILVER – Jimmy Carter’s Mexican Café

3172 Fifth Ave., 92103 (619) 295-2070


GOLD – Jack in the Box 804 University Ave., 92103 (619) 232-7316


3102 Sports Arena Blvd., 92110 (800) 786-1000

3940 Fourth Ave., 92103 (619) 295-5560


GOLD – Bleu Boheme 4090 Adams Ave., 92116 (619) 255-4167

SILVER – Farm House Café

(619) 299-3330

SILVER – Sprouts

4175 Park Blvd., 92103 (619) 291-8287 •

BRONZE – Whole Foods Market

711 University Ave.,92103 (619) 294-2800


GOLD – Pinkberry

3795 Fourth Ave., 92103 (619) 260-9106

SILVER – Fiji Yogurt

1010 University Ave. #103, 92103 (619) 297-0850

BRONZE – Yog-Art

3026 University Ave.,92104 (619) 220-4999


2121 Adams Ave., 92116 (619) 269-9662

GOLD – Alexis Greek Café

BRONZE – Hexagone

Serving Greek, Mediterranean and American food, this Hillcrest institution has been delighting palates for over 20 years. Serving everything from gyros to spanakopita to Greek salads, Alexis even offers vegetarian cuisine. For the best Greek food in Hillcrest, visit Alexis Greek Café.No other Greek restaurant compares.

495 Laurel St., 92101 (619) 236-0467


GOLD – Hillcrest Farmers’ Market 3960 Normal St., 92103

3863 Fifth Ave., 92103 (619) 297-1777

SILVER – Luna Grill

350 University Ave., 92103 (619) 296-5862 •

San Diego Uptown News | March 2013

BRONZE – Mediterranean Café

112 W Washington St., 92103 (619) 325-1900


GOLD – Trader Joe’s

1090 University Ave., 92103 (619) 296-3122

SILVER – Sprouts

4175 Park Blvd., 92103 (619) 291-8287 •

BRONZE – Whole Foods Market 711 University Ave., 92103 (619) 294-2800


GOLD – Baja Betty’s

1421 University Ave., 92103 (619) 269-8510

SILVER – Babycakes

3766 Fifth Ave., 92103 (619) 296-4173 •

BRONZE – Urban Mo’s

308 University Ave., 92103 (619) 491-0400


GOLD – Whole Foods Market 711 University Ave., 92103 (619) 294-2800


SILVER – Sprouts

4175 Park Blvd., 92103 (619) 291-8287

BRONZE – Trader Joe’s

1090 University Ave., 92103 (619) 296-3122


GOLD – Mariposa Ice Cream 3450 Adams Ave., 92116 (619) 284-5197

SILVER – Coldstone Creamery 2448 San Diego Ave., 92110 (619) 543-9057

BRONZE – Gelato Vero Caffe 3753 India St., 92103 (619) 295-9269


GOLD – Kous Kous

3940 Fourth Ave., 92103 (619) 295-5560

SILVER – Bombay

3960 Fifth Ave., 92103 (619) 297-7777

BRONZE – Soltan Banoo 4645 Park Blvd., 92116 (619) 298-2801

see Winners, page 6


San Diego Uptown News | March 2013

Reader’s Choice 2012 FROM PAGE 5


GOLD – The Field

544 Fifth Ave., 92101 (619) 232-9840 •

SILVER – Rosie O’Grady’s 3402 Adams Ave., 92116 (619) 284-7666

BRONZE – The Ould Sod 3373 Adams Ave., 92116 (619) 284-6594

The Ould Sod, established in 1989, is generally regarded as San Diego’s most authentic Irish Pub. Over the years it has been a home-away-from-home for the local Irish community, a sponsor for numerous sports clubs, a go-to venue on Adams Avenue and a genuine neighborhood pub. The Ould Sod also has a long-standing relationship with the United States Marine Corps, local first responders and the community at large. Over the past 23 years this little Irish pub has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for many worthwhile charities and causes. Proudly pouring the best pint of Guinness in Southern California, The Ould Sod offers live music, karaoke, great drink specials and fun filled bus trips throughout the year. Drop in and experience a wee bit of the Emerald Isle right here in the heart of Normal Heights.


GOLD – Arrivederci Ristorante 3845 Fourth Ave., 92103 (619) 325-0809

SILVER – Il Postino 3959 30th St., 92104

(619) 325-0809

BRONZE – Antica Trattoria

5654 Lake Murray Blvd., 91942 (619) 463-9919


GOLD – Ichiban

1449 University Ave., 92103 (619) 299-7203

SILVER – Kiki Sushi

600 University Ave., 92103 (619) 260-0161

BRONZE – Sushi Ota

4529 Mission Bay Dr., 92109 (858) 270-5047


GOLD – Hamilton’s Tavern 1521 30th St., 92102 (619) 238-5460

SILVER – Ortega’s Mexican Bistro 141 University Ave., 92103 (619) 692-4200

BRONZE – Ponce’s

4050 Adams Ave., 92116 (619) 282-4413


GOLD – Martinis Above Fourth 3940 Fourth Ave., 92103 (619) 400-4500

SILVER – Ortega’s Mexican Bistro 141 University Ave., 92103 (619) 692-4200

BRONZE – Lei Lounge 4622 Park Blvd., 92116 (619) 813-2272


SILVER – Ruby Room

GOLD – Baja Betty’s

BRONZE – Tiger Tiger

SILVER – El Zarape

1271 University Ave., 92103 (619) 299-7372 3025 El Cajon Blvd., 92104 (619) 487-0401


GOLD – Crest Café

425 Robinson Ave., 92103 (619) 295-2510

SILVER – Deli Llama 3702 Fifth Ave., 92103 (619) 295-4666

1421 University Ave., 92103 (619) 269-8510 4642 Park Blvd., 92116 (619) 578-2600

BRONZE – Lalo’s

1266 University Ave., 92103 (619) 294-6810


GOLD – Pec’s

2046 University Ave., 92104 (619) 296-0889 PECS is a hideaway-like bar located on the border of Hillcrest in North Park. It has been a destination for local men (and of course San Diego’s visitors) for 25 years. Over those years it has become known for its great drinks and a relaxed, festive atmosphere, complete with a full-service outdoor patio, pool tables, music, wifi and other games. Stop by this local hangout and see why it won the Uptown Reader’s Choice Award for best neighborhood bar and best outdoor bar in San Diego.

It began with a simple concept: sumptuous sandwiches in a uniquely whimsical atmosphere. Owner Laura Sullivan was able to breathe this all to life in an under-used space on the corner of Fifth and Pennsylvania avenues and call it The Deli Llama. After years of enjoying widely different experiences from singing in Atlantic City, to working with exotic animals, and launching a successful chocolate business (clients included Neiman Marcus, Barney’s & Bristol Farms), Sullivan’s ‘grand finale’ was realized in 2012 when she opened The Deli Llama. In just three years, Sullivan has created a warm, community-oriented atmosphere where customers are considered “family.” With a menu that offers a delightful variety of sandwiches, paninis, soups and other goodies – including its newest selection of gluten-free breads and detoxifying drinks – The Deli Llama continues to draw new and loyal customers in to enjoy its delicious food and fanciful setting.

SILVER – Urban Mo’s

BRONZE – City Deli

350 University Ave., 92103 (619) 296-5862

535 University Ave., 92103 (619) 295-2747


GOLD – Baja Betty’s

1421 University Ave., 92103 (619) 269-8510

308 University Ave., 92103 (619) 491-0400

BRONZE – Hamilton’s 1521 30th St., 92102 (619) 238-5460


GOLD – Carnita’s Snack Shack

2632 University Ave., 92104 (619) 294-7675

SILVER – Luna Grill

BRONZE – Pita Jungle

1045 University Ave., 91105 (619) 255-7482

see Winners, page 7

Reader’s Choice 2012 FROM PAGE 6


GOLD – Pec’s 2046 University Ave., 92104 (619) 296-0889 SILVER – Martinis Above Fourth 3940 Fourth Ave., 92103 (619) 400-4500

BRONZE – Top of the Park


GOLD – Crest Café

425 Robinson Ave., 92103 (619) 295-2510 •

SILVER – Souplantation

3960 W. Point Loma Blvd., 92110 (619) 222-7404

BRONZE – Tender Greens

2400 Historic Decatur Rd.,92106 (619) 226-6254


525 Spruce St., 92103 (619) 296-0057

GOLD – Big Front Door

The Inn at the Park (now a Shell Vacations Property) is a recently renovated 1926 all-suite hotel located on the border of Hillcrest and Bankers Hill. They are famous for their Friday night happy hour at Top of the Park, featuring great happy hour drink prices and one of the best views in San Diego. You can also enjoy lunch with dramatic city views Monday through Friday at the Top of the Park. Indoor and outdoor patio seating are available and a complimentary two-hour valet parking is included with restaurant validation for lunch and dinner. At the 525 Restaurant and Piano Bar you can enjoy dinner and cocktails seven nights a week, with dining options ranging from gourmet sandwiches to delicious steaks and seafood. We feature live entertainers Tuesday through Sunday, singing jazz, pop, blues and even show tunes, and on Monday nights you are the star with karaoke.

SILVER – Crest Café


GOLD – The Station 2204 Fern St., 92104 (619) 255-0657

SILVER – Crest Café 425 Robinson Ave., 92103 (619) 295-2510


GOLD – Blind Lady Ale House 3416 Adams Ave., 92116 (619) 255-2491

SILVER – Lefty’s

3448 30th St., 92104 (619) 295-1720

BRONZE – Bronx

111 Washington St., 92103 (619) 291-3341


GOLD – The Prado

1549 El Prado, 92101 (619) 557-9441

SILVER – Kous Kous

3940 Fourth Ave., 92103 (619) 295-5560


GOLD – Top of the Park 525 Spruce St., 92103 (619) 296-0057

SILVER – Bertrand at Mister A’s

2550 Fifth Ave. #12, 92103 (619) 239-1377

4135 Park Blvd., 92103 (619) 255-4100 • 425 Robinson Ave., 92103 (619) 295-2510 •

BRONZE – Bread & Cie 350 University Ave., 92103 (619) 683-9322


GOLD – Point Loma Seafood 2805 Emerson St., 92106 (619) 223-1109

SILVER – The Fish Market 750 N. Harbor Dr., 92101 (619) 234-4867

BRONZE – Oceanaire 400 J St., 92101 (619) 858-2277


GOLD – Wade Montgomery

Crest Café 425 Robinson Ave., 92103 (619) 295-2510 •


GOLD – Jamba Juice

510 Robinson Ave., 92103 (619) 683-2582 •

SILVER – Kensington Café 4141 Adams Ave., 92116 (619) 640-0494

BRONZE – Whole Foods 711 University Ave., 92103 (619) 294-2800

see Winners, page 8

San Diego Uptown News | March 2013



San Diego Uptown News | March 2013

Reader’s Choice 2012 FROM PAGE 7


GOLD – Fleming’s

380 K St., 92101 (619) 237-1155

SILVER – Bully’s East

2401 Camino Del Rio S., 92108 (619) 291-2665

BRONZE – Morton’s 285 J St., 92101 (619) 696-3369


GOLD – Sushi Deli One

228 W. Washington St., 92103 (619) 231-9597 •

SILVER – Ichiban

449 University Ave., 92103 (619) 299-7203

BRONZE – Aloha Sushi 7731 Fay Ave., 92037 (858) 551-5000


GOLD – El Zarape

4642 Park Blvd., 92116 619) 578-2600

SILVER– Lalo’s

1266 University Ave., 92103 (619) 294-6810

BRONZE – Lucha Libre

1810 W. Washington St., 92110 (619) 296-8226


GOLD – Amarin

3843 Richmond St., 92103 (619) 296-6056

SILVER – Taste of Thai

527 University Ave., 92103 (619) 291-7525

BRONZE – Pink Noodle

406 University Ave., 92103 (619) 298-2929 WINE BAR

GOLD – Wine Steals

1243 University Ave., 92103 (619) 295-1188

SILVER – Kensington Vine 4191 Adams Ave., 92116 (619) 282-8463

BRONZE – The Wine Lover 3968 Fifth Ave., 92103 (619) 294-9200


GOLD – Abbas, Jenson and Cundari

1940 Fifth Ave. Suite 300, 92101 (619) 298-9699

SILVER – Sahmel and Associates

3033 Fifth Ave. Suite 425, 92103 (619) 295-0800


GOLD – Adams Avenue Integrative Health 3239 Adams Ave., 92116 (619) 546-4806

SILVER – Haunani Chong

4060 Adams Ave., 92116 (202) 375-9729

BRONZE – Goldman Wellness Center 842 E. Washington St. Suite B, 92103 • (619) 917-6288

Wendy Goldman is a licensed acupuncturist operating a general family practice conveniently located in Hillcrest. Chinese medicine is the oldest and most widely used natural healthcare system in the world. Acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine are safe, natural and effective, without the harsh side effects of drugs and many common western medical treatments. There’s no need to wait months to get an appointment, patients get treatment when they need it. Goldman treats a wide range of conditions, including pain, headaches, allergies, asthma, fatigue, anxiety, depression, digestive problems, gynecological complaints, insomnia, and most chronic conditions. Even if you’ve been suffer-

ing for a long time, they can often still get good results and reduce or eliminate your symptoms and suffering. “I want to help you get healthy and stay healthy. If you’re ready to feel better and enjoy life again, please contact me to see how I can help you.”


GOLD – Pleasures and Treasures

2525 University Ave., 92104 (619) 822-4280

SILVER – F Street

2004 University Ave., 92104 (619) 233-0401

BRONZE – The Crypt

3847 Park Blvd., 92103 (619) 692-9499 •


GOLD – Gledhill’s Vintage Furniture

2610 Adams Ave., 92116 (619) 296-8272

SILVER – Zac’s Attic

2922 Adams Ave., 92116 (619) 284-0400

Bronze – Newport Avenue Antique Center 4836 Newport Ave., 92107 (619) 224-1994


Gold – Aztec Appliance 665 15th St., 92101 (619) 236-0616

Silver – Sears Outlet

960 Sherman St., 92110 (619) 497-1123 •

Bronze – Best Buy

5151 Mission Center Rd., 92108 (619) 574-1076 •


Gold – San Diego Museum of Art 1450 El Prado, 92101 (619) 232-7931

Silver – La Jolla Museum of Contemporary Art

700 Prospect St., 92037 (858) 454-3541 •

see Winners, page 9

Reader’s Choice 2012 FROM PAGE 8


Gold – Smitty’s Service 3441 Adams Ave., 92116 (619) 281-7722

Silver – Hillcrest Smog and Repair 3864 First Ave., 92103 (619) 297-4059

Bronze – North Park Auto 4194 30th St., 92104 (619) 516-7090


Gold – Wells Fargo 1220 Cleveland Ave. Suite M113, 92103 (619) 543-0096

Silver – Union Bank

3900 Fifth Ave. #100, 92103 (619) 682-5160

Bronze – California Bank and Trust 3737 Fifth Ave., 92103 (619) 299-9700


Gold – #1 Fifth Avenue 3845 Fifth Ave., 92103 (619) 299-1911

#1 Fifth Avenue is yes, another dive bar but with one exception – they bring the gay – with topless bartenders, attractive waiters, and an overall good energy. They also have an outdoor pool table on their back patio and an extra bar so that you don’t have to push through a crowd to fill up. The private back patio makes #1 Fifth Ave one of the few bars around where you can smoke and drink outside. The bar is friendly, attracting patrons of all ages, male and female, straight and gay, so a good time is guaranteed. It’s conveniently located on Fifth Avenue between University and Robinson avenues in the heart of Hillcrest,

making it only steps away from all the other bars in the neighborhood.

Silver – The Alibi

1403 University Ave., 92103 (619) 295-0881

Bronze – Triple Crown Pub 3221 Adams Ave., 92116 (619) 281-0263


GOLD – Mankind

3425 Fifth Ave., 92103 (619) 497-1970

SILVER – Paradowskis 7962 Convoy CT., 92111 (858) 569-6946


GOLD – Adams Ave. Bicycles 2606 Adams Ave., 92116 (619) 295-8500 •

SILVER – Mission Hills Bike Shop

141 West Washington St., 92103 (619) 296-0618 Mission Hills Bicycle Shop has been a San Diego icon for years. All the locals know this is your go-to place for bike repair and great services. The people are very knowledgeable and the owner is one of a kind with a warm welcome and an offer to help with any bike needs.

BRONZE – Cal Coast Bikes 3020 Adams Ave., 92116 (619) 281-7433


GOLD – House of Blues 1055 Fifth Ave., 92101 (619) 299-2583

SILVER – Croce’s

802 Fifth Ave., 92101 (619) 233-4355

BRONZE – Belly Up Tavern 143 S. Cedros Ave., 92075 (858) 481-9022


GOLD – 24 Hour Fitness 3965 Fifth Ave., 92103 (619) 683-2424

SILVER – Barry’s Bootcamp 1220 Cleveland Ave., 92103 (619) 906-4455

BRONZE – Brian White Fitness 3919 Fourth Ave., 92103 (619) 322-1625


GOLD – Pretty Please 1220 Cleveland Ave., Suite M-111, 92103 (619) 296-1188

SILVER – Babette Schwartz 421 University Ave., 92103 (619) 220-7048

BRONZE – Pure Boutique 451 University Ave., 92103 (619) 294-7873


GOLD – East Village Tavern + Bowl

San Diego Uptown News | March 2013

930 Market St., 92101 (619) 677-2695

SILVER – Kearny Mesa Bowl 7585 Clairemont Mesa Blvd., 92111 (858) 279-1501


GOLD – Viejas

5000 Willows Rd., 91901 (619) 445-5400

SILVER – Barona

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

BRONZE – Sycuan

5469 Casino Way., 92019 (619) 445-6002 •


GOLD – Good Vibrations Family Chiropractic 4060 Adams Ave., 92116 (619) 281-1234

SILVER – Chiropractique 2301 El Cajon Blvd., 92104 (619) 269-9909

BRONZE – Adams Avenue Integrated Health 3239 Adams Ave., 92116 (619) 546-4806



GOLD – Lestat’s

3343 Adams Ave., 92116 (619) 282-0437

SILVER – Claire de Lune 2906 University Ave., 92104 (619) 688-9845



9500 Gilman Dr., 92093 (858) 534-2230


5500 Campanile Dr., 92115 (619) 594-6336


5998 Alcala Park, 92110 (619) 260-4600


GOLD – Villainous Lair Comics 3371 Adams Ave., 92116 (619) 487-1340

We have found a home on Adams Avenue among all the really great businesses established here. We are the place in (ab)Normal Heights for comics, role playing games, collectible cards and graphic novels. If you are in the San Diego area come on down and check us out! Offering you the best in graphic novels, DC, Marvel, Darkhorse, and other independent comics. In addition to being a comic bookstore, Villainous Lair extended

see Winners, page 10


San Diego Uptown News | March 2013


WINNERS their passion to also become a dedicated gaming store. This allows us to bring you the best selections in collectible card games (CCGS) and role playing games (RPGS). We now offer a place for our loyal minions to have a space to sit, play a game, and have some fun nerd chats. A new expanded gaming section is now home to Magic: The Gathering, Pokemon, Yu-Gi-Oh, Dungeons & Dragons, Pathfinder, Warhammer, Warhammer 40k, and more of your favorites!

SILVER – On Comic Ground 1629 University Ave., 92103 (619) 683-7879

BRONZE – Southern California Comics

8280 Clairemont Mesa Blvd. #124, 92111 (858) 715-8669


GOLD – Humphreys Concerts By The Bay

2241 Shelter Island Dr., 92106 (619) 224-3577

SILVER – Symphony Hall 750 B St., 92101

Reader’s Choice 2012

(619) 235-0804 San Diego Symphony performed its first concert on December 6, 1910 in the Grand Ballroom of the then-new US Grant Hotel. Now, the San Diego Symphony has grown into one of the top orchestras in the country, both artistically and financially. With a current budget of $20 million, the San Diego Symphony is now placed in the Tier One category as ranked by the League of American Orchestras. The San Diego Symphony owes a deep debt of gratitude to Joan and Irwin Jacobs for their extraordinary generosity, kindness and friendship. Their support and vision has overwhelmingly contributed to making the San Diego Symphony a leading force in San Diego’s arts and cultural community and a source of continuing civic pride for all San Diegans.

BRONZE – Viejas Arena

5500 Canyon Crest Dr., 92182-4210 (619) 594-0234 •


GOLD – San Diego County Credit Union

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

SILVER – California Coast Credit Union 1060 University Ave. Suite A101, 92103 (858) 495-1600

BRONZE – Navy Federal Credit Union

8660 Rio San Diego Dr., 92108 (888) 842-6328


GOLD – Anatomy Day Spa & Boutique

1205 University Ave., 92103 (619) 296-6224

SILVER – The Knot Stop

1080 University Ave., 92103 (619) 296-5668

BRONZE – La Costa Resort & Spa

2100 Costa Del Mar Rd., 92009 (760) 438-9111


GOLD – Evelyn G Ascough, DDS

3333 Fifth Ave., 92103 (619) 298-0821 Did you know that cancer is the second leading cause of death in our country today and oral cancer is ranked as the sixth highest cause of cancer death? The sad part is while

other types of cancer cases are either decreasing or remaining stagnant, oral cancer cases are increasing every year. Fortunately it doesn’t have to be this way. If diagnosed early, oral cancer patients can have an 80-90 percent or better survival rate. However, it is often difficult to visually diagnose oral cancer due to its lack of obvious symptoms. There is no pain involved and the tissues may look normal or like an ordinary cold sore, but which doesn’t heal in a normal two week time period. Not known to many, oral sex is the leading cause of oral cancer, beating both smoking and drinking. The human papillomavirus (HPV) is spread through oral sex, which is believed to be the reason for the development of cancer around the mouth. The HPV is a virus that causes genital warts and cervical cancer in women. Recent studies suggest that it is now the primary cause of oral cancer. “Having a number of oral sex partners and performing oral sex pose a higher risk of getting oral cancer,” says Dr. Ascough. Dr. Ascough uses Vizilite Plus with TBlue to detect oral cancer. This technology is a screening system designed to identify, assess, monitor and mark unusual lesions suspected to be associated with precancerous cells and cancer. It is a patented and clinically proven technology that reduces the number of falsepositive lesions found during a normal visual exam, preventing unnecessary biopsies. The test is pain free and will take no more than five minutes. The saying, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” never gets old. If you have questions please email us at smile@ or give us a call. Remember, “A healthy mouth is key to a better and healthier you!”

SILVER – Jeffrey S. Keeny

1807 Robinson Ave., 92103 (619) 295-1512 • Dr. Keeny’s professional staff is eager to help with your dentistry needs. They are ready to answer any questions you might have during your visit and provide top quality care. Each member of our team specializes in particular dentistry services from dental cleanings, root canals, teeth whitening, continuing care, bonding, cosmetic care, and more. Open Monday through Friday, special arrangements can also be made outside of our operating hours by speaking to our office administrator.

BRONZE – Kensington Pediatric Dentistry

4072 Adams Ave., 92116 (619) 282-7337


GOLD – Nordstrom

6997 Friars Rd., 92108 (619) 295-4441

SILVER – Macy’s

160 Horton Plaza, 92101 (619) 231-4747

BRONZE – Bloomingdale’s 7057 Friars Rd., 92108 (619) 610-6400


GOLD – Rich’s

1051 University Ave., 92103 (619) 295-2195

SILVER – Brass Rail 3796 Fifth Ave., 92103 (619) 298-2233

BRONZE 1 – Urban Mo’s 308 University Ave., 92103 (619) 491-0400

BRONZE 2 – Fluxx

500 Fourth Ave., 92101 (619) 232-8100


GOLD – Dr. Darren Farnesi 5920 Friars Rd., 92103 (619) 795-6700

SILVER – Dr. David Shamblaw 2970 Fifth Ave. #140, 92103 (619) 260-3456

At Dr. David Shamblaw’s office your individual concerns are always addressed. It is our goal to provide all patients with a caring, supportive environment where you feel comfortable discussing your health. Open during the weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., we work hard to ensure our patients have access to quality, up-to-date care, and are provided with the information they need to make the important decisions about their health care. We feel it is important that we offer a friendly, pleasant place to visit when you need to see your doctor. Whether your concern is preventative medicine, a new illness, or a chronic medical problem, Dr. Shamblaw and his capable staff will do their best to make your experience the best it can be. Our office is centrally located in Hillcrest, with plenty of free parking adjacent to our building and on the street.

BRONZE – Dr. Jeannette Gray 3636 Fifth Ave. #300, 92103 (619) 814-5500

see Winners, page 11

Reader’s Choice 2012 FROM PAGE 10


GOLD – Hillcrest Cleaners 3702 Sixth Ave., 92103 (619) 291-2791

SILVER – North Park Cleaners 2928 Lincoln Ave., 92104 (619) 281-6140

BRONZE – Sahmel & Associates

3033 Fifth Ave. Suite 425, 92103 (619) 295-0800


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


North Park Cleaners is your go-to place for all your dry cleaning, hemming, repairs, and more. Great prices with a fast turnaround. With a friendly and happy staff, North Park Cleaners is a family-owned business and the place to go for all your dry cleaning needs.

GOLD – 24 Hour Fitness

BRONZE – Veribest Cleaners

SILVER – North Park Fitness

419 Robinson Ave., 92103 (619) 574-8893

Veribest Cleaners is honored to receive the 2012 Reader’s Choice Award for “Best Dry Cleaners.” We feel very fortunate to be part of this great community and wish to thank everyone for their support. All of us at Veribest strive to treat you as someone special. You can see it starting with the friendly greeting at the counter. You’ll know by the cheerful way we handle special requests, and you’ll notice the difference that using eco-friendly GreenEarth makes. We clean and press your clothes like the special items they are. With 40 years of experience and state of the art equipment, we can handle all of your garment care needs. From couture hand cleaning to wedding gown cleaning and preservation, or Armani to casual wear, we want to be your fabricare experts. We also offer free pick-up & delivery and our “It’s Right, It’s Ready or It’s FREE” guarantee.


GOLD – Eric Brown, Waddell & Reed

8910 University Center Lane Suite 550, 92122 (858) 457-1310 • The most important part of what we do is to provide a process that looks at your overall financial picture. We learn from you about your current situation, learn of your goals, listen to your concerns, consider your investment experience and choices, along with whether you have addressed risk through insurance products you may have, then we work together to create a complete financial overview. Becoming proactive and preparing for the future can create a much better path toward a successful retirement while addressing the surprises along the way. Our website has two aims – the first is to give you more information about us and general information about the basic process and services we provide clients who decide to use our services. The second is to provide up to date financial articles, newsletters and seminars to help you stay current with the everchanging financial world.

SILVER – Stockton Financial 4365 Executive Dr. #800, 92121 (858) 623-8945

3965 Fifth Ave., 92103 (619) 683-2424

3049 University Ave., 92104 (619) 255-4830

BRONZE – Chuze Fitness

1233 Camino Del Rio S., 92108 (619) 297-7000


GOLD – Ace Hillcrest Hardware

1007 University Ave., 92103 (619) 291-5988

SILVER – San Diego Hardware 5710 Kearny Villa Rd., 92123 (858) 576-1892


GOLD – Scripps Mercy Hospital

4077 Fifth Ave., 92103 (619) 294-8111 Established in 1890 by the Sisters of Mercy, Scripps Mercy Hospital is San Diego County’s longest-established hospital. With other Scripps campuses in San Diego and Chula Vista, we provide medical expertise, leading-edge technology and a very special style of care. Scripps Mercy offers primary care and a wide range of specialty services, with a Level I Trauma Center, 24-hour emergency care, acute medical/surgical services, perinatal care and one of San Diego’s only chest pain centers. The Scripps Minimally Invasive Robotic Surgery Program provides state-of-the-art cardiothoracic, urologic, gynecologic, bariatric and general surgery procedures. Scripps Mercy continues to receive national recognition for quality outcomes: Primary Stroke Care Certification from Joint Commission for Primary Stroke Centers, Bariatric Surgery Center of Excellence by American Society for Bariatric Surgery and Surgical Review Corporation, and the first hospital in

San Diego County to be designated a Breast Imaging Center of Excellence by the American College of Radiology.

SILVER – UCSD Medical Center

200 West Arbor Dr., 92103 (858) 657-7000 •

BRONZE – Sharp Memorial Hospital

7901 Frost St., 92123 (858) 939-3400


GOLD – Lafayette

2223 El Cajon Blvd., 92104 (619) 296-2101 Stylish where it matters and affordable where it counts, The Lafayette is so more than just a place to stay. With an eclectic collection of rooms, dining options and neighborhood haunts, The Lafayette is designed for who you are today, and who you hope to become during your stay in San Diego. Take advantage of the historic Weissmuller Olympic pool, the two restaurants – Imig’s Kitchen & Bar and Red Fox Steakhouse – our multilingual staff, and complimentary high-speed wireless network available throughout the property, among many other perks of your stay. Relaxed and ready for anything, the newly redesigned Lafayette Hotel blends unique style and exceptional service with eco-friendly practices to become your ideal travel companion. Reserve a room and see for yourself why this California boutique hotel was a one-time haven for iconic celebrities and continues to be a destination worth discovering again and again.

SILVER – Balboa Park Inn 3402 Park Blvd., 92103 (619) 298-0823

BRONZE – Sommerset Suites Hotel

606 Washington St., 92103 (619) 692-5200 INDEPENDENT BOOKSTORE

GOLD – Bluestocking Books 3817 Fifth Ave., 92103 (619) 296-1424

SILVER – Adams Avenue Bookstore 3502 Adams Ave., 92116 (619) 281-3330

Adams Avenue Book Store has been an essential part of the Normal Heights community since 1965, offering 60,000 used, rare,

see Winners, page 12

San Diego Uptown News | March 2013



San Diego Uptown News | March 2013

Reader’s Choice 2012 FROM PAGE 11

WINNERS and out of print books in over 100 subject categories, including theology, biblical studies, philosophy, history, art, literature, and children’s books. We also have a selection of German, French and Spanish books on a variety of topics. Our store is one of the oldest used bookstores in San Diego, occupying 3,500 square feet in a two-story building on the corner of 35th Street and Adams Avenue, which was built in 1916. Books aren’t the only things here that will warm your heart. The store cats, Bartleby and Felixia, blink sleepily when you walk in and are happy to keep your lap warm while you read. Store hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday. We are open late until 8 p.m. on Wednesdays.

BRONZE – Fifth Avenue Bookstore 3838 Fifth Ave., 92103 (619) 291-4660


GOLD – Croce’s

802 Fifth Ave., 92101 (619) 233-4355

SILVER – Dizzy’s

4275 Mission Bay Dr., 92109 (858) 270-7467


GOLD – Kay Jewelers

7007 Friars Rd. #534, 92108 (619) 574-6685 •

SILVER – Jewels on Fifth

3975 Fifth Ave. #130, 92103 (619) 269-5853 With over 50 years of jewelry experience, Jewels on 5th is owned and operated by Master Goldsmith Emmanuel Himmelberger and graduate jeweler, metalsmith, and artist Julie Harris. They offer jewelry that is engineered, manufactured and finished all under our roof. Julie and Emmanuel met over 20 years ago when they were both chosen artists in a jewelry show at a contemporary gallery here in San Diego. They worked together at a store for a while before Emmanuel left to open his own store in La Jolla. Through the years the two stayed in touch and collaborated on various jewelry projects and design contests. Having similar ideas, tastes and visions, they finally decided to open a jewelry store and gallery that would be different from all the rest. At Jewels on 5th you are more than a client to Julie and Emmanuel, you are their partner; a collaborator in creating a unique piece of jewelry.

BRONZE – Leo Hamel

1851 San Diego Ave., 92110 (619) 299-1500


GOLD WINNER OF BEST MATTRESS STORE! Bob Davis has been working in the home furnishings field since he was a teenager. After his father, Al Davis, opened a used furniture store on University Avenue in 1960, Bob would spend his after school hours rummaging through the treasures his father and mother had collected at estate sales and auctions. Many times, Al and Bob closed the store at 5:00 p.m. and then started delivering sofas, bedroom sets and mattresses to customers all over the city until 10:00 p.m. at night. Today, Bob and his sales manager Rob, offer brand new, moderately priced mattresses and furniture, as well as natural, chemical-free versions with pure latex rubber, wool and organic cotton. “We own our building and don›t owe anyone a penny, so our overhead is the lowest in town,” Bob says. “We serve the entire San Diego area [and offer] nationwide shipping.” LAWYER

GOLD – Rachel Young 3555 Fourth Ave., 92103 (619) 584-0505

SILVER – Kevin Wheeler

BRONZE – City Farmers Nursery

4832 Home Ave., 92105 (619) 284-6358


3043 Fourth Ave., 92103 (619) 209-3053 kevin-l-wheeler

GOLD – Martinis Above Fourth

BRONZE – Tony Prost

SILVER – Lei Lounge

1850 Fifth Ave., 92101 (619) 239-3392


GOLD – House of Blues 1055 Fifth Ave., 92101 (619) 299-2583

SILVER – Belly Up Tavern

3940 Fourth Ave., 92103 (619) 400-4500 4622 Park Blvd., 92116 (619) 813-2272

BRONZE – Red Fox Room

2223 El Cajon Blvd., 92104 (619) 297-1313 •


GOLD – Knot Stop

143 S. Cedros Ave., 92075 (858) 481-9022 •

1080 University Ave., 92103 (619) 296-5668

BRONZE – The Casbah

SILVER – Massage Envy

2501 Kettner Blvd., 92101 (619) 232-4355


GOLD – Diversionary Theatre 4545 Park Blvd. #101, 92116 (619) 220-0097

SILVER – ion theatre 3704 Sixth Ave., 92103 (619) 231-5714


GOLD – Belly Up Tavern 143 S. Cedros Ave., 92075 (858) 481-9022

SILVER – The Casbah

2501 Kettner Blvd., 92101 (619) 232-4355 LOCAL GARDENING STORE

GOLD – Mission Hills Nursery 1525 Fort Stockton Dr., 92103 (619) 295-2808

SILVER – Armstrong Garden Center

1350 W Morena Blvd., 92110 (619) 276-9970

1091 K St., 92101 (619) 238-4206

BRONZE – Good Vibrations Chiropractic 4060 Adams Ave., 92116 (619) 281-1234


GOLD – Al Davis

1601 University Ave., 92103 (866) 357-5337 •

SILVER – Sleep Train

3146 Sports Arena Blvd. #3, 92100 (619) 221-1211


GOLD – Nordstrom

103 Horton Plaza, 92101 (619) 239-1700

SILVER – Men’s Warehouse

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


GOLD – San Diego Natural History Museum 1788 El Prado, 92101

see Winners, page 13

Reader’s Choice 2012 FROM PAGE 12

WINNERS (619) 232-3821

SILVER – Museum of Man 1350 El Prado, 92101 (619) 239-2001

BRONZE – Museum of Contemporary Art

1100 Kettner Blvd., 92101 (858) 454-3541


GOLD – Lestat’s

3343 Adams Ave., 92116 (619) 282-0437

SILVER – Martinis Above Fourth 3940 Fourth Ave., 92103 (619) 400-4500


GOLD – Urban Optiks

3788 Park Blvd. #5, 92103 (619) 683-2020 At Urban Optiks, we offer a full line up of professional services such as exams, contact fittings, professional services, and a glossary of optical terminology. You’ll find an exceptional collection of hand-picked quality frames from around the world and Urban Optiks strives to provide you with only the best lenses on the market today. Using superior lens technology can make a huge difference as to how you see through your glasses. We take pride in our superlative service and unsurpassed craftsmanship. Our commitment is not just in meeting your expectations, but exceeding them! More than an instrument to correct your vision, eyewear is the ultimate fashion accessory.

SILVER – Uptown Optometry 4096 Park Blvd., 92103 (619) 291-5505

BRONZE – Specs Optometry 1947 Fern St. Suite 3, 92104 (619) 233-6183


GOLD – Unique Pawn

3039 University Ave., 92104 (619) 294-3305

Unique Pawnbrokers is proud to have been voted best pawnshop, thank you! Not to sound conceited, but we have won this award before. Customer service is what separates us from the rest of our industry. I’ve been in the rare coin and pawn brokering industry for over 50 years, between my coin and rarities expertise, our guitar expert, GIA gemologist, and computer and electronics savvy personnel, we have extensive knowledge in almost anything that can come our way.  Our name is UNIQUE for a reason. I’m very proud of my employees, as it is truly them that deserve this honor. We strive and will continue to be San Diego’s best! Now open seven days a week.

SILVER – Hillcrest Pawn 3748 6th Ave., 92103 (619) 297-1224

With over 15 years experience in the pawnbroker industry, the trained, certified, knowledgeable, and friendly staff of Hillcrest Pawn Brokers are always ready to assist you. We offer pawns, loans, sales, and purchases of a wide variety items including shotguns, knives and swords, artwork, audio & video devices, musical instruments and equipment, computers, cameras, electronic games, Rolex watches, and other items of value, and can assist you with State to State Firearms Transfers as well. Providing patrons with pawns, loans, sales, and purchases since 1996, Hillcrest Pawn Brokers is located in the San Diego community of Hillcrest and is easily accessible from Downtown San Diego, Petco Park, the San Diego Zoo, Golden Hill, University Heights, South Park, North Park and most other San Diego communities via the 5, 8, or 163 freeways.

BRONZE – Crown Jewelers 1755 Euclid Ave., 92105 (619) 263-1883

Crown Jewelry & Loan acquired new management in 2011 but has been serving the San Diego community since 2003. Crown Jewelry & Loan is now a sister company of Motor City Pawn Brokers, one of the largest family owned and operated pawn shop chains in the state of Michigan. We have built a solid reputation through our superb customer service, expert evaluation, and extremely favorable loan terms with low interest rates. Crown Jewelry & Loan gives four-month loans on mostly all merchandise of value. These renewable loans are among the lowest interest rates in the country. We also just buy merchandise outright for top dollar. Stop by our shop to see our wide range of fine jewelry, tools, musical instruments, televisions, and electronics. Whether you need a short-term pawn loan or just want to sell your merchandise outright, Crown Jewelry & Loan is dedicated to finding you a personal solution.


GOLD – Chris Keith

5277 Linda Vista Rd., 92110 (619) 840-9099

SILVER – Cory Russo 930 10th Ave., 92101

(619) 517-3223

BRONZE – Brian White 3919 Fourth Ave., 92103 (619) 322-1625


GOLD – Camp Run-a-Mutt 3265 India St., 92103 (619) 795-6421

SILVER – Golden Paw 5305 Metro St., 92110 (619) 299-2730


GOLD – South Bark Dog Wash 2037 30th St., 92104 (619) 232-7387

SILVER – Petco

10410 Friars Rd., 92120 (619) 563-0071

BRONZE – Kensington Vet 3817 Adams Ave., 92116 (619) 584-8418

Kari and “Spa Kensington” are a part of Kensington Veterinary Hospital, opened in spring of 1991 by Dr. Patricia Ungar. Dr. Ungar designed the practice to be integrative, combining conventional veterinary medicine, surgery and dentistry with acupuncture, Chinese herbs, nutritional counseling and homeopathy.  Kari has been an integral part of “Spa Kensington” since 2007. Kari forms a unique bond with each and every animal that she grooms; her expertise goes beyond the ability to perform a nice looking haircut. She is especially fond of the older and hard to groom animals and has a special touch that calms even the most fearful of pets. The animals respond well to the love and attention that is showered upon them by Kari at “Spa Kensington.”  We are so proud of Kari for winning the Reader’s Choice Award!


GOLD – VCA Hillcrest Animal Hospital 246 W. Washington St., 92103 (619) 299-7387

SILVER – Bodhi Veterinary Clinic & Animal Hospital 2200 University Ave., 92104 (619) 225-5838

see Winners, page 14

San Diego Uptown News | March 2013



San Diego Uptown News | March 2013

Reader’s Choice 2012 FROM PAGE 13

WINNERS BRONZE – Kensington Vet

3817 Adams Ave., 92116 (619) 584-8418 •


GOLD – Petco

10410 Friars Rd., 92108 (619) 563-0071 •

SILVER – Pet Smart

3396 Murphy Canyon Rd., 92123 (858) 571-0300 •

BRONZE – Kensington Pet Supplies 4153 Adams Ave., 92116 (619) 285-9322

Since being featured on KPBS’ Wonderland San Diego, Kensington Pet Supply continues to grow into one of the best premium pet food and supply stores in America’s Finest City. This store pushes the edge of coolness when it comes to all the things your furry loves want and need. Hip and trendy products are being added everyday and if you have a pet with allergies, they can help. They carry only the healthiest pet foods, treats and natural supplements. Competitive pricing, free same-day delivery and custom orders are all the more reason to skip the big box stores and support your local neighborhood shop. Your furry family members will not want to leave this place and neither will you.



313 Washington St., 92103 (619) 291-7170 •

SILVER – Rite Aid

535 Robinson Ave., 92103 (619) 291-3705 •

BRONZE – Ralph’s

1030 University Ave., 92103 (619) 298-2931 •


GOLD – Tony Azar

3930 Idaho St. , 92104 619) 944-6901 •

As a Realtor, Tony is dedicated to the needs of his clients, whether in residential, residential income, or commercial real estate. He is determined to make their buying or selling property a positive experience, and as stress-free, as possible. Tony comes from a background in banking and investment and has provided a leadership role in management positions. He brings this experience and leadership into the world of real estate and uses his vast knowledge in serving and volunteering within his community. If you, or someone you know, are thinking of buying or selling a home, just call for a complimentary home buyers/sellers guide or a market analysis of your property. Tony is here to help with any of your real estate needs. As a long term resident of San Diego, he understand the needs and pleasures of living in this extraordinary community.

SILVER – Mike Tristani

1709 University Ave., 92103 (619) 501-4000 As broker-owner of Tristani Real Estate Group I have had the privilege of listing and selling classic homes in San Diego’s Metro communities for the last 31 years. My experience covers a broad range of property types including single-family homes, condominiums and income properties. Additionally selling historically designated homes including those under the Mills Act, including Spanish Colonials, Craftsman, Tudor and Traditional Bungalows make up a big part of the Metro community as well as our repertoire of sales over the last three decades. Whether you are new to San Diego or are making your third or fourth move in the city limits, my familiarity with the city’s neighborhoods will give you a definite advantage in choosing just the right property.

BRONZE – Tamara Zyhylij 410 Kalmia St., 92101 (619) 865-1389


GOLD – Ascent Real Estate 410 Kalmia St., 92101 (619) 325-4100

The Ascent Real Estate team is experienced in property sales and acquisitions ranging from expansive estates to single-family homes and condominiums. Ascent Real Estate embodies an enviable combination of entrepreneurial energy, comprehensive industry experience and local market knowledge. Ascent Real Estate is comprised of a talented and highly motivated team with extensive experience in all phases of real estate transactions. The company maintains excellent

relationships with key players across the residential real estate industry including brokers, homebuilders, and financial partners.

SILVER – Prudential

890 W. Washington St., 92103 (619) 299-8020 •

BRONZE – Metropolitan Group 3930 Idaho St., 92104 (619) 260-1977

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

SILVER – Flashbacks 3849 Fifth Ave., 92103 (619) 291-4200

BRONZE – Revivals

1644 University Ave., 92103 (619) 497-1000 Donate your furniture and appliances, consign your art and jewelry, volunteer your time and come out and shop at Revivals. From vintage clothing, antiques, fine china and jewelry, to TVs, refrigerators, paintings, armoires, there’s something for everyone at a Revivals near you. Together, we’re helping benefit client services at Desert AIDS Project, a vital part of medical and comprehensive support services for people living with HIV/AIDS in the desert community.


GOLD – St. Paul’s

328 Maple St., 92103 (619) 239-6900 •

SILVER – Merrill Gardens 2567 Second Ave., 92103 (619) 752-1099

Merrill Gardens is located in Bankers Hill, a close-knit neighborhood bordering Balboa Park and overlooking Mission Bay. There are 84 private apartments comprised of studios, and one and two bedrooms, so you can choose the one that fits your lifestyle. Our apartment-style community offers all the amenities of a home without the hard work. Imagine a life without household chores, yard work or home maintenance. Invite guests to a meal, special event or social outing. With our onsite active living director, scheduled transportation and exclusive “anytime dining” program - there are opportunities to make friends or entertain old ones right outside your front door. Our beautiful new community also offers assisted living services to our residents who may need a little help with medication management or other tasks of daily living.

BRONZE – La Costa Glen

2100 Costa Del Mar Rd., 92009 (760) 438-9111 •


GOLD – Orfila

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

SILVER – Bernardo Winery

13330 Paseo Del Verano Norte, 92128 • (858) 487-1866



5200 Campanile Dr., 92182 (619) 594-6983 •

SILVER – Magic 92.5

6160 Cornerstone Court, East Suite

see Winners, page 15

Reader’s Choice 2012 FROM PAGE 14

WINNERS 150, 92121 • (858) 888-7000


6160 Cornerstone Court, East Suite 150, 92121 (858) 888-7000


GOLD – Elos

3404 Adams Ave., 92116 (619) 241-2201 • Thank you for voting us Best Shoe Store of 2012! eloS Shoes is independently owned and operated, focusing on sustainable, artistic, and comfortable footwear for men and women, featuring brands such as Clarks, BedStu, Miz Mooz, Cushe, OluKai, Saucony, and more. Owner Lisa Greshko has been working in the footwear industry since 1989 and is finally living her dream of owning her own shoe boutique. She opened eloS Shoes on Adams Avenue in 2011, bringing San Diego a truly unique footwear store. Having resided in the North Park area since 1991, we are thrilled to be a part of the Normal Heights business community and to offer this hard-to-find selection to San Diegans. There’s a huge demand for unique footwear at good value, and eloS Shoes is excited to meet that demand. Come by, say hello, try on some shoes, or just check out our current art exhibition.


525 University Ave., 92103 (619) 291-6468 •


GOLD – Hollywood Tan

500 University Ave., 92103 (619) 220-8444

SILVER – iTan Hillcrest

660 University Ave., 92103 (619) 298-1826 • Faraje Kharsa opened up the first iTAN location in Encinitas on April 11, 2001. Now iTAN has 28 Southern California locations for you to choose from, where customers are greeted with friendly, educated and experienced tanning consultants. With the latest in tanning beds, mystic tanning and spa services, iTAN will make you look and feel your best. Our mission at iTAN is this: make the world a better place one tan at a time, for the benefit of our stakeholders – our customers, our employees, our vendors, our investors and our communities. Everything we do is measured against that. Kharsa’s passion for helping people live better has paved the way for iTAN to be voted the A-List Best Tanning Salon in San Diego for the past three years in a row. After recently celebrating iTAN’s 10-year Tanniversary, Kharsa looks forward to an even brighter future.

BRONZE – Tanline

2419 El Cajon Blvd., 92104 (619) 295-8267


GOLD – Avalon

1035 Garnet Ave., 92109 (858) 274-2635

SILVER – Big City Tattoo

2913 University Ave., 92104 (619) 299-4868 • Big City Tattoo opened its doors to the public in 1985, founded by master tattoo artist Kinzie Bolson. Everyone at Big City strives to offer the best art work, body modification and customer service available and we stand by our work. In 2002, Su’a Suluape Angela returned to her native San Diego after spending several years abroad. While away, she became the first woman to learn the 5,000-year-old Samoan art of hand-tap tattooing. Upon her return she

San Diego Uptown News | March 2013


was pleased to find Kinzie still running his shop and amazed when he offered to teach her how to tattoo using a machine, something he had offered her nearly 10 years prior. Married in 2005, Bolson and Su’a Suluape Angela Bolson run the shop together as a truly family owned and operated business, housing some of the best artists in town.

BRONZE – Sleeping Giant 3741 Fifth Ave., 92103 (619) 497-0902


GOLD – Nordstrom

103 Horton Plaza, 92101 (619) 239-1700

SILVER – Hunt & Gather 2871 University Ave., 92104 (619) 297-3040

BRONZE – Pretty Please 1220 Cleveland Ave., 92103 (619) 296-1188


GOLD – Pilgrimage of the Heart

3287 Adams Ave., 92103 (619) 640-4438

SILVER – Ginseng Yoga 2985 Beech St., 92102 (619) 338-9642

BRONZE – Core Power

1080 University Ave., 92103 (619) 295-9642 corepoweryoga.comu

Sushi Deli One – WINNER OF GOLD BEST SUSHI Sushi Deli was founded by Mrs. Otake in 1983, exactly 30 years ago. She worked alone out of a small storefront shop in Downtown San Diego making simple sushi rolls and sandwiches, hence Sushi Deli. The business has grown over the years, and although no longer making sandwiches, Mr. and Mrs. Otake take pride ensuring the highest quality and quantity of Japanese food at a super value; as well as providing a fun, friendly atmosphere for all to enjoy.


San Diego Uptown News | March 2013

Reader’s Choice 2012

San Diego Uptown News  

March 15, 2013 edition. News for the neighborhoods in the north areas of the city of San Diego, CA

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