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EXPLORE CONTRIBUTORS AngelaLandsberg,anativeSanDiegan,grewup in the neighborhood of North Park. She began her position as Executive Director of North Park Main Street in 2011 after years of work in the community. Landsberg started working in communities in San Diego in 1995, serving as a legislative aid for Councilwoman Christine Kehoe. Angela enjoys all that her city has to offer by spending time at the beach and parks with her husband and two daughters.

THE OFFICIAL MAGAZINE OF

EXPLORE NORTH PARK www.explorenorthpark.com EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR Angela Landsberg CREATIVE DIRECTOR Anna Gamboa

Anna Gamboa, Creative Director & Partner of A7D Creative Group, has been actively behind the re-brand of North Park as a San Diego destination. She grants much of North Park’s growth to the unconditional support and comradery from her fellow North Park businessowners.Withoutthoughtfulnessand creativity each business owner lends to North Park as a whole, the community would not be what it is today.

PHOTOGRAPHERS Tim Hardy Demi Johnson CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Andy Hinds Kelsey Prince Matt Gordon Rene Vidales Kenny Keys Kathryn Hon Lynn Susholtz Salpi Sleiman NORTH PARK MAIN STREET BOARD MEMBERS:

Jillian Wolter has made San Diego her home for the past seven years. She has profound gratitude for San Diego’s healthy, vibrant community and the people who work hard to keep it that way. A graduate of the UCSD Urban Studies and Planning program, she is committed to strengthening communities and improving quality of life during her career.

David Gamboa is the President of North Park Main Street, and has been a board member for six years. As the Co-owner and President of A7D Creative Group, David has been active in the community for over 10 years. After starting A7D with his wife Anna Gamboa in their home, they moved the business to North Park in 2005 and haven’t looked back.

President: David Gamboa Vice President: Matt Gordon Treasurer: Rich Geisler Secretary: Trenton Riley Members: Alma Rodriguez, Jason Noble, Steve Codraro, Garrick Oliver, Mario Sanchez, Mike Fish, Dang Nguyen, John Pani, John Stewart McGaughy, Lea Caughlan, Lynn Susholtz

NORTH PARK MAIN STREET -----------------------------------------------------

www.northparkmainstreet.com | 619-294-2501 3076 University Ave, San Diego, CA 92104

Explore North Park Magazine designed by:

A7D CREATIVE GROUP -----------------------------------------------------

Cover Photo By : Tim Hardy | shotbyhardy.com


With the historic North Park Water Tower as the landmark in its skyline, the community also offers lots of outdoor activitiesincludingasummerconcertserieswithgreatviewsatBirdPark,andaccesstobothneighborhoodrecreation areas and the city’s crown jewel, Balboa Park, nearby. Annual events like the SoNo Chili Cook Off, Festival of the Arts, and the Toyland Parade draw thousands to the community, too. San Diego, like most of Southern California, is car oriented. North Park, however, is adapting for more sustainable transportation options including transit use, biking and walking. In 2014, I was proud to add the popular Rapid 215 bus service through North Park and connecting all of the communities between San Diego State University and Downtown. Eventually, I’d love to see streetcars running through our urban business corridors, and the high ridership of the Rapid 215 demonstrates the strong interest in high quality transit alternatives. With unique shops, eateries, and other businesses to patronize, many residents and visitors find biking and walking the best options to get around North Park. As we’ve recovered from the global recession, I’ve prioritized city investment on the addition of valuable bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure including the city’s first bike sharing program with stations throughout the community. The City of San Diego’s partnership with DecoBike allows folks without bikes to rent them from any station and return them to any other. The bikes add mobility and provide a great link between North Park’s business corridors with the Rapid 215 and other transit lines. In addition to the unique businesses clustered along 30th Street, University Avenue, El Cajon Boulevard, and Adams Avenue, North Park is home to San Diego’s first two parklets and known as a craft beer haven and foodie paradise. Microbreweries and tasting rooms like Modern Times, Mike Hess Brewing and Thorn Street Brewing all have loyal followings, and the food options ranging from the Carnitas Snack Shack and Underbelly to City Tacos and Polite Provisions, locals and visitors flock to North Park for all of their food and drink needs. The past two decades have seen tremendous investment and positive change in the historic neighborhood of North Park. Its unique offerings continue to develop and change and are worth exploration and celebration.

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Learning from my parents the importance of leaving things better than I found them, I love working to ensure San Diego is a truly great city.With innovative people, renowned food and beverage establishments, and unique events, the community of North Park contributes greatly to that vision.

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by: Todd Gloria, Cit y Councilmember for District 3

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facebook.com/artproduce

WWW.STONEPAPERSCISSORS.ORG Originally built as a market, Art Produce houses a storefront gallery, an edible organic urban garden, a cafe, and Stone Paper Scissors, a public art and education studio. Art Produce is an activist business enterprise and community cultural center that connects artists, cultural organizations, schools, urban farmers and local businesses with public institutions and public culture. Art Produce Gallery is a unique artist run storefront exhibition space entirely visible from the sidewalk, designed to accommodate sculptural installations, cross-disciplinary works, digital media, and performance events. Intended to enliven the pedestrian experience it is an experiment in public culture accessible to everyone in the

community. The San Diego Architectural Foundation awarded the gallery an “Orchid” for Public Art. Art Produce Garden is utilized for public meetings, classes, workshops, film screenings and performance events. An outdoor public art and performance space/cultural center focused on aesthetic, educational and sustainable/green practices, it was transformed from an asphalt parking lot into an edible garden and orchard. It incorporates an outdoor classroom and workspace that includes a rainwater catchment system and a PV solar energy system. Art Produce Garden was awarded an “Orchid” for Sustainable Design by the San Diego Architectural Foundation.

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3139 University Ave, San Diego, CA 92104 619.584.4448 WWW.ARTPRODUCE.ORG

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ART PRODUCE

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Contents

PIGMENT

WAYPOINT PUBLIC

CONTRIBUTORS 4

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ABOUT 14

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EVENTS 99 BUSINESS LISTINGS 124 LEGEND & MAP 125 DIRECTIONS 126

RAY AT NIGHT ART WALK

SHOPS 15 ART 32 CAFES 40 BEER 60 BARS 64 EATS 76 BOUTIQUES 106


Features 12

EXPLORE THE HISTORY North Park fascinates both visitors and residents alike, with its visible history that began more than 100 years ago.

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FASHION FORWARD

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HOME IS WHERE THE ART IS

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URBAN SOLACE’S CINNAMON ROLL

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SWEET TOOTH

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After a simple 15 minute stroll through the streets of bustling North Park, it is clear to see that fashion is at the forefront of the minds of many. From its earliest days, arts and culture have been an essential part of the fabric of North Park business and neighborhood vitality.

EXPLORE THE BUZZ North Park’s coffee scene has been booming over the last few years. Local roasters have raised the bar on quality, and it’s all about third wave coffee. Urban Solace’s Owner and Chef, Matt Gordon, gives the inside scoop on his famous cinnamon rolls.

Satisfy that sweets craving with everything from doughnut chicken sandwiches to flights of gourmet ice cream.

NORTH PARK’S SUSTAINABILITY North Park has become a local leader in sustainability practices, infrastructure projects, private development, water, energy, and tenant operations.

OWNING HIS CRAFT We sat down with Mike Hess, of Mike Hess Brewing, to talk about his time in North Park, how he got started brewing and San Diego’s craft beer scene.

THE CLASSICS URBN Coal Fired Pizza/Bar creates everything from Whiskey Sours to Old Fashioneds with vermouths, syrups and ingredients that haven’t seen the light of day in decades.

THE NORTH PARKER In 2012, the frumpy stucco storefront that sat on the northeast corner of the 30th & Upas intersection made way for the area’s most striking new edifice: the sleek, glass-steel-and-concrete North Parker multi-use complex.

FARMERS & FOODIES & CHEFS, OH MY! Visit the North Park Farmers’ Market any Thursday and you might see familiar faces from your favorite neighborhood restaurants.

CLASSIC NORTH PARK These are places that cater to specific needs, from the basic to the whimsical, and do so well enough that customer loyalty is often passed on through the generations.

Fun Fact The very first J.C. Penney store to open in San Diego was right in the heart of North Park on University Avenue and Ray Street on March 26, 1942. For more interesting facts on historic North Park, read Explore the History on page 12.


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UNIVERSITY OF SAN DIEGO

CORONADO

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SAN DIEGO INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT

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SAN DIEGO BAY

DOWNTOWN


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Where is North Park? North Park is located in mid-city San Diego, with Balboa Park to the Southwest, Hillcrest to the West and Mission Valley to the North. For directions on getting to North Park, see page 122.

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H ISTORY E XPL O R E T H E

Photo courtesy of the Hartley Family

by: Kathr yn Hon

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orth Park fascinates visitors and residents alike with its visible history that began more than 100 years ago. In the early 1900s, the streetcar lines of John D. Spreckels’ San

Diego Electric Railway brought investors, residents, and shopkeepers to a nearly empty, scrub-covered mesa. The streetcars that ran along University Avenue (Number 7) and 30th

Street (Number 2) met in 1911 and created the “Busy Corner,” then and now the commercial heart of the community. Let’s take a walk around the block and go back in time.


The grand North Park Theatre dominates the southwest corner of University Avenue and 29th Street. Emil Klicka developed the theatre in 1929. The elaborate structure, designed by the Quayle Brothers, housed a performancespaceforvaudevilleandthelatest craze,“talking pictures.”Across the street, the arcaded Mission Revival-style lodge for the Independent Order of Odd Fellows (now the friendly Claire de Lune coffee shop) held the E.N. Mudd Department Store when the building was completed in

THE ELABORATE [NORTH

Photo courtesy of B’hend & Kaufmann Archives

PARK THEATRE] DESIGNED

BY THE QUAYLE BROTHERS

T HE HUB OF S AN DIE G O S HOP P IN G

HOUSED PERFORMANCE SPACE FOR VAUDEVILLE...

1929, but the stock market crash and Great Depression changed its function. At the southeast corner of Granada and University avenues, the two-story Granada Building shimmers with its distinctive white glazed brick veneer. Now home to A7D Creative Group, the building started life in 1921 as a plumbing shop with upper offices rented to doctors and dentists. Continuing south, the imposing Silver Gate Masonic Temple, also designed by the Quayle Brothers, was completed at the corner of Utah Street and North Park Way in 1932.

North Park gained a J.C. Penney department store at Ray Street and University Avenue in 1942; the store building was enlarged to its current appearance in 1954. North Park was THE place to shop through the 1950s. Although decades of decline followed the rise of regional malls, North Park isflourishingagain.Therenaissancebeganin 2005 with the restoration of the North Park Theatre, which had been vacant for almost 20 years. It now reflects its original Art Deco glory as a live performance space.The stores and restaurants around the Busy Corner may bedifferent,buttheenergetic,entrepreneurial spirit is the same.

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In the northeast quadrant of the Busy Corner, the United Stores Building (completed in 1928) originally housed the Owl Drug Company. Para’s Newsstand has offeredNorthPark’swidest rangeof newspapersandmagazinesinthe northerncornerof that building since Chris Paras took over an earlier cigar store in the early 1950s. A neon sign proudly proclaiming “North Park” hung above the Busy Corner from 1935 to 1967. The sign was a project of the North Park Business Men’s Club (with fundraising assistance from the Women’s Auxiliary), and a special city ordinance had to be passed to allow the sign to be suspended above the public street.The replica North Park sign on a pedestal was placed in the

THE MAI N S TAG E

Eastward along North Park Way, several smaller Spanish and Mission Revival commercial buildings from the late 1920s retain their original windows and decorative rooflines. The 1939 Streamline Moderne building at the southwest corner of Ray Street (now home to the Bargain Center) was originally built to be a Piggly Wiggly grocery store.

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What is now the Western Dental Building on the northwest corner was among the first and is still the tallest of all commercial buildings at the Busy Corner. The three-story structure was built in 1912 for the real estate partnership of William Jay Stevens and John (“Jack”) Hartley. Jack was the eldest son in the Hartley family. In 1893, his father James bought 40 acres between Ray and 32nd streets from University Avenue to Dwight Street and named it “Hartley’s North Park,” starting what eventually became the collective name for the general area. A pharmacy dominated the first floor of the Stevens-Hartley Building for more than 80 years. An arcaded, Mediterranean-style annex with two towers was built to the west, along University Avenue, in 1926. Although the annex is now covered with a modern smooth façade, the tops of the two towers are still visible from an upper floor of the North Park parking garage.

center median of University Avenue near 29th Street in 1993, after years of community advocacy.

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Behind

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EXPLORE NORTH PARK is an out-of-market, tourism marketing campaign, supported by a grant

from the City of San Diego’s Economic Development Department. The goal of Explore North Park is to market this vibrant community as a destination for San Diego visitors. By catching the attention of families, conventioneers, vacationers and other tourists visiting San Diego, our goal is to add North Park to the known list of hot spots such as the beaches, Balboa Park, the Gaslamp District and La Jolla. The Explore North Park campaign includes this publication, as well as the Explore North Park website and social media profiles. www.explorenorthpark.com | @explorenorthpark

NORTH PARK MAIN STREET

(NPMS) is a member-based, non-profit organization formed in 1985 for the purpose of revitalizing and marketing North Park’s commercial district. NPMS is led by a volunteer Board of Directors comprised of business and property owners. Professional economic development staff carry out the organization’s day-to-day operations which include programs and projects designed to improve local business conditions. Some of these activities include: organizing special events and marketing campaigns, fostering member communications and public meetings,guidingstreetscapeimprovementsandbeautificationprojects,andtechnicalassistancetoandpublicadvocacyon behalf of the districts small business owners. NPMS is under contract with the City of San Diego to manage the Business Improvement District (BID) whose boundaries run along the primary commercial corridors of University Avenue and 30th Street. The BID includes more than 600 North Park businesses members who each pay an annual assessment that helps to underwrite the work of NPMS. NPMS leverages these annual fees to provide a notable return on its members’ investment in the community.

FULL PAGE AD

www.northparkmainstreet.com | 619-294-2501 | 3076 University Ave, San Diego, CA 92104


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THE GIRL CAN’T HELP IT

HUNT & GATHER

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Explore Nor th Park’s trendiest shop spots by: Kelse y Prince

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like Hunt & Gather and The Girl Can’t Help fter a simple 15 minute stroll through It. Keep up with the latest trends at Mimi & the streets of bustling North Park, it is clear to Red and Aloha Sunday, or show your San Diego see that fashion is at the forefront of the minds street style at Overload Skateboarding. Need of many. From San Diego beach style, to boho to accessorize? Locally chic, to iconic trendcrafted jewelry, handsetter, and everything bags and other onein between, North WITH A RICH HISTORY of-a-kind, homemade Park’s shopping is as treasures can be found diverse as the fashion IN FASHION AND A FOCUS ON at storefronts such as forward individuals Pigment, Geographie who dine, roam, ALL THINGS UNIQUE, and Simply Local. dance and play in NORTH PARK CONTINUES TO this San Diego With a rich history in neighborhood. fashion and a focus on

BE THE NEIGHBORHOOD

all things unique, North What began as a ON EVERYONE’S LIPS... Park continues to be shopping hub in the the neighborhood on late 1950s, has now everyone’s lips for the transformed into the best funky-fresh street fashion forward, boustyle, chic ensembles and looks that make you tique-focusedgroupofeclecticstoresandbrands say “wow.” For more on North Park shopping, we see today. Groove to the beat of a different visit www.explorenorthpark.com. drum with unique pieces found at vintage stores

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GEOGRAPHIE SHOP | Photo by Tim Hardy

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Explore

THE DEVELOPMENT FOUNDATION FOR FORM | U.S. POST OFFICE | GRIM & NORTH PARK WAY

FOUNDATION FOR FORM ARCHITECTURE & DEVELOPMENT IS AN AWARD-WINNING DESIGN STUDIO SPECIALIZING IN URBAN DESIGN, MIXED-USE DEVELOPMENTS, MULTI-FAMILY HOUSING, CUSTOM RESIDENTIAL, FURNITURE DESIGN AND GOOD OL’ OFFICE FUN. FOR MORE INFORMATION VISIT : WWW.FOUNDATIONFORFORM.COM

31 Photos by Demi Johnson


Since its beginning, North Park has cont inued to flourish in communit y ar ts and cult ure. by: Lynn Susholtz

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rom its earliest days, arts and culture have been an essential part of the fabric of North Park business and neighborhood vitality. North Park has been home to artists, designers, makers, artisans, craftspeople, entrepreneurs, and cultural activities since its beginning. The first major cultural venue outside of downtown San Diego was the North Park Theatre in 1929. Throughout the past two decades, artists and community activists have led the economic renaissance with arts and culture as an important redevelopment focus. As a neighborhood, North Park opted to be a pilot project that included public art in façade improvements, creating modelsforsustainableurbanneighborhoods,andincorporating public art into our public facilities. The community advocated for inclusion of artists on design teams, especially on public improvementprojectssuchasbusstops,sidewalks,playgrounds,

schools, and neighborhood entryway markers. Artists joined community boards and planning committees, working closely with the business association, North Park Main Street, to create exciting and inviting streets and public spaces. Today, the North Park business district is an“open air pedestrian gallery”with a monthly art walk, storefront galleries, and artists’ studios. The community is host to several permanent City of San Diego commissioned public art projects and a host of public murals on buildings and utility boxes. North Park is now home to numerous art and design studios, art and dance schools, art and photography supply stores and performing arts venues. From hair salons to ice cream shops, art is seen on the walls of businesses throughout the district. Both the arts and public culture continue to be the heart of the neighborhood. For more on North Park’s art visit: www.explorenorthpark.com.

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36 SDCCU 2015 NORTH PARK FESTIVAL OF ARTS | Photos by Mark Frilles


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ILLINOIS STREET MURAL BY MAURO DONATE | Photo by Demi Johnson

Coming up... Look out for colorful icons on the following restaurant, bar, brewery and coffee shop pages that further explain what each location has to offer.


ANIMAL FRIENDLY

BARS & CLUBS

VEGETARIAN

KID FRIENDLY

OUTDOOR DINNING

FOOD TRUCK

VEGAN

LATE NIGHT

LIVE MUSIC

CRAFT BEER

GLUTEN FREE

ZAGAT RATED

COCKTAILS

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HOLSEM COFFEE Photos by Demi Johnson

Explore the buzz

Colada

Nutella

La Vie En Rose

milk steaming technique to create beautiful works of latte art.

for preparation of coffee, make for a smooth, rich, and bright cup of coffee.

There is an emphasis on transparency of the trade, through education about coffee sourcing and brewing techniques, and availability of information about ingredients used and where they come from. The combination of high-quality beans sourced from single origins, using the latest slow focused methods

Third wave coffee is a welcomed trend in the neighborhood, as seen in the success of local cafes, where residents and tourists alike flee to grab their daily cup and freshly baked pastry to boot. The scene has transformed into a lifestyle, and the social media community is buzzing with shots of cold brew and latte art!

by: Salpi Sleiman North Park’s coffee scene has been booming over the last few years. Local roasters have raised the bar on quality, and it’s all about third wave coffee. Buying practices are built on mutual respect for the farmer and passion for sustainability. Roasting techniques highlight varietals and celebrate the true flavor of the bean in its original state. Baristas expertly craft beverages, doing away with dry foam cappuccinos, and embracing the wet


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URBAN SOLACE Photo by Jonathan Zabala

URBAN SOLACE’s Cinnamon ROLL Urban Solace’s Owner and Chef, Matt Gordon, gives the inside scoop on his famous cinnamon rolls. by: Kelsey Prince

INGREDIENTS

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1 ½ cup milk ½ cup buttermilk ¼ cup butter

DIRECTIONS |

1 ½ tbs yeast

Place the milk, buttermilk and butter in the microwave until the butter is melted and the milk is between 105 and 115 degrees. Mix ½ of the sugar into the warmed milk mixture and add the yeast.

1 cups sugar 2 each eggs ½ each egg yolk 6 ½ cup AP flour ½ tbs kosher salt

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½ tsp cinnamon

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These buttermilk cinnamon rolls are made with classic brioche dough and added buttermilk for a zesty tang, but the real star is the butter. Be sure not to skimp on this when rolling these babies up, because butter is what really makes the magic happen in the layers of cinnamon and sugar rolled up in the dough. To really take it over the top, whip up a frosting of equal parts softened butter, cream cheese and powdered sugar with a dash of vanilla and sea salt. Whip until it looks pearlescent and dry, and enjoy!

FILLING 1 cup butter at room temp. 1 ⅓ cups brown sugar ¼ cup ground cinnamon 5 swipes nutmeg

cinnamon roll

Whisk to incorporate and let sit for 5 minutes to let the yeast bloom. Pour into the empty bowl of a mixer. Whisk in the eggs, yolks and remaining sugar. Add the flour, salt and cinnamon to the liquid mixture. Using the hook attachment, mix on low speed for 4 minutes. Place in a greased bowl. Lightly oil the top of the dough and cover with plastic. Let rise for 1-2 hours, or until it is just about doubled. Dough should not over-rise.

DIRECTIONS |

cinnamon filling

Mix the sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg together. To make the rolls, roll the dough out to a rectangle. Dough should be about ¾ inch thick. Liberally spread the dough with the whipped or room temp butter and then the cinnamon sugar mixture. Leave a 1”“clean” strip at the top of the rectangle so that you can brush it with egg wash to form a seal after you roll it. Gently, but tightly, roll the rectangle into a log (without stretching the dough too thin) to form a large cinnamon log. Cut into 1” thick slices. Place on a buttered sheet pan. Spread apart for round rolls or put in a greased pyrex for more square rolls. Let proof at room temperature for another 30 to 40 minutes prior to baking in the convection oven at 325 degrees until just lightly browned (375 degrees in a conventional oven). Top with the cream cheese frosting.


Satisfy your sweets cravings whether it’s for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

by: Kelsey Prince

HEAVEN SENT DESSERTS The name says it all. Pick up a custom cake or go for one of Heaven Sent’s mini bits of delight. Bread pudding, crème brulee, and decadent cupcakes all wait behind the glass of Heaven Sent Desserts. STREETCAR MERCHANTS Sometimes deciding between sweet and savory is next to impossible, but at StreetCar, you don’t have to. Doughnuts (can you ever get enough doughnuts?) are often made with local craft beer, like the Rip Current Pale Ale Orange. What’s more, StreetCar also specializes in savory fried chicken. Feel like indulging in both? Try the Fried Chicken Glazed Doughnut Sandwich, complete with jalapeño, fried egg, candied bacon and honey butter. HAMMOND’S GOURMET ICE CREAM Choosing an ice cream flavor has never been easier at Hammond’s. With ice cream flights, enjoy mini cones of rich, premium ice cream with flavors ranging from Banana Storm to Chocolate Coco Macadamia Nut.

STREETCAR MERCHANTS Photo by Demi Johnson

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SWEET TOOTH

URBAN SOLACE This North Park favorite, led by Chef Matt Gordon, is known for decadent classics, ranging from Duck Confit Mac ‘n’ Cheese to Lobster Pot Pie. The most popular menu item, however, might actually be Urban Solace’s Buttermilk Cinnamon Roll. This delicious treat is made fresh Saturdays and Sundays, and is topped with decadent cream cheese frosting.

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Photo by Trang Hammond

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HAMMOND’S GOURMET ICE CREAM

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Cardamom Cafe & Bakery | Photo by Demi Johnson

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photo by Demi Johnson

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Discover Nor th Park’s effor ts to be come par t of the sustainabilit y movement. by: Rene Vidales & Kenny Ke ys

The community of North Park has become a local leader in sustainability practices in infrastructure projects, private development, water, energy, and tenant operations. Since efforts to update the 1986 North Park Community Plan started in 2008, local leaders had a vision for sustainability such that future developmentwouldbebalancedbetweenthe economy, ecology, and equity. In 2010, the local business improvement district, North Park Main Street, applied for a grant from the State Office of Historic Preservation, and this grant led to the publication of an open-source sustainability plan in 2011 titled“Sustainable North Park Main Street” (SNPMS) outlining strategies and interventions to be used by businesses and residents.

North Park Main Street has led the successful implementation of many of the sustainability initiatives discussed in SNPMS. Many volunteers worked to translate SNPMS into future policy and, once adopted by the City Council in 2015, North Park is slated to be the first community in San Diego to have a Sustainability Element in its Community Plan. In 2013, the San Diego Uptown News published “A North Park EcoDistrict: North Park Main Street launches next phase of sustainability initiative”, highlighting North Park as the first community to work toward developing an eco-district in the region. An eco-districtdesignatesanurbanplanningarea aiming to integrate objectives of sustainable development and reduce the ecological

footprint of projects. The rest of the nation has also started to take notice: The New York Times, Forbes Magazine, andThe Los Angeles Times have all published articles featuring North Park. Residents and visitors are a huge part of the equation and they are doing their part by shopping and consuming locally, walking, bicycling, or using other alternative modes of transportation whenever possible. The intersection of University Avenue and 30th Street alone provides four bus service routes. To further the enjoyment of pedestrians, North Park has integrated the first citypermitted “parklet” on 30th Street in front of Caffé Calabria.

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EXPERIENCE NORTH PARK’S SUSTAINABILITY

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Photo by Tim Hardy

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North Park’s first Bike Corral on 30th Street & North Park Way

Theparkletprovides an area to relax, converse, and enjoy the beautiful San Diego weather. For the bike enthusiast, North Park is a great destination. It’s not surprising that North Park is part of the recently rolled-out bike-sharing program (DecoBike). There are currently four bike share stations, multiple bike corrals for easy bike parking in front of many local businesses, shared-bike beer tours, and trails for the adventurous types. For those favoring four-wheeled transportation, North Park has many car and ride sharing options including Car2go, Uber, and Lyft. Helping local businesses and residents understand what they can do to help promote sustainability in the community is a critical component of SNPMS. In 2014, North Park launched its Green Business Program, resulting in sign-ups from many businesses. Severalrestaurantsandbarshavemadetenant improvements that are aligned with theWater and Energy Interventions in the sustainability plan like adding water efficient kitchen fixtures and improving energy consumption with skylights and roll-up windows, while some other businesses are also following the Tenant Operations Intervention with strategieslikeprovidingsustainablefoodcontainers

and composting when possible. Some of the most important aspects of sustainability are happening organically with locally sourced foods and products available at the North Park Farmers Market, in restaurants like URBN Pizza and City Tacos, in breweries like Mike Hess Brewing and in retails stores like Simply Local and Geographie. Another key element of North Park’s sustainability initiative is preserving and restoring historical buildings. Preservation maximizes the use of existing materials and infrastructure, reduces waste, provides local jobs, and preserves the historic character and charm of older neighborhoods. North Park’s earliest records date from 1888, and the first half of the 20th century witnessed tremendous growth. The community underwent a period of blight starting in the late 70’s, but the historic main street began a revitalization in the mid 2000s. Two highlights from the revitalization are the North Park Theatre (now the North Park Observatory) and the restored J.C. Penney department store building that is now host to multiple local businesses. For a more in depth review of the region, be sure to take a walking tour with the North Park Historical Society.

One notable completed project isTexas Street from Camino del Rio South to Madison Avenue, a gateway to North Park. This project added a sidewalk, a bike lane, historically accurate acorn lights, a retaining wall, drainage improvements, and a community entry sign. Choosing the right elements that maintained the historical charm of the neighborhood was the product of volunteers from the North Park Planning Committee over several years. A future project, the North Park Mini-Park and Streetscape Improvements, has already received two awards: the Neighborhood Planning Award from the local chapter of the American Planning Association (APA) and a merit award from the state chapter of the APA. The project has not started construction but already promises to be a winner as it went through a rigorous community input process and also embraces the sustainability plan. Even with all of this success, North Park still has many sustainability initiatives in store. Be sure to visit our community, talk to the localresidentsandbusinessowners,andenjoy all that North Park has to offer. For more information on Sustainable North Park Main Street, visit www.northparkmainstreet.com.


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Real Estate Group

KW STRUCTURE

2828 University Ave, San Diego, CA 619.491.9400 WWW.STRUCTURESD.COM facebook.com/structuresd

FOR HELP FINDING YOUR PERFECT HOME

OR INVESTMENT PROPERTY

IN NORTH PARK

OR THE SURROUNDING AREA, CALL

THE STRUCTURE GROUP

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Independently owned Keller Williams office located in the heart of North Park. North Park and Metro San Diego specialists since 2002.

57 28TH & UPAS | Photo by Demi Johnson


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2015 NORTH PARK FESTIVAL OF ARTS | Photo by Mark Frilles

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Beer culture #northparkbeer

www.belchinbeaver.com

www.fallbrewing.com

www.thehomebrewersd.com

www.mikehessbrewing.com

www.moderntimesbeer.com

www.poorhousebrew.com

www.ripcurrentbrewing.com

www.thornstreetbrew.com


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Photo by Demi Johnson

OWNING HIS CRAFT Mike Hess, of Mike Hess Brewing, talks Nor th Park’s craft be er scene. by: Kelse y Prince We sat down with Mike Hess, of Mike Hess Brewing, to talk about his time in North Park, how he got started brewing and San Diego’s craft beer scene. Kelsey Prince: First off, thanks for taking the time to sit down with Explore North Park! Let’s start from the top. When did you decide to get into the beer industry? Mike Hess: In 2009, I read an article in the Wall Street Journal on nano-brewing. As an entrepreneur, the idea of opening essentially a one-man band version of a brewery piqued my interest. I thought that, as a homebrewer already brewing a lot of beer which my friends all loved, that maybe it would be a good proofof-concept business idea and a lot of fun. KP: We’re glad you decided to get into the industry. How did you learn how to brew? MH: Way back in 1995, I was living and stationed in Philadelphia on a ship (the USS Kennedy) in dry-dock. I got a kit from Home Sweet Home Brew in downtown Philly, as well as Papazian’s book. This was really preinternet, so it was a lot of reading whatever I could find and working with the guys at HSHB. Later, as the internet because more of an outlet, I spent a lot of time asking questions and practicing.

KP: What a great start! So, what led you to opening in North Park? What’s your favorite part about being located here? MH: Providence! Our friends owned the Evangelical Bible Book Store and one of our good friends worked there during his internship. When it closed, he encouraged us to consider the building for the brewery. At first, we were hesitant, but then all the right pieces came together.The best part is that we love our neighbors, and we feel that we are a cornerstone for this side of North Park as we see the whole ‘hood on the rise with great shops, restaurants and bars, and great people living in and coming to North Park to support us all. We love being on the beginning of the curve in the resurgence of North Park as the neighborhood to be in of San Diego. KP: What is your favorite beer you’re making right now? MH: I love our Solis series. Or Hartley. Solis because I love IPAs and we get to make a new San Diego style IPA with new hops and a new

KP: What is a beer and food pairing you’d recommend? MH: Pizza and one of my IPAs. Whatever I’m eating and one of my beers. I love great food pairingsandwe’vebeenatmanygreatpairings, but at the end of the day, I just like to enjoy whatever I just cooked on the grill paired with my Claritas Kolsch. Or Solis. KP: When you have amazing beer, sometimes it just pairs with everything! At Hess, you’ve also put on a lot of great events. What’s the beer event you’ve enjoyed most? MH: Our anniversary party last year was a big hit, and a ton of fun. The Girl Scout fundraiser, pairing cookies and beer was insane! We’ve done a few events with organizations that my wife (Lynda, Dir. of Operations) have a real heart for, too - anything to do with Veterans or Wounded Soldiers (being former Navy Officer myself ) and was super proud of the money we raised for Ales for Autism. KP: Is there anything new or upcoming we should be on the lookout for? MH: New beers certainly, including our triple IPA. We’re also doing a cool vibe on our Solis series, as we are handing the controls over to our staff departments to work with the brewers on the recipes, so look for those in versions 41 through 46. And of course, we’ll keep doing great fundraisers, including ones for the John Brockington Foundation (organ donation), EXOS (for wounded special forces warriors) and of course our Anniversary Party on the 25th of July which will also benefit two local charities, held right here on Grim Avenue and in the brewery.

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MH: That craft beer only comes in bottles, or that canned beer is inferior or that cans are an inferior package. In almost every way, cans are better for beer, breweries, consumers and the planet. Cans are impenetrable to light which skunks beer, even beer in brown glass. Cans are impenetrable to oxygen which ruins beer, even bottle caps are susceptible to leakage. Cans are lighter weight, so shipping cans requires less fuel - both to get to us empty and to get to the stores full. Cans are 100% recyclable, contain an average of 68% recycled material and are recycled at a far higher rate than bottles. And, if you drop your aluminum can, you can still pick it up, pour it into your favorite glass and drink it.

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KP: What are some common beer misconceptions you hate?

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recipe every 3-4 weeks. Hartley because I love our seasonals’ ties to the NP history (the Hartleys were the family that bought the original 40 acre tract that became North Park) and it’s a super tasty rye pale ale.Very hop forward and super clean.

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THE CLASSICS Classic cocktails are experiencing a revival North Park, with patrons enjoying everything from Old Fashioneds to traditional Whiskey Sours (and no, there’s no sweet and sour mix here). Bartenders are well-versed in various vermouths and syrups that haven’t seen the light of day in decades. 66


Corpse Reviver #2 1oz Old Harbor Gin 1oz Cointreau 1oz Lillet Blanc 1oz Fresh Lemon Juice Rinse Martini Glass with Absinthe Combine all ingredients in a mixing tin over ice, shake, strain into martini glass with a lemon peel.

Whiskey Sour 2oz Slow Hand Organic Whiskey 1oz Lemon 1oz Brown Sugar Simple Syrup 1 Egg White Empty egg white into mixing tin and shake alone without ice for 20 seconds to create froth. Add rest of ingredients into it and add ice. Shake, strain into cocktail glass with a lemon peel and maraschino cherry garnish.

URBN COAL FIRED PIZZA/BAR Photos by Demi Johnson

Drinks poured and explained by Jay Reid, bartender at URBN Coal Fired Pizza/Bar.

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Combine all ingredients in mixing glass over ice, stir, strain into cocktail glass with orange peel.

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.75 Rye (Bulleit) .75 Cognac .75 Sweet Vermouth (Antica) Barspoon of Benedictine 2 Dashes of Angostura 2 Dashes of Peychaud

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Vieux Carre

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Photo by Demi Johnson


In 2012, the frumpy stucco storefront that sat on the northeast corner of the 30th & Upas intersection made way for the area’s most striking new edifice: the sleek, glass-steel-and-concrete North Parker multi-use complex. Although you may hear some locals speak fondly or even nostalgically of the second-hand store (charitably described as“funky”) that once occupied the spot, very few would argue that what rose from its ashes is not a huge improvement to the neighborhood. The North Parker has seamlessly insinuated itself as the anchor of this strategic corner, to the overwhelming approval of the locals. Part of the reason for the North Parker quickly winning the hearts in the neighborhood is no doubt its welcoming, open, community-oriented vibe, which puts the lie to the common gripe that modern architecture is cold and forbidding. That open feeling was an integral part of theproject’sconcept,accordingtodeveloper-architectJonathanSegal. The two floors above the retail spaces house 25 market rate units and two very low income units, all of which have balconies that face toward a central courtyard so that tenants are encouraged to engage with one another. The businesses on the lower level are tucked under the cantilevered concrete awning formed by the second floor, integrating them into the living areas.Visitors to the businesses are not only invited into the community by this nestling effect, but they are also welcome to roam the courtyard. It’s not just the lure of good architecture that accounts for the lively crowds at North Parker throughout the day and evening, of course. Four carefully chosen eating and drinking establishments quickly occupied the retail spaces and, amid much buzz, built on the existing design elements to create distinct atmospheres that enhance their gustatory charms. Underbelly, right on the corner of the building, is the second location of this favorite San Diego ramen house, featuring a bigger kitchen and thus extended menu, as well as more seating than the original in

Little Italy. Enjoy massive bowls of steaming noodles as well as yakitori and local brews, in a dining area that challenges the indoor/outdoor dichotomy, and, with its cafeteria-style tables, furthers the“community” theme of North Parker. On the Upas Street side, you can try one of the neighborhood’s favorite new gourmet taquerias, Tacos Perla, where, in addition to traditional fare, they offer“experimental”veggie tacos that they change daily, and decidedlynon-vegetarianitemslikecrickets,chicharrones,andoctopus. Add to that their unique selection of salsas and house-made tortillas and there is ample reason to become a regular here, even when it’s not Taco Tuesday. You have, doubtless, been made aware that San Diego is a beer town, and that North Park is its epicenter. Our love for beer establishments being seemingly unquenchable, it is no surprise that Modern Times Flavordome, the whimsical tasting room for the Point Loma-based San Diego brewery, is always bustling. There are sixteen taps at which you can get glasses or growlers filled with curiously named brews like “Blazing World” and “Fortunate Island” (Ask your pourer to explain the monikers), and quaff them either in the eclectically (bar constructed of VHS tapes, lamps hanging from the ceiling, portrait of Yoda made of floppy discs) decorated interior or out on the patio. Dogs and housebroken children are welcome, and you can bring your own food or call over to Tacos Perla and have it delivered. All this sensory stimulation and interaction can leave you drained. When you need a caffeine fix, North Parker naturally has you covered, in the form of Influx, an established coffee shop with two other locations in town.Their menu includes not only a range of coffee drinks fueled by local roasters Café Moto, but also teas, sandwiches, soups, salads, and baked goods. Its patio is also a great vantage point from which to sip your espresso while contemplating the community percolator that is the North Parker.

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by: Andy Hinds

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NORTH Parker USES design to promote community

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SPLASH WINE LOUNGE & BISTRO | Photo by Demi Johnson

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CARDAMOM CAFE & BAKERY | Photo by Demi Johnson

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RANCHOS COCINA | Photo by Chantal Pasag

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Farmers and Foodies and Chefs, Oh My!

Nor th Park residents of all kinds shop the Thursday Market on the cor ner of Nor th Park Way and 30th stre et. by: Cat t White Visit the North Park Thursday Market any Thursday and you might see familiar faces from your favorite neighborhood restaurants. Find Mike Flores owner of Ritual Kitchen and Beer Garden loading up on fruit from Smit Farms, and chefs from WaypointPublicchoosingmushroomsfromMountainMeadows. Urban Solace chefs peruse the market for what’s fresh and create a vegetarian tasting menu at their 30th Street restaurant on Thursdays. Joanne Sherif of Cardamom Café frequently has her family in tow as she offers demos of her savory recipes. Home cooks are still the majority: from young dads pushing strollers and bribing toddlers with ripe strawberries, to the couple who meets for dinner from the Gumbo Pot, or fish tacos and fresh sea urchins from Poppa’s Fish each Thursday after work before tackling their weekly farmers’ market grocery list.

North Park Library staffers meet each Thursday over Indian food from Masala Kitchen. One faithful shopper slides in on his skateboard to grab fresh eggs from Da Le Ranch, just baked bread from Bread Barn Ranch and bee pollen from Meljess Bees as he sips a Green Fix smoothie. The North Park Thursday Market is farm focused, and accepts SNAP EBT cards so residents who need help balancing their grocery budget can buy healthy foods. The market also offers craft booths featuring San Diego makers and live local musicians sponsored by General Store. Open 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. year-round, rain or shine, it’s where farmers come to the city and neighbors come to the table in North Park every week.

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new thursday market begins march 24th, 2016

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EVENTS 30TH ON 30TH // EACH MONTH

FESTIVAL OF ARTS // MAY

On the 30th of each month, various restaurants and bars on and near 30th Street offer hard-to-beat specials. This makes it easy for you to go on a restaurant crawl and check out all the amazing places on the 30th Street Corridor. Most participants start their specials between 5p.m and 6p.m.

Spend the day with family and friends exploring the historic and hip North Park neighborhood on University Avenue between 30th and 32nd Street. This free festival has grown into a local tradition that includes unique art, vendor booths, live graffiti art demonstrations, fabulous food, craft beer and exciting live music performances spread across several stages. Kids can enjoy the hands-on art area, offering children the chance to participate in freeactivitiesdesignedtostimulateandinspiretheirimaginations. The festival also offers great shopping amongst the hundreds of arts and craft vendors selling handmade goods of all kinds. There will be food to suit all cravings: ethnic, vegetarian, traditional fair food and locally made cuisine. Craft beer can be sampled from over 20 craft breweries in the Craft Beer Block, or stroll into a beer garden for a full pour of locally brewed craft beer.

www.30thstreet.org

RAY AT NIGHT // 2ND SATURDAY NIGHT www.rayatnight.com

Held the second Saturday of the month, Ray at Night is the largest and longest running monthly art walk in San Diego. The gallery walk event showcases over 24 merchants on the narrow, one-way Ray Street between University Avenue and North Park Way. Ray at Night now attracts Saturday night crowds of up to 2000 who enjoy viewing art of various mediums including oil, acrylic and mixed media painting, sculpture, photography, furniture, ceramics, jewelry and other fine arts. NORTH PARK FAMERS’ MARKET // EVERY THURSDAY www.northparkfarmersmarket.com

The North Park Farmers’ Market is open every Thursday from 3p.m. to 7p.m. on Herman Street, rain or shine! The Market features over 30 independent vendors presenting fresh, locally grown, seasonal and organic produce and flowers, as well as handmade arts and crafts and tempting selections of gourmet food. Live music provides the backdrop to a gathering place for friends and neighbors to meet, swap stories and celebrate being in North Park. Our market is known for featuring live cooking demonstrations hosted by chefs from North Park’s finest restaurants. NORTH PARK AFTER DARK // QUARTERLY

www.northparkfestivalofarts.com

TASTE OF NORTH PARK // OCTOBER www.tastenorthpark.com

The Taste of North Park combines more than 30 restaurants, microbreweries, local galleries and boutiques who open their doors on a Saturday afternoon and spill out onto the sidewalks with tantalizing sample cuisine. From cafés and bistros to five-star dining, the event affords foodie fanatics from the North Park hood and from all over San Diego the perfect opportunity to sampleanarrayofdeliciousanddiversecuisinesspeciallyprepared bytopchefsthroughouttheneighborhood.Participantsindulged their palates in handmade gourmet dishes, American favorites, specialties from around the world, locally harvested foods, divine desserts and delightful drinks. As folks maneuver the tasty treats, they are also able to drop in on participating galleries and boutiques and quench their thirst with local microbrews.

facebook.com/northparkafterdark

Walk along the streets of San Diego’s hippest neighborhood while you shop, sip and snack at some of San Diego’s most eclectic boutiques,galleries,cafésandbars.Over30businesseswillremain open until 9p.m. and all will be offering specials, refreshments and entertainment. Begin this self-guided, progressive tour of North Park around the 30th Street and University Avenue corridor with a bingo card to take along to all your stops along the way. Collect stamps from participating locations and enter your card to win one of over $500 in gift certificates to local businesses. This is a great way to spend the evening with friends and family enjoying the vibrant neighborhood of North Park.

TOYLAND PARADE // DECEMBER www.toylandparade.com

Unwrap some magic during the holiday season and partake in festive fun at the annual North Park Toyland Parade & Festival. North Park will warmly welcome friends and family to bundle up and delight in San Diego’s most joyful parade. Gliding down University Avenue between Utah and Iowa Streets, this cheerful parade feels like a Winter Wonderland, as melodious marching bands, upbeat dance groups, cool vintage cars, beauty queens, city officials and more, warm your spirits.


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THEATRE

The amazing North Park Theatre, now the Observatory, stands as an icon for the North Park area

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CLASSIC NORTH PARK: WHERE THE LOCALS GO For the past decade or so, exciting new businesses have been materializing in North Park storefronts at an ever-quickening pace, transforming the neighborhood into a haven for foodies, craft beer aficionados, and discerning aesthetes looking for the perfect accessory or objet d’art. If you want to grab a mango-chili-cilantro donut, followed by an old-timey shave and haircut in a swanky barbershop, and then choose from a selection of hundreds of whiskeys from around the world, you can do it all without having to walk more than a few blocks. Passionate experts (servers, baristas, shopkeepers) will eagerly guide you through sensory experiences that range from meticulously authentic to daringly innovative, all in stylishly themed physical spaces.

remained as mercantile strongholds in the community. These are places that cater to specific needs, from the basic to the whimsical, and do so well enough that customer loyalty is often passed on through the generations.

But there is another side to North Park businesses, one that is less trendy, more traditional, and yet every bit as unique and“local”as the new breed of restaurants, shops, and services. I’m talking about the businesses that have weathered fickle tastes and economic vagaries over the years and

To list all the businesses suggested by the folks who responded to my informal poll would fill volumes, but below I have described a handful of the places that came up repeatedly as perennial local favorites.

I spoke to dozens of North Park residents, asking them about their favorite local businesses that have been in the neighborhood for more than twenty years, and the response was overwhelming. The sheer number of beloved businesses that have been operating since many respondents to my queries were little kids, indicates that while the hot new establishments are creating a fresh buzz about our area, the commercial and social foundation is composed of typically less flashy shops and services that have been here over the long haul.

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by: Andy Hinds

E X P L O R E N O R T H PA R K . C O M

STERN’S GYM | Photo by Demi Johnson

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E AT I N G A N D D R I N K I N G North Park has become a destination for foodies in the last few years, with some of the best new restaurants in San Diego, many featuring unique, edgy concepts, mile-long beer and wine lists, craft cocktails, and chefs with impressive pedigrees. But for a truly “local” experience, residents recommend family restaurants that have stuck to their traditional formulas, in some cases over several generations. There is no shortage of great Mexican food in town, and every neighborhood has its favorites. A few North Park standbys are Colima’s at 2302 University Ave., Rigoberto’s at 2704 University Ave., and Saguaro’s at 3753 30th St.. They all share variations on a traditional SoCal taqueria menu, great value, and extremely generous portions. In the mood for traditional American food? Many native North Parkers have wonderful childhood memories of eating at Rudford’s, a classic neighborhood diner, located at 2900 El Cajon Blvd since 1949, and open 24 hours! For Italian food, try Paesano at 3647 30th St., serving great pasta, pizza, salads, and a solid selection of wines in the neighborhood since 1967. Locals love Lucky’s Breakfast (a.k.a Lucky’s Golden Phoenix), a morning-only, one-man-show, where Lucky himself takes your order, custom-cooks your food, and provides just the right amount of conversation. If you yearn for some old-school Americanized Chinese food, do not resist the visual siren-song of the classic neon “Chop Suey” sign (one of the kitschy-coolest storefronts in the city) at 2877 University Ave., where Peking Restaurant has been serving up rice and noodle dishes since 1931.

CHOP SUEY | Photo courtesy of North Park Main Street

One North Park establishment that probably has more history than any other (technically, anyway) is the restaurant attached to the recently refurbished Lafayette Hotel. If you are willing to risk the long-term psychological effects of time travel, make sure you check out The Red Fox Steakhouse and Piano Bar at 2223 El Cajon Blvd., where, upon entering, you will find yourself somewhere between 1642, when the Tudor paneling, bar, and wooden trim were first carved in Surrey, England, and 1969, when time seems to have halted completely in the establishment. Your head will swim as you enjoy old-school steakhouse fare and classic cocktails in the glow of red lampshades, while being crooned to from the upright piano. Sometimes there’s a shark puppet.

him what he attributed their longevity and success to. “I consider myself the personal chef to everybody in North Park,” he told me with a chuckle. “We have customers who come in here—no joke—five days a week.” The menu at Olympic includes not only classic Greek dishes, but American staples like burgers and sandwiches as well, so you could easily eat there every day and not get into a food rut. “The secret to our success is the volume we do,” Kotselas went on. “We have so many regulars, and do so many take-out orders, that we can afford to use the highest quality ingredients and cook everything from scratch, while keeping our prices affordable. Dishes like our lamb shank or avgolemeno soup take over three hours to prepare. Plus, we have an in-house pastry chef! My wife, who studied Food Science at UC Davis, bakes all the desserts from scratch.” I asked how the changes in demographics and economics in North Park over the years have affected his family business. “It has only gotten better over the years,” he answered. “My family had eight restaurants in San Diego and LA, and North Park has always been the most fun location. We have the best customers here. So many of the artists, musicians, and creative people in San Diego live here, and creative people understand and appreciate excellent quality. The neighborhood is attracting more and more of these kinds of people, so that’s more customers for us.”

Olympic Café, at 2340 University Ave., has been one of the most popular restaurants in the neighborhood for the past 30 years. I spoke to John Kotselas, who, with his wife Donna, owns the business, and asked

Salons, spas, pet groomers, and other services are popping up on every block in North Park, but long-time residents tend to stick

SERVICES

with the businesses they have patronized for decades. There are any number of newer places in North Park where you can get your hair cut, for instance, ranging from chichi salons to spots that go to great lengths to recreate the atmosphere of a neighborhood barbershop from the olden days, as depicted in the movies. However, many locals point to no-frills barbershops that have been providing buzz cuts, trims, shaves, fades, line-ups, and a fun, laid back social experience for decades, as the real deal. Some favorites include Raymond’s Barber Shop at 3065 University Ave., People’s Barber Shop at 3992 30th St., and 619 Barbershop at 3964 30th St.. “Wellness centers” abound among the many startups in the neighborhood, offering such services as massage, exercise, and alternative medicine. People who grew up in these parts, though, would remind you that health and fitness have long been peddled by North Park merchant/gurus. Take Stern’s Gym at 3831 Granada Avenue, for example. This oldschool iron-pumping and personal training establishment was founded by “Mr. San Diego” bodybuilding champion Leo Stern in 1946, and has been frequented by many noted weightlifters and bodybuilders over the years, including Arnold himself. If you are not interested in boosting your one-repmax as much as healing your body and soul, Gen Min Acupuncture and Herb Center at 2841 University Ave., might be more your style than Stern’s. Customers rave about the miraculous results achieved by Dr. Annie and her colleagues over the past twenty years, and cite her shop as the best place in town for herbal remedies.


R E TA I L As far as shopping, North Park can’t be beat for artsy, quirky gift shops and boutiques. Look beyond the shiny (or intentionally weathered) new retail businesses, and you will find purveyors of the staple and specialty products you can’t (or don’t want to) live without, and you won’t have to experience the soul-sucking charade of going to the mall. For anything you could possibly need regarding photography, including renting lenses, George’s Camera & Video Exchange at 3837 30th St. can hook you up, as it has been doing for everyone from the hobbyist to the huge corporate client for the past thirty-some years. Looking for some books? How about controversial ones? Daffne Gaitan, whose dad, Art Gaitan, is the long-time psychic and new owner of Controversial Bookstore at 3063 University Ave., described the scope of her family’s store thus: “We are the oldest meta-

619 BARBER SHOP | Photo by Demi Johnson

of what we can’t sell we will donate to prisons or Veteran’s Administration facilities.” While being realistic about the dwindling fortunes of the print industry in the internet age, she remains optimistic about the store’s future: “We have very loyal customers who come to us from all over—many from outside of San Diego! And we are trying to make some changes, like adding more books and comic books, to better serve the changing demographics in North Park.” Gregg Schloss has watched the evolution of North Park businesses from his vantage point on the corner of University Avenue and Ray St. since he was a small child. He and his father, Joe, own A-B Sporting Goods at 3027 University Ave., which they took over from Gregg’s grandfather, who started it up

regaled me with stories of the old days when NorthParkbusinesseswerealmostcompletely retail (“men’s stores, ladies’stores, hat shops”) and there were very few bars and restaurants. But his business has stayed steady throughout the huge changes brought about by the profusionofmalls,demographicchanges,and economic roller coasters. He is reluctant to say whether the recent changes in North Park have affected his business, since “it’s really impossible to quantify that.” But he does allow that either because of new people moving to the area, or people who walk by when they’reoutatthebarsandrestaurantsmentally bookmarking the shop for some future time when they need a baseball mitt or basketball, business has been good lately.“We’ve got a lot of new customers. We still have our old, loyal customers; but we’ve got new ones too.”

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Paras Newsstand at 3911 30th St. is another purveyor of the written word that has been in the neighborhood for ages: it was established by Mr. Paras in 1945. The third owner, Ann Gabbara, just took over in the past year. I spoke to Ms. Gabbara, who said new customers sometimes remark that their shop is more like a library than a newsstand, as it carries more than 4,000 titles, including national and international newspapers and magazines, academic journals, and more.“It’s a lot of work to run a place like this, but we love the business,” Gabbara told me. “We are constantly ordering magazines and papers, many of which we sell on consignment, so we have to ship them back if they don’t sell. Some

in 1941. Gregg described his business as a “traditional sporting goods store that offers a high degree of personal service.”North Park’s thriving Little League, for whom A-B supplies uniforms and supplies, is one of their biggest customers, Gregg explained. He also filled me in on some of the store’s history:“My grandpa started out selling appliances; and when World War II started, a lot of the products he soldwerenolongeravailablebecausesomuch metal was going toward the war effort. So then he started selling records—you know, LPs and 45s—and then he transitioned into sporting goods, and then about 40 years ago we went to sporting goods only.”When I asked to what he attributed the survival of his business, he said, “My grandfather and father were very smart about business—controlling inventory and that kind of thing—and we also only stock very high quality products, so we don’t have many returns. And of course customer service is key. It’s pretty much like having a personal shopper when you walk in here.” Gregg himself is just as old-school as his store: “I’m probably the last guy my age who doesn’t use a computer or have a cell phone.” He

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physical bookstore in California—we’ve been in North Park for over 50 years. We not only sell books and do readings, but we also have workshops, classes, and psychic fairs. I think the business has survived for so long in this neighborhoodbecausetherehavealwaysbeen a lot of people around here with non-traditional ideas about spirituality. We have a lot of really loyal customers.”

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In this era of “fast fashion,” when what we wear is often cheap and disposable, you might wonder if a shoe repair business has any reason to exist. If you talked to Chris Martinez, owner of Chito’s Shoe Repair at 2936 Lincoln Ave., as I did, you would realize that his services are very much in demand. Not only do he and his crew of cobblers repair shoes and boots, but they also fix other leather goods such as luggage and handbags. I asked Martinez how he has prospered over thirty years as a North Park business, during which time shoestyleshavechangedconstantlyandcheap throwaway footwear has flooded the market. “It can be tough sometimes when people bring us plastic shoes that need to be glued back together and they expect us to transform them into a quality product; but thankfully, there have always been a good number of people—you know, like guys who work downtown—who buy really beautiful shoes that they expect to get many years out of.” As to what sets Chito’s apart from many of the newcomersinthebusinesscommunity,Martinez says, “It’s our work ethic, man. We all just love to work. People get the warm fuzzies just from watching us go at it when they walk into the shop. A lot of businesses hope to have a great new idea, put in a little bit of time, and then get rich; but I’m willing—and happy— to work all day every day.” I asked if recent trends in the area have made a difference to his business, and he answered,“As a matter of fact, yes. I’m seeing more of these guys…what do you call them…like hipsters, who like kind of old-timey aesthetics. They bring in shoes that look okay, but they aren’t good quality, and I teach them about finding the real thing. And hopefully this trend continues, because we are trying to get more into making our own line of shoes here.”

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RAY AT NIGHT | Photo by Tim Hardy

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@ E X P LO R E N P

Hundreds of Instagram users snap beautiful photos of the North Park community daily. Explore our favorites, and join the conversation by following us (@explorenorthpark) or tagging your photos with #ExploreNorthPark.

@ERICA_BEARICA

@TACOSPERLA

@THEBEAUTYINCHIC

@BRENDUUUH

@GEOGRAPHIESHOP

@SHOPMIMIANDRED

@AJWOMBO

@ANLMT

@COBERNED


HAMMOND’S GOURMET ICE CREAM | Photo by Demi Johnson


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GETTING TO NORTH PARK directions FROM BEACHES

Public Transportation and Ride Services

UBER // www.uber.com SMART CAR // www.sandiego.car2go.com TRANSIT // www.sdcommute.com // www.sdmts.com *Busline 2 ZIP CAR // www.zipcar.com/sandiego

Take i-5 to I-8 east, take i-805 south, exit university avenue, merge onto boundary street, turn left onto university avenue, head west to the heart of North Park, San Diego.

directions FROM MISSION VALLEY

Head south on i-5 or 163, take I-8 east, take i-805 south, exit university avenue, merge onto boundary street, turn left onto university avenue, head west to the heart of North Park, San Diego.

directions NORTH COUNTY

Head east on I-8, take i-805 south exit university avenue, merge onto boundary street, turn left onto university avenue, head west to the heart of North Park, San Diego.

directions FROM DOWNTOWN, SAN DIEGO

Take fifth avenue north to i-5 south, exit onto pershing drive, continue on to upas street arriving at 30th street.

MISSION VALLEY

UNIVERSITY OF SAN DIEGO

8

N 805

8

W

163

E S

15 5

HILLCREST

NORTH PARK

163

805

SAN DIEGO ZOO

SAN DIEGO INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT

BALBOA PARK

15

5 SAN DIEGO BAY

94

DOWNTOWN

805

CORONADO

FOR INFORMATION ON HOTELS: W W W. S A N D I E G O. O R G / W H E R E -T O - S T A Y / H O T E L S - R E S O R T S . A S P X

HOTEL LISTING

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126 LAFAYETTE HOTEL | Photo courtesy of www.lafayettehotelsd.com


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Profile for Explore North Park

Explore North Park Magazine // First Editon  

Our debut issue of the Explore North Park magazine is aimed toward showcasing the breweries, restaurants, bars, boutiques and art galleries...

Explore North Park Magazine // First Editon  

Our debut issue of the Explore North Park magazine is aimed toward showcasing the breweries, restaurants, bars, boutiques and art galleries...

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