The Scene

November 7, 2015

Pete's Seafood and Sandwich

Pete's Seafood and Sandwich opened up at 3382 30th Street, around the corner from Zensei Sushi. We got a chance to try the clam chowder (delicious!) and fish and chips (superb!!!) on a rainy evening and it was very good. Though we haven't tried it, we've also heard that the lobster rolls are the best on the west coast... Al Reef Mediterranean has opened up at 2835 University Avenue and what a huge improvement from the short-lived hookah lounge that was previously there. The food was very good, moderately priced, with attentive service. Stop by and check it out... NĂ©gociant Urban Winery has opened at 2419 El Cajon Boulevard... North Park won "Best Neighborhood" in CityBeat's annual Best of San Diego contest. Lots of North Park establishes won their categories as well, including Caffee Calabria, Hammond's Gourmet Ice Cream, Lucha Libre, The Mission Cafe, Underbelly, the Lafayette Hotel & Swim Club, Thumbprint Gallery, George's Camera, Kaleidoscope, Pigment, Overload, Mimi & Red, Bottlecraft, Seven Grand, and Observatory North Park. Congratulations to all the winners... Progress is moving quickly on Encontro, the new eatery slated for the corner of 30th and University, where Heaven Sent used to be located. Fingers crossed that they make the late November opening target. Can't wait to try their burgers and milkshakes made with Historyville: Lady of the Lake bookstore is closing up shop, as is Fresh & Easy and Haagen grocery stores (there's a brutal grocery store war going on), while Exotic Gardens has relocated far east (Alpine is the rumor)...

September 19, 2015

Milli Metre

Milli Metre, a new retail shop, has opened in the old post office building at 3077 North Park Way... new details are emerging about the old Heaven Sent Desserts spot at 30th & University. Encantro is the name of the new space, and according to, it'll offer "delicatessen services; salads, french fries, hot dogs and sausages made on premises"... Speaking of Heaven Sent, their new location has opened, 2 doors down from their original location... Pete's Seafood and Sandwich is readying their new space, at the old Bazinga Mac & Cheese spot at 3382 30th Street... The portion of University Avenue west of Utah continues to get cool new tenants, with The General Store opening at 2002 University Avenue, and Lucky Dutch Juice opening at 2581 University Avenue... Full Contact Rock N Roll, a music retail shop, has opened at 2834 North Park Way.

August 2, 2015

Lucha Libre

Lucha Libre's new North Park location at 3016 University Avenue has opened. They've done quite a lot on the interior to change out the old Marie's Cafe vibe, and we hear that they plan on adding railing and outdoor seating soon... ChuckAlek Independent Brewers are opening a tasting room and beer garden next to Tostadas at 3139 University Avenue. Official name is ChuckAlek Brewery Tasting Room & Biergarten. The beer garden will be in the back, which is a pretty fantastic space curated by Lynn Susholtz (owner of Art Produce Gallery). Between that and Tostadas, the east end of University Avenue is starting to look pretty good... A new and used bookstore named Verbatim Books is readying their location at 3793 30th Street at North Park Way... Hammond's Gourmet Ice Cream, which just celebrated their one year anniversary in North Park, has announced that they're opening a second location, this time in Pacific Beach... The San Diego City Council approved the University Avenue Mobility Plan, which calls for streamlining vehicular traffic, dedicated bus lanes to be shared with bikes, planted medians, and sidewalk bulb-outs to create a more efficient and friendly multi-modal transportation corridor... Speaking of the city council, they're scheduled to vote on two major North Park initiatives in the next few months, including releasing the Woolworth's building so that developer Al Karendian can begin transforming the high-profile (but current eyesore) in to market rate apartments on the 2nd level and retail on the ground level. They'll also be voting on freeing up the space behind the Observatory North Park Theater so that it can become the community park that's been in planning for 5 years. Bazinga Eatery has shuttered to make room for Pete's Seafood and Sandwich, at 3382 30th Street near Upas... Moncai Vegan moved their location from University up to Adams Ave.

June 27, 2015

Breakfast Republic

Breakfast Republic has soft-opened at 2730 University Avenue, the prior location of Western Steakburger. Owned by Johan Engma, who also fathered the Fig Tree Cafe chain, the new space is beautifully decorated and is serving customers from 7am - 3pm daily... Crazee Burger has opened their new location at 3993 30th Street, at Lincoln Ave. They've spiffed up the space that used to be a pawn shop with urban gritty decor and a lovely outside patio that faces Lincoln. Nice to have that corner activated with this and Streetcar Doughnuts across the street... Wang's restaurant abruptly shuttered their doors last month. A victim of their closing was Und1sputed gym, which had sub-let the basement from Wang's. The gym has announced that they're scouting a new location in North Park... Rumor Alert: we're hearing that someone has purchased the BBQ Pit at 2888 University Avenue. Their storefront has been closed to the public for years, and it's been an eyesore along an area that otherwise has had much improvement. Fingers crossed this rumor pans out as it would be nice to see this block activated again... Al Reef, which had been a bizarre mixture of hookah lounge, deli, ice cream, smoothies, and gawd knows what else, has closed their doors and plans on reopening as a Mediterranean restaurant. Hope they can raise a successful business as they put a great deal of money transforming the former location of Glenn's Market... Heaven Sent Desserts is moving a bit east to 3011 University Avenue. The new space is much smaller than their current location, and will serve as a place for purchasing their desserts only; their kitchen is moving to a new location to support their expanding catering business... City Taco's founder Gerald has announced his newest North Park venture. It's called Tostadas, and it'll serve up, yep, tostadas and ceviches. Based on how frickin' good City Tacos is, we expect this new place to rock our taste buds as well... Hammond's Gourmet Ice Cream, located at 3077 University Avenue, celebrated their one year anniversary a few weeks back. Great to see them doing so well, with a loyal following, and 4 1/2 stars on Yelp.

May 16, 2015

Barn Brewery

Barn Brewery, North Park's newest brew pub, has opened at 2850 El Cajon Boulevard, next door to San Diego Soup Shoppe. Currently only serving libations, plans are afoot to open their accompanying kitchen in the near future... Holsem Coffee has opened at 2911 University Avenue, in a redesigned space that is airy and elegant. Featuring fair trade sourcing and 3rd wave brewing, they offer a wide selection of coffees, teas, house-made sodas, and carry baked goods sourced from Bake Sale downtown... Western Steakburger has served its last meal. The space, at 2730 University Avenue, has been purchased by the owners of the Fig Tree Cafe. They'll be remodeling and reopening as Breakfast Republic in the near future... Miss Vintage Clothing has announced they're relocating out of North Park... Heaven Sent is also relocating, but they're staying in North Park. We're not yet allowed to disclose where... The Smoking Goat, which continues to do gangbuster business, has announced that they'll be taking over the old Mosaic Wine Bar location and opening a new concept restaurant in the near future... Hello Birdie nail and lash salon is opening next door to The Lab, at 3032 University Avenue... Good Life Eatery lasted all of two months before shuttering. Hopefully the right niche business will find success in this troubled space, at 3620 30th Street... The Studio Door, North Park's newest art gallery, has opened at 3750 30th Street, turning what was once a sad corner into a vibrant, visually stimulating addition to the neighborhood... A cool new mural adorns the northeast corner of Illinois Street and University... Plans are afoot to greatly improve bicycle access via from North Park to downtown, via Pershing Avenue in Balboa Park... San Diego Eater is reporting that Blackmarket Bakery is readying a new location at 4688 30th Street...

March 11, 2015

9 Five Eyewear

9 Five Eyewear has opened their new flagship location at 3778 30th Street. Along with their Los Angeles location on Melrose Avenue, they carry eyewear, apparel, and offer prescriptions... Dark Horse Coffee Roasters has opened at 3794 30th Street, next to Waypoint Public. They've done a beautiful job on the intimate space, and reviews for the coffee are very positive... Down the street, Amorcito Corazon has opened their new Mexican bistro to rave reviews at 3442 30th Street... Mimi & Red have opened their new location at 3041 University Avenue, next to Aloha Sunday. New space looks fantastic inside and out... Red Brontosaurus has opened up at 3044 North Park Way (next to Classic Rock Sandwich Shoppe), specializing in buying and selling of DVDs and video games... The custom clothing design studio Gwen Couture has opened at 4003 Wabash Avenue. They offer sewing courses... The Makers Arcade Spring Fair is scheduled for March 21 from 11am - 5pm at the old North Park Post Office at 3077 North Park Way. The event will feature over 50 artists and makers, live entertainment, locally sourced food, drink, and more. Tickets are $2... Heart & Trotter Butchery has opened at 2855 El Cajon Boulevard. They feature locally sourced beef, lamb, pork, and chicken... Mosaic Wine Bar has closed for a bit. While initially planning on selling the business off, the latest rumor we've heard is that they'll be keeping the place and are reimagining what it'll be when it reopens... Rumors that Heaven Sent Desserts will be relocating down the street to where Claire de Lune is located are still unconfirmed. We hear they need additional space because their catering business is going gang busters... Mailboxes outside of You Got Mail were recently removed. Owner Mike Burnett emailed NorthParkScene stating that You Got Mail owners had nothing to do with the removal of the boxes...

February 6, 2015


A new low-income senior housing complex has been approved by the city, and plans have been submitted to begin work at on the Iowa Street Housing 3937 Iowa Street (where the old Thrift Trader was; it will be demolished). The complex will consist of 120 residential units and 3 business spaces... Other housing news: Foundation for Form's next project is called The Earnest, is located at 4201 30th Street (the old Crazee Burger location) and will include 39 apartments above 2 commercials spaces. Nearby Habitat on 31st between University Avenue (behind Urbn Pizza) and North Park Way will include 35 apartments ... Rip Current Brewery/Sublime have officially opened at 4101 30th Street... Unico Juice Shop has opened at the newly-hip southeast corner of El Cajon Blvd. and Utah, next to where The Heart & Trotter is going in... Across the street, South Park favorite Cafe Madeline is opening up a second location on the northwest corner of El Cajon and Utah... A few blocks east, The San Diego Soup Shoppe is readying The Barn, a burgers and brewery joint... Mimi & Red's new location next to Aloha Sunday is beginning to look sweet... DecoBikes have begun popping up in North Park as well as downtown and Little Italy... Grand Ole BBQ Y Asado at 3302 32nd Street opened and then temporary closed so that they could expand their operations. Early word was positive on the food... San Diego Arts Institute is closing up shop on Ray Street... Cardamom @ Night has sprung up, serving up delicious desserts at Cardamom Cafe on Friday and Saturday evenings... North Park Beer Co. has announced that they're taking over the old Und1sputed space at 3038 University and will be opening a brewery later this year... The Irving Gill Chapel at 30th and Gunn Streets is up for sale because St. Lukes Episcopal Church can't afford to maintain it. A Facebook page has been set up to save it.

January 9, 2015

Good Life Eatery

The Good Life Eatery is ready to open their doors. Located at 3620 30th Street (cross street is Dwight), the new establishment takes the place of the old 30th Street Cafe. Hours are 12-8pm Thursday through Saturday, and 10am-3pm on Sundays... Dark Horse Coffee Roasters, next to Waypoint Public, have installed their exterior signage... Saiko Sushi, at 2884 University Avenue has opened its doors... A new Mexican Bistro called Amorcito Corazon is going in to the old Veg-N-Out location on 30th Street, next to Lefty's Chicago Pizza... Glimpse Gifts, on Ray Street, is closing up shop... Thrift Trader off of University is also closing up shop to make way for a large senior living complex... The North Park Theatre, along with West Coast Tavern, has been sold to The Observatory from Orange County... Albertson's supermarket on University Avenue, will be getting some much needed attention as it transitions over to Haggen grocers...

December 19, 2014

StreetCar Merchants of Fried Chicken, Doughnuts and Coffee

StreetCar Merchants of Fried Chicken, Doughnuts and Coffee has soft opened at 4002 30th Street, at the corner of Lincoln Avenue. They've done a smashing job at creating a beautiful space to consume their gourmet goodness, with recycled wood and i-beams integrated everywhere. The doughnuts are very good and the fried chicken close to perfect. They also carry Intelligentsia coffee... Up the street about 8 blocks, Nomad Donuts has thrown open their doors with gourmet donuts as well, at 4504 30th Street... Salvage Salon has opened up at 3822 Ray Street... Saiko Sushi, at 2884 University Avenue is starting to look like a real restaurant, with the recent installation of outdoor railing for dining and an interior that's looking close to finished... DecoBike bike rental stations have begun appearing throughout North Park, with 8 stations planned for the neighborhood. After some delays, current plans call for a roll-out in January 2015... Got a peek inside Holsem Coffee's new space at 2911 University Avenue (where the old Chito's Shoe Repair once was) and they're in the framing part of construction. No word on target opening...

November 21, 2014

Simply Local

Simply Local has opened their new North Park location at 3013 University Avenue. They carry lots of items created in the San Diego area, including some of Vintage Religion's stuff (we still miss their bricks and mortar store)... 2 blocks west, Geographie, a "modern-day" general store, has opened at 2879 University, next to West Coast Tavern... Berkeley Pizza has opened their delicous pizza joint (with over 30 beers) at 3932 30th Street... Good Life Eatery is preparing to open in December in the old 30th Street Cafe location. Points of Departure is doing the remodel... Pork continues to blanket the neighborhood with S&M Sausage and Meat opening at 4130 Park Boulevard... The San Diego Tourism Commission has put out a new video that highlights North Park and South Park... Safehouse has opened at 2930 University Avenue, serving a modern take on Japanese food... North Park Nursery (by Mooch) has opened in their new location at University Avenue and Texas Street... The International Gift Shop at University and 30th will be vacating their much-desired spot at the end of this year, creating an opportunity at a high-profile corner location in the neighborhood... Looks like the first of two gourmet donut shops in North Park is getting ready to open their doors as they've just received their health certificate. Nomad Donuts is located at 4504 30th Street...

October 3, 2014


Underbelly has begun serving its infamous ramen to the North Park hordes, and the new space in the North Parker Lofts at 30th and University is a stunner! True craftsmanship has been brought to every detail of the design, and it becomes the crowing jewel of this reinvigorated corner in restaurant row.

This and that... Crazee Burger has announced they'll be relocating to the northeast corner of 30th Street and Lincoln Avenue, replacing the old pawn shop on the corner... Mosaic Wine Bar has put itself on the market. Owners say they're ready to focus on other parts of their lives... The International House of Gifts at 30th and University is bidding farewell, providing the opportunity for a place making project at the northeast corner of this important neighborhood intersection. Rumor is that the owner of The Wine Bank is attached to the new project, still under wraps... There's been quite a buzz both for and against a new Target Express that's been announced for the old Gala Foods market in South Park. Neighborhood and government representatives are trying to work with the Minneapolis based corporation to get something that serves the neighborhood's needs... Swami's Cafe has opened for dinner... A new bike corral has been installed outside Modern Times Flavordome at 30th & Upas...

January 9, 2015

Swami's Cafe

Swami's Cafe has opened in the old Casa de Luz location at 2920 University Avenue, and they've quickly become one of the neighborhood's more popular breakfast and lunch destinations. The mixture of available options and reasonable price points seems to have hit the sweet spot with the locals, with a line out the door at key times throughout the day. The popularity has also invigorated the northwest corner of 30th and University, something that's desperately been needed for awhile. Along with the pending opening of SafeHouse, it appears that particular corner has been finally been changed for the good. Streetcar Merchants, the new gourmet donut, fried chicken, and milk bar joint is getting ready to open their doors to the hungry masses. Underbelly has installed their exterior signage but it looks like their opening is still at least a few weeks off. North Park Nursery has closed down their old location, BUT (the good news) they are readying their new location near the intersection of University Avenue and Texas. Sonic is going in the old Burger King location at Utah and El Cajon.

Spread, the vegetarian place that has a successful online presence, shuttered their doors a few weeks back. Marie's closed this past weekend after owner of same name decided to retire. Lucha Libre is scheduled to take over the space. Eddie's Philly has announced that they're closing down, and rumor is that Queenstown Public is taking over the space. Veg-N-Out, next to Lefty's, is also closing. No word on a replacement there.

July 3, 2014

Hammond's Gourmet Ice Cream

Hammond's Gourmet Ice Cream has officially opened at 3077 University Avenue. Carrying super premium, 18% butter fat ice cream imported from Hawaii, they offer 32 rich flavors that are unique and tasty...they also carry 4 sorbets for the lactose-intolerant crowd. Besides their delicious ice cream, they've created an elegant space that marries recycled materials with modern twists, embracing the ethos of North Park itself. Design elements include a chandelier composed of old sundae glasses, a fantastic wall piece that contains 50 old ice cream scoopers, and tables made from fallen trees (including a community table made from a tree that fell in North Park).

This and that... We've finally received confirmation that there is indeed a donut and milk bar coming to the corner of 30th and Lincoln. We've recently spotted new garage doors installed at the premises... Sad to report that Vintage Religion has announced that they're becoming purely an online store, with their physical store scheduled to close on July 31... Wow Wow Waffles has opened at 3519 30th Street. They serve sweet and savory Belgian waffles in a funky community space behind the laundromat... The Woolworth Building, which is owned by the city of San Diego and is slowly making its way through redevelopment plans, received a spiffy mural on the exterior this past week, giving it a much-needed facelift... Influx Cafe has opened their newest location at the North Parker, located at 30th and Upas Streets. The new space is light and airy and serves their wonderful sandwiches, salads, and soups...Right around the corner, Tacos Perla, the new gourmet taco place, opened at 3000 Upas Street... Bazinga Eatery, the new place that specializes in Mac and Cheese dishes, ha opened at 3382 30th Street, in the old Sea Rocket location... City Tacos opened at 3028 University Avenue, and has some very delicious taco offerings... The Safehouse, at 30th and University, and Saiko Sushi, at Granada and University, and both busily readying their spaces for openings later this year.

Project Tracker

The Earnest
4201 30th Street
Foundation for Form's new development includes 39 apartments above 2 commercial spaces
Permits submitted

Habitat on 31st
31st Street between University and North Park Way
35 apartment complex
Permits submitted

Iowa Street Housing
3937 Iowa Street
120 residential units for low income senior housing and 3 business spaces
Permits submitted

Woolworth's Building
3067 University Avenue
SLOWLY making it's way through city departments