The Scene

March 29, 2018

Time to Say Farewell

After 10 years of running this site, I've decided it's time to move on and let others carry the torch (I'll be transferring ownership of the domain to a local entity over the next few weeks). When I began the website in 2007, North Park was early in its renaissance, and there wasn't a good place to get up to date information on what was happening in the neighborhood. Because I believed so much in the potential of North Park, I began this site so other believers like me would have a central place to learn about all the changes that were coming. In these last 10 years so much good has happened, and new technologies have arisen to enable more people to get involved in documenting the changes, and furthering the discussions about how to create a vibrant, cultural, and welcoming neighborhood for residents and visitors alike. I like to think that this website was but one of the seeds that contributed to the awesome neighborhood we have today.

I continue the work to promote North Park on the North Park Facebook Group. If you haven't already, please come join the conversation there.


October 24, 2017


The North Park Mini-Park, located behind The Observatory, is moving forward. The community park will replace an existing parking lot, and will include an outdoor stage. Completion of the park is slated for 2020... A new Thai restaurant called Soi 30th has opened at 3442 30th Street, where Corazon Amorcito used to be... Nomad Donuts and Bagels has opened at 3102 University Avenue... and just up the street, at 4152 30th Street, Solomon Bagels and Donuts is readying their space... Bivouac Ciderworks, San Diego's first cidery and tab room, is making progress at 3986 30th Street... Jalapeno Mexican Grill has opened at 3130 University Avenue... Casa Artlexia has opened up at 2879 University Avenue, where Geografie used to be... North Park Breakfast Co. is readying their space at 3131 University Avenue. The new place has the same owners as Breakfast Republic (and the soon to be open Pizza Republic, down the street), and will feature a roof-top deck... The Cake Pop Shop has opened at 4504 30th Street. Pilgrimage of the Heart Yoga has relocated to 4081 30th Street. Their old location in the North Park parking garage is being replaced by F45 Training... Shuttersville: Thrift Trader has shut down, at least temporarily while its owner recovers from a serious accident... Tacos Perla is being replaced by The Taco Shop, which has other locations in the area... The Episcopal Church rectory on 30th street was finally demolished after months of trying to find someone to adopt the charming, but derelict structure...


April 23, 2017


Latin-inspired restaurant Tamarindo has opened at the old Claire de Lune location of 2906 University Avenue, but you'd never recognize the place after an extensive makeover that includes a new central bar and order station, windows that open out to the street, and a completely refreshed and hip vibe. Initial social reaction to the space and menu has been overwhelmingly positive... The 21st annual North Park Festival of the Arts is slated for Saturday, May 20th, from 11am to 10pm. Tickets to the Craft Beer Block are on sale now... Craft & Sea has replaced Zensei Sushi at 3396 30th Street... The matcha tea craze has come to North Park in the shape of Holy Matcha, located at 3118 University Avenue... Mr. Moto Pizza has brought their loved pizza to 3773 30th Street, in the same lot as Dexter's Deli... Cruiser Taco has brought more taco goodness to 2850 El Cajon Boulevard... Shuttersville: Ritual Tavern has decided it's time to close down, after 10 years in the neighborhood. The announcement was met with an outpouring of love for the establishment at 4095 30th Street... Geographie, the gift shop located at 2879 University has closed up shop... End Zone sports bar has a sign posted "Closed until further notice". No word on if that's temporary or not.


January 14, 2017

Barons Market

Barons Market has opened at 3231 University Avenue, and it's a huge improvement of the space and a great fit for the neighborhood. More like a mix of Trader Joe's with some Whole Foods ideas mixed in (but thankfully Trader Joe's prices), the store offers an olive oil bar, salad bar, fresh soups, freshly baked goods, and a large amount of prepared foods... Tamarindo Latin Kitchen & Bar, at 2906 University Avenue, is putting the finishing touches on the Latin-inspired restaurant, having added exterior signage this past week. They're shooting for a February 2017 opening... another impending opening is Mr. Moto's Pizza at 3773 30th Street. It's amazing how much they've transformed the space from the former (cough cough) Stuff-n-Thangs resale store... FiveSpace Records has opened up at 2579 University Avenue, carrying vinyl and even cassette tapes... more retail to report with R.A.E. women's clothing opening at 2912 University, next to Love & Aesthetics. Owners also owned Pretty Please in Hillcrest... Figaro Cafe has replaced Heaven Sent Desserts... The Barbeque Pit has returned to North Park at 2888 University Avenue and their pork ribs are to die for... Six One Nine Distillery and Tasting Room is opening in February... Sage Sister Flowers has opened at 3069 University Ave, sharing the space with Union Co-Work... There's a nice write up about Queen Bee's Art & Cultural Center over on KPBS' website... Demolition for Nomad Donuts second location at 3102 University Avenue has begun. They're shooting for a Spring 2017 opening... Zensei Sushi is down for remodel, and Yogart just completed a minor remodel of their space. Meanwhile Olympic Cafe is furiously working on their new space at 2310 University Ave... Rumoursville: we're hearing that someone is finally opening something in the old International Gifts location at 30th & University, but haven't been able to nail down what that something is! We've also heard that the old Ramona Theater, which has been vacant for years, has been sold again. Fingers crossed someone's got ideas to open that pretty lovely space up soon... The Pershing Bikeway is almost fully approved, which will create dedicated bike lanes down Pershing from the northeast corner of Balboa Park through to downtown.

November 11, 2016

Iowa Street Housing

The Iowa Street Senior Housing is completed with move-ins commenced, and we're hearing that they're already fully booked. The higher density is a good additional to the main drag of North Park and with the newly approved community plan in place, we should see a lot more of these developments along University Avenue, 30th Street, and El Cajon Blvds... Poki One N Half has opened at 3030 University Avenue, right next door to City Tacos... Lovers of Thai food were excited to learn of the surprise relocation of Bankok Spices Thai to 3627 30th Street, a couple of doors down from Paesano. Apparently they had been working on the new location for over a year but no one seemed to know until they opened their doors... has opened up on 30th Street... Thank the heavens that Pop Pie Co. has finally opened their beautiful pie-centric store at 4404 Park Boulevard (technically across the street of North Park's western border, but close enough). Their savory pies are spectacular and their sweet pies divine, and they're a fantastic addition to the locally grown businesses that populate North Park and environs... Shuttersville: to no one's surprise, Al Reef Mediterranean restaurant has relocated to the city of El Cajon. They initially opened as a combo hookah/smoothie/ice cream/deli place (what?) and then refined in to a Mediterranean restaurant, but the location never took off. It is a huge space to fill, and in this competitive neighborhood a restaurant has to have a strong offering and generate some buzz with the social media scene. There's now a sign in the window saying "Urban Cafe & Grill coming soon". Please can we stop with "Urban" already? There's plenty already housed here in the hood (Urban Solace, Urbn Pizza)

August 21, 2016

Dunedin North Park

Dunedin North Park has opened at 3501 30th Street. The New Zealand-inspired eatery, sister restaurant to Queenstown Public, sports a complete remodel from the old Eddy's Philly, and it makes quite the statement at the intersection across from Lefty's... Breakfast Republic, which almost always has a line for their brunch offerings, has announced they'll be opening a different breakfast place about 5 blocks to the east, at 3131 University Avenue (the old Moncai location). Plans are to open a second story deck on the rooftop. Not to rest on their laurels, the same company is readying Pizza Republic, next door to Breakfast Republic... Brews & Chews (or is it Twister Taps?) is readying their location at El Cajon and Louisiana... Casa Artelexia, a rustic furniture and eclectic gift shop with a location on Morena Blvd is readying a new space on Ray Street... Twinkle lights have been installed on University Avenue between 30th Street and Utah... Nomad Donuts has announced they'll be opening a second location at 3102 University Avenue in the old Lady of the Lake location. New place will carry their donuts plus wood-fired bagels... Restoration of the Georgia Street Bridge has begun... Cafe Medallion has opened their second location at 2850 El Cajon Blvd... Shuttersville: Lil' B's on El Cajon, Grace Abundance Church (to be replaced by an unannounced eatery).

July 2, 2016

North Park Beer Co

North Park Beer Co has opened their stunning brewhouse at 3038 University Avenue, and what a transformation they've done to the old Und1sputed Gym space! Proprietor Kelsey McNair was smart and hired Basile Studio to design the new on-site brewery. Their kitchen, to be run by Mastiff Sausage Company, isn't open yet so only libation consumption is currently available... Plans have been announced for Tamarindo, a new concept Mexican restaurant slated for the old Claire de Lune space at 2906 University Avenue. They hope to open to the pubic around November... San Diego Magazine's Best of 2016 contains many North Park winners, including Waypoint Public, Carnita's Snack Shack, Caffee Calabria, Waypoint Public, Hammond's Gourmet Ice Cream, City Tacos, and man more... Dunedin, the new eatery by the owners of Queenstown Public located at 3501 30th Street, is looking amazing and is almost ready to open their doors sometime in July... Rumor is that the old JC Penny building (nay Wang's) has been sold, but no word yet on plans for the huge space at University and Ray streets... Another pizza joint named Mr. Moto Pizza is opening at 3773 30th Street. They have another location in Pacific Beach... The BBQ Pit has announced that they're reopening their location at 2888 University Avenue... Grinds & Vine Coffee Bar has opened at 2419 El Cajon Boulevard... Normal Records has opened at 4128 30th Street... Blackmarket Bakery is getting close to opening their new location at 4688 30th Street... Pop Pie Co is also getting closer to their debut, at 4404 Park Blvd... Shuttersville: San Diego Soup Shoppe, Tobacco Rhoda's (good riddance to this neighborhood nuisance!)

April 30, 2016

One Door North interior photo

One Door North, from the purveyors of The Smoking Goat, has opened it doors at 3422 30th Street, exactly one door north of TSG. Featuring decor that brings the outdoors inside, the new restaurant sports a camping theme, with tents, picnic tables, outdoor lanterns, and a menu to vaguely match the environs. It's a marked departure from what was once Mosaic Wine Bar, and if the food comes close to the quality exhibited at their sister restaurant, should be an outstanding addition to the eating scene... If you'd rather actually sit outdoors (and who doesn't love the outdoors here in San Diego, with our near perfect weather?), ChuckAlek's Biergarten has opened their beautiful outdoor space at 3139 University Avenue, behind Tostada's (the newish sister restaurant of City Tacos)... Dunedin's exterior is really coming together and looks to be a stunner... North Park Yoga has moved one block east to a much larger and sunnier space at 3063 University Avenue... California Tap Room and Soft Pretzels has opened 3812 Ray Street (the old Rubber Rose). They offer lots of twists (natch) on the classic pretzel and have a yummy beer infused cheese sauce to dip the dough in to... North Park Beer Co has posted a video walkthrough of their under development brewery... Poki One N Half is readying their location at the old Kaleidoscope space... Shuttersville: Ripe North Park has closed

March 27, 2016

North Park Thursday Market

The new North Park Thursday Market (formerly known as the farmer's market) has opened in its new location, on North Park Way between Granada Avenue and 30th Streets. They've added a bunch of new vendors (currently at 65) that offer locally grown produce, artisan grocery items, and prepared foods. It still falls on Thursdays, from 3pm to 7pm... Smart & Final Extra has replaced Albertson's (nay Haagen) at 2235 University Avenue... The Fresh Yard has relocated across the street to 3774 30th Street. Replacing them at 3773 30th Street is pet food supplier Dexter's Deli... Love + Aesthetics is taking over the entire space they used to share with Material Clothing at 2910 University Avenue... Kaleidoscope has announced they're shuttering their storefront after 2 years... Pariah Brewing Company is readying their new space at 3052 El Cajon Boulevard... Claire de Lune has closed their coffee shop after many years in the neighborhood... A plan to install twinkle lights on University Avenue between Granada Avenue and 30th Street is moving forward, according to the San Diego Reader... The North Park Festival of the Arts has announced their 2016 date as Saturday, May 21st, with new extended hours from 10am to 10pm... California Tap Room, a beer and pretzel place, is readying their location at 3812 Ray Street... Barons Market is replacing the old Fresh & Easy at University Ave and 32nd Street. They're shooting for a late 2016 opening.

January 23, 2016

Encontro North Park

Encontro North Park has opened up at 3001 University, in the old Heaven Sent Desserts location, and what a transformation to the space! The interiors are stunning, exuding an industrial warmth, with lots of windows that open to both University and 30th Streets. Food is casual with steaks, chicken, sausages, burgers, and milkshakes made with North Park's Hammond's Gourmet Ice Cream (which just opened its second location down in Pacific Beach, and a third location slated for Point Loma this summer)... Replay Toys,.which offers quality pre-owned toys, books, and crafts has opened at 2920 North Park Way... and speaking of books, Verbatim Books has opened their beautiful shop at 3793 30th Street, across from Waypoint Public. Lots of new and used books to check out... Pop Pie Co. is readying their sweet and savory pie shop at Park Blvd and Meade Ave. We got a chance to taste some of their sweet pies and they were quite good... The Fresh Yard Clothing is relocating across 30th Street next to 9-Five Eyewear... Tribute Pizza is busy readying their location in the old North Park post office, located at 3077 North Park Way... Major construction has begun (finally) on Dunedin, the new spot from Queenstown Public alum at 3501 30th Street. They hope to open this Spring... SANDAG is preparing the new dedicated bicycle lanes for Pershing Avenue (called the Pershing Bikeway), which will create a much safer passage for riders between North Park and downtown SD. A part of the project includes a proposed roundabout at Redwood and Pershing... Streetcar Merchants of Fried Chicken and Donuts has opened up their Milk Bar next door, featuring infused milk products and freshly baked cookies... The Smoking Goat is getting closer to opening their new concept restaurant One Door North. They're shooting for a Spring opening as well...

Project Tracker

Habitat on 31st
31st Street between University and North Park Way
35 apartment complex
Under construction

The Blvd Apartments
2002 El Cajon Blvd
H.G. Fenton's development with Foundation for Form as architects
Under construction

Community Housing Work's LGBT Senior Housing Project
Intersection of Texas Street and Howard Avenue
Construction slated for mid-2016 with late 2017 opening

North Park Theater Mini-Park
Located behind the North Park Theater
Approved by city

Pershing Bikeway
Dedicated bikeway from Upas & Pershing through to downtown

University Avenue Mobility Project
University Avenue between Park Boulevard and Boundary Avenues
Design Phase schedule for December 2016 completion with construction slated for mid-2017

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