330 Park Boulevard, East Village
The City of San Diego is still looking for someone to turn the currently empty café space in the courtyard outside downtown’s posh new central library into a going concern. But due to city budget constraints, don’t expect a lot of perks, especially shade on sunny days and warmth on cold nights and mornings. According to a bid document posted online by the city, the deadline for sending in proposals is November 14, a week later than originally scheduled. Among questions asked by would-be operators: “Are the front gates only open during current library hours?” (“Currently, yes”); “Will it be possible to open the front gates early so people can access the café before the library opens?” (“Yes”); “Is the surface in the courtyard (other than the concrete and brick) compacted granite? What happens when it rains?” (“It is stabilized, decomposed granite. It is porous, so when it rains, the water soaks in.”); and “Is there funding for additional improvements?” (“While the library is not over-budget [correction from meeting], there is no additional budget available from the City to provide umbrella tables, shading, etc.”)
The same applies to the diner’s temperature level: “Will there be heat lamps for the cold weather?” (“Electric heat lamps are allowed. Propane heat lamps are not allowed per the Fire Marshall [sic]. However, the Library will not be providing heat lamps.”)
Inevitably, the contentious issue of public restrooms in the neighborhood, plagued by chronic homelessness, was the topic of several queries: “Is there a bathroom close by? Will there be access to the bathroom outside of library hours if the café is open outside of library hours?” (“Yes, there are restrooms in the Auditorium. However operation of the Café outside of the Library’s open hours needs further conversation with Library staff.”) The city hopes to have the eatery, officially known as the “San Diego Central Library @ Joan and Irwin Jacobs Common Library Café,” open by early next year, the documents say.