Landmark could have been “Belly Up North” instead of a Sun Diego.
  • Landmark could have been “Belly Up North” instead of a Sun Diego.
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Plans to create a 400-capacity venue in Carlsbad that would have hosted major-name artists have been derailed by “the Walmart of surf shops.”

A group of Carlsbad businessmen, including owners of the Boar Cross’n and Mas Fina Cantina nightspots, banded together to buy the business, liquor license, and lease of the Ocean House restaurant and bar that has been housed in the three-story Victorian-style Carlsbad landmark on Highway 101 for nine years. Built in 1887 as the home to Carlsbad founder Gerhard Scutte, it was a restaurant known as the Twin Inns from 1919 until 1985. The plans for the new restaurant and bar, Nineteen Nineteen, would use the 6500-square-foot round ballroom for live shows and special events.

A deposit was in escrow. The state Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control posted a transfer of license intention from Ocean House to Nineteen Nineteen.

But then, according to John Wantz, who put the deal together, the landlord reneged on the agreement when mega surf shop and clothing outlet Sun Diego offered to pay more in rent. “We wanted it to be the Belly Up North. A live venue like this would make the center of Carlsbad pop.... I see [a Sun Diego] having a huge negative impact on all the independent surf shops and apparel stores in the area. A cheesy surf shop shouldn’t be in that historic building.”

There are at least six Carlsbad surf shops in the immediate vicinity, including Witt Rowlett’s Carlsbad Pipelines right across the street. “I would be surprised if [Sun Diego] would be able to come in,” says Rowlett. “That place is a landmark. It has always been used as a restaurant.”

An insider who did not want to be identified says that Sun Diego will be paying about $29,000 in monthly rent, while Nineteen Nineteen had agreed to $22,000.

Two calls to Sun Diego spokesman Pete Censoplano were not returned.

Since the deal was called off two weeks ago, Wantz says the landlord, Santa Barbara–based Sima Management Corp., has stopped talking to all of the Nineteen Nineteen principals. Sima property manager Adam Geeb told the Reader that he cannot talk about new tenants until a final deal is signed. “Nothing is official yet.”

A restaurant manager, Wantz ran for Carlsbad City Council in 2010. He says the group will continue looking for a site to open their venue. “Their search hasn’t stopped. And I’m doing everything in my power to start a grass-roots effort to fight Sun Diego in this building. I think we’ll get some community pressure going. This is not a good thing for our community.”

Wantz says although he believes Sima negotiated in bad faith, a lawsuit against the landlord is not being pursued. “But I can’t speak for the Ocean House. They are the ones who lost a lot money.”

The Ocean House closed three months ago following internal water damage and did not reopen.

A call to Ocean House owner Martin Blair was not returned.

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Comments

mattchew7313 Oct. 2, 2013 @ 10:34 p.m.

Hi, I am the owner of Zories Flip Flops & Beachwear in the center down stairs. Even thou this is a move that will put me out of business I see this as a great opportunity for Village Fair and for down town. One of the biggest problems down town is that to few locals shop or even realize there our shops down town. This is something that will bring more locals in to the area and will help the small businesses. Yes some will be affected like mine. But for the most part it will help. There are some major changes coming to down town and to Carlsbad over then next 2-3 years. This is going to be good. Sun Diego is a local chain of surf shops. They were founded here and employ well over 200 San Diegans. If the store around and in the center will look for ways to capitalize on them being there it will help them greatly. And I know parking is a big cry in down town, well there are plans with the city council to make changes and to add parking, but not enough of the businesses are showing up to meetings and making a stink about it. Again I know this will help the down town and the businesses. Yes I am hating that I have to close I and my family have worked hard to make Zories work for us, but tomorrow is tomorrow and doors will open. I truly hope everyone around will look for the good that this can bring.

1

millagorilla Oct. 3, 2013 @ noon

You seem awfully upbeat for a guy who is potentially losing his business to a cookie cutter surf shop.

4

blaplanet Oct. 3, 2013 @ 12:45 p.m.

mattchew7313 - you must be looking forward to your new job with Sun Diego

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mattchew7313 Oct. 3, 2013 @ 9:39 p.m.

Look the reality of this is that it is happening and really it is a good thing. We may come back as something else down the road. Here is how I am looking at this. As a business owner in retail. People do not come to down town, locals with shopping in mind. maybe food but not shopping. but now there will be something to draw them here to shop, as they are down here walking around with that mind set they will be more open to shopping the other stores. the food smells will always get them to stop and eat. But right now there is no reason for locals to come into down town. And how does another night club help that. If you look at the turn over of retail stors down town it is staggering. Face it Ocean House wanted out and I know this for a fact. because it was not working for them. And for everyone talking about weddings and the such really when was the last time the Belly Up had a weeding. If something like that went in it would destroy the interior of that building. Dave Nash and Sun Diego are San Diego locals and I know that they are working with the center to keep the inside looking great with a historic touch.

And yes I am the owner of Zories Flip Flop & Beachwear. Call me if you want more.

Matthew Harper Zories Flip Flop & Beachwear. 760-492-4049 www.zoriesshop.com

1

BadNeighborz Oct. 9, 2013 @ 11:38 a.m.

@mattchew7313 You're probably just kissing Sun Diego's A$$ to hopefully make a deal to sell your Zories out of all of his shops! No? Otherwise, YOUR position DOESN'T MAKE SENSE!!! WE LOCALS DON'T WANT THAT CHAIN SURF SHOP IN OUR DOWNTOWN!!! My name is Caleb Wilborn and my local SD rock reggae band is Bad Neighborz. We want to upgrade our local music venue / historical restaurant and keep the local music scene alive and see it grow. Check out our music video to see what REAL life "Sun Diego" is all about, not no cookie cutter chain shop pretend that you're cool cuz you're a tourist and you buy there... If this Sun Diego happens that's one more step towards turning North County into another Laguna Beach status town. I understand that Sun Diego will pay $7,000 more a month in rent but if money is always the deciding factor in life than were all destined to worship $$$ and at THAT point the REAL quality of life goes down. KEEP THE MUSIC & SOUL ALIVE http://www.badneighborz.com/sunnyd/ THANX C Bad Neighborz

1

alexxx Oct. 2, 2013 @ 11:17 p.m.

I feel having a complete surf shop in the area will benefit locals, tourist, and other small businesses such as all the local eateries in the area. This is the kind of store that will provide jobs, hire locals, and create a buzz in this community as they do with their Am Slam skate contest in mission beach. If you haven't had a chance to see it you're missing out. Every year I take my kids down there and they alway have a blast. They have a lot of core skate sponsors that help them out with that event such as Globe, Bones, Vans, Element, Enjoi to name a few. There aren't too many other shops that can draw this attn and give back to the community. I've been buying clothes, skateboards, and surfboards for my whole family from this shop for years and compared to other shops I sometimes go to, Sun Diego's customer is far above and beyond any other of those shops. There's no ego's that some of the others have. Just my 2 cents.

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MikeD Oct. 2, 2013 @ 11:22 p.m.

Ocean House [at night at least] was nothing but a local nightmare and the village a concentrated drunk tank for it. 300 loaded kids tossed out on the street at closing from the place every Friday and Saturday night to get picked up by cops just waiting for DUI and drunken disorderly busts. Plus the fights, public urination and occasional stabbings. The new place would've probably been more of the same--just with more people.

Turning the place into a surf shop will spread the kids out more. Less of a weekly disaster.

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EDGAR Oct. 3, 2013 @ 2:48 p.m.

You forgot to mention the Salsa nights, weddings, birthdays, school dances, Senior swing dance night, School of rock and the million other things we did for the community. You basically named all of downtown Carlsbad. Trying to pin us as the bad seed is typical of a clown who doesn't know and shouldn't comment.

4

NexxWins Oct. 3, 2013 @ 9:29 a.m.

I think Alex and Matt work for Sun Diego.

6

caseface666 Oct. 3, 2013 @ 12:56 p.m.

Having some national corporate clothing, "surf" shop, of overpriced bullshit for all the tourists and cookie cutter failures is the worst idea for carlsbad's prized Victorian three story building is one of the worst ideas I have ever heard. I understand Sun Diego popular and everyone wants to be in style or whatever but seriously, this is the last thing Carlsbad needs, it will put out the local surf shops that are actually surf shops, which is bad for the local economy. Having some national corporate clothing store taking their money they they make from tourists and send it outside of carlsbad. Having a North County equivalent of the Belly Up in Solana Beach would be great and would drive in more business, and consistent business that is, would be absolutely hands down far better than some bullshit corporate clothing massacre which is take Carlsbad revenue and sending it outside of Carlsbad.

2

Wabbitsd Oct. 3, 2013 @ 1:30 p.m.

Sun Diego? They are perfectly placed in Parkway Plaza.

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EDGAR Oct. 3, 2013 @ 1:35 p.m.

A lot of us put our blood, sweat and tears into Oceanhouse-Neimans. 9 1/2 years I spent running security there. Tried my hardest to be respectful and courteous amongst the occasional chaos. We all tried to...except the owners. We put on smiles when we shouldn't have. You all who are backing this notion that putting a corporate company into a historical landmark will save Carlsbad "village"?! Please. Why would tourists appreciate $60 t-shirts? There are enough over priced tourist traps in that complex to last a lifetime. Don't buy this whole firkin "village by the sea" crap. Carlsbad has a lot of hidden issues being swept under the rug DAILY!!! I've seen it and felt it first hand. sun diego is a bullshite company. There is one right down the street at the company outlet. Check it out. Support local shops is where this should go. Mike D? Really?!? Spread what kids out more?!? To go fight at the 8 other pubs that over serve and throw out YOUR children who don't know how to frikin act when they abuse shite?!?! Lame. Go back to Temecula. Hopefully the people that originally had the place will get it back. sun diego is a joke and a waste of space.

None

4

Reisse Oct. 3, 2013 @ 1:51 p.m.

I think those of you that are bad mouthing Sun Diego would best be served doing at least a little research into the matter. For starters they are not a "national" corporate company. In addition, this story couldn't be any more biased. I think the writer committed to many of the same illegitimate assumptions you all are before doing his homework.

0

sageofsantee Oct. 3, 2013 @ 1:55 p.m.

The fact that Neimans and Ocean House couldn't run a nightclub is not the point. Three wrongs don't make a right. The people of Carlsbad are hardcore about their heritage and quality of life. None of the city council people are going to support this. Sun Diego will get boycotted. Why did Sun Diego lose its lease at the Carlsbad Premium Outlets? They are leaving Premium Outlets. My friend in Carlsbad who told me all this says the city hasn't been so up in arms since the city built that cage by the sea 20 years ago and called it artwork. Heads rolled then. The excrement will hit the fan this time.

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sageofsantee Oct. 3, 2013 @ 2 p.m.

Hey Reisse...the writer tried to call the spokesman for Sun Diego twice who never called back. That is biased? Don't think so. If TV gets involved, don't think Sun Diego can continue to run and hide. Have you been seeing any of the stuff on Facebook about this? It seems the whole city of Carlsbad is "biased" against Sun Diego. This project will go down in flames. The so-called Belly Up North may just happen after all. You never know.

1

Kimberlybh_ Oct. 3, 2013 @ 2:54 p.m.

As a former employee of the Carlsbad/Oceanside group of bars/restaurants, I worked for years witnessing the locals eat, drink, and be merry. Whether doing the Carlsbad crawl, visiting from out of town to experience the North County flavor, or taking a break from a long week - everyone I served I considered not just a customer but a friend - and I feel a sense of loyalty, of pride, and of dedication to North County.

IF our beloved Ocean House is turned into a retail chain, this would not only deeply degenerate the quality of night life in North County - it would devastate the city residents, employees, and economy of the area.

If you want to do something to express your desire to have the Ocean House remain as a restaurant/bar venue, head over to:

https://www.change.org/petitions/save-ocean-house

And join the FB group

https://www.facebook.com/groups/403722956417227/

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mattchew7313 Oct. 3, 2013 @ 10:23 p.m.

By the way you can not save something that does not want to be saved. The one and only thing that is correct in the article above is that Ocean House wanted out. By the way they were cleared to move back in and reopen almost 2 month ago.

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Rawskin Oct. 3, 2013 @ 3:15 p.m.

I believe Sun Diego mostly has mall stores and it seems like that's where they belong. They are re-doing the Westfield Carlsbad mall on El Camino they should be looking into a location there! Bestawan Pizzaria just opened their second location there and has a great surf family atmosphere as well as a great following....Now that's where they can do the kind of business they need. The village dies after summer and for the volume they need to do I would advise them to reconsider if this craziness is really happening!

1

sageofsantee Oct. 3, 2013 @ 3:42 p.m.

Rawskin- EXACTLY! They are going to have to pay $1,000 a day in rent alone. I would love to know how they can pencil that out. I would also like to know why Sun Diego isn't talking. Maybe the deal isn't done yet, but they should at least be defending their brand.

0

Goons Oct. 3, 2013 @ 5:40 p.m.

Stating some facts. 1. Belly Up is in North County so this would be another "Belly Up" in North County. 2. Sun Diego is a North County San Diego based company. If this were a Tilly's, PacSun or Zumiez I would completely understand the "Nation Chain" boycott and would be right there with you. 3. "Having some national corporate clothing store taking their money they they make from tourists and send it outside of carlsbad.", Caseface666. see #2 4. Sun Diego has given back to the local surf and skate community since day one. AM Slam skate contests, their own Surf Series, sponsoring local surfers, not to mention the local high school events such as the High School surf contest put on at "North County" break Seaside Reef for the past few years. The last local thing that happened with any of the "core" Carlsbad shops is when Witt's had a vert ramp in the 80's and Tony Hawk and Gator came and skated. That was awesome. Oh, and I saw a sale rack outside of rawskin once.....that's kind of like giving back. 5. I am still pissed there is a Carls Jr, KFC and Jack in the Box in Carlsbad. Instead of listing anymore facts I am going to go picket outside of those national chains. 6. I lied.....one more.......biased journalism at it's finest. Is the Reader a Fox New affiliate now?

0

dkl Oct. 5, 2013 @ 10:05 a.m.

The last time you checked must have been 1985.

0

Cv760 Oct. 4, 2013 @ 12:41 a.m.

Dude...don't hate on Pipelines. People come from all over the place after all these years to get their pipelines shirts, sweatshirts, and stickers. Not to mention how much Witt helps out everyone by giving them trade in deals on surfboards and wetsuits, having the cheapest rental prices in town, and donating to local causes and events whenever he is asked. I've never seen him turn someone down. I'd call that giving back to the community.

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MikeD Oct. 3, 2013 @ 5:49 p.m.

Edgar, you said it best, They can go to 8 other pubs. Big deal.

0

sageofsantee Oct. 3, 2013 @ 6:34 p.m.

Goons, just so you know, "Belly Up North" was just their way of saying that it would be a big venue with big name acts LIKE the Belly Up. Can you get that? It would probably not be affiliated with Belly Up. If this was biased, then the other side's position would have been ignored. The Sun Diego guy was asked twice and he did not want to talk. Was he ashamed? He wouldn't even defend his brand? Really? He maybe could not have commented on this specific store since the lease wasn't signed yet, but he could have answered to all the people who seem to not like Sun Diego unless it is in a mall which is where they belong. Sun Diego has no business being in this building. There should no more be a Jack in the Box in this building than a Sun Diego. We are going to have Burger Kings. We're going to Jack in Boxes. And we are going to have Sun Diegos. But we'll be damned if we're going to have them in such an important place as this. Watch and see if your cheesy tourist store gets to go in here. And if they do they won't survive the boycott. What's next? A Hot Topic in Pizza Port? Sun Diego is to surf as hot topic is to punk. It's where posers and wannabes get to spend their money! Sounds to me like this group of local business people had a lot more on the ball than the out of town Sun Diego kooks.

0

interesting Oct. 3, 2013 @ 6:36 p.m.

Hmmm. As a former employee of Sun Diego, I find this move very interesting. The outlets have been a great spot for the Carlsbad branch of Sun Diego. I'm not sure the longtime residents of Carlsbad want, or need, an enormous surf shop that will undoubtedly put Witts, Raw Skin etc out of business. This venue would be much better served as an upscale, remodeled music venue. Can Sun Diego even afford to pay this kind of rent? They should start by giving their employees raises.....

1

john42 Nov. 3, 2013 @ 6:48 a.m.

I'm also a former Sun Diego employee and completely agree. I worked there for five years throughout college and the company treats their employees like shit.

0

sageofsantee Oct. 3, 2013 @ 6:54 p.m.

Well put "interesting!" And why did Sun Diego get kicked out of Premium outlets. It would be best if they just stayed there but apparently they cant. You know the locals will go batshit at city council meetings and in front of the media. Carlsbad was always laid back until the city put up the bars as art near Offshore 20 years ago. Then people got up and rattled cages and heads rolled. The bars came down. Carlsbad is too high quality to sit back and let this stuff happen. Every single person I talked to hates this idea. Hey, if that guy in the article wins and forces Sun Diego to stay out, I hope he runs for council again. Carlsbad needs people like him to get people off their ass and stand up for whats right.

0

mattchew7313 Oct. 3, 2013 @ 9:49 p.m.

One more bit of truth from someone that has had doings with the Carlsbad Outlet. We started Zories there as a kiosk. Let me tell you the cost is outrageous and they continue to squeeze the stores for more monies. Have you noticed the changes in the past year, where is the Chocolate Factory, The kids/toy store. They were pushed out when there lease was up with an incredible high increase. I know because our little kiosk at $2500.00 a month was going up to $3000.00 with them letting us know it would go up more on the next renewal. Well we were lucky enough to find the spot we have in the Village Fair. And I know that Sun Diego was seeing a big increase per square foot. so no they were not kicked out of the Outlets this is just smart business. By the way the next time you are at the Outlet give the hard working Kiosk guys and girls some of your time, don't just brush past them.

Look the reality of this is that it is happening and really it is a good thing. We may come back as something else down the road. Here is how I am looking at this. As a business owner in retail. People do not come to down town, locals with shopping in mind. maybe food but not shopping. but now there will be something to draw them here to shop, as they are down here walking around with that mind set they will be more open to shopping the other stores. the food smells will always get them to stop and eat. But right now there is no reason for locals to come into down town. And how does another night club help that. If you look at the turn over of retail stors down town it is staggering. Face it Ocean House wanted out and I know this for a fact. because it was not working for them. And for everyone talking about weddings and the such really when was the last time the Belly Up had a weeding. If something like that went in it would destroy the interior of that building. Dave Nash and Sun Diego are San Diego locals and I know that they are working with the center to keep the inside looking great with a historic touch.

And yes I am the owner of Zories Flip Flop & Beachwear. Call me if you want more.

Matthew Harper Zories Flip Flop & Beachwear. 760-492-4049 www.zoriesshop.com

0

Cv760 Oct. 4, 2013 @ 12:27 a.m.

I am born and raised in Carlsbad. I have no problem with sun Diego, and I guess would be fine with a Sun Diego in the village...I just have a HUGE problem with them moving into the Ocean House. It wouldn't be another night club...the owners of the ocean house didn't know what they were doing and weren't using the building to its full potential. This building could be something AMAZING, I wish I could buy it and show them how it's done. An awesome venue and restaurant would bring people to the village all year long...a sun Diego wouldn't. Regardless of where they're located, the busy times will always be: back to school, Black Friday-holidays, and then summer. That's it. Most people go to the mall for that anyways. If people do go downtown to do their shopping, I'd rather them go to Pipelines and Cindy's, not to Sun Diego. If they need to move into the village, fine. There's a vacant brand new building next to the new subway and super cuts. Occupy that, NOT the Ocean House. Many people grew up going to eat at the Ocean House/Neimans, got married there, had reunions and events there...and many people would like to someday bring their kids back there to show them where they had these memories. I met my fiancé there and I would like to one day have an anniversary celebrated there. Can't do that if its a retail store.

1

Mermama Oct. 4, 2013 @ 10:56 p.m.

As a Carlsbad native, I agree strongly that it is the historic importance of this building that shouldn't be sullied by an over-priced (or any kind) retail chain - you can have it all at the mall... LEAVE US THE TWIN INNS!!! Why can't we resurrect the Chickens??? I also certainly don't really care to try and save something that doesn't want saving - but if that's the case, let's get behind something that serves LOCALS that LOCALS will SUPPORT. We do not need a shop like that for tourists - let them stay at the outlet mall!!

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Sonyaa Oct. 5, 2013 @ 7:58 a.m.

I just heard about this on facebook, and can't believe that the city would let this happen. One would assume that they learned their lesson after the horrible mis-implementation of "the bars". Perhaps some zoning changes could be made to limit what can be done with the Twin Inns/Neiman's/Ocean House structure due to its historic nature.

While its current configuration would lend itself to an entertainment establish- ment, it is not set up to be a good retail sales outlet. It would be a waste of the architecture even if the building were not historic.

1

VillageTenant Oct. 7, 2013 @ 10:05 a.m.

It is unfortunate that the most vocal opponents of Sun Diego taking over the Twin Inns are speaking with emotion and no logic whatsoever. The arguments come off as ignorant and only serve to diminish the impact of your cause. We live in a nice, clean surf town that caters to families and tourists. If you’ve paid attention to the political landscape in this city you’d recognize that a large surf retailer would be far more accepted by those with clout / power than a nightclub/bar.

I’m a Carlsbad resident, local business owner, and customer of the local surf shops. I would prefer to see something other than Sun Diego occupy the space, but I’m not so delusional as to think that the city (ie Mayor, Council, etc) would be more supportive of “Belly Up North” than a large retailer that caters to tourists and beachgoers. Carlsbad has no desires to become a hot-spot for those looking to party. Other than the bands playing outside at Coyote, the downtown area is fairly quiet and very family-friendly at night. We are different than Encinitas and Oceanside by design. Belly Up is my favorite music venue by far, and the idea of having something like that a very short cab ride away sounds great, but it would dramatically change the dynamic of our village and I don’t believe that the political powers in this town would stand to see that happen. I recognize that some people would love Carlsbad to become a party town, but don’t believe for a second that you share the popular opinion.

Someone tell me why a beach-culture, locally-owned company would not be a fit in downtown Carlsbad. We market ourselves as a surf/beach town to attract critical tourist dollars. Has the presence of Jack’s Surf Shop right on the beach in Huntington ruined their downtown? Has it prohibited the other 13 surf shops within a 5 block radius from surviving or even thriving? Jack’s has the same number of locations as Sun Diego (9); neither are a national “Walmart-type” retailer. All of Sun Diego’s locations are in San Diego County. Those of us that are local surfers will still shop at Witt’s, Offshore, Warm Waters, Seaworthy, Raw Skin, unless Sun Diego truly becomes part of our community and earns our business.

The property owner, SIMA is a for-profit company and they have every right to seek out an exorbitant rent for this premium space. With that in mind, and recognizing that the city would prefer something other than a nightclub there, what are your logical ideas for possible tenants that can actually afford the rent? Anyone have a better idea than Sun Diego? I’d love to hear it along with why you believe the tenant would be able to survive and provide long-term revenue to SIMA and the city.

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sageofsantee Oct. 7, 2013 @ 12:32 p.m.

Village Tenant, your small mindedness suggest that 1919 would be just another bar like Ocean House or Niemans, both of which needed to go. They are gone, and the plan was to bring an upper class venue which would bring major names to Carlsbad. If this was about just another bar there, you would be correct. That wasn't the case. The ABC had already posted an intent to pass liquor license ownership from Ocean House to 1919, so there was no question that it wouldn't go through. You are obviously someone who works for Sun Diego who is trying to circle the wagons in anticipation of the torrent of public protest that is about to erupt. Plus, it will come out that our city leaders do in fact like the concept of a Belly Up North in Carlsbad if it is run correctly. This will eventually come out, proving you are the ignorant one here. When the bars came, the people of Carlsbad organized, protested and won. The bars came down. Same here, the people of Carlsbad don't want you in the Twin Inns building, and trust me, one way or another this will not work out for Sun Diego. You are forcing something down the throats of locals and it will not work out for you in the end. Just go to any restaurant in Carlsbad and see what people are saying. More importantly, see how pissed off they are.

1

sageofsantee Oct. 7, 2013 @ 12:36 p.m.

SIMA is an out of town private company that somehow managed to buy the Twin Inns. The fact you know that SIMA is all caps proves you work for Sun Diego. Which is fine. Good luck

1

Ken Leighton Oct. 7, 2013 @ 1:18 p.m.

I wrote the article. It seems like Village Tenant and Sage of Santee both have some relevant information. Of course the City of Carlsbad has historically had an issue with loud and unruly bars over the last 15 years or so. And there were in fact problems with both the Ocean House and Niemans as far as violence and underage kids etc. But part of the story that got edited out was a quote from Carlsbad City Councilman Keith Blackburn. One of his quotes was to the effect that he didn't see that having Sun Diego in the Twin Inns building would have any more or less historic significance than Ocean House. BUT he did say that he loves the Belly Up and why wouldn't Carlsbad want to have a Belly Up style venue? But he said only if problems with parking and noise were resolved (meaning there weren't any) and that it didn't have any problems like its bar predecessors did, would he support it. Village Tenant's assertion that city leaders would automatically be against a "Belly Up North" is simply not true. Blackburn also said that he didn't think the City of Carlsbad could actually do anything to stop a Sun Diego in the Twin Inns even if it wanted to be there since zoning in that area would not preclude it, and that city government can not tell an entity it has to take less in rent. Based on the overwhelming social media response to the article, I would suggest Sun Diego's biggest problem would not be with the City of Carlsbad but with the citizens of Carlsbad. No one seems to care that Sun Diego is in its current Premium Outlet location in Carlsbad. But boy is there some strong reaction against opening one in Twin Inns. In fairness it should be noted that the building is owned by a Santa Barbara company, but that Sun Diego is actually headquartered in Carlsbad and its principal owner David Nash is a regular at local establishments.

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VillageTenant Oct. 7, 2013 @ 2:14 p.m.

I don't work for SIMA or Sun Diego, I've been an tenant of SIMA twice in the last 10 years, both times right here in Village Faire. After writing enough checks out to their name, I'll never forget to use all caps. I actually stated in my previous comment that I'd prefer something other than Sun Diego come to the Village and would be interested in your suggestions, Sage.

It sounds like 1919 is not an option due to the report that they aren't getting calls back from SIMA, so instead of arguing why we should have "Belly Up North" in the Village, your efforts would probably be better focused on encouraging SIMA to find an alternative.

I did not say that the city leaders would be automatically against 1919, rather that I don't believe they would be more in favor of that than a large retailer. Reason being Ken's reference to the historical challenges with violence, underage kids, and parking. Mr Blackburn's assertion that he would support a music venue if there were no parking or noise problems is no small asterisk. I suspect that drawing "major names to Carlsbad" via 1919 would in fact lead to those very challenges.

So, instead of arguing for something that SIMA doesn't appear inclined to do, why not come up with suggestions that suit their need for high rent and our desire for something more appropriate for the spot.

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sageofsantee Oct. 7, 2013 @ 3:02 p.m.

SIMA WAS inclined to lease to 1919 since they signed a contract with 1919 but then voided it later when Sun Diego came in with more money. The ABC gave tentative approval because they posted a transfer notice. Plus you can not compare Ocean House which couldn't even charge an admission because the city wouldn't let them, with the Belly Up which has security and rarely has any problems. Ocean House also let in under 21 people and they sometimes hosted rap shows. Of course Ocean House's style of doing business never belonged there. The Belly Up tends to not get problems with people paying $20, $40 or $90 (Jimmy Buffett) compared to a place that did hip hop and didn't even charge a cover. Can't you get that? Just because Ocean House was a mess, does not mean 1919 would be as reckless. You can not compare the two. I predict Sun Diego will eventually exit the Twin Inns because the upcoming public boycott of Sun Diego, and because the $1,000 day a month rent is impossible to consider realistic. THEN maybe the 1919 guys can come back in with their realistic business model. If that large of a room can be used to sell drinks to 300-400 people, that place would make a lot more business sense than for some Riverside tourist who buys a T-shirt here and there. Anyway, you can't be a part of Carlsbad and tell me you've not heard any backlash against this.

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mimidrivesfast Oct. 16, 2013 @ 9:35 a.m.

While I agree that Sun Diego isn't a "major chain", as a third generation resident of Olde Carlsbad, I would be extremely sad to see them occupy this beautiful space. The Village already has a few legitimate, family-owned surf shops in the immediate vicinity (Carlsbad Pipeline and Offshore immediately come to mind) that would be negatively impacted should a store like that come in. Sun Diego already has a store in the outlet mall a few miles away. I believe that is a more proper location for them. It seems such a shame for an amazing building like that to be wasted on a company that adds no real value to the culture of the Village.

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