Downtown San Diego Stories

4th & beyond

With the court’s recent 4th&B verdict, will Public Enemy still take the stage at the downtown venue on December 12?

Bay dreams

Good and ghastly ideas for our waterfront

What could we do with our waterfront, if we really put our thinking caps on?

Horton Plaza Project Approved, but Planned Art Unfunded

The San Diego City Council on November 13 unanimously approved authorization to “advertise, bid, award, and construct” the multimillion-dollar Horton Plaza Improvement Project. The council acted in its role as the successor agency to the ...

Queen Cheese

The Cheese Shop doesn’t specialize in cheese, they were too embarrassed to tell Mr. Cleese.

New Agency Head Touts Centre City Development Corp.

The San Diego City Council on October 23 unanimously approved the mayor's appointment of Jeff Graham as Civic San Diego's new president. Graham had been vice president of redevelopment at the disbanded Centre City Development ...

Pharmacy Identifies Pill Thief

Shortly before 3:00 p.m. on Monday, October 22, the San Diego Police Department received a report of a robbery from the Sixth Avenue Pharmacy, located at 2121 Fifth Avenue, downtown. By 3:15, half a dozen ...

More Than the Dish or the Deal

Restaurants you can take to heart.

There are some places that you kinda take to heart. They’re more than the dish or the deal. Something clicks about the people and the place, and you want to come back and be a part of it. These are just some.

First Lutheran Church of San Diego

Interview with Wilbert “Wilk” Miller of First Lutheran Church of San Diego, in its 125th year.

Fight Breaks Out at House of Blues Hives Show

The Hives, a Swedish rock band, performed at the House of Blues downtown on the evening of Monday, October 8. Toward the end of their raucous set, a fight broke out in front of the ...

Torta Trundlers

Bolillo aims to be as big with their tortas as Chipotle is with burritos.

No Glowing Review on Hotel Sandford’s Renovation

The renovation of the Hotel Sandford at 1301 Fifth Avenue is complete. (click here to see article from 2010). I dropped by unannounced on September 22 to take a look. While the hotel interior looks ...

Vigil for Ambassador Stevens in downtown San Diego

A group of Arab Americans held a candlelight vigil downtown at Fourth and Broadway on the evening of September 15. The event was billed as an "Emergency Vigil in Honor of U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens,” ...

Sonoma County Supervisor Arrested at Downtown Nightclub

It wasn’t the first time this year that someone left a rap concert downtown on a stretcher. What made the Labor Day brawl unusual was the identity of one of the players. Not Rayan Jastaniyah, ...

Unconscious Woman at Bus Stop

Shortly after 2 p.m. on September 3, San Diego Fire-Rescue Department paramedics and a Rural/Metro ambulance responded to a 911 call regarding an unconscious female at Fourth Avenue and Broadway. Upon arrival, emergency personnel found ...

Scum-Sucking Ticket Scalpers

Ticket scalpers! Besides Ticketmaster, they are enemy number one to any concert goer. The other night I attended the Alabama Shakes concert at the House of Blues. Luckily, I was able to get in, but ...

Magic Tacos

Fond Comic-Con memories and a cod-taco plate at Tin Fish Gaslamp.

“First time I came here, the streets were for sailors and streetwalkers.”

No Witnesses as Car Hits Pedestrians Near Downtown Library

Two female pedestrians were struck by a car and injured in a crosswalk at the intersection of Ninth Avenue and E Street at approximately 5:30 p.m. on August 13. The victims, believed to have been ...

Smartphone Thief Busted at Horton Plaza

On July 26, three uniformed San Diego police officers, their supervisor, and a detective responded to a theft report near Horton Plaza to investigate another in a series of ten to fifteen mobile-phone thefts in ...

“Safe Access Now!” Shout Pro-Pot Protesters at Downtown Rally

An estimated 50 people showed up in front of the downtown Federal Courthouse on Wednesday, July 25, to protest the closing of medical marijuana dispensaries countywide. The rally, held at noon, was directed against federal ...

Onyx Room's French Martini

There’s a fine line that Onyx Room bartenders walk between time and taste. According to Onyx Room bartender Nathan Colonero, this nightclub’s bartenders pride themselves on being able to deliver smart concoctions and efficient service. ...

Planning for the Weekend: Which Speakeasy?

San Diego is home to a couple of speakeasy bars, including Prohibition and Noble Experiment. These places are exclusive, and hidden. My husband reserved 4 spots a couple months back at Noble Experiment, and it ...

Our Generation

“Urban India, in places like Mumbai — Bombay — is going Vadoosh! You’d say ‘Kaboom!’”

What’s with this “Urban” thing? There’s “Urbn,” the bar-eatery in North Park, “Urban Eats” on Fifth Avenue in Hillcrest, and now “Urban India,” near the Gaslamp. I noticed it walking down Fourth toward Broadway the ...

Sheryl Oring to Stimulate Dialogue at Lindbergh Field

The newspaper business, not to mention the art world, has come to this: a former reporter and editor with the San Francisco Chronicle and copy editor with the New York Times turned performance artist has ...

Man Under Amtrak Train Sought Readmission to Mental Hospital

San Diego police arrived at the Santa Fe Depot on Kettner Boulevard at about 12:40 a.m. on April 11, after an Amtrak employee called 911 to report a man sitting on the rails underneath a ...

Hard Rock Gives It Away Now

Since October of last year, the Hard Rock Hotel has hosted a once-a-month concert featuring headliners that would normally play Casbah or Belly Up. And the shows are free. The Soundcheck concert series is held ...

Redeveloped Ethics

The Downtown San Diego Partnership, a pro-redevelopment lobbying group run by Kris Michell, ex–chief of staff to GOP mayors Susan Golding and Jerry Sanders, quietly settled up with the City’s Ethics Commission last month. Seems ...

A New Gaijin-neration

I wasn’t sure what to think when I first heard about Gaijin Noodle + Sake House. Taken literally, the word “gaijin” means “foreigner.” In actual usage, it means “non-Japanese.” But growing up in Hawaii, “gaijin,” ...

Full-On Party at Athens Market

“We never ask for anything in particular. Rosie just brings us what she feels like.”

"Kurios arene,” says Dave Rawley. He’s a Bible scholar carrying three heavy, worn Bibles. At least one’s in classical Greek. He’s been sitting and studying them over his Greek chicken, in the corner of the ...

Stout Public House

Being a hockey fan in San Diego is like being a cow tipper in Delhi, which is to say, lonely. Sure, despite their Cool Runnings disadvantage (watch the movie), the Gulls were an impressive flock ...

Wyland’s Downtown Whaling Wall Threatened by High-Rise

Construction has begun on the Ariel Suite Apartments, a 22-story downtown development in the parking lot of the U.S. Bank (formerly San Diego National Bank) building at the corner of Kettner and Beech. An artist's ...

Downtown Affordable Housing Project Likely to Languish for Lack of Funds

“The Atmosphere” low-income apartment complex planned for the long-abandoned Cortez “hole” site may not be built. The nonprofit Wakeland Housing & Development Corporation is the developer. Wakeland previously purchased the dirt-filled site, then resold it ...

Gelati Rainbow

“We brought these Oscartielle machines from Italy. We wanted this to be real.”

It’s the word that stops me. A new word on the awning of this old place. “Cremalose.” Huh? This is the San Diego Hardware building. The 100-year-old curved-glass windows of what was once a Woolworth’s ...

Clean and Safe Hires a Consultant

In 2009, a few downtown residents discovered that they, along with over 2600 other downtown property owners, had been overcharged by the property and business improvement district in which they lived. The assessment district, also ...

Wild Pile at Lion Coffee

“We’re not into coffeehouses like you. But you’d probably ask for a soup.”

Anastasia from Vladivostok brings my waffle. Melissa — her family is from Guam — hands me my coffee. The coffee’s Kona, from Hawaii. The waffle is from…heaven. Sigh. Love a surprise. Here I was, ambling ...

Who's Dick?

“Maybe it was a small gator,” I say. Maybe she’ll bang my face on the counter...

"Don’t rush me!” Dion’s voice cuts through the noise. She’s barking at a customer who wants to pay up and go. “Besides, you haven’t drunk enough yet. We have rules!” Dion walks away muttering, under ...

Occupy San Diego Protester Recounts Alleged Police Brutality

Occupy San Diego’s three-month anniversary on January 7 was a cause for celebration for dozens of activists who marched from Children’s Park to the Civic Center to participate in a rally. Activists, however, are calling ...

Analog Bar

Analog Bar’s slogan — “Good Food Strong Drinks” — is spot-on. The nu-retro music-themed bar’s cocktails are mixed (and priced) aggressively. The food is creative and, yeah, good, but not great, especially at prices that ...

The Convention Center Liars

"Even in the face of the current economic downturn, the San Diego Convention Center continues to deliver significant benefits to the greater San Diego region,” boasted the center in its 2010 annual report. Do not ...

Deficit Dollar Art

The U.S. government may be laden with debt, but that hasn’t kept the feds from looking for an artist to help ornament the soon-to-be completed Broadway courthouse downtown. “In addition to a new courthouse, the ...

Contentious Corner

Ali Nilforshan says he will be taking back 4th&B, the downtown venue he owned from 2003 to 2009. The current owners, Vince and Judy Puma, say that is not going happen. Nilforshan says he sold ...

Steve Peace Rakes in $160,000 From Prison Guards

An El Cajon firm headed by former Democratic state senator Steve Peace has been raking in big bucks from the California Correctional Peace Officers Association. According to state campaign finance disclosure records, J.S. Peace & ...

After 80 Years, San Diego’s Greyhound Terminal Moves

The Greyhound bus terminal — at 120 W. Broadway for the past 80 years — moved to 1313 National Avenue on November 14. Greyhound’s lease expired on October 1, so the company has leased a ...

Downtown Johnny Brown’s

“We were the first bar to have Arrogant Bastard,” says Downtown Johnny Brown’s owner Todd Alexander. “Stone had their release party here. John Brown really embraced the local beer movement. When I bought the bar ...

Taking Back 4th&B

The former owner of 4th&B, the 1500-capacity downtown concert venue, says he is in the process of taking the club back from its current owner and that he is suing Live Nation, the concert promoter ...

A Creative Interpretation of Airport Operations

It’s not exactly the way Leonardo da Vinci got his start, but the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority is looking for an “artist in residence,” to be paid “not to exceed” $8000 for three ...

Downtown Bank of America Closes Due to Protesters

Downtown's Bank of America branch on B Street shut down early on the afternoon of October 20 out of safety concerns: approximately 25 protesters, most part of the Occupy San Diego movement, staged a peaceful ...

San Diego City Council Responds to County Grand Jury Assertion That New City Hall Is Unnecessary

The San Diego City Council voted 6-1 on October 4 to adopt a resolution, responding to the San Diego County Grand Jury report that a new city hall is not needed. The resolution authorized the ...

Affordable Housing Project Delayed by California Supreme Court

After the Cortez “hole” was finally filled and chainlink-fenced in August 2010 (click here for background), the plan was to transform the empty lot owned by the San Diego Redevelopment Agency into a paved and ...

Will Sleep on Floor for Comic-Con 2012 Tickets

About 2400 Comic-Con attendees crowded into a ballroom at the Manchester Grand Hyatt hotel every morning of the world’s largest comic convention July 21–24, some arriving as early as 1:00 a.m. They were there to ...

San Diego Judges Allowed to Park in Red Zone?

On July 22 in downtown San Diego, several expensive cars and SUVs pulled up to the red curb in front of the Family Court building at 1555 Sixth Avenue and parked. A man who identified ...