Hillcrest Stories

How Hillcrest sidestepped Uptown planners

Is the business district flouting the law?

The Hillcrest Business Improvement District has added community planning to its list of responsibilities. In June 2016, Ben Nicholls, executive director for the Hillcrest Business Association, the nonprofit that manages the local business improvement district, ...

Hillcrest Cinema's summer remodel

Complete with electric leather recliners

Changes are in the offing at Landmark’s Hillcrest Cinemas that include the addition of electronic seats, a lobby makeover, reserved seating, alcohol, and even newly designed finishes and fixtures to make every bathroom encounter feel ...

Industrial Grind Coffee, six years and four storefronts later

From retired, to coffee shop owner, to coffee bean roaster, to breadmaker

Hillcrest coffee roaster Industrial Grind Coffee opened its second Hillcrest shop at the beginning of July — its fourth overall. Long-time couple Kathy Hansen and Barbara Jeanine opened the first Industrial Grind on Park Avenue ...

Hillcrest's Uptown Planners wonder wtf

City and developers aim to build ten-story buildings

If a community spends seven years working on a plan to define its own identity and how it will grow, gives its final draft — full of difficult compromises — to the City of San ...

It can cleanse fish-and-chips with just one sip

Vinavanti Urban Winery’s BPN blanc de noir

Vinavanti Urban Winery’s tasting notes for their BPN get it mostly right. The quirky, pseudo blanc de noirs do indeed taste of raw cranberries and just-ripe raspberries. They fail to mention the green apple tint, ...

Hillcrest historical district plan wiped out

"I am outraged, as a resident of Hillcrest and as a gay man."

The nearly 20-year-old proposal to designate portions of Hillcrest as a historical district was scrapped on Friday, June 10. The City of San Diego released the community plan update on its website. A 60-day countdown ...

Vintage Henry

Mrs. Henry goes "one-hundred percent analog" on new double-record set

“We recorded this album one hundred percent analog with engineer Jordan Andreen at Audio Design Recording here in San Diego,” says Daniel Cervantes of Mrs. Henry’s upcoming self-titled two-volume set. “Tracked on vintage gear, while ...

Trying Trust again

Does it fare better the second time?

[Note: Ian Pike gave Trust a try on March 31.] When I first saw the sign for Trust restaurant, I rolled my eyes a little. Was this yet another one of those hippie-dippy joints where ...

Hillcrest Wienerschnitzel kaput

New coffee spot for the old A-frame?

The Wienerschnitzel outlet at 101 W. Washington Street has vacated its yellow A-frame home. The tiny 385-square-foot building is boarded up, tagged with graffiti, and has no “for lease” or “for sale” signs on the ...

A teepee for Blau

B-ball great Bill Walton lends his Balboa Park–adjacent backyard for music video shoot

While Bill Walton’s son Luke is getting all the media attention for being named the Los Angeles Lakers’ new head coach, his backyard teepee stars in a new music video. “Bill was so nice to ...

The one-way on Albatross is about to go the other way

"There's not much reason for anybody to be on that street."

Albatross Drive — a 500-foot long, one-way street near UCSD Medical Center — is taking a turn for the better, at least in the minds of at least 79 percent of the street's residents. With ...

Mission Hills/Hillcrest Library project may start this year

A look at the “snail’s pace” timeline

Although the City of San Diego bought the site for the new Mission Hills/Hillcrest branch library in 2003 for $2.1 million and funding was finally completed in May 2014, construction is not yet ready to ...

Gay Pride kilt case isn't over yet

City pulls ace card in effort to halt reinstatement by appeals court

The City of San Diego is calling on federal judges from nine states and two U.S. territories — the areas that make up the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals — to overturn an appellate-court decision ...

India Street "speedway" under consideration

Airport authority and city plan for a fourth lane

Residents and business owners from Middletown (south of Mission Hills) showed up angry and worried at a neighborhood meeting held at Joyce Beers Community Center Tuesday night (April 5) to ask why no one told ...

Trust is the issue

Hillcrest newcomer has presentation skills and not much else

It seems like everyone wants to be at Hillcrest’s Trust, ordering expensive hipster nibbles and struggling to be heard above the din (though in all fairness we are assured that the installation of noise baffles ...

Good news/bad news for bees

”Jesse just saved a swarm in Hillcrest which contained 50,000 bees.”

Bee colonies have been dying at such alarming rate that even Honey Nut Cheerios has temporarily done away with their bee mascot Buzz in an effort to raise awareness. So what to do? Jesse Adcock, ...

Tasting beer at Hillcrest Farmers Market

New law means free samples now include berries, avocados, and beer

As of January 1, a new California law went into effect allowing beer companies to pour tasting samples at certified farmers' markets. Sunday, March 13, Hillcrest Farmers Market became the first in San Diego to ...

Sushi the size of a burro

Rolled Up goes big with raw fish

When I heard fusion burrito-sushi rolls were being served in Hillcrest, I made it my next meal. Rolled Up recently opened in a storefront with a history of failed burrito shops. Its predecessors built burritos ...

Bikers can take a hike

Business districts resist giving up parking spaces for bicycle lanes

Little Italy's Business Improvement District prefers to preserve parking spaces rather than allocate street space for bike lanes through the heart of the district. In a February 23 letter to business owners and residents, Little ...

Click it, drink it

Growing number of services deliver beer to your door

Home-delivery service has become one of the tech industry's fastest growing sectors, and while its primary focus has been restaurant-prepared meals, beer and liquor are increasingly on the agenda. Over the past several months, several ...

Former diner to become beauty mall

The Hive to take the place of Harvey Milk's on University Avenue

When Harvey Milk's American Diner closed in October 2014, the space attracted interest from other restaurateurs, including Phil Pace (of Phil's BBQ fame), but nothing panned out. The building's interior has been gutted to its ...

Hillcrest hashes high-rise housing heights

Does this make uptown homes more affordable? Or less?

A group of property owners in Hillcrest want the freedom to build higher residential and commercial buildings. And if that freedom isn’t granted, members of the newly formed Uptown Gateway Council warn, local housing prices ...

Party's over, go to sleep

Former site of consecutive nightclub failures to become mattress store

The long-empty space that housed three former nightclubs in Hillcrest will open as a Sleep Train mattress store in April. This was confirmed December 31 by Jennifer Ritchie, with Sleep Train's PR firm, Revolution Public ...

Dutch Crunch and Dirty Sauce

San Francisco sends sandwiches via Ike's Place

I recall back in the mid-'90s, some Bay Area transplants I knew assured me the arrival of fast casual sandwich chain Togo's, expanding into southern California at the time, was going to change the way ...

All about that shawarma

Lunch (and leftovers) at Aladdin's

I’m not sure why I never made it into Aladdin before now. I walk by it at least once a week on my way to Trader Joe’s in Hillcrest, so it’s not like I didn’t ...

It’s like being in France

La Bonne Table brings Provence (and great cheese) to Hillcrest

When I think of France, I think of food: real food, fresh food, quality food. Freshly baked baguettes, perfectly ripened cheeses, savory charcuterie, and of course the Mother sauces: béchamel, espagnole, hollandaise, and allemande. Even ...

The Aliens is just part-time work

Slacker tale an uneven experience at Ion Theatre

“This is important,” playwright Annie Baker writes in a note for The Aliens, “at least a third – if not half – of this play is silence. Pauses should be at least three full seconds ...

Campy Kings

San Diego's drag Kings keep on keeping on

Halloween may be gone for a year, but dressing up and performing like famous singers is a nonstop pursuit for one of San Diego’s longest-running shows. “We are the oldest, continuously running drag-king show in ...

From thrift to spiff in Hillcrest

Apartments to take place of Thrift Trader building

The building in Hillcrest that previously housed Legends Furniture store, then a Revivals thrift shop, and currently a Thrift Trader, will be razed. No demolition date has been set. Property owner FoundationForForm, a San Diego ...

The first 100 to Rakitori get free ramen

Japanese Pub opens in Hillcrest

David and I have been meaning to stop by the new Rakitori Japanese Pub & Grill on University Avenue since we first saw the sign go up nearly three months ago. When we made it ...

About 145 more cars can jam into Hillcrest

Plan afoot to institute angled parking on wider streets

Parking has been the number-one problem expressed by Hillcrest residents for years. On October 2, Luke Terpstra, chair of the Hillcrest Town Council, talked to me about the problem. "We have a thriving business district ...

Teaching moments with the maestro

Ion Theatre's Master Class takes on Maria Callas

It’s 1971. We’re on a stage at the Juilliard School of Music, where Maria Callas will teach a master class on “The Lyric Tradition” to aspiring young singers. Callas is past her prime in art ...

Jackson Boone's hippie heart

Portlandian touring through town with his second set of psych-folk, Natural Changes

Starlit has been called one of the best new releases to come out of Portland in the past year. The song collection centers around Jackson Boone’s new-found sobriety, they say. Whatever. Here is a singer/songwriter ...

Longtime sex-toy shop shuts down in Hillcrest

The Crypt is sealed

The Crypt, a sex toy/fetish shop at 3847 Park Boulevard, has shut its doors. Today an eviction notice was seen on the front door of the establishment. The “pay rent or surrender possession” document indicates ...

Crêpe crap out

Stumbling upon Bino’s Bistro & Crêperie

When you circle the block a few times to find parking in Hillcrest and then find a 30-minute space for an errand that lasts all of five minutes, do you leave straight away? Me neither. ...

Poké Go brings Hawaii to Hillcrest

When it comes to poké, all that matters is that the fish is fresh and tasty

I’m probably not the only person in town with a poké-salad obsession, which should bode well for a new shop that soft opened in Hillcrest a couple of weeks ago. Poké Go turns the cubed ...

Last Call: West Side Story, Parlour Song

Two quality shows must close this Sunday. One enjoyed an extended run. The other deserved one.

West Side Story. “Here come the Jets like a bat out of hell, someone gets in our way, someone don’t feel so well!” Lamb’s Players excellent show has enjoyed an extended run with good reason: ...

No buffer zones

In Parlour Song at Backyard Renaissance, sea beasts lurk and rove below a mirror-still surface

Toward the end of Jez Butterworth’s eerie, Pinteresque Parlour Song, Dale ruminates. What if you find a door in your house you never knew was there before. “Would you open it?” Ned blows up buildings ...

Vinyl ruins

There may be some gold records to be found in Thrift Trader's giveaways

As previously reported by the Reader, the mezzanine in the Hillcrest location of Thrift Trader collapsed early in the morning (around 4 a.m.) on June 22. The collapse was due to the weight of vinyl ...

Annual Shame parade attracts record number of participants, but no spectators

Parade organizer: "Frankly, we'd prefer to keep it that way."

SOMETIME AFTER PRIDE, HILLCREST — There are no banners at the Shame parade. No floats. No music. No smiling politicians, eager to latch on to the general good feeling. And no spectators, save for the ...

Pernicano's out

Hotel likely to fill space now occupied by longtime-closed restaurants

If all goes according to plan, a new hotel will eventually rise on the Hillcrest property where once stood Pernicano's and Casa di Baffi restaurants. The property fronts on both Fifth and Sixth avenues in ...

Vinyl avalanche!

Hillcrest Thrift Trader breaks records — a lot of them

Around 4 a.m. on Monday, June 22, a mezzanine in the Hillcrest location of Thrift Trader (1644 University Avenue) collapsed — apparently due to excessive weight from old, boxed vinyl records. Merchandise and debris from ...

Between rock and an earthquake

San Diego musicians gather at the Merrow on a night for Nepal

“I wanted to get involved in putting together a benefit for Nepal when I learned that a second large earthquake had hit the area, only two weeks after the first,” Steph Johnson informs the Reader, ...

Miles away from the legend

Ion Theatre searches for the reality behind the drama with Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill

Were she still alive, Billie Holiday would have turned 100 last April. That would have surprised the hell out of “Lady Day,” since she lived an epic life and died July 17, 1959, of complications ...

The Mole Grail

Ortega’s chicken mole is the gold standard

Each time I am seated right away upon arriving at Ortega’s (which is every time), I’m amazed I didn’t have to make my way through a crush of people waiting to get in. I can ...

Hillcrest loves them some cars

Revised Uptown bike corridor plan up for a vote June 5

The business owners and small group of residents who opposed turning University Avenue into a more pedestrian-friendly street appear to have won over planners of the San Diego Association of Governments. During a June 5 ...

Some Fresh Catch catches better than others

Salmon burger satisfies, oysters not so much

Casual fish counters have become San Diego’s signature seafood concept. With the longtime success and rising Food Network profiles of shops such as Blue Water Seafood Market and Point Loma Seafoods, similar restaurants have sprung ...

Ion goes all-out

Hillcrest-based company plans quadruple-header to select NYC-bound work — plus BBQ

The idea could cause vertigo: on Saturday, April 25, Ion Theatre will stage-read four new plays starting at 11:00 a.m. Each script has already been work-shopped with readings and feedback from preview audiences. And it’s ...

Get away, stay local: a weekend in Uptown

Staycation in Hillcrest, Balboa, North Park and environs.

My best weekend getaway is when I leave my car parked on the street outside my apartment in Hillcrest from 4 p.m. on Friday afternoon til Monday morning at 7: Friday Friday afternoon I go ...

Hillcrest Business Association awards contracts to its own president

Business leader Johnathan Hale has no comment about the no-bid contracts for his business.

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