Hillcrest Stories

Whew! Heritage Organisation says it’s okay

Historic Hillcrest hospital to become Japanese restaurant

The former Kelly's Treasures antiques and collectibles store at 801 University Avenue in Hillcrest is closed, and a sign says it's under renovation by AK Pro Construction Co. of Torrance. It will become a Japanese ...

Bylaws and sweethearts in Hillcrest

The Hillcrest Business Improvement Association has been forced to rescind what has been an effective method at keeping whistleblowers or other non-desirables from becoming a member or joining its board. That strategy? Rewrite the bylaws. ...

Monday thru Sunday suds soirées

Local beer events happening June 23 to June 30

June 23 | Beer U: Sensory Evaluation: There’s more to beer analysis than sipping and swirling. Join Stone Brewing Co. research manager Steve Gonzalez as he teaches students to differentiate between styles and detect defects ...

Homeless and at home in Hillcrest

He said he was slightly retarded, blind in one eye, and deaf in one ear.

The first time I saw him he was stumbling out from behind a bush near the Starbucks on University Avenue telling anyone who would listen that it was his birthday and he was 60. He ...

Shadow Mountain church sets up in Hillcrest

Here comes the light to "what would be a dark, dark neighborhood"

The evangelical Shadow Mountain Community Church of El Cajon now occupies the Grace Campus at 3844 Georgia Street in Hillcrest, the former site of Grace Baptist Church. Pastor David Jeremiah's views are similar to the ...

Backpacker fave lost in translation

But the macarons do it every time.

Making a sandwich from three ingredients takes a lot of brass. But mostly it takes three pretty terrific ingredients, and clearly one of them is going to be bread. So what do you get when ...

Bacon & Barrels

Top events and things to do in San Diego this week, May 29–June 4

Porcelain, a pure white, high-firing clay that at its finest has the translucency and resonance of glass, was first discovered in China. There it was formed into elegant vessels for the nobility and later produced ...

Big donations help fund Mission Hills/Hillcrest library

To replace Mission Hills Branch Library, built in 1961

The San Diego City Council on May 20 unanimously accepted $10 million from two donors ($5 million each) to complete funding for the long-overdue Mission Hills/Hillcrest Branch Library. The San Diego Public Library Foundation had ...

Art scavengers to sift Hillcrest

Stashed canvases of Louiegee “Strider” Faustino lead to free publicity

Artist Louiegee “Strider” Faustino hides his work for you to find. In a scavenger hunt he calls “The Lost Cause,” he has a populist vision of an art that is for everyone, can be seen ...

Have it both ways at 100 Wines

Hillcrest eatery adapts to near-vegan diet while serving great pork belly

My wife is vegan. Actually, she’s a vegetarian who doesn’t eat dairy. Since she has long ago made peace with the fact that I don’t care what I put in my body, we get along ...

Love without reason

Ion gets heartbeat-close for Passion

Fosca blazes with such fervor that her fierce, unconditional devotion appears grotesque.

Hillcrest hat trick

Three bold styles on the streets of Uptown

Some of the best shopping found in Hillcrest begins on the 3800 block of Fifth Avenue and runs through the 3900 block of Fifth. On that stretch you will find Buffalo Exchange, Lost and Found, ...

Hazardous waste and asthma? What hazardous waste and asthma?

Barrio Logan community plan proponents aim anew at ship industry

A group of labor and environmental activists gathered Wednesday morning, April 23, outside the UCSD Medical Center in Hillcrest to kick off a campaign in support of Propositions B and C, which will be put ...

Three years until Hillcrest fire station is replaced

In 2013, personnel responded to over 4500 calls

San Diego Fire Station 5 at University and Ninth avenues, is small, has asbestos, and is understaffed, but it still shoulders a full load. Placed into service in 1951, the Hillcrest station serves an area ...

For better or worse: the late-night Cali burrito

Go-to post-bar staple wins every time

Burritos are tough to write about because they're not photogenic. That probably says more about what people want to read than it does burritos. But some nights, when the bar shuts down and a stomachful ...

Major upgrade for Hillcrest crosswalk

Dangerous intersection to be made safer for pedestrians in July

A crosswalk in Hillcrest is getting upgraded after reports of serious accidents and complaints from residents. The crosswalk with no traffic light is at the southeast corner of Park Boulevard and Cypress Avenue, near the ...

Ichiban: with rolls at $2.50, this hour is happy

It's one of the originals, still cheap, cheery, and very Japanese

Ichiban ("Number One" in Japanese) has been here three decades, and still gets as crowded as when it first opened. Why? All-Japanese crew, real bargains, and a real easy atmosphere. And did we mention a sushi happy hour?

No pigeons, rats, broken windows

City posts Abatement Notice at 815 University Avenue

A longtime antique and collectibles store at 815 University Avenue in Hillcrest closed down sometime back. The code enforcement section of the City of San Diego posted a Notice of Abatement (Vacant and Unsecured Structure) ...

La Bonne Table open in Hillcrest

French bistro replaces Voyou, delivers disappointment and high prices

Hillcrest’s Voyou Wine Bar is no more. Following a quickie remodel, the restaurant has re-opened as La Bonne Table. Where Voyou aimed at a modern look, the new place looks to evince a kind of ...

The Mission Hills Greek District?

Pick your pita time: fast or slow

At the nexus of Hillcrest and Mission Hills, on Washington Street, in the generically named Mediterranean Café, a sign reads "Good food takes time." A block over, the fast food franchise Daphne's California Greek doesn't ...

Dazzling musical feats

“For me, this concert began about four years ago, when I was wondering to myself if it might be possible to gain access and play artistically with the Giant Dome Theater at Reuben H. Fleet ...

100 Wines making its mark in Hillcrest

Cohn restaurant proves itself worth of a full-time chef and a committed menu

100 Wines looks like it’s going to be OK. The Cohn Restaurant Group has never been afraid to shutter an ailing property — just look at what happened to Kemo Sabe after 15 years — ...

Edgar & Annabel at Ion Theatre

Edgar and Annabel are “the perfect couple.” They’re economically viable, eat healthy foods, and never utter a discouraging word about the government, which also makes them perfect citizens in a hard-core totalitarian state. Trouble is: ...

Far Away at Ion Theatre

Ion Theatre’s double bill — Sam Holcroft’s Edgar & Annabel and Caryl Churchill’s Far Away — combines one-acts that have so much in common they feel like deliberate companion pieces. In Edgar & Annabel rebels ...

Dayum delicious

When I say “dayum,” I’m referring to this viral video, of a man whose contagious enthusiasm for a sandwich turned him into a meme, but we'll get to that in a moment. In terms of ...

Johnny's Fire & Berry Old Fashioned

According to bartender Faith Taylor, the Tractor Room offers high-quality cocktails with a low-altitude attitude. “It’s kind of like Manhattan meets Montana,” she says. But if the restaurant tries not to take itself too seriously, ...

Business as usual for Local Habit

New ownership keeping Cali-Creole craft beer haven true to original vision

Last July, I reported the establishers of Local Habit (3827 Fifth Avenue, Hillcrest) were selling the business. Immediately, regulars at the “Cali-Creole” spot were worried it would veer away from that unique style of cuisine ...

In for a sandwich, out with a slice

Nostalgic market turns up some nontraditional pizza

From the outside, The Market Place looks like a convenience store four or five decades past its heyday. But, like other nearby fixtures Hobnob Hill and Nunu's, the place must have been doing something right ...

The art of the spoon

Local twosome hope to bridge gap between art and commerce, one spoon at a time

Where does the line between art and industry lie? Rachel Eva and Shawn Michael, a Hillcrest couple who together make up Work of My Hands, are in the midst of a Kickstarter campaign to fund ...

The best würst place to take your pup

A "very dog friendly" beer and sausage spot

When a restaurant describes itself as having "a new dining concept based on the ancient art of sausage making," a lot of thoughts pass through my head, but two words that don't leap to mind ...

Arm candy

Purses worn in San Diego

“You're never too fat for a new purse.” ― Nia Vardalos I gained a couple of pounds over the holiday season. As a result of my refusal to go up a dress size, I have ...

Shadow and Bone, by Leigh Bardugo

What brought you to this bookstore? “I found it on the internet and thought I’d like to come.” Have you found anything interesting? “Shadow and Bone, by Leigh Bardugo. It looks like a Russian story. ...

Hillcrest’s Uptown shopping center due for “re-do”

Makeover prompted by business closures?

The Uptown District Shopping Center at 1030 University Avenue in Hillcrest, built in the early ’90s, is a busy location. But vacancies have been popping up in the 148,638-square-foot urban center, anchored by Ralphs. The ...

Food as entertainment at Hash House a Go Go

Dinner in Hillcrest with a week's worth of leftovers

For me, Hash House has always been a scene-y brunch spot for the not-hungover-so-much-as-still-drunk group of friends. There’s a somewhat-annoying, but “fun to mingle in if you know a bunch of people in the hood” ...

Claudio Raygoza: the acting process at Ion Theatre, part two

Read part one of this interview. Claudio Raygoza, artistic director of Ion Theatre, and Glenn Paris, the producing director, stage plays in a 49-seat theater, with obviously special demands. They include others for the plays ...

Claudio Raygoza: the acting process at Ion Theatre, part one

Ion Theatre has earned an impressive reputation — and a number of Craig Noel Awards to back it up — for quality acting. I asked Claudio Raygoza, the artistic director, to provide a behind-the-scenes look ...

Bino's Bistro adds full dinner service

Hillcrest crêperie lands beer and wine license, expands menu, still makes lots of French pancakes

As happens with so many restaurants, Bino’s Bistro fell victim to protracted delays as the Hillcrest crêperie sought a beer and wine license. Kudos to the restaurant for soldiering through a drawn-out permitting process (which ...

Bug at Ion Theatre

A rogue male aphid’s dining on Agnes and her new friend Peter? No, he says. Must be a female, a “matriarchal aphid,” and she isn’t just slicing skin, she’s spawning a world-wide infestation from a ...

Miguelito’s Rye Manhattan

Uptown Tavern’s bar back Miguel Duran is in the advanced placement class of bartenders-in-training. Observing Uptown’s bartenders at work, he’s come up with his own signature cocktail. When he began creating what’s now known as ...

Nunu's, the hoppingest place

“Gimme the basic burger,” I say. “Uh, no,” says Leighanne.

Ed gets punched by a nubbly, crunchy, and salty burger at Nunu’s in Hillcrest.

First look at Hillcrest East Village Asian Diner

North County bistro expands to Uptown, and delicious fusion burritos remain an elusive impossibility.

It took forever to remodel Pink Noodle and turn it into East Village Asian Diner (406 University Avenue), a second location for the successful, Encinitas restaurant. Reportedly, permitting troubles plagued the buildout, but the construction ...

French Concession open in Hillcrest

Celadon closed down, got a makeover, and re-opened as French Concession, a dim sum restaurant on 5th Avenue

While everybody has been obsessing over the protracted buildout process for Lucky Liu’s (Alex Thao’s new Downtown Chinese restaurant), the restaurateur quietly renovated Celadon, his Hillcrest Thai restaurant. Reborn as French Concession (3671 5th Avenue) ...

"Art Speaks" salons debut at Thumbprint Gallery 2

New panel series aims to give fans access to artists, and artists access to each other, to foster a sense of artistic community.

The first goal of the new “Art Speaks” salon series at Thumbprint Gallery 2, at the back of Hillcrest’s Bamboo Lounge, is to “provide a platform for artists to engage in dialogue with their community ...

Commonwealth Ultra Lounge already ailing?

Newest entry in a series of unsuccessful ventures at 1263 University Avenue doesn't seem to have what it takes.

There’s just something about 1263 University Avenue. Restaurants there are always already doomed to failure. How many have come and come in recent years? Most recently, the Range (which wasn’t any good) made a go ...

Sticks and stones

“I can yell at the food court...because I don’t know anyone here!”

Neil LaBute’s reasons to be pretty begins, before it starts, with a single word. Asked to compare Steph, his girlfriend of four years, to the new “hottie” at the warehouse, Greg said Steph has a ...

RB Sushi invades Hillcrest

North County sushi establishment brings its vaunted "all you can eat" deal to Uptown San Diego.

It took a while, but somebody finally moved into the spot, formerly Lotus Cafe, at 3955 Fifth Avenue in Hillcrest. That somebody is RB Sushi, a North County and College Area stalwart most known for ...

Hillcrest car-repair shop closure signals gentrification

Park Boulevard business “has indeed been an eyesore”

Town's Auto Repair at 3752 Park Boulevard in Hillcrest has repaired its last engine, carburetor, and transmission. The business was directly across from the DECA luxury condo development, on the northwest corner of Park Boulevard ...

Masquerade in Hillcrest

Masks of all types on the scene at Snooze charity event.

Last weekend I went to a masquerade party at Snooze in Hillcrest. It ended up being a bit of a disaster — not the event itself, as Snooze raised over $2,000 for Feeding America San ...

To Zak, by John Lennon

Zach Goode, formerly of Ghoulspoon, now fronting Secret Seven, tells the story of sending away for a John Lennon autograph before he was shot to death. The envelope came back in the mail — with the autographed photo — days after Lennon was assassinated.

Guadalupe Valley’s days of wine and tacos are now

Baja boutique

You don’t have to look far to find Baja California’s influence on San Diego’s food-and-drink scene. Family-owned taco shops and mariscos trucks are hallmarks of our city’s culinary landscape. Seasonal, sea-and-farm-to-table Baja Med cuisine is ...

Swim a little deeper at the Merrow

Hillcrest’s Ruby Room transforms into the Merrow -- a Gaelic-influenced bar with a nautical theme. You’ll figure it out. Start at the bar.

Last call

Two productions must close this weekend that illustrate the range of subjects and the skills of local theater. And do us proud.

When I went to Lamb’s Players, I’d already seen at least three productions of Margaret Edson’s Wit. I’d also read the play several times and wrote a feature about Jerry Patch, dramaturge extraordinaire. When he ...

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