Hillcrest Stories

A duck walks into a bar...and does not walk out

Subtle fusion makes for a new experience

I’ve heard plenty of jokes that begin “a duck walks into a bar…,” and none have ended with the duck being eaten. So any thirsty mallards reading this take note: Whistling Duck Tavern does feature ...

Late-night options

Despite the hour, the kitchen doesn’t slack

Though I appreciate many of this town’s 24-hour taco shops, it’s nice to have options for when David and I — hungry after a long event — are looking for late-night dining. Plenty of events ...

Will East Hillcrest get special assessment to take care of homeless?

Little Italy envy

The Hillcrest Business Association is urging east Hillcrest to look at setting up maintenance assessment district to provide businesses and residents with services that west Hillcrest already enjoys — private security patrols to deal with ...

Neighbors cheer three-story Stay hotel on India and Olive

Budget truck rental lot replaced by Dominique Houriet design

A vacation spot named “Stay” is in the works for the corner lot on India and West Olive in Middletown. The property owner (Indio Live LP/Mark Mandell) of the 0.35-acre site located at 2801 India ...

Hit and run crash into Cal Uniforms on Park Blvd.

Sales manager stays up all night to guard uniform stock

“Everybody thought it was us, huh,” said L. Dee Kiser, the owner of Millard’s Fur Service. Kiser referred to the high-speed pursuit that ended with a white Honda Civic crashing into her next door neighbor, ...

Second thoughts about Hillcrest 111 at Seventh and Robinson

Cheap housing means going 92 feet straight up from sidewalk

A deeply divided Uptown Planners voted 9-5 to appeal its approval of an 111-unit, 92-foot tall project at Seventh and Robinson if the developers fail to incorporate the group's suggestions in the building design. The ...

Another take on veggie wonder Donna Jean

Comfort food, vegan style

[Ed. note: Ian Anderson reviewed Donna Jean on March 9.] We are all omnivores by nature, but I am also one by choice, as in I choose to eat a variety of foods that include ...

Parking meters with eyes in Hillcrest

Do sensors signal the end of the free or discounted spot?

“I think it’s weird and foreign-looking,” said LeeAnn Donan. Donan, 49, from Mission Hills, was referring to the two grayish boxes that appeared to have cameras inside of them mounted on the pole underneath the ...

Pulled-pork sandwich hunted down in Hillcrest

“Yes, it’s our smoker. We have it going pretty much all the time.”

Huh. A smoker. And smoking away right now. Not some guy — a wood-burning meat smoker. I’m loping up Indiana Street. Where it forks into Park and Robinson, and right beside a li’l ol’ bungalow, ...

This hog's still smokin

Hillcrest BBQ spot showing promise, despite inconsistencies

I visited The Smok'd Hog a couple of years ago when it soft-opened as The Whole Hog. Back then I had a mixed experience at the little BBQ spot at the three-way intersection of Park ...

Healthy but still “breakfasty”

Trust in brunch

My wife and I enjoy going to Trust in Hillcrest before going to a play at the Old Globe, and we thought we’d check out the brunch. Trust has been around a little less than ...

No comment on restaurant surcharges

"I wasn't told when I came in and I wasn't told when I ordered."

Kevin Vasquez dines out a lot. He expects to pay tax and feels good about tipping. But the 6.9 percent surcharge a local restaurant added to his bill after January 1, well, that was hard ...

Brave new parking meters for Hillcrest, Mission Hills

"This change will punish residents."

Hillcrest may soon have new parking meters as well as new enforcement hours. Uptown Community Parking District chief operating officer Elizabeth Hannon said the changes may go into effect in the spring. Established in 1997, ...

The strangest place pastor Caleb Lines found God

Disciples of Christ aren’t looking to change anyone

University Christian Church – Disciples of Christ Membership: 130 Pastor: Caleb Lines Age: 31 Born: Monett, MO Formation: Missouri State University, Springfield, MO; Yale Divinity School, New Haven, CT Years Ordained: 5 San Diego Reader: ...

How much is that doggie on the streetcorner?

Puppy vendor knew how to avoid breaking the law

On November 3rd, Lisandra Antonio was at work in Hillcrest when a client of hers came in and asked her to help "save" a puppy from a man who was trying to selling it. “My ...

Best sandwich since New York

And you’re advised to take it like they make it

There are good places in San Diego for sandwiches — I’m a fan of Hillcrest Sandwich Shop — but it’s rare that I have a truly transcendent sandwich experience like I’ve had in New York. ...

$8.50 for toast?

Let’s call it an open-faced sandwich

The restaurant Trust has garnered fans and sparked a bit of conversation since launching a few months ago. But it’s not the only eatery to open on the ground floor of the city’s latest mixed-use ...

Georgia Street Bridge restoration begins

Demise of streetcars signaled beginning of decades-long demolition talk

After decades of back-and-forth about whether to demolish or restore the Georgia Street Bridge, restoration of the 102-year-old structure began on August 3. The project was supposed to break ground in the fall of 2015 ...

It’s like a Korean Chipotle

That’s not a good thing

I’m not sure what the actual distinction is between fast-food and fast-casual restaurants, but I’m inclined to believe that if broccoli is served it’s better at the latter. At least, that was my thinking going ...

You should've taken a break from Pride to see The Twentieth Century Way

(No disrespect to Kesha.)

Nothing says “equality and an end to homophobia” quite like garbage in the streets and drunk, sunburned straight people enjoying an excuse to slip on a tutu and some sequined leggings.

Hillcrest homeless decision leads to cyber-bully incident

Then media onslaught from publisher of gay newspaper and Carl DeMaio

Opposition to Hillcrest Business Association's decision to hire a security firm to chase out disruptive homeless people from the community has caused the association to cancel a meeting due to reports of cyber-bullying and online ...

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 ...

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