Little Italy Stories

The Waterfront

“Our liquor license goes back to the end of Prohibition, so we don’t know how long the bar was actually in business,” says Waterfront Bar and Grill co-owner Chad Cline. “We have the oldest license ...

Big History of Little Italy

Peter Corona, a veteran superintendent of numerous school districts in California, was born in 1928 in San Diego’s “Italian Colony,” as Little Italy was first known. He grew up during the Depression and World War ...

Kava Lounge

More hippie than hipster, the Kava Lounge in Middletown specializes in natural, organic cocktails and has played a significant role in cultivating San Diego’s electronic, experimental, and world-music scenes. The lounge was among the first ...

The Waterfront Tavern

"I’m jonesing to get back down to Panama,” says Jeff. “‘Jonesing’?” says this old guy who is seated next to me. “Yeah,” Jeff says. “Like, longing.” Huh. I’d forgotten the word myself. But Jeff, it ...

No Cigar for Craft and Commerce

Craft and Commerce occupies the spot in Little Italy where a wannabe trendy restaurant named Illume briefly bloomed and died, trying to be a magnet for the hip young crowd moving into the nearby condos. ...

Down the Rabbit Hole at Cafe Zucchero

A rabbit? In Little Italy? Can’t believe my eyes. But there he is, hopping up from the trolley tracks and into the bushes of one of those mega-condos near Date Street. This close to downtown? ...

Little Italy Stoplight Makes for Safer Intersection

“I think it’s going to be a lot easier to get on the freeway in the mornings,” said a Little Italy resident before crossing Beech Street on the morning of September 10 with her pug. ...

Census

In the spirit of this census year, we offer this unofficial, informal, and unscientific census of daily life in San Diego. (No census workers were lynched or faked their own lynchings while gathering the following ...

Here's the Deal: El Camino

Wednesdays are jazz-jam night at Little Italy’s El Camino (formerly Airport Lounge), presented by legendary local trumpeter Gilbert Castellanos. Affable foot-tappers get loose over margaritas and sangria ($5) at tables inscribed with tarot archetypes. Girls, ...

Ya Gotta Have a Gimmick

Too much, too soon? Bencotto, a new Northern Italian restaurant in Little Italy, launched sometime this winter (the earliest Yelp raves I’ve spotted were posted in early February). The management didn’t tell me about the ...

Here's the Deal: Anthology

Anthology is a three-level restaurant and club just south of Little Italy on India. Inspired by CEO Howard ­Berkson’s roots in Chicago nightlife, the 13,000-square-foot establishment pairs New American fine dining with live music in ...

Too Much Conflict, Too Much Interest

On April 23, 2007, two San Diego investigators, Gerald Cook of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Dan Vile of the San Diego Police Department, turned in a criminal investigation of wrongdoing in a local ...

Steak and politics

Hard times will soon shutter Rainwater’s on Kettner Boulevard, the fabled red-meat eatery. Over the years, politicos of all stripes dined gratis at the bistro, thanks to well-heeled special interests. February 2004 was typical. GOP ...

Urban Church

“Fourteen years ago, when my wife and I were engaged,” said pastor Ben Brinkman, “we had the exact same experience at the exact same moment in a college chapel: God showed us having a church ...

Another Perfect Day

Snapshots of all sides of our neighborhoods.

BALBOA PARK Another Perfect DayBy downtownphotoguy, June 26Today we were in Presidio Park in the morning and Balboa Park in the afternoon. We were shooting with a variety of lenses and techniques…. It seems everybody ...

Anthology Hits the Airwaves

Starting on October 9, Little Italy venue Anthology will join forces with KPRI (102.1 FM) to broadcast a live, two-hour music show, Homegrown Fridays Live. Airing from 10 p.m. to midnight, additional concerts will take ...

Chick Rock

On Friday, August 14, Casbah staged a pop-punk triple bill featuring locals Revenge Club, Bay Area band the Lovemakers, and L.A. trio the Muffs. Revenge Club was a pleasant surprise. You never know how the ...

Half a Glass

Everything about Glass Door makes it a delightful, entertaining restaurant — except the food. On the fourth floor of a new hotel in Little Italy, it’s a long, narrow room with a bar on one ...

Seen a Dream Walking

You should have been at the barbecue held in Little Italy last Sunday. Picture it: moving up the street toward the house in a black jumpsuit was a blonde vision with perfect complexion and a ...

Poor Little Devil

Clunk! Man. Umberto Falcone’s kinda surprised I’ve tossed the bocce ball anywhere close to the jack. Call it beginner’s luck. Luck: Guess that’s how this whole sea-urchin thing started too. Though now that I think ...

Let’s Toast to Banning Booze

During District 2 councilmember Kevin Faulconer’s state of the district speech on April 27, he listed his accomplishments during the past three years. One of his proudest accomplishments so far has been banning alcohol from ...

Gathering Lunch

“Slow down, you move too fast. You’ve got to make the morning last...” Can’t help humming that Simon and Garfunkel ditty. Life’s pouring through my veins again. How not? It’s one of those crisp, sunny ...

Ariel Suites Raises Issues at Pre-Design Meeting

A 19-story, 143-apartment, and 9,618-square-foot retail proposal drew varied responses at the Centre City Advisory Committee pre-design subcommittee meeting on January 7, 2009. The development replaces a parking lot on the southwest corner of Beech ...

It's Getting Ugly Downtown

Downtown condos - kinda like roller coasters.

One Who’s Out and Wants In A man walks into the lobby of a downtown sales office on Sixth Avenue and G Street on a Sunday morning, wheeling his young son in a stroller in ...

Flooding Puts Damper on Artwalk

If you've been looking to get your feet wet in the art world, today was the perfect opportunity. Around 3:45 this afternoon a water main burst just north of State and West Date Streets, causing ...

The Rainbow Sign

We are a frazzled, worried country after seven years of every important decision being decided wrong by that "deciderator" and the awful gray eminences whispering in his ears. So do I dare to interpret the ...

Good Jazz Beats All Food

For author Marcel Proust, the taste of a madeleine, a beloved pastry of childhood, evoked nostalgic memories that subsequently unleashed thousands of pages of prose upon the literary public. Most of us don't get quite ...

Count Basie Orchestra

Anthology, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, December 21-23. 619-595-0300. $21 to $63. The trick of the jazz big-band ensemble is to sound as one, such that the individual instruments are indistinguishable. Not counting the soloists, the intention ...

Citywalk Christian Church, Little Italy

October 28 marked Citywalk Church's entrance into the practice of weekly Sunday worship. Prior to that, communal worship events had been monthly; the weekly gatherings were smaller and held in people's homes downtown. Church member ...

Jaguar XK150, 1958

At British Motors, 1305 Kettner Blvd., c. 1958. This Jaguar XK150 had 200 horsepower and could cruise all day at over 100 mph. In 1958, our local daily reported that California had more registered vehicles ...

Hello, Dali!

I received a voicemail about a party for Shay Davis, but I thought the guy said Gray Davis and that it would be a politician's dinner. Shay is an artist who moved here from Denver, ...

Hot Topics

I didn't have to travel far to the firefighter party in Little Italy's Firehouse Museum, but firefighters came from all over the U.S. and other countries to attend this party. I was told there were ...

Dogs Welcome

"Wanted: A good woman who can clean, sew, cook fish, dig worms, and owns a boat and motor.”

Not So Crazy

Po Pazzo What would make someone open another restaurant when he's already got three of them -- including two just down the street? In the case of Joe Busalacchi, owner of Po Pazzo on India ...

Best of 2003: Best Smell

Solunto Baking Company 1643 India Street, Little Italy 619-233-3506 The doors open at 7 a.m., but the genuine Italian bakers are at their craft an hour before that. By 6:30 the sidewalk area outside the ...

Best of 2003: Best Fountain

Corner of Beech and India Streets, Little Italy Until this fountain was built, the only outdoor seating on India Street was at the cafés. Now, passersby can sit on the two-foot rim of this fountain ...

Best of 2003: Best Moroccan Atmosphere, Coffee, And Belly Dancing

Gargoyle Gallery & Café 1845 India Street, Little Italy 619-234-1344 Moroccan decor with Turkish pillows, exotic lamps, tiles, inside fountain, and sunlit courtyard. This place may be in Little Italy, but it has captured North ...

Best of 2003: Best 1950s "Moderne" Furnishings

Boomerang for Modern 2040 India Street, Little Italy www.boomerangformodern.com 619-239-2040 Remember falling-leaf chairs? Surfboard coffee tables? Blue-and-white cushioned stackable chrome chairs? Right now it's the young who are buying this stuff again -- for the ...

Best of 2001: Best Fresh Pasta

Assenti's Pasta 2004 India Street, Little Italy 619-239-5117 Fresh pasta offers a richer flavor, so forget the boxed stuff and head for Assenti's. Sure, they've got plain pasta, and the plain pasta is superb. But ...

Best of 2001: Best Alternative To A Strip Mall On One Block

Fir Street Between India and Columbia, Little Italy These brightly painted homes, circa 1900 to 1930, now enjoy a new identity, housing shops as diverse and colorful as the paint adorning them. On the corner, ...

Best of 2001: Best Way To Generate Your Own Electricity

Solar Electric Inc. 5555 Santa Fe Street, Suite D, Pacific Beach 858-581-0051 www.solarelectricinc.com or contact: Utility Consumer Action Network (UCAN) 1717 Kettner Boulevard, Little Italy 619-696-6966 www.ucan.org What's a desperate SDG&E addict to do? The ...

Best of 2001: Best Bloody Mary

The Waterfront 2044 Kettner, Little Italy 619-232-9656 The "Mary minions" often salt their red elixir with a bit of elitism. Every club claims to have its own secret ingredient, which usually turns out to be ...

Best of 2001: Best Waffle Sunday Brunch

Caffe Italia 1704 India Street, Little Italy 619-234-6767 There's something about Little Italy on a Sunday morning. All the faithful pour out of Our Lady of the Rosary Catholic church into the sunshine and make ...

Condos Invade Little Italy

Ten years ago, construction was completed on the Rob Quigley-designed La Pensione Hotel, which sits at the intersection of India and Date Streets in Little Italy. The four-story hotel, recalls Quigley, was "by far the ...

Best of 2000: Best Place To See A 1300-Pound Fish

Squidco 1730 Kettner Boulevard, Little Italy (619) 238-0909 One thousand three hundred and seventy-six pounds, to be exact -- and there's a 1294-pounder, to boot. You wouldn't believe the size of the aquarium this fishing-supply ...

Best of 2000: Best Spitinis

Pete's Quality Meats 17421/2 India Street, Little Italy (619) 234-1684 Sicily used to be known as the "Breadbasket of Europe." They exported grains all over the Mediterranean. Then came countless invasions, poverty, until their only ...

Best of 2000: Best Italian Grocery

Mona Lisa 2061 India Street, Little Italy (619) 239-5367 This market and deli, owned and operated by the Brunetto family for 26 years, is small but full of culinary gems. The delicase shows off mozzarella ...

Best of 2000: Best Gelato

Gelato Vero Caffe 3753 India Street, Little Italy (619) 295-9269 Gelato Vero Caffe's gelato (Italian ice cream) is denser, creamier, and tastier than all-American ice cream. Even "gourmet" ice creams don't come close to the ...

Best of 2000: Best Belly Dancing

Urban Tribal Dance Company Gargoyle Gallery 1845 India Street (at Fir), Little Italy (619) 234-1344 Exotic and hypnotic, the Urban Tribal Dance Company dresses in folkloric costumes of full skirts and pantaloons, turbans, scads of ...

Best of 2000: Best Cheap Barber

Vince's Barber Shop 2030 India Street, Little Italy (619) 239-0966 Vincenzo Bruno moved to San Diego from Sicily in 1946 and has cut enough hair to send his children to college, see them become successful, ...

Accused Pedophile Priest Sets Up Housekeeping in Little Italy

Why is Roman Catholic priest Rudolph Kos, a.k.a. Rudy Edward, a.k.a. Father Rudy, whom a Dallas jury found liable for sexually abusing 11 boys, able to live without supervision near an elementary school in downtown's ...

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