North Park Stories

Wang’s North Park restaurant space in escrow

Failed eatery had been "everything the community was looking for"

In 2011, restaurateurs Joel Herzer and Tom Eads got approval from the San Diego City Council to loan them $500,000 in redevelopment funds to assist with costs of opening Wang’s North Park restaurant. Housed in ...

Groundbreaking for apartments to house LGBT seniors

Completion targeted for December 2017

A large crowd gathered at the northwest corner of Texas Street and Howard Avenue on July 13 for a groundbreaking ceremony marking construction of affordable apartments for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender seniors. The housing ...

SDPD wife helped crack case of North Park attacker

"We do care, cops do care. I live in the neighborhood."

Though she was instrumental in cracking the 2014 case of the serial attacker in North Park and Normal Heights, Carrie Spillane didn't feel right about accepting the $10,000 reward. So she asked the city to ...

Craft beer rich in North Park

Talents converge to construct San Diego's urban brewery ideal

One of the beer community's most anticipated brewery debuts hit University Avenue at the end of June when North Park Beer Co. officially opened for business — an opening that resonates in urban culture as ...

North Park's next brewery has 19th-century roots

Eppig Brewery revives a 150-year-old Bavarian brand out of Brooklyn

Last August, HG Fenton's turnkey brewhouse division Brewery Igniter announced plans to convert a former North Park strip club into a trio of small breweries, and in February West Coaster magazine reported the first tenant ...

Beer and weed bridge to Thorn Brewery

OG HighPA — at 4.20% ABV (wink, wink) — ventures into dank territory

Thorn Street Brewery is taking steps to become the first brewery in the country to package a beer flavored with marijuana. The microbrewer debuted its OG HighPA last month in its North Park tasting room, ...

Pierced the radio veil

Local post-core quartet is blowing up

It pays to play well. Even if there aren’t many people there to see you. “The other day I went to the Ché Café and there were, like, ten kids there,” says singer/songwriter/guitarist Vic Fuentes ...

Before there was reggae there was reggay — and there was Toots

Toots & the Maytals take the stage at the Observatory Wednesday night

Toots and the Maytals have been coming around for so long now that news of their arrival is taken in stride, much like the way one might embrace a change of season or impending weather. ...

Four kinds of pretzel

California Tap Room has snack food for North Park’s beer scene

There’s a new shop in North Park called California Tap Room, and it makes excellent use of water, yeast, and grain. But maybe not the way you’d expect. This tap room isn’t specifically in the ...

Coffee + flowers = sensory benefits

Flowers to the right, coffee to the left

Its large, painted outside wall says Coffee + Flowers, but inside the storefront on the southwest corner of Texas and University there are actually two distinct businesses: Communal Coffee and Native Poppy flower shop. "In ...

Signature-gatherer falsely claims petition will save Comic-Con

Who the guy was working for remains a mystery

On June 2 in front of Vons in North Park, at 30th Street and Howard, a paid signature-gatherer stood next to a sign. It read: "Please sign the new Comic-Con petition." Reader contributor Dryw Keltz ...

North Park Woolworth's re-do on hold

Meantime, same developer constructs 35 apartments off alley

While the long-delayed renovation of the historic F.W. Woolworth Co. building at 3067–3075 University Avenue still has no start date, the developer is constructing apartments behind that building. Built in 1949, the Streamline Moderne structure ...

Hot Gouda and cold IPA

Venissimo Cheese at Bottlecraft

Since I live in the area and regularly “research” craft beer, I probably visit North Park’s Bottlecraft shop more than the average customer. While the Venissimo counter has been selling globally sourced cheeses out of ...

Abstract works by NASA science illustrator on display in North Park Gallery

A New Stellar Order shows through June 18

There’s a an artistic universe squeezed into a little gallery space tucked between a residential home and a tattoo parlor on the eastern edge of North Park. The space is called Teros Gallery, the same ...

Jack in the Box headed to court over North Park "remodel"

Appellate court springs some justice on fast-food chain and city

A group of North Park residents will have another chance in court to show that fast-food company Jack in the Box illegally rebuilt a restaurant against current zoning regulations. On May 23, appellate judges from ...

Assertive licorice

Tasting notes on Négociant Winery’s 2012 Sangiovese

In 2012, Utah’s happy hour ban went into effect, adding that state to a short list of others that consider special prices on alcoholic drinks a source of great social harm. Later that year, Hurricane ...

New law lets you drink beer in a parking lot...sometimes

"We got wind of the new legislation early last year."

Brewery anniversaries are getting bigger this year, and it has everything to do with a new state law. Effective January 1, AB 776 permits breweries to sell beer "on property contiguous and adjacent to its ...

Alt-rockers still paddling despite "Nada Surf"

New York–based band was told their brand came with "a certain lack of success"

Nada Surf first gained national recognition in 1996 when the video for their song “Popular” went into heavy rotation on MTV. As a result, the group toured their debut album, High/Low, heavily, but when it ...

It's a new Nada day

New Yorkers Nada Surf continue their alt-rock ride

They got older. And as a band, they got better. But, where does Nada Surf fit into the bigger picture today? There’s good argument that Nada Surf is a one-hit wonder. Lightning struck only once ...

Brewing with Kiwis

Emerging New Zealand craft scene wades into San Diego

New Zealand brewery Garage Project began distributing to San Diego for the first time last month, offering local beer fans a new glimpse of the emerging Kiwi craft brewing scene. This may be welcome news ...

John "Swami" Reis produces compilation record of 22 San Diego bands

More bang bang for your buck

The Schizophonics blast the compilation Hardcore Matinee wide open with a two-minute scree of post-punk rock violence called “Red Planet,” which sets the tone for the 21 original tracks to follow from hometown artists such ...

Show up for donuts, leave with tacos

Panchita’s latest is more kitchen than bakery

Years living around Golden Hill has gotten me familiar with Panchita’s Bakery. I knew the Mexican bakery had a couple of other locations around town, so when I noticed a new one open in North ...

A biergarten for North Park

ChuckAlek makes a move into the city from Ramona

For the past three years or so, ChuckAlek Independent Brewers has been producing beer in small batches out in Ramona. During that time, occasional kegs would make it into central San Diego, but the nanobrewery ...

Belching Beaver getting big

Six-packs, sours, and a full restaurant in the works

Belching Beaver Brewing has been in serious expansion mode this spring. In March, the company more than quadrupled its capacity by moving in to a 30-barrel production brewery in Oceanside. Meanwhile, its original 15-barrel Vista ...

Palomar Card Club license revoked

Chips redeemable — send to Colorado address

Last December 9, federal agents led by the FBI raided the Palomar Card Club (also known as Palomar Casino) at 2724 El Cajon Boulevard, alleging illegal operations, bookmaking, and money laundering. The Reader previously reported ...

The multitasking Mr. Boyle

Folk Art Records owner on what Record Store Day has in store for him

“That would be the goal that I’d like to achieve. Longevity.” Brendan Boyle bought Folk Arts Rare Records from the owner/founder, Lou Curtiss, who was an old man at the time of the sale. Boyle ...

Third Eye open

Third Eye Blind frontman Stephan Jenkins overcomes his writer's block

Third Eye Blind took six years between their last album, Ursa Major, and their new platter, Dopamine, owing in large part to leader Stephan Jenkins’s struggles with writer’s block, a problem he tried to cure, ...

City bucks for “twinkle lights”

Council also approves funding for I-805 holiday bridge-lights project

North Park residents will soon get a lot of twinkle in their eyes, thanks to $5200 in “community programs and services” funding from the city. The San Diego City Council on March 15 passed (as ...

Massive plans for bike lanes where? When?

Association of governments has some answers but not all

The first time I heard about the San Diego Association of Governments’ plans to significantly change the street alongside my house was at a planning-group meeting — for a different community. I was stunned for ...

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 ...

Mr. Buck's Full Contact bric-a-brac

Davit Buck sets up shop selling rock-and-roll oddities

Some people know Davit Buck for fronting such wild and woolly local bands as Jack Septic, Bad Apples, Mother Russia, Subterranean Horses, Mother Bitch, and John Wayne Gacy Daycare. The only band name that caused ...

Better than Blu-ray

2K Christie Digital Cinema Package comes to Digital Gym

No one has wanted to see the Media Arts Center’s Digital Gym make a bigger name for itself than I. (It’s the only gym you’ll ever see me set foot in.) There’s not enough space ...

Church for the religious and irreligious alike

The doors of hell are locked from the inside

Covenant Presbyterian Church of San Diego Membership: 150Pastor: Patrick KingAge: 34Born: ChicagoFormation: Wheaton College, Chicago; Beeson Divinity School, Birmingham, ALYears Ordained: 4 San Diego Reader: What is your favorite subject on which to preach? Pastor ...

A giant can of beer to go

A couple pints at home with a growler alternative

A few months ago, I started hearing about breweries adding a new alternative to growlers in their tasting rooms: giant beer cans. Basically, a beertender fills a topless 32-ounce can straight from the tap. Then, ...

Scene: North Park, late ’70s

Before it was cool

Dear Hipster: I grew up in North Park in the late ’70s, and I went to Alice Birney Elementary School. Since I lived in North Park before it was cool, does that make me an ...

Stuck in 1975

...at Observatory North Park

Droning sounds start to build before The 1975 came onstage at 9 p.m. Shrieks from fans filled my ears as the frontman, Matthew Healy, came out with his bandmates. It felt as if I was ...

Reverend Horton Heat fires up the Observatory

Psychobilly trio soundtracks a mosh — with Christmas tunes

Considering that his band’s set list included songs with titles like “Marijuana” and “Bales of Cocaine,” you’d think that Jim Heath would have had some pretty crazy stories of debauchery on the road to share ...

Seven Grand returns to its whiskey atmosphere

North Park bar unplugs and refurbishes

One of the unique gems of the North Park music scene has gone dark. The stage in the back room of Seven Grand is no more. “I felt our music program was amazing, but we ...

"Stunning" fast-food experience promised

El Cajon Boulevard developments include Starbucks and Wendy's facelift

The long-closed Coco's restaurant at 2644 El Cajon Boulevard in University Heights is finally scheduled for demolition. The site will become a Starbucks coffee shop. Realtor Mike Clark with Cushman & Wakefield said they “had ...

The most boring sandwich you could make from a cow

Heart & Trotter makes it memorable

When whole-animal butcher shop Heart & Trotter opened last spring, I was impressed with its quality selection of meats, sausages, and eggs. I didn’t know then that they had a plan to make sandwiches. They ...

Queen Bee TV

Alma Rodriguez of Queen Bee's cultural center going live from the Bee Hive

When the Reader ran a story on October 22 about a death at a Burning Man event on Palomar Mountain, many readers reacted negatively over news accounts of deaths at EDM events. Alma Rodriguez was ...

Check 'n Go checks out of North Park

A “positive development” says community activist

The Check 'n Go store at 2509 El Cajon Boulevard in North Park has closed down. Activist Omar Passons, former president of North Park Community Association, welcomed the exit, saying, “I think it is a ...

Clashing at the Office

Undercover crew and a variety of local singers do Joe Strummer proud

The Office’s undercover series attacked the Clash on the chilly last night of November. The hologram of Joe Strummer was unavailable this evening, so a variety of local singers took on the role of the ...

Marco Collins's imperfect storm

Former sailing instructor docks to a life in rock

The movie based on Marco Collins focuses on his role in the grunge explosion in the 1990s, his support of Washington state’s gay marriage referendum, and his sidelining addictions. “I don’t feel completely comfortable about ...

Honky-tonker Nikki Lane

Country-rock outlaw wants All or Nothin'

Yep, it’s country music through and through, with plenty of South Carolina drawl, reverb, guitar twang, and liberal amounts of pedal-steel guitar to close the deal. But don’t be fooled by Nikki Lane’s alt-rock roots ...

Fill your croissant at Cardamom

Goat cheese, scallion, spinach, turkey, cream cheese, jalapeño...

Living in North Park a few years back, I got into the habit of picking up a turkey croissant from a local restaurant on my way to go surfing. At the time, the newly opened ...

Maine lobster in North Park

Pete’s Seafood and Sandwich brings the crustacean

My Boston-bred man loves a good New England style lobster roll. So much so that during our biannual visit to Martha’s Vineyard for the past few years we’ve combed the island to find what David ...

X Ambassadors, in the wake of the Paris attacks

Skylar Grey sets 'em up but doesn't knock 'em down

I only knew X Ambassadors' song "Renegades," so I wasn't sure what to expect from the show and was slightly afraid that all the songs would sound the same. But lead singer Sam Harris is ...

Toolbox in my fridge

Tracking down a bottle of gose

With 30-plus breweries hard at work north of highway 56, there's no shortage of tasty beer to drink in North County. However, for those of us who live south of the 8, getting up there ...

The Bars of El Cajon Boulevard: 805 to 15

They sure do cuss American

Most of my experience drinking on this section of the Boulevard has taken place in rock clubs. I suppose Soda Bar (3615 ECB) qualifies as a dive because it’s dark and loud, with old arcade ...

The Office ain't all bad

Happy hour, a tuned-up focus on music, clean bathrooms may lure the wary

Supporters of long-standing punk haven Scolari’s Office had a knee-jerk reaction of disdain when, in 2008, the place traded hands, remodeled, and reclaimed its title from the ’50s, “The Office.” It felt off. Its manicured ...

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