North Park Stories

Spoon and the Tasmanian Devil

Indie rock act remembers past San Diego shows while looking forward to two nights at Observatory North Park.

Creativity comes to the third wave

Middle East inspirations and natural ingredients land in North Park's crowded coffee scene.

The already saturated North Park coffee scene took an unexpected turn in early May when Holsem Coffee opened on University at 30th. While the small-batch roaster offers seven single-origin coffees plus both light and dark ...

Grand openings and a thirst-inducing documentary

Craft beer happenings for May 14-18

Friday, May 15 Stone Liberty Station two-year anniversary celebration: The Decatur Road wing of Stone's brewing empire celebrates two years all day Friday with a deep roster of brewed-on-site beers, including a special 2nd Anniversary ...

Endangered species at the Botanic Garden

Thursday | 14 Celeste Ng will discuss her debut novel about a Chinese-American family living in 1970s small-town Ohio. Selected by Amazon as their best book of 2014. Friday | 15 A map will guide ...

Escargot at the Smoking Goat

Ian strikes one off his bucket list

I play the part of the American foodie when I go to Paris, visiting patisseries, boulangeries, fromageries, boucheries, and fine restaurants and eating everything remotely French that comes my way: fois gras, soufflé, macarons, and ...

Meet the men (and woman) from Man from Reno

Boyle, hard-boiled

With a title like Man from Reno, one would half expect it to end on a dissolve of Glenn Ford riding off into a Columbia Pictures sunset. Instead, we get a departure in form from ...

Living on the edge with no living wage

Another day of action observed, another day of inaction from politicos

Activists pushing for a higher minimum wage through the labor-backed Fight for 15 campaign staged their biggest protest yet on Wednesday. Starting early on the morning of April 15, the protest — timed to coincide ...

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 ...

Thanks, Mr. Citizen Traffic Engineer

North Park resident does legwork to double parking on Alabama Street

On April 8, residents of Alabama Street between Polk and Howard avenues got approval for a shot at doubling the parking spaces on their street from 23 to 46, by turning the parallel parking on ...

Bouncer-friendly Punch Brothers tuck 'em in at the Observatory

Here’s a phrase that’s probably never been uttered by man: “the banjo player with mystique.” That’s Noam Pikelny in a nutshell. Decked out in a white suit, Pikelny’s deep voice and deadpan banter served as ...

Shopping like a foodie: Heart & Trotter

New locovore butcher goes whole hog

"Those eggs are gorgeous." I was standing in the middle of a very crowded soft-opening day at Heart & Trotter, North Park's new "whole animal butcher shop." The place promises all local, hormone- and antibiotic-free ...

Jacked by the Box

Residents appeal decision to allow overhaul of North Park fast-food joint

North Park residents are appealing a decision from Superior Court judge Robert Prager to dismiss the lawsuit they filed over the massive overhaul of a Jack in the Box restaurant in North Park. The basis ...

Bo Diddley’s pick stolen

According to Folk Art Rare Records owner Brendan Boyle, on the morning of February 25, a framed piece of San Diego music history was stolen from the walls of Folk Arts Rare Records. The missing ...

Growler art, shred talks, and asteroids

Thursday | 26 Stories about riding the bus, reading a map, dealing with helmet hair, and whatever else can happen when people move en masse. The VAMP (Visual/Audio Monologue Performance) reading series is an evening ...

Amorcito Corazon moves into competitive locale

Mexican "bistro" replaces vegetarian spot, may need its customers

Underbelly, Smoking Goat, Alexander's. These are a few of the high traffic restaurants packing in around the intersection of 30th and Upas in North Park, where the new Amorcito Corazon opened this month, replacing what ...

Double dose of taste

North Park's Awash puts Ethiopian favorites on an edible plate

"Yes,” says Habtamu. “This bread is two days old.” Okay, sounds like a confession. But, no, it’s a statement of pride. “Our bread,” he says, “needs time.” We’re talking injera, the famous Ethiopian bread that ...

Sí, more movies

What to see at the 22nd San Diego Latino Film Festival

“The goal of this year’s festival?” said the San Diego Latino Film Festival’s proud papa Ethan van Thillo, echoing my question. “To get people to see more movies!” Now who can argue with that? Something ...

A missive from North Park’s “super sketchballs” quarter

Dear Hipster: My wife and I are stoked to be first-time homeowners in North Park. We had a housewarming party the other day, and a few friends of ours were saying how our part of ...

Who’s minding San Diego’s council districts?

Abandoned apartment building gets slow response from city bureaucrats

A long-vacant apartment building at 3926/3926 ½ Mississippi Street in North Park remains in violation of San Diego Ordinance O-20203 (“abatement of abandoned properties”), passed in October 2012. A building is deemed an abandoned property ...

Hock and roll

Treasure troves of used gear

A songwriter looking for material could do worse than to work in a pawn shop. Moris Adato, the general manager of CashCo pawn shop in City Heights, hears the type of stories that make for ...

Lots of beer events On Tap

Sampler Flight of local beer events for March 3-7

March 6 | Reader On Tap: Kick off a weekend of suds saturation at The Observatory North Park when the San Diego Reader assembles some of San Diego’s best breweries — Ballast Point, Rip Current, ...

Instant pour convenience

Local coffee roasters have arrived downtown. The West Bean has been keeping regular hours at its new central Broadway location since soft opening in late January, serving a short roster of its own beans via ...

Linner at Cantina Mayahuel

Tacos, tequila, and guacamole fill an awkward spot in the day

When I find myself with a pocket of time on a warm San Diego afternoon, I crave a quiet spot to sip a refreshing margarita. Quiet is easy to find in the slow-restaurant hours between ...

Meet North Park Beer Co.

Outstanding homebrewer Kelsey McNair closing in on professional debut

The first time I heard the name Kelsey McNair was in 2010 when Ballast Point Brewing & Spirits specialty brewer Colby Chandler finished up an email saying he was headed up to Stone Brewing Co. ...

Can pork fried rice be considered healthy?

Testing healthy claims with a North Park takeout mainstay

The sign out front said "healthy Chinese food." We'll see about that, I thought. I marched right in and searched for the least healthy item I could think of: barbecue pork fried rice. If someone ...

Burger chain gang heads to court

Jack in the Box and city head to court over ambitious North Park remodel

On Friday, January 23, a superior-court judge will decide whether a lawsuit filed by a group of North Park residents over the renovation of a Jack in the Box restaurant should go to trial. Last ...

First look: Good Life Eatery

North Park's new, tasty little dining spot

Still open limited weekend hours after its first week in business, North Park's Good Life Eatery feels like a winner. There's been a lot of coffee-shop-type turnover at this location over the years, so I ...

Beer Touring: Rip Current Brewing North Park

San Marcos brewery extends reach from North County to North Park

To some, it seems like Rip Current Brewing Company’s revamping of the North Park corner spot at 30th Street and Polk Avenue took virtually no time at all. Not so for the people anxiously awaiting ...

A desire named StreetCar

North Park's StreetCar Merchants of fried chicken, doughnuts and coffee soft opens on 30th Street

Doughnuts seem to be having a bit of a moment, but despite my sweet tooth and love for anything deep fried, I've never been much of a doughnut person. I've never swooned over a flashing ...

Observatory North Park

O.C. interest purchases North Park Theatre

The story of the Observatory’s arrival as one of Orange County’s top music venues started when a computer systems installer named Jon Reiser decided he had grown out of the 300-capacity Detroit Bar, a club ...

City's best pizza sauce expands its reach

North Park pizza decisions only gets tougher

So many new restaurants have opened in North Park over the past six months that one nearly escaped me. Nearly two months ago, Berkeley Pizza expanded its business to open a small restaurant on 30th, ...

First Look: North Park gets a second craft donut destination

Korean-style fried chicken also, curiously, on the menu

With the soft opening of another donut (or in this case doughnut) shop, North Park seems to be the city's new breakfast pastry destination. StreetCar Merchants becomes the second such spot to open on 30th ...

Best beer futures: Part II

The rest of the county’s most exciting upcoming brewery projects.

On December 18, I shared the top five most intriguing upcoming brewery projects in San Diego County. The following are the seven that fill out the dozen top brewery-owned works in progress. 6. Project X ...

Local gift guide: Lady edition

San Diego spots provide great options when shopping for her.

Christmas shopping can be such a hassle. I have the tendency to avoid malls during the entire month of December. Parking is a nightmare and sales people are overworked and grumpy. Luckily for San Diegans ...

Local gift guide: Dude edition

Skip the mall and shop local.

Gift giving for the dudes on my Christmas list is a challenge. My husband is a minimalist, so anytime I ask him what he wants for Christmas he shrugs and says, "Nothing." While he acts ...

First Look: Gourmet donuts hit North Park

Nomad Donuts quietly opens to long lines.

Donut shops inspire a crazy amount of love. I can remember the first Krispy Kreme opening in greater Los Angeles some 15 years ago. It caused a number of sweet tooth breakfast pastry devotees to ...

Coffee & Tea Collective teams with a juicer

East Village continues to attract specialty coffee shops. On November 12, North Park’s third-wave torchbearer Coffee & Tea Collective announced it would be opening a second location in early 2015, at 631 Ninth Ave. Technically, ...

A Modern take on amber ale

Point Loma’s Modern Times updates a semi-forgotten classic

Remember when the most popular style of beer was amber ale, AKA red ale? Not Irish-style red or West Coast-style red... just a nondescript red ale that looked pretty much the same color as those ...

Beer Touring: Fall Brewing Company

Veteran brewer’s passion project open for business in North Park

With hundreds of events going on throughout the county over a ten-day span, San Diego Beer Week was a blast, but the following week was actually far more exciting from a beer news standpoint. There ...

Beer Week surprise

A straightforward IPA from Mike Hess Brewing stands tall during SDBW

It was the best of times. No, really, it was the best of times! This year’s edition of San Diego Beer Week was one of the finest since the 2009 advent of this annual ten-day ...

Thrift pros and scores

Dedicated thrifters know how to take advantage of the deals in SD's many vintage and discount shops.

San Diego is known for its great weather, beaches, and craft beer. I think we need to add another item to that list — thrift stores. From the row of resale shops in Hillcrest on ...

Life after Beer Week

Sampler Flight of local beer events for November 18 through 24

November 18 | Fish Taco TKO: San Diego is well-known for fine craft beer and fish tacos. Both will share the spotlight at Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens – Liberty Station when ten chefs ...

The parking problem again

Audit Committee to look into better management of program

There's a shortage of parking in some San Diego communities and the city's community parking district program isn't much help addressing that shortage. In a recent audit, the city auditor's office found holes in the ...

Great spot for another bare-beamed brewhouse?

Longtime North Park business pulls the plug

A longtime popular discount fashion, toiletries, toys, and gifts store at 3002 University Avenue is now in liquidation. Discount International Fashions is selling all its merchandise and must vacate the premises by the end of ...

Not-half-bad dinner is also not half good

Swami's North Park Café starts dinner menu with unspectacular results.

North County stalwart, Swami’s Cafe, must have been dreaming big when they moved into the cavernous space left behind by Casa de Luz following the macrobiotic restaurant’s swift shove-off from North Park. Swami’s Encinitas location ...

María y José on violence and love

Tijuana ruidosón prophet María y José shakes up San Diego

More of an attitude than a proper genre, a close-knit collective of Tijuana musicians put a significant blip on the international music radar starting in 2009 under the umbrella tag ruidosón. The sound takes hints ...

A Mario Kart and IPA brunch

North Park's other beer and ramen spot

North Park got a new ramen and yakitori gastropub this fall — I mean, another one. The Safe House opened in mid-October, taking over the long-vacant site of what used to be a beauty supply ...

Richly concentrated

Third-wave neighborhood spots set to break over the next month.

Several established local roasters have been building out new storefronts this month, giving third-wave coffee drinkers plenty of new neighborhood options going into November. Dark Horse Coffee Roasters is just about set to open a ...

Last call: The Clean House

Despite its deserved hit-show status, NVA's show about "invisible stuff" must close soon.

Theaters run on such tight schedules, few can extend the run of a hit show. NVA has one — a hit that is, not the run. Their excellent The Clean House must close this Sunday. ...

Fueled by coffee, food, and friendliness

Influx starts off strong in North Park.

If there was an equation that equaled success for independent coffee houses, the owners of Influx must have solved it. They recently opened their third location in the new Northparker building on the corner of ...

BLVD Market reinvents ECB with fresh eats

San Diego's first prepared-foods-only popup market comes to the Boulevard

Once infamous for its streetwalkers and illegal street car races, El Cajon Boulevard is further reinventing itself by debuting San Diego’s first popup outdoor prepared foods market. The BLVD Market will be held every third ...

Underbelly North Park raises its game

New space dazzles, but old menu still where it's at.

It took awhile, but Underbelly, the ramen branch of Consortium Holdings' local restaurant empire, finally opened its long-anticipated second location at the North Parker. Its finishing of the corner space at 30th and Upas completes ...

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