North Park Stories

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 ...

Herstorical L7

Los Angeles grunge girls reunite for a night at San Diego Music Thing

L7, the loud and raunchy female quartet featuring guitarists Donita Sparks and Suzi Gardner, bassist Jennifer Finch, and drummer Dee Plakas, formed in 1985, broke big in 1992, broke up in 2001, and reunited last ...

San Diego rockers invade Spain and Italy

Robert Lopez and friends bring a Schizophonic Little Richard to Europe

Last month, a San Diego traveling circus invaded Spain and Italy to perform a run of shows. The three-act tour, which featured the Little Richards, Schizophonics, and Diana Death y Sus Novios, benefitted from the ...

Just in on Justin (Pearson)

The Locust, Head Wound City, Retox, janitor on the WB

Twenty years ago bassist Justin Pearson cofounded the Locust, the San Diego band known for its short, spazzy grindcore songs played by guys in insect suits. About the same time he launched Three One G, ...

James and the giant bass

Yo La Tengo's James McNew talks "stuff like that there"

In 1990, Hoboken natives Yo La Tengo released Fakebook — an album composed of cover songs, reworked tunes, and a handful of original compositions. 25 years later, the band is revisiting that template with Stuff ...

These are "Salad Days" for Mac DeMarco

Indie hit crowd surfs at Observatory North park

Dipping down from the forgotten land of Canada, Mac DeMarco and his corky bandmates made an appearance at the Observatory North Park in support of DeMarco’s delightful “mini LP” Another One. Crowd-surfing, child-like banter, and ...

Chango voodoo

Local indie act Botanica Chango plays a record-release at the Irenic on November 4

Josh Becker (aka Chango Chango) from the group Botanica Chango sums up his band’s sound as being “voodoo pop.” What is voodoo pop? Well, let’s examine “BB and the Beat,” currently available on the band’s ...

Let’s try Soda & Swine sober

Is it still good in the middle of the day?

I’d tasted the fare at Soda & Swine several times before, but I’d never actually been in the space. I was always next door, enjoying a libation at Polite Provisions while David, ever the giver, ...

Paul Weller — Modernist with a capital M

The modfather's visit to Observatory North Park reviewed

Don’t you just love places that charge $18 for two cans of PBR? Me neither. North Park’s Observatory played host to a visit from the modstar, Paul Weller. It’s been a long time since he ...

Saving Ray

New leadership injects life into longstanding event

it’s Saturday night on North Park’s Ray Street and the pavement is humming with life. A dude in zebra tights and a tank top twirls around with a hula hoop while a crowd gathers to ...

Rip Current is not so very small anymore

The winning formula of a San Diego–based brewery of the year

In September, Rip Current founders Paul Sangster and Guy Shobe brought five beers to the Great American Beer Festival, the nation's biggest beer contest. The former homebrewers returned victorious, with two medals and the distinction ...

Drinking a 5pm Session at midnight

One of many beers I tried for the first time at Hamilton's

The best thing about my house is its location — just a few short blocks from Hamilton's Tavern. This is by design. The slightly divey taphouse has been one of our city's champions of craft ...

Tostadas are the new tacos

Fruit and fish creations at a new North Park spot

Casting my vote at the Reader Feast food and drink festival this year was easy. Yes, eventual winner Half Door Brewing Co. rightfully earned its victory with a combo of tasty beers and ahi poke ...

Little Birds' Elgin James’s personal appearance benefits Digital Gym

Get your Q's A'd

Join Reader film-critic Scott Marks at the Digital Gym, Friday, October 9, at 9 p.m. for a screening of Little Birds, followed by a Q&A with writer-director Elgin James. The autobiographical tale, James’s debut, stars ...

May the Force be with Titus Andronicus

...and not the police force

The Titus Andronicus van rolled into town on the same night as the Foo Fighters traveling circus. Whereas Dave Grohl and Co. most likely played to a sold-out Sleepy Train Amphitheatre, Patrick Stickles and his ...

Dane Coffee takes aggressive baby steps

Coffeee shop to open next year or the year after

Back in 2013, a change in California law allowed individuals to sell food prepared in home kitchens. Such “Cottage Food Operations” also applies to coffee, and for nearly a year husband-and-wife team Scott and Brielle ...

It's fixed. No running, and no peeing in Bud's pool

Morley Field municipal pool ready for swimming, more repairs to come

On Monday (September 28), San Diego's oldest community pool reopened to the public after getting the thumbs up from the County Department of Environmental Health on September 23. The Bud Kearns Municipal Pool was originally ...

Stickles's march to the sea

"If the guitar is not loud enough, then my brain is louder, and it’s not gonna work”

"Tell the world my story. Nobody believes me. They think I’m bullshitting them.” The story Titus Andronicus mastermind Patrick Stickles is referring to is a complicated one. Much of it is peeled away within the ...

"Cholo goth" duo gets ripped off at Riot Fest in Chicago

Stolen Prayers

“We are mostly a San Diego/L.A./New York band,” says Rafa Reyes, half of cholo goth duo Prayers. The release of their Young Gods album took them on a 14-city, three-week tour, which ended September 11 ...

Wavves' slavves come out to play

Nathan Williams brings the band home for one night in North Park

A rainy night in North Park failed to keep the punk-rock masses away from the Observatory for Wavves’ San Diego tour stop. After a rollicking set by Chicago rockers Twin Peaks, Nathan Williams unleashed his ...

The cheeky swagger of Twin Peaks

From Mom's basement to opening dates with Wavves

From one mom’s basement to your ears: the four core members of Twin Peaks (nothing to do with the television series of the same name, they once told a reporter) know each other going back ...

Feast! Uptown

Best restaurants from the Heights to the Parks

From Mission Hills to Kensington, in Heights both Normal and University, and in Parks North and South, UPTOWN residents don't rest on good looks or thick pocketbooks. They thrive on personality and artful presentation. So, ...

"Wildheart" Miguel funks up the Observatory

...with a two hour set of electrifying funk-rock and sexy slow jams

One of the best concert experiences is when you catch an artist at that pivotal moment when your gut tells you he or she is on the cusp of going Big Time. That’s how I ...

If tears were good luck, Morrissey would be rich

Oh wait, he is rich — a report from night number one at the Observatory

Given his penchant for last-minute show cancellations, the last thing that San Diegans with Morrissey tickets wanted to see four hours before show time was an e-mail with “Event Update” in the subject line. Thankfully, ...

Sabuku Sushi pushes boundaries

Bacon even makes sushi better

Usually when a sushi place tries to add American elements, it is more confusion than fusion. But when it’s done well, it can take Japanese flavors into an interesting new place. One restaurant that does ...

Eff your diet, life is short

As good as “bad” can be at Streetcar Merchants

These days, there are few things more counterculture than a blatant disregard for “healthy” food. If hipsters were still a thing (which they’re not, but if), then Streetcar Merchants would be their headquarters. While everyone ...

Headtripping with Tame Impala

The Australian psych-rock band brings its Currents tour through town

The Observatory in North Park continued its winning streak of knockout concerts by playing host to Australia’s Tame Impala on a sweltering August night. It was yet another sellout show for the venue, and the ...

Brewery Igniter offers brewhouses for lease

Fenton powered business model cuts startup costs

Given the number of craft beer companies launched in San Diego over the past couple of years, starting a brewery almost seems easy. Of course, it's not, and given the capital investment required to purchase ...

Barn Brewing nearly in full swing on the Boulevard

Poor House sister spot serving beer all day, every day

The team behind Poor House brewing have opened a second nanobrewery in North Park. Barn Brewery sits just around the corner from the 30th Street brewhouse, adding its name to the growing number of young ...

Rocket men

Astronauts, etc launch at Seven Grand

Anthony Ferraro deserves a mighty high-five for coming up with a band name so perfectly representative of the music he creates. His five-piece band, Astronauts, etc, specializes in the mellow, spaced-out pop that AIR has ...

Supermarket slump?

North Park Haggen store affected by layoffs

The staffing cutbacks announced July 14 for Haggen supermarkets throughout Southern California have included San Diego. A conversation July 15 with two North Park Haggen employees (who had to remain anonymous) revealed that the store ...

Destruction continues before the groundbreaking

Former AT&T bldg, site of future housing, also target of arson and graffiti

A July 5 fire at the long-vacant former AT&T building at 4220 Arizona Street (off the intersection of Texas Street and Howard Avenue) caused minor damage to the structure, which was already scheduled for demolition. ...

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