North Park Stories

No One Cares About Being Cool

An outsider is permitted to experience a variety of San Diego social clubs from the inside.

Johnny's R Restaurant Sign Stops Spinning

The big revolving sign outside Johnny's R Restaurant at 2611 El Cajon Boulevard has stopped spinning. The inexpensive family restaurant, originated by Johnny Raizian, had a run of more than 30 years in North Park. ...

One-Dollar Fish Taco Frenzy in University Heights

This article seeks to find value for fish taco lovers living in the San Diego Area. The Taquerias in question (El Zarape and Kiko’s Place) are often overlooked by economically casual chowers but they shouldn’t ...

Zelda's Place

The waiter at Street Side Thai Kitchen set the Garden Fish ($19.95) down in the middle of the table. A crispy orb peeked from beneath a fringe of cilantro. Freshly sliced tomatoes lined one side ...

West Coast Superfood

“You might say it’s the French thing versus the German thing.”

Tiger! Tiger! Yeah, yeah, craft beer…and mushroom-lentil sandwiches?

Graffiti in North Park by Invisible Children Supporters?

Invisible Children, Inc., is the San Diego nonprofit company that created a video on Joseph Kony's rebel war in Central Africa. The video has reportedly garnered over 100 million views, but the organization may have ...

Two Toronados

The word Toronado carries a lot of meaning in West Coast craft-beer circles. For San Franciscans, it’s the name of a bar in the Lower Haight, where the stock has consisted of fine beer for ...

North Park Volunteer Patrol Will Target Rowdiness Outside Bars

At a March 13 meeting at the Lafayette Hotel, the North Park Community Association sponsored a meeting at which the Stonewall Citizens' Patrol presented their plans to expand into the North Park area. The volunteer ...

Saucy Since 1967

The first North Park Little League team meeting of the new season had ended at Morley Field, and we were starving. “Mom! Tonight’s the fundraiser for my school at Paesano’s. Can we go there?” I ...

Let’s Build an Even Bigger Jack in the Box in North Park

Christi Nail has spent thousands of dollars on double-pane windows to keep out the noise and wooden shutters to block out the headlights. She is thinking of building a concrete retaining wall to ward off ...

Tobacco Rhoda’s

The term “dive bar” is thrown around pretty loosely these days and, not unlike “dude,” “epic,” and “excessive force,” the essential meaning has been all but lost. Enter Tobacco Rhoda’s. Famous for its Filipina bartenders ...

Champion Chew

“When you look in a gecko’s ear, you can see clear out the other side. True or [not]?”

"More people worldwide are killed by donkeys than die in plane crashes every year. True, or shit?” Tom’s standing on the stage where the band Napoleon Complex will be playing later tonight. This is Wednesday ...

Labor Ready Storefront in North Park Closes Shop

The Labor Ready office at 2884 University Avenue closed on December 27. A sign posted on the door stated: “This office will be closed until further notice.” It says to contact their branch at 1021 ...

From Life in Ohio to Life on Ohio

A women goes over 2,000 miles west and ends up in the same place, how is this possible? I didn’t pull that question out of the MindTrap deck (note cultural reference that makes me feel ...

Wang's North Park Restaurant Plans “Soft” Opening

While a little behind the planned opening date (but said to be right on budget), Wang's North Park restaurant will have a “soft opening” on November 21, said co-owner and operator Joel Herzer in a ...

Caltrans Deems Georgia Street Bridge Deficient

The San Diego City Council on November 1 approved an amended agreement with Simon Wong Engineering for services on the Georgia Street Bridge renovation. This will add an additional payment of $493,000, boosting the firm's ...

San Diego's Cardrooms Allowed to Add Tables

The San Diego City Council on October 18 unanimously approved the increase of tables from nine to eleven at the remaining two cardrooms in San Diego. This proposal was sanctioned last August by the Bureau ...

Alleged Bank of America Official Threatens Protester

Hearing about an October 11 demonstration at the Bank of America branch on University Avenue at 31st Street, I dropped by. Not connected with the Occupy San Diego movement, this protest was connected to the ...

Jamaican Promise at La Crêperie

“Bacon, avocado, cheese... Back in Tunis, Brittany, they’d freak out at that.”

The sun slants in through the venetian blinds, casting angled stripes across Christine’s arms and face. She’s wearing a striped dress, too, so it’s kinda cute. She’s chatting away with her old school buddy, Cathy, ...

City Heights, now East North Park

“I vowed long ago never to move east of route 805!” my friend C.C. admonished me when I told him I was looking for an apartment in an affordable area. My first choice was North ...

Redwing Bar & Grill

I’ve always enjoyed gay dives because the mood tends to outshine that of neighboring, dimly lit hipster hangouts. Nowhere is this accute sense of festivity more apparent than karaoke nights at Redwing Bar and Grill ...

Slo Jam at New Expression

Directed by Chris Aquavella, 14 mandolin players and three guitarists pluck and strum the poignant notes of “La Frisonette.” Avoiding the black-and-white depictions of Robert Johnson and Leadbelly lining the walls, I imagine sitting in ...

North Park’s Pilot Perpendicular Parking Project

Within the past few weeks, a perpendicular, or “head-in,” parking project has been completed in the 4300 block of Kansas Street, north of El Cajon Boulevard. The project was initiated by the Mid City Community ...

Claire World

“I have this dream,” Claire Magner says, looking around the partially renovated insides of the Sunset Temple. “I’m really gonna make this Claire World.” If all goes according to plan, the 300-seat meeting hall on ...

North Park and Two Jerrys

Governor Jerry Brown and the state legislature are out to kill redevelopment, but San Diego mayor Jerry Sanders is counting on the state supreme court to quash Brown’s efforts so that the mayor can spruce ...

Bull's Eye, Caffé Calabria

‘Fresh mozzarella?” says Giancarlo. “You eat it like a soft apple, while it’s still warm, and the warm milk oozes out and runs down your face. That’s the fresh mozzarella you can get in Italian ...

Apples to Apples

My buddy Mark and his girlfriend Liz recently moved from Pacific Beach to North Park and threw a housewarming barbecue to inaugurate their new place. Maybe 12 friends, many of them old pals from East ...

Over there by the bowling alley

A long time ago I was new to the city, so I relied on my buddy and roommate to show me the sights. He worked over on University in that office complex between the library ...

North Park Residents Call Urban Corps for Speedier Graffiti Removal

Though some residents of North Park call the City of San Diego's graffiti hotline or use its online graffiti report form, some complain that the city's response is slow. So, Graham Blair, a volunteer with ...

Superhero Sound Artists

“Within a seated arrangement, the audience witnessed these works in pitch dark.” Larry Caveney is describing audio events he’s produced in his Alabama Street garage in North Park. Caveney launched “the Garage” events in 2009. ...

High-Speed Chase Ends in North Park

A loud police chase ended in a quiet residential pocket of North Park on August 9. The target of the manhunt was apprehended just west of the 3100 block of 32nd Street. Area resident Brian ...

El Cajon Boulevard Church of Christ

Contact: 2528 El Cajon Blvd., San Diego; 619-299-6812; ecbchurchofchrist.org Membership: 130 Pastor: John Manor Age: 43 Born: Monterey Formation: San Diego State University Years Ordained: 3 San Diego Reader: How long do you spend writing ...

Lyric Opera Poised to Sell North Park Theatre

Lyric Opera, which owns Birch North Park Theatre, struggles to pay the mortgage and operating costs, which run more than $50,000 monthly. Now, the nonprofit organization is close to unloading the property. According to Lyric ...

North Park Clean and Safe: Good for Business, Bad for Residents?

As San Diego’s budget deficit has grown, the list of basic services that the City provides has shrunk. To address the increased number of overgrown trees, trash-strewn sidewalks, and rundown business centers, dozens of communities ...

Woolworth Building Rehab Cost to Rise?

A 15,600-square-foot property at 3067 University Avenue was built in 1949 by F.W. Woolworth Company. Last year, the city purchased the long-empty building for $1,950,000 for redevelopment. North Park Gateway, LLC, was selected to work ...

Transient Problem at North Park’s Albertsons

For many months, transients have hunkered down in front of the Albertsons supermarket at 2235 University Avenue in North Park. They panhandle for change and sometimes fall asleep on the sidewalk. After contacting the Albertsons ...

City Slow to Remove Racial Slur on Sign in North Park

On June 2, when I saw a stop sign at Louisiana Street and Polk Avenue tagged with anti-semitic graffiti, I immediately emailed councilmember Todd Gloria's office. I also sent a photo showing the racial slur, ...

Train-Wreck Rock at Pink Punk Lotto

“It’s time to get weird! Play with strangers! Feel like part of a kinky experiment!” reads the poster for Pink Punk Lotto. A few days before the showcase, rocker, DJ, and PPL organizer “Swami” John ...

Weed Wednesday

Author: Courtney Hartmann Neighborhood: North Park Age: 29 Occupation: Freelance writer It’s Hump Day to most. Weed Wednesday to me. When I get home after a long day, I know there will be people huddled ...

Have Your Guitar Out of the Case and Tuned Before It's Your Turn

South ParkWednesday, February 168:45 p.m. The sign painted on the building reads Delicious Food, Great Beer, Philanthropy, but I won’t notice this until I leave. For now, I dart from my car into South Park ...

The Fall of Western Civilization at a North Park Coffeehouse

Meeting of the Minds, moderated by Gary Grine, meets Wednesdays at Filter Coffee House. Grine formed this group when he decided that the Thursday discussion group he had founded became “too political and too liberal.” ...

North Park Boxed in by Utility Companies

Residents of North Park want to think out of the box, the utility box. In recent years, artists have been encouraged to use the metal boxes as canvases; with more boxes on the way, however, ...

U-31's Paloma

¡Viva La Revolucion! ¡Viva La Paloma! That’s not exactly how U-31 bartender Chris Freeman sees it. Ask him, though, and this budding bartender will fill your glass with a cold decant of the paloma. As ...

Consider the Condo

Almost a decade ago, when I worked in a high-rise office building downtown, some coworkers and I stood at a corner window and counted the mega-sized cranes that dotted the scenery. “One, two, three, four,” ...

Gremlins Grumble at Cardamom Café

Galen’s walking a mile in President Obama’s shoes. “My dad’s Ethiopian, my mom’s American,” she says. “He’s a lawyer. My mom was always baking at home, so when this restaurant came up for lease, he ...

I Like My Truck, But I Miss My Cart

It’s just a truck. A big white square food- wagon outside a bar. But look at its chalkboard menu: Local wild halibut, side of ceviche tostada, $4.75 Mandarin salad — local Satsuma mandarin, roasted local ...

On Wednesdays, TNT Stands for True North Tacos

Each Wednesday night, North Park’s True North Tavern — a good-time spot for drinkers, foodies (the menu is the product of chef Matt Gordon from next-door neighbor Urban Solace), and all-purpose revelers — holds its ...

Urbn Coal Fired Pizza's Manhattan

As bartender Seth Laufman preps for Urbn Coal Fired Pizza’s Tuesday-evening crowds, he explains that of all the liquors behind the bar, whiskey’s the most entertaining to “play around with.” It starts with a silky-smooth ...

Pan-Asian Restaurant to Test Its Fortune in Vacant North Park Store

On Tuesday, March 22, the San Diego city council approved loaning restaurateurs Joel Herzer and Tom Eads $500,000 in redevelopment funds to open Pan-Asian restaurant Wangs North Park in the former JC Penney's building at ...

"Carol, call me!" My Thursday Travelogue

Could've called it my Thursday travels ...but thought travelogue sounded more important and whats more important than my day . Like everything ! But to satisfy my urge to satisfy my expressive side ( yes ...

Fight Over North Park Bar Spills Into the Streets

Several patrons wearing stickers that read "I Support Bluefoot" crammed into a meeting room in city hall on March 10. They were there to ask San Diego's planning commission to uphold the neighborhood use permit ...

Geared Up at Chrononaut

“The word ‘steampunk’ initially described a subgenre of science fiction,” says Eric Chamberlin, aka Professor J.S. Greyshade, cofounder and resident DJ of Queen Bee’s monthly steampunk club Chrononaut. “In its original literary definition, steampunk imagines ...

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