South Park Stories

Fruit smoothies, superfoods and breakfast on the run

South Park finally gets its own organic market

As quickly as the past several years of gentrification took over South Park, one problem lingered: access to organic produce. Crack parks became dog parks, empty buildings became restaurants and restaurants became fusion restaurants, and ...

Quiche envy in South Park

Quaint French café just right for those who miss Paris.

With crêpes, quiches, coffee and no shortage of charm, Café Madeleine gives Francophiles in South Park a destination to aim their morning strolls. The classy little shop pays attention to the small details while catering to the big picture; namely, that locals needed this sort of adorable little outpost to catch up with friends over light fare and hot beverages.

Sampler Flight: March 11–17

St. Patty's Day suds and a whole lot more

March 11 – 16 | Anniversary Festivities: Mardi Gras was last week, but Ciro’s Pizzeria is keeping the good times rolling with eight days of celebration including a party with Stone Brewing Co., trivia nights ...

Surprising delights at Juan Chou

Japanese and Mexican flavors found on the same menu

I’ve been spending more time in South Park since my friend Mellie moved from Venice Beach to South Park central, right on Fern Street. One recent evening, Mellie invited David and me to dinner at ...

Pet almost abducted from Grape Street Dog Park

Dog-napper or aggressively altruistic dog-owner?

On Wednesday, February 19, what seemed to be an attempted dog-napping at Grape Street Dog Park was thwarted by park regulars, who stopped the would-be perpetrator in the parking lot. More than one eyewitness claimed ...

Balboa Golf Course clubhouse to expand?

Expansion contingent on pedestrian pathway

On February 12, the Golden Hill Planning Committee unanimously voted to deny support of a proposed extension of the Balboa Golf Course clubhouse. All present members of the community advisory group took issue with the ...

Brabant Bar & Café brings Belgium to South Park

It had been a frustrating day so far — putting out work-related fires and waiting around for a plumber for actual water issues; before I knew it, it was 3 p.m. and neither David nor ...

Potential canyon development in South Park

What about the neighbors? What about the sensitive habitat?

On January 9, the City of San Diego’s Development Services Department issued a notice of site development at the corner of Granada Avenue and Fir Street in South Park. Within days, dozens of nearby residents ...

Belgian bistro takes over at Vagabond locale

Euro-styled eatery serves excellent bier, but the meat doesn't translate

I'm not above a little light reading before dinner. So when the menu at Brabant — South Park's newest Belgian theme restaurant — opened with a list of recommended food and beer pairings, I embraced ...

Reconciling with maple bacon in South Park

Chocolatier's brunches make the details count

I tend to be averse to sweetening food that's meant to be savory, so I've long put off visiting Eclipse since it moved in to South Park last year. William Gustwiller's confections are unquestionably delicious, ...

U.S. Marshals nab suspect from South Park rental

Not the first law-enforcement activity at this address in recent months

Agents of the U.S. Marshals Service raided a house in South Park on Wednesday January 15, at 4:30 p.m., arresting at least one occupant and detaining two others while they searched the house. Ten armed ...

Holdup at South Park coffee kiosk

She was reportedly under the influence and with a gun

A woman with a gun robbed a coffee-kiosk tip jar in South Park Tuesday, January 14, at approximately 9:50 a.m. Armed with what appeared to be a black semiautomatic pistol, a woman driving a two-door ...

Dog-Friendly Dining: Pup's choice in South Park

Grant's has small-town charm and a solid deli, if you've got time

South Park easily claims the title of my dog's favorite neighborhood. It's home to her favorite dog park, pet shop and bar (Hamilton's, naturally). It's also where to find her favorite mid-walk water dish – ...

Sampler Flight: January 7-13

Starting out the year with a full week’s slate of suds events

January 11 | Total Tap Takeover: Tap takeovers happen all over the country and exhibit varying degrees of totalitarianism. Make no mistake — this one, an invasion staged by Stone Brewing Co. at Urge Gastropub ...

Rose Wine Pub is an essay in good design

South Park wine bar looks gorgeous on the inside, defying the trend of many restaurants to look better in pictures than in person

Photographs deceive from the virtual walls of restaurant website image galleries, or the constructed space of press releases, providing would-be guests with a virtual tour of a restaurant’s interior. Enhanced colors create an extra lustrous ...

Sampler Flight: December 11-16

This week’s beer events headlined by Saturday, supper, stout

December 11 | FiftyFifty Eclipse Release: A beer release is almost always a special affair, but the wow factor of this highly coveted barrel-aged imperial stout from Truckee, California’s FiftyFifty Brewing Company and brewers' presence ...

City to pay in full for illegal maintenance assessment districts

Litigation expenses of Golden Hill and South Park residents to be recouped

For many residents of Golden Hill and South Park, the fight to dissolve their maintenance assessment district was long, hard, and expensive. In 2011, more than four years after filing a complaint against the city, ...

Shopping guide for Small Business Saturday

San Diego's best local shopping spots

I worked in retail as a teenager. Holidays were hell — long lines, grouchy customers and insane messes to clean up. I haven’t set foot in a mall on Black Friday, or within the month ...

Sampler Flight: November 19–25

Back in time times two, and other local craft beer fun

November 21 | Time Machine Beer Dinner: One has beer, but no on-site food. The other has a kitchen, but is having trouble keeping its house beers in stock. What to do? Join forces to ...

Best of Beer Week: November 9

Hitting the home stretch as San Diego Beer Week nears an end

Open House: Vista’s Mother Earth Brew Co. has done some major expanding and upgrading at its original brewery, which has necessitated them closing off its tasting room. Come in for a long overdue brew and ...

Best of Beer Week: November 4

Even Monday’s a good day during San Diego Beer Week

Beer & Cheese Pairing: Equal opportunity artisan Peter Zien, the brewmaster at AleSmith who is also working on opening his own dairy project called CheeseSmith, will drop in to Encinitas Ale House to pair some ...

Best of Beer Week: November 3

Suggestions for closing out the first weekend of San Diego Beer Week

Chargers vs. Redskins Sour Brunch: The Chargers appear to be on the right track. Catch this case of lightning in a bottle along with glass after glass of tart, tasty sour beer from a board ...

Sampler Flight: October 16–20

A trio of festivals and more are right around the corner

October 19 | Grand Opening Celebrewtion: After 11 months in business, Vista’s Belching Beaver Brewery is finally holding its official grand opening. Realizing they’re almost a year in, they’re also releasing their first anniversary ale. ...

Know your meat

No mechanical slaughter here, folks

I didn’t know sheep had rectangular pupils. I guess I’d never gotten close enough to notice. But there they were, pleading up at me as I held the animal’s head and torso in place over ...

Sampler Flight: October 8–13

Local ways to let the good times roll, craft-style

October 8 | Listening & Tasting Party: Due to permitting, many San Diego breweries aren’t allowed to provide live entertainment. Bummer, right? So, the opportunity to spend time bobbing along with The Silent Comedy at ...

Saturday in South Park: beer and bicyclists

Brave soul trades their car for a bike

Hundreds of costumed bicyclists rode along South Park streets on Saturday, September 28, during Tour de Fat, New Belgium brewery’s celebration of beer and bikes. The Colorado brewery is taking this festival to 12 cities ...

Sampler Flight: October 2–6

Kick off October with some solid craft beer events

October 4 | Hamilton’s Anniversary Kick-Off: Wildly popular craft beer hotspot Hamilton’s Tavern is celebrating seven years in business, and doing starting off a month of celebrations in the most appropriate way — with beer. ...

Alchemy's Patron's Saint

Already known for a menu informed by a free association of tastes, Alchemy continues to maintain the element of surprise by offering shrubs. No, not the kind arranged, designed, and sold by Monty Python’s medieval ...

Stringy Things: Wannabe Rock Stars

On any given night in numerous San Diego neighborhoods, you can find an open mic night hosted by a local coffee house. I am a tad obsessed thanks to an experience years ago at a ...

Yarn bomber Marcy Kraft’s downtown Rubik’s Cubes

Artist sets up for Comic-Con crowd

Ever seen the South Park trees wearing colorful banded crocheted sweaters and wondered who did that? I've unraveled the mystery! I was downtown with my Nikon shooting Comic-Con attendees and came across a slew of ...

South Park Street Style

Girls with tats

My friend Mark’s biggest pet peeve is the existence of beautiful women with tattoos. “I just don’t understand why all these pretty girls are covering their bodies in tats,” he said in frustration after spotting ...

Amy Baca Lopez: Art of Love

South Park artist paints love in many forms, dishes on the Camino de Santiago and The Real World San Diego.

Rookie vamp

Interview with Encinitas resident Nathan Young about his storytelling showcase called VAMP, held at the Whistle Stop in South Park.

Lords of the Drink

The art of the sip.

Alchemy's Ricardo Heredia, Noble Experiment's Anthony Schmidt, and the U.S. Grant's Jeff Josenhans share their glass art.

Unique Accessories in South Park

I found Bianca Poletti enjoying the San Diego weather while sipping tea outside Rebecca's Coffee shop in South Park. The 26-year-old recently moved to Seattle where she works as a visual merchandiser for the popular ...

South Park's crooked 30th Street

Heymatt: Why in the world does 30th Street morph into Fern Street between Juniper and Ash streets? Not only that, 30th doesn’t disappear during its run as Fern but actually continues as an entirely separate ...

The Neighbor

Ours was a normal little enclave affectionately referred to as our South Park “Hood”. It was really like any other small community, an up and coming neighborhood, home to all sorts of folks, of all ...

Who doesn't want some Freak Sauce on a first date?

Makeout Weird helps bridge the gap between new media at UC San Diego and down-and-dirty experimental performance in the real world.

Big Heart and Kitchen

“My son Rudy started working here when he was 10. Now he’s 34 and the chef.”

Judy the Beauty on Duty’s Big Kitchen serves a big breakfast in South Park.

Rose Wine Pub

Rose Wine Pub in South Park caught my attention when it opened about 16 months ago. It was a holiday walkabout night and the cozy bar, which seats about 30, was standing-room only. Wanting to ...

Muted Magic at Alchemy

The menu of Alchemy has expanded considerably since I first ate there after its opening, and the restaurant has become a South Park neighborhood favorite. Of course, there’s not much else to eat in the ...

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 ...

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 ...

PechaKucha: Where You Have 6 Minutes + 40 Seconds to Explain Yourself

It was 8:20 p.m. on a Wednesday in mid-October. Over 100 San Diegans were wedged into the Whistle Stop bar in South Park, listening to marketing guru David Lecours, the emcee for San Diego’s ninth ...

Here's the Deal: Whistle Stop

Established in 1979, the bar on the corner of 30th and Juniper went defunct for a decade in the ’90s and reopened as the Whistle Stop during the summer of 2001 in the heart of ...

Fork and Dagger

"You don’t know us, but we know you,” the text message read. “You are one of the selected few.” The message, from a Mr. Smith, gave the location of a South Park wine bar where ...

Very French Café Madeleine in South Park

Sorry, Carla. I’m in love. With Madeleine. Whoever Madeleine is. It’s Thursday morning, South Park, the sun’s coming and going, but that’s okay. Here on the dogleg between Fern and 30th, life feels good. You ...

South Park's Granny Flats — City Says Yea, Some Citizens Say Nay

San Diego's Development Services Department wants to tear down some of the restrictions built into the City's Land Development Code. Among the bundle of changes included in the department's update are regulations dealing with “companion ...

Hop Sausage at Hamilton's in South Park

"Are you seeing another woman?” It’s Carla, on the cell. “Sweetheart, corazón, what da heck makes you ask that? Seriously.” “You never come straight home these days. You’re always calling from a different place.” She’s ...

Nowhere Near Bankruptcy?

Twenty people attended District 3 city councilmember Todd Gloria's latest community coffee klatch on August 14 at Grant's Marketplace in South Park. (Contrary to what the photo suggests, alcoholic beverages were not served.) Gloria spent ...

Raccoon Wars

1:43 a.m. I wake up. My dog is pacing, wants out. She's standing with her head cocked, listening at the open window. I listen too. There is splashing coming from the back yard. I feel ...

A Spice Thing Goin' On

Ain’t it funny how things happen in strings? Maybe that’s what string theory’s all about. But one week after chew-chewing gourmet burgers downtown at Neighborhood, I’m being tempted by another hip joint (heh-heh) that sells ...