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I catch him coming out of Starbucks.

Modest looking guy.

Except I know he’s a magician.

Alfredo Gutierrez is in the middle of painting the murals for the new place opening two doors away from Funky Garcia’s, at 415 Market Street, in the Gaslamp. And actually it's Funky, Mo and Alberto who are expanding with a new eatery/bar to be called El Pulpo ("The Octopus").

Alfredo’s an artist from Tijuana, but lives in Mexico City.

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Alfredo Gutierrez

"I was up here in San Diego a few weeks ago getting some paint supplies. I called the guys at Funky’s to say hi, because I had done their murals there, and they said they’ve got another place they’re starting up next door…”

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Sign in the window

Result: weeks of painting underwater scenes at El Pulpo, right past the Gaslamp Hotel (417 Market Street).

And what a scene.

Everything from the main room with its show kitchen …

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...to underwater scenes covering all the walls...

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…to the men’s bathroom, with its very Funky-looking Merman.

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Plus, joining El Pulpo on the corner they’re opening a full bar, “The Reef.” Both should be open around mid-late January.

And around the corner they’re opening yet another eatery/bar which can morph into a night club/lounge to be called The Standard.”

All these openings! And in these hard times?

“Funky Garcia’s has been good for us,” says Funky's Alberto.

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Alberto of Funky Garcia's in front of the new place

"And high-end is out these days. We’ll have $1 tacos, $6-7 burgers, those kinds of prices, but top-notch, Mexican-style seafood.”

The one painting I haven't seen by Alfredo on El Pulpo's walls: an octopus.

BTW: Good news from Funky’s: they’re open Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve.

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