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From outside, Urbn Coal Fired Pizza/Bar, at 3085 University Avenue, looks like the latest entry on the list of "huge warehouses turned into trendy bar/pizza places".

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It has a big fan, lots of different seating options, and some clever touches, like the toolbox/bus station.

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Don't expect any ladies night "martini menu" though. I suspect that if I had ordered a martini here, they would have made me one without first asking "Will that be gin or vodka?" Which would have delighted me.

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Anyway, they take their libations here seriously enough to have a "drink program". I'm not sure what that is, but I do appreciate a well-made classic cocktail. And, judging from the number of infusion-filled squirt bottles in the fridge, I'm not alone.

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Today I'm here for pizza, though, and really prefer beer with it. We get a couple and order an eggplant parmesan pizza ($16 for a small).

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Dogfish Head Chicory Stout ($6), Ballast Point Sculpin American IPA ($7)

I've seen the trend of serving food on aluminum quarter-sheet pans elsewhere, but this baby's on a half-sheet pan. It's pretty doggone big.

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It's got a bubbly, crispy-brown crust, not a bit doughy or bready. On top is a flavorful, homemade red sauce and lots of freshly fried, crunchy, herb-breaded slices of eggplant. Some have been topped with fresh mozzarella, others have been left naked to further brown and crunchify in the oven. Large, fresh basil leaves have a shower of grated parmesan over them. The heat from the pizza warms them just enough to release their aroma. On the side, there's small bowls of more parmesan, oregano, red pepper flakes, black pepper and coarse salt. It's so enjoyable that the two of us eat the whole pie.

Urbn Coal Fired Pizza/Bar also has a location in Vista.

Urbn Coal Fired Pizza/Bar

3085 University Avenue

San Diego, CA 92104

619.255.7300

Hours:

Sunday: noon to midnight

Monday to Tuesday: 4:00 p.m. to midnight

Wednesday: noon to midnight

Thursday to Saturday: noon to 2:00 a.m.

Street parking.

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Comments

Founder Dec. 30, 2011 @ 6:35 p.m.

A couple of comments: 1. RE: Urbn Coal Fired Pizza/Bar, I'd suggest that you capitalize the BAR and make it Urban BAR/Pizza since that is what this "restaurant" bar/pizza place really is, a morphed ABC licensed restaurant that is really operating as a BAR; if that was not the case then this place would not even be in North Park!

  1. RE: Street Parking, thanks for asking folks to use the NP Parking Garage and or the Valet Parking that is required as part of their ABC license requirements, instead of encouraging yet more on street parking that makes the local neighborhood "less" like a neighborhood and more like a parking lot, especially after midnight when folks stumble loudly toward their vehicles after 2 AM!
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Mary Beth Abate Dec. 30, 2011 @ 10:27 p.m.

Thanks for your comments - at least I know one person read my blog besides my mom!

  1. I've been to Urbn more than once, and nearly everyone in the place has been eating AND drinking. I've seen families with young children eating pizza and drinking sodas as well as others drinking cocktails, beer or wine with their meals.

  2. I understand that increased traffic to an area can make parking complicated and it's no fun to have drunken shouting in your front yard in the wee hours. "Street parking" merely means that the place doesn't have its own parking lot. I'm pretty sure that people know about private lots, where they can pay to park their cars if they prefer.

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hgrutter Jan. 2, 2012 @ 2:23 p.m.

Actually they do have their own lot right behind the restaurant. It's free most days of the week and I think they charge on Fri/Sat :)

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