Jeff Smith noon, Nov. 24
First PB, then downtown, then OB, now Little Italy: Kiwi-style pubs are taking over, mate
Something great is happening to that rambling old house across from the Firehouse Museum at Cedar and Columbia in Little Italy.
It’s already well-known. Dede Alpert had her offices here...
...Lori Saldaña had her offices here too. It’s the kind of house your grandma might live in.
And soon enough, gramma just might want to pay a visit. Because now it's gonna be the Queenstown Porch and Garden, Restaurant and Bar (1557 Columbia, at Cedar), a Kiwi pub named after the famous South Island ski resort/birth-of-the-bungee-jump town...
It's being put up by the guys who started Bare Back Grill, in PB and downtown, and - just opened - The Raglan, in OB.
So far I’ve only seen the Queenstown at night, and it’s a mess...
...but a mess in progress.
On the front porch a sign reads “Onairos Design.”
Turns out this is the back-to-front cover for Soriano, Michael Soriano, who’s as hot as a designer can get right now. (He created The Pearl Motel out of the Sportsman’s Lodge in Point Loma, the fantasy Vin de Syrah in the Gaslamp.)
Now, he has told San Diego Magazine he wants to make this pub like a, uh, polite garden party?
“We want to create a house where 80-year-old grandmas and 20-year-old hipsters can sit on a porch, have a drink, and play games," he told the Mag's Troy Johnson. "Grapevines out back, with lanterns and gardens growing food for local chefs. There’ll be a sitting parlor inside with rocking chairs. Giant new portraits will look old, sepia-toned. It’ll be old meets new, like steampunk.”
Boy, I for one can’t wait. Just think: 10 years ago, this historic place would have been history, dozed, squished, kindling wood, no questions arksed, replaced by some 5-story Nazi-severe loft thingy with a token Starbucks huddling in out of the sunlight on the concrete corner.
Now, a rocking chair, a porch, an organic garden, a pint of Kiwi Lager, and thou...Are these great times or wot?
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