Quantcast
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

Ki defied Cardiff’s jinx

Was it the smoking sage?

Cardiff by the Sea’s restaurant matriarch has passed away. Ki Holcomb, 88, founded the popular oceanfront Ki’s Restaurant along Cardiff by the Sea’s Restaurant Row, on Coast Highway 101.

Ki Holcomb

In 1980, at the age of 55, Ki started Ki’s Juice Bar, in a little building on Birmingham Drive at the north end of Newcastle Avenue. She had previously worked the juice bar at Henry’s Market in Solana Beach. The sales area inside Ki’s was no more than 200 square feet. Surfers would stop in for their daily dose of two ounces of fresh-pressed wheat grass juice.

Eventually Ki’s son Barry built a little commercial kitchen in the back of the shop, and soups, sandwiches, and smoothies began being sold. Health foods, nutritional supplements, and natural cosmetics were added. The place always has a line out the door.

In 1994, the Holcombs had outgrown their shop. They decided to transform their business into a full-scale restaurant. They moved into a vacant, two-story, white-water-and-beach-view building at 2591 South Coast Highway 101.

Place

Ki's Restaurant

2591 S. Coast Highway 101, Cardiff by the Sea

The site had one problem — it was a jinxed location. Between the mid-1980s and 1994, the restaurant had been operated as eight different establishments — from fine dining, to Asian food, a family pizza joint, and a lobster house. One restaurant was only in business two weeks before closing. The site had sat vacant for months when the Holcombs moved in.

After gutting the old restaurant and before starting the remodel, Ki had the place exorcised to release the restaurant’s demons. A Native American shaman and Buddhist priest spread cleansing, smoking sage, and blessed each room with prayers of prosperity and happiness.

Ki worked seven days a week, greeting her family of customers, and the restaurant become successful. The business branched out again, also becoming a wholesale healthy food manufacturer — Ki’s Kitchen.

A little over ten years ago, the Holcomb family noticed in Ki, the onset of dementia. It took a decade to take its toll. But up until her placement in a care facility in 2012, for those longtime customers that knew her — she may not have remembered you when she saw you — but she was gracious, knowing that she was at her restaurant enjoying a dinner meal with her husband Jim.


Historical footnote: In the early 1980s, the seemingly only successful business at this restaurant site, prior to Ki’s was a club named the Windjammer. The Windjammer is credited with being the first bar to change the coastal North County night scene from a drink-wine-with-jazz atmosphere, to packed dance clubs.

They found an unknown three-piece band that played dance music known a New Wave. The Tweed Sneakers broke house records with a sometimes two-hour wait to get inside on weekends. People were caught climbing the tall palm trees out front to sneak into the second-floor bar.

The band got offered more money to play larger clubs — Solana Beach’s Distillery Night Club and La Jolla’s Rodeo. The Windjammer went back to a jazz format before closing a few years later, which started the spiral of failed restaurants at this location.

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

Chalk talk for Chief David Nisleit

Protestors call for the resignation of Nisleit and the officers involved in the July 9 shooting of Richard Price
Next Article

Cisterra to build 241 units on G Street, downtown San Diego

Paying $2.7 million to support affordable housing elsewhere

Cardiff by the Sea’s restaurant matriarch has passed away. Ki Holcomb, 88, founded the popular oceanfront Ki’s Restaurant along Cardiff by the Sea’s Restaurant Row, on Coast Highway 101.

Ki Holcomb

In 1980, at the age of 55, Ki started Ki’s Juice Bar, in a little building on Birmingham Drive at the north end of Newcastle Avenue. She had previously worked the juice bar at Henry’s Market in Solana Beach. The sales area inside Ki’s was no more than 200 square feet. Surfers would stop in for their daily dose of two ounces of fresh-pressed wheat grass juice.

Eventually Ki’s son Barry built a little commercial kitchen in the back of the shop, and soups, sandwiches, and smoothies began being sold. Health foods, nutritional supplements, and natural cosmetics were added. The place always has a line out the door.

In 1994, the Holcombs had outgrown their shop. They decided to transform their business into a full-scale restaurant. They moved into a vacant, two-story, white-water-and-beach-view building at 2591 South Coast Highway 101.

Place

Ki's Restaurant

2591 S. Coast Highway 101, Cardiff by the Sea

The site had one problem — it was a jinxed location. Between the mid-1980s and 1994, the restaurant had been operated as eight different establishments — from fine dining, to Asian food, a family pizza joint, and a lobster house. One restaurant was only in business two weeks before closing. The site had sat vacant for months when the Holcombs moved in.

After gutting the old restaurant and before starting the remodel, Ki had the place exorcised to release the restaurant’s demons. A Native American shaman and Buddhist priest spread cleansing, smoking sage, and blessed each room with prayers of prosperity and happiness.

Ki worked seven days a week, greeting her family of customers, and the restaurant become successful. The business branched out again, also becoming a wholesale healthy food manufacturer — Ki’s Kitchen.

A little over ten years ago, the Holcomb family noticed in Ki, the onset of dementia. It took a decade to take its toll. But up until her placement in a care facility in 2012, for those longtime customers that knew her — she may not have remembered you when she saw you — but she was gracious, knowing that she was at her restaurant enjoying a dinner meal with her husband Jim.


Historical footnote: In the early 1980s, the seemingly only successful business at this restaurant site, prior to Ki’s was a club named the Windjammer. The Windjammer is credited with being the first bar to change the coastal North County night scene from a drink-wine-with-jazz atmosphere, to packed dance clubs.

They found an unknown three-piece band that played dance music known a New Wave. The Tweed Sneakers broke house records with a sometimes two-hour wait to get inside on weekends. People were caught climbing the tall palm trees out front to sneak into the second-floor bar.

The band got offered more money to play larger clubs — Solana Beach’s Distillery Night Club and La Jolla’s Rodeo. The Windjammer went back to a jazz format before closing a few years later, which started the spiral of failed restaurants at this location.

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Cisterra to build 241 units on G Street, downtown San Diego

Paying $2.7 million to support affordable housing elsewhere
Next Article

Margaret Fuller: wrote first major work of feminism in the US

An inspiration on Walt Whitman
Comments
0

Be the first to leave a comment.

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Art Reviews — W.S. Di Piero's eye on exhibits Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Best Buys — San Diego shopping Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits City Lights — News and politics Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Famous Former Neighbors — Next-door celebs Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Here's the Deal — Chad Deal's watering holes Just Announced — The scoop on shows Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Of Note — Concert picks Out & About — What's Happening Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Pour Over — Grab a cup Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Set 'em Up Joe — Bartenders' drink recipes Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Sports — Athletics without gush Street Style — San Diego streets have style Suit Up — Fashion tips for dudes Theater Reviews — Local productions Theater antireviews — Narrow your search Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Waterfront — All things ocean Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close