In North Park the views never cease to change, and in a drastic way. Old businesses that are way past their prime continue to hang in there. Failed restaurants turn into something totally different. Closed-down dive bars transform into trendy restaurants. Mexican eateries arrive and crash, as fast as undocked bicycles and scooters.
On August 24, I walked by United Market and Liquor at 2567 University Avenue and Hamilton St. It was closed and dark. Looking in I could see that the shelves were mostly empty. I guessed it was out of business. But Yelp.com doesn’t mention it as being closed. North Park Main Street had no information on the business owner, or from the landlord on plans for this property.
The most recent Yelp review (July 2014) said this: “This place isn't just ghetto — it's gross. I do not even begin to understand how this place is still in business. There is food in there that is well past its expiration date or half-eaten, there is a layer of filth on almost every surface, vertical ones included, and the clientele are highly sketchy.”
The notorious Tobacco Rhoda’s dive bar is only a bad memory now. That building is being gutted, and will became a new restaurant/bar, at its University Avenue and Villa Terrace location.
Itze Behar and John A Welsh have applied to the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control for a 47-on sale general license. [A California type 47 allows the holder to serve beer, wine, liquor and spirits, and is designated as an ‘On-premises’ license.”
Across the street, Deja Brew Lounge at University Avenue and Arnold St. will soon open. It will offer desserts, along with tea and coffee. A salon was the previous business at this location. Originally the property was a single-family house. This usage is more common in Hillcrest, such as along Fourth Avenue.
Heading on east along University Avenue, Target continues with its renovation of the former Wang’s North Park Restaurant at the Ray St. intersection. A door was open in front temporarily, so I was able to take a shot of some construction progress. What was originally a department store (JC Penney), reverts to that usage with the Target takeover. The community opposition to this new Target was minimal, unlike the uproar in Ocean Beach.
Before you reach CVS Pharmacy on the same side of University Avenue, Tostadas North Park (at the Herman Avenue intersection) was located adjacent to Art Produce Gallery. Tostadas had a 4.5–star overall review on Yelp, with 595 reviews. The Tostadas space had housed other businesses, including a dessert cafe which failed.
A hand-written sign on the front door proclaimed: “We’re saddened to say that Tostadas North Park is officially CLOSED. We want to thank you all for your continued support throughout our time here in one of the best neighborhoods in SD. DON’T WORRY. We’re not fully disappearing. Something is in the works. STAY TUNED.”