Del Mar Stories

Where Toni Atkins meets turf lobbyists

Horse racing cash greases Democrat’s political track

As horses have dropped dead at California tracks, some state politicos have been professing public concern regarding racing's public relations nightmare, including state Senate President Pro Tem Toni Atkins. Atkins showed up at Del Mar ...

Seasurf Fish Co. shows the cost of affordable seafood

Farmed fish comes off lackluster in a city rich with fish markets

San Diego has trained me well. When I see the words “fresh fish market” associated with a restaurant, I imagine glass counters that contain glistening fresh filets tempting customers toward one seasonal catch or another. ...

Joe Harper, CEO of Del Mar Thoroughbred Club, eases up on PETA

Blames part of Santa Anita breakdowns on rain

‘Well, I know the headlines won’t be about big hats.” Joe Harper, longtime CEO of the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club, is candid. It’s race time at Del Mar, where the humid days of summer usher ...

Don't say retreat when talking about sea rise in California

Imperial Beach and Del Mar have taken that word off the table

Who knew back in 1977, when the Coastal Act was passed, that the sea would rise so quickly? Now, cities and the agency formed to protect the coastline, must deal with it - and with ...

Do Del Mar fair and racetrack workers count in state housing mandates?

The Scream Zone Scare actors are gone

Time is ticking, deadlines loom. Del Mar needed affordable housing yesterday, and they will need it tomorrow. The city has until 2021 to fulfill their low-income housing allocation for the current housing element. That's 12 ...

2016 holds record for Del Mar Fair

Chicken Charlie’s served 8,000 deep-fried balls of crème brulée

Like the scarecrow without a brain, this year’s Oz-themed San Diego County Fair had individually cataloged hundreds of lost and found items. The most unusual lost item? “A gold grill with diamonds in it,” said ...

The highs and lows of San Diego County Fair food

Some edibles are meant to be huge, colorful, fried, or wrapped in bacon

Last week, I found myself at the Del Mar Fairgrounds, feeling dizzy. Funny thing is, I hadn’t even made it on any of the rides yet. What addled me were the sights and smells of ...

What Santa Anita horse deaths mean for Del Mar

Post-race concerts draw more and more fans

Is Del Mar’s world-famous attraction headed for extinction? “I grew up watching races with my dad, but maybe it’s time we end all this,” said a lifelong horse racing fan at the Santa Anita Racetrack ...

Former mayor of Del Mar Albert Corti puts modern mansion up for sale

“A sanctuary of style offering natural light and airy views throughout.”

The newly constructed home at 2811 Heather Lane is perched on a hillside just south of San Dieguito Lagoon, the slim body of water separating a neighborhood of high-end luxury estates from the adjacent Del ...

Dredging large dirt parking lot opened up the tidal flow for San Dieguito Lagoon

Today the lagoon is full of plant and bird life

San Dieguito Lagoon is the largest of San Diego County’s six lagoons and is part of the 92,000-acre San Dieguito River Park. The park contains the Coast to Crest Trail, which will eventually run from ...

When it rains, Pacifica Breeze still pours coffee

Gravy is key to these chicken and waffles

“The weather app said it was supposed to be sunny until later this afternoon,” my friend Valerie said as we watched large raindrops fall on our outdoor table at Pacifica Breeze Café in Del Mar. ...

Best driving shortcuts for 2019

Kearny Villa to Ruffin as alternative to I-15

On Oct. 9, 1975, the Reader published a story on driving shortcuts. It was written by then cabbie Ray Lilly and contained 14 San Diego shortcuts when gas went for about $.57 per gallon. In ...

Del Mar's project, Solana Beach's headache

Developer inspired by watching Baywatch and Beverly Hills 90210

The seaside Del Mar Resort, if built, would be the biggest project ever built in Del Mar. Some are wondering why a project atop Del Mar’s last open coastal bluff is even being considered. Others ...

Grilled cheese science

To our credit or to our chagrin, San Diego has been the breeding ground for at least a couple of successful fast food chains: most notably Jack in the Box and Rubio’s Coastal Grill. Not ...

Crossroads' last gun show at Del Mar Fairgrounds?

ACLU aids opponents in threatening SLAPP suit

A month after gun show opponents Ira and Rose Ann Sharp and their advocacy group helped convince the Del Mar Fairgrounds board that public land was no place for a gun show, Ms. Sharp received ...

How to bring poor people to Del Mar

Annex Surf & Turf from San Diego

Will Del Mar horse groomers and fairground carnies be the next group to get squeezed out in the ongoing housing shakedown? Those temporary Del Mar fairground employees may eventually feel the pain due to a ...

Love and theft in front of the Americana

Del Mar duo almost got the bike

A man and woman accused of working together to steal an expensive bicycle from a Del Mar diner four months ago were in court this morning to hear evidence against them. Colleen Marie Donovan, 29, ...

San Diego's last ocean front lots

32 empty spaces left – from Oceanside to Imperial Beach

Thirty-six years ago, the Reader surveyed the San Diego County coastline in search of any remaining vacant, buildable land along the coast. In January of 1982, we found a scant 79 parcels of land remaining, ...

Scaring up healthy food

Gluten-free tastes good at Flower Child

My son was ready for a rite of passage: Going through the haunted attractions at the Scream Zone on the Del Mar Fairgrounds. Yes, at the age of 12, he was ready to deal with ...

What Kaaboo meant for Uber drivers

High pay, dust, free music, barf bags, barf bounties

Teri from Allied Gardens made $450 over the weekend driving her Hyundai Sonata for Uber and Lyft; much of her “best weekend ever” monies was due to the Kaaboo 3-day music festival (September 14-16) held ...

Uber glitch not paying drivers

Who will drive to Kaaboo?

A glitch within the Uber driver payment system is forcing San Diego drivers off the road, and riders are paying for it with higher charges. Uber drivers earn a commission on each drive that they ...

Lilac fire survivor comes to the races

Joe Herrick's horse Achieved finishes last, but that's not the point

On December 7, 2017, horse trainer Joe Herrick said, “Hell came to town.” Herrick was was involved in trying to rescue 450 thoroughbred horses caught in the raging Lilac fire through Bonsall’s San Luis Rey ...

No more county animal shelter for Carlsbad, Del Mar, Encinitas, San Diego, Santee, and Solana Beach

But yes for Bonita, Borrego Springs, Fallbrook, Julian, Ramona, Spring Valley, Valley Center

The San Diego County Department of Animal Services just got a lot smaller. As of July 1, the county no longer provides animal services – rescues, adoptions, enforcement, to the cities of Carlsbad, Del Mar, ...

How much do you love your dog?

Surf and SUP in Del Mar for your best friend

If you are interested in getting Fido into the waves, the first thought might be how does one go about it. His short attention span is important. Plan for an hour or so, as the ...

Hidden and weird treasures lurking at Del Mar Fair

San Diego high school baseball players who made it big, limbs from Cedar fire, toilet paper from around the world

For lovers of Americana, memorabilia, or plain ol’ junk, the display of collections is the coolest place at the San Diego County Fair. The Home & Hobby Show is out of the sun and in ...

County supes sidle up to Trump

Cox lobbyists visit San Diego pols, Del Mar envisions flooding

Trump lobby San Diego County’s Board of Supervisors, which voted in April to back president Donald Trump’s legal war against California sanctuary laws, is seeking to acquire more muscle for its battle to boost federal ...

Biggest gross-outs at fair

Chocolate pasta, bacon-wrapped baklava?

The gates to the San Diego County Fair officially opened at 4:00 p.m. on June 1. And just like the last 30 years, Margaret Austin of Escondido was first in line. “I woke up at ...

Thirsty for sunshine

Five outdoor brewery destinations for the summer

Long summer days mean opportunities for drinking outdoors. Here are the top five brewery destinations to catch fresh air and sunshine with your craft beers this summer Eppig Brewing Waterfront Biergarten 2817 Dickens Street, Shelter ...

Fairgrounds pulls plug on concert venue

Growing costs plus Kaboo vs. Belly Up

Plans for a new 1,900-capacity venue at the Del Mar Fairgrounds have unraveled due to spiraling construction costs and questions about whether the fair should be in the concert promoting business in the first place. ...

Too ugly

And NASCAR said they were too fast

“They were considered ugly and too expensive,” says Bob Meigs, of his rare 1970 Plymouth Superbird. Meigs, a Solana Beach collector of classic cars, is the car show coordinator for the San Diego County Fair. ...

The lifeguards clear out a section for us

Del Mar BodySurfing Club

In 2012 , a group of beachgoers were hanging out on the sand in Del Mar. They started recognizing each other as regular beachgoers, started socializing and going out to eat. But they had one ...

Del Mar's "moving meditation"

Brazilian cherry wood floors, Calcutta marble, lava-stone steps, custom glass accordion stack doors

Listing materials bill the Del Mar estate at 507 Van Dyke Avenue as “a moving meditation.” Originally built in 1985, the four-bedroom, five-bath home underwent an extensive three-year renovation that was completed in 2017 that ...

Del Mar fair board lowers boom on Kaaboo

"We were hit with complaints we had never heard before."

In a surprising show of open animosity, members of the board that run the Del Mar Fairgrounds launched attacks against Kaaboo at its monthly board meeting on February 13th. The fourth annual Kaaboo music fest ...

Pad Thai three ways

There's more than one road to authenticity

Look near the top of any Thai restaurant menu in America, and you're sure to find one Thai dish in particular: Pad Thai. However, as chef Nattapon "Nat" Thitathan explained to me in a recent ...

Rec pot grapple in Del Mar

"It's time for us to get with the 21st Century."

On January 1, when recreational pot became legal in California, so did its sale and consumption at county fairgrounds, where businesses can host events such as festivals. But first come the permits, and that's not ...

Belly Up vs. Kaaboo

Longtime locals poised to book new Del Mar track venue — but wait...

The coast was clear for the Belly Up Tavern to take over booking for the state-of-the-art concert venue located on the Del Mar Fairgrounds. A committee appointed by the board that oversees the fairgrounds (the ...

Highest asking price for attached housing in San Diego County

A smart home on Del Mar’s sand

Listing materials for a pair of Del Mar condos at 1750 Ocean Front promise prospective buyers a “Once in a lifetime opportunity for this stunning architectural masterpiece” on the sand just north of Powerhouse Park. ...

Stay on the Anderson Canyon trail

Watch for beetles, ants, and our friend the Torrey pine

Del Mar Canyon Preserve, sometimes alternatively known as Anderson Canyon, has two of the best elements of San Diego County hikes: stunning views and unique biodiversity. The trail is short and easy, but take time ...

270 degrees of unobstructed views with no neighbor in sight

Balinese contemporary, next to the Del Mar fairgrounds

“Welcome to the ‘King of the Hill,’” beckons the listing pitch for 5160 Rancho Del Mar Trail, a five-bedroom, six-and-a-half-bath home boasting more than 9500 square feet of living space situated “within the prestigious, private ...

One of the Kings Men down

Car-club members remember drag-strip buddy John Scheunemann

In the 1950s and ’60s, the Kings Men Car Club of Solana Beach dominated the Southern California drag-racing scene. Most of the club’s members, at one time numbering up to 30, caught the racing bug ...

Crudo on a Thursday: out of the foie gras, but not the sea bass

Look beyond the pisco sour and gin fizz

Dining out has never been just about the food. Every aspect factors into the overall experience, from the way you’re greeted at the door to the lighting at your table. With the advent of countless ...

Breeders' Cup bettors' brouhaha

Something went rotten in Del Mar, say seasoned horseplayers

Just after the Del Mar Racetrack showed off its beauty to the sport’s largest worldwide horse-racing audience, a controversy has developed over one betting aspect of the Breeders’ Cup. With over 400 bettors ponying up ...

See the Del Mar racetrack from the comfort of your home

Previous owner identified cells responsible for the five basic taste perceptions

Listing materials for the hillside estate at 2116 Balboa Avenue in Del Mar invite prospective buyers to “enjoy spectacular whitewater ocean, sunset & Del Mar racetrack views from this extraordinary seaside Villa in Olde Del ...

Breeders Cup horses know what they're doing

“It may look like chaos out there, but it’s well choreographed.”

With a worldwide audience larger than America’s Triple Crown (the Kentucky Derby, Preakness, and Belmont Stakes), international racehorse breeders show off their finest on November 3 and 4. Over 45,000 fans, owners, and trainers will ...

The pet-friendly housing problem

"No friends, no music, no smoking — but you can have your dogs here."

A pet-friendly bill hit the governor's desk on September 21. The bill (AB 1137) would mandate that new multi-family housing developments allow tenants to have pets if those developments receive financing through state programs. Former ...

Breeders’ Cup comes to Del Mar

Track regulars shut out

I’m at my usual spot in the corner next to the winner’s circle, where the yellow fire hydrant sits against the rail, right across from the finish line. If I reach out, I can pet ...

Rogue docent theory on Torrey pines die-off

Aluminum, not bark beetles, to blame for decimation of rare trees

Two years ago, Dale Williams, a volunteer docent at Torrey Pines Natural Reserve, started wondering what is killing the rare trees. Williams says about 25 percent of the reserve’s trees, which numbered about 6000, have ...

Own one of the largest lots in “Olde Del Mar”

Featuring one of the oldest trees in San Diego County

The half-acre estate at 901 Highland Avenue offers prospective buyers a “rare opportunity to own one of the largest lots in Olde Del Mar.” The listing goes on to describe the space as “a private ...

Kaaboo sound system should keep Del Martians quiet

"We created a ginormous version of a noise-canceling system."

“I can’t hear them,” said Del Mar Circle K worker Robert at about 7:30 p.m. on Friday, September 15. “There is a lot of traffic, though.” The opening night of the three-day Kaaboo music festival ...

Unobstructed ocean views from the moment you walk in

Sandy Lane, Del Mar home drops from $23 million to $20 million

“Situated in a private gated community on the sand & intimately adjacent to the Del Mar Racetrack,” listing materials promise, lies a “spectacular oceanfront estate” at 3002 Sandy Lane. The four-bedroom, five-bath home, constructed in ...

Del Mar's race season ends with a look forward

The Kardashians visited, horses died, and Breeder's Cup anticipation

As the 78th season of the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club came to a close, I talked with two highly visible track personalities. They took a look back on the season and the future as Del ...

Penny pinchers and pikers rarely do well at the track

I wouldn't have asked Bob Hope for advice

I want to bet on Summer Buddha in the first race and Packin Heat in the third. Call it a lukewarm tip from a half-baked pal back in Jersey. But if his hunches are right ...

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