North Park Stories

Not that firm

Big-box mattress companies wobble

Some San Diego area stores owned by Mattress Firm, Inc. may be closed as part of the recently announced Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing by the company, which is owned by Steinhoff International Holdings, a South ...

The most flavor for your buck

All-you-can-eat East African food

Flavors of East Africa was already known to sambusa-loving farmers market regulars when it opened a permanent restaurant on El Cajon Boulevard about eight years back. Since that time, it’s moved a couple doors down ...

Meatball sliders, hold the meat

New menu items and a bottle of soda

Nearly six years ago, I paid my first visit to the original, Adams Avenue, location of meatball-centric eatery, Soda & Swine. I ordered a couple of meatball sliders, with sides of brussels sprouts and mac’n’cheese. ...

When one door closes, another opens

North Park businesses come in and go out

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 ...

America has guns

SDSU exchange student robbed

On August 15 at about 3 p.m., Thomas, a San Diego State University exchange student was robbed for $60 on 30th Street in North Park. “I’m feeling okay now,” he said, “I decided I wasn’t ...

This week keeps on rolling

A North Park rolled taco specialist with family roots

It seems like just yesterday I was writing about a new hand roll-only sushi bar, and finding a way to compare its seaweed wrapped fish and vegetables to tacos. But here I am, today, stumbling ...

7-Eleven store in North Park shuts down suddenly

Hard to make it as franchise owner

A 7-Eleven store closed its doors around the end of July, and is now boarded up. It was located on University Avenue at Herman Avenue in North Park, across the street from CVS Pharmacy. Before ...

Drink 'em while we've got 'em

A pair of beloved local breweries to sell last beers this summer

Every time the San Diego brewery count starts to creep toward the 160 mark, word breaks that another local brewery or two are closing. Sure enough, even as a handful of new beer companies have ...

Sorry, done with your murals

North Park parking garage call for entries — or maybe not

While the San Diego Redevelopment Agency existed, it wanted original artworks installed at the new North Park parking garage. Longtime artist and North Park resident Blair Thornley responded to submission requests from North Park Main ...

Mayor Faulconer's short-term rental idea — pro and con

Ocean Beach will show up in blue T-shirts

At the July 16 city council meeting, the usual sea of green (pro-vacation rental) and red (anti-vacation rental) t-shirts will be joined by blue representing Ocean Beach. The Ocean Beach town council has chartered a ...

Shared bikes and scooters used for crimes

And are themselves subject to crime

Share bikes and scooters have been stolen and vandalized since day one; lately throughout San Diego it’s gotten worse. “Please, no pictures because they might attack me,” said Jane, “I’m scared and I just want ...

What's inside this burrito?

It may be chilaquiles, bacon & cream cheese, or chicken & waffles

On the opposite shore of the Sea of Cortez from Baja California, due south of Arizona, sits the Mexican state of Sonora. Despite our relative proximity, San Diego doesn’t see a lot restaurant dishes attributed ...

Bus rider pet peeves: walking and waiting

What will get more riders to saddle up?

Metropolitan Transit System or MTS has been hanging Choose Transit posters at bus stops around town. Plus they reached out to ask public opinion in April and May. Shorter commute times, more transit options, and ...

Mural at Wang’s North Park to be removed by Target

“WEENosaurus Rex” artist not happy

When Wang’s North Park opened at University Avenue and Ray Street, the restaurant owners got unusual art on their west wall that brought attention. Artist MADSTEEZ, real name Mark Paul Deren, painted his “WEENosaurus Rex” ...

Ninja librarian

Bijan Nowroozian does preschool story time but trains at The Mountain and SDSU

On June 6 at about 8 p.m., some children and their parents that frequent the North Park Library, will be in for a big surprise if their television sets are tuned in to NBC 7. ...

Still not typical

There's no waffling on the concept, despite a rebrand

Wow Wow Waffle never occupied a typical location. Its kitchen is built into a freestanding two-car garage that sits behind the 30th Street Laundry coin-op wash and dry. It’s easy to miss, because there’s not ...

Will University Ave. west of 30th catch up?

F Street video and Tobacco Rhoda the bad boys of history

While the commercial area of University Avenue on both sides of 30th Street has prospered over the past several years, the west end of North Park has not. University Avenue from Florida Street to Arizona ...

Cell phone towers where you'd least expect

Over 100 on the San Diego County map

“What are they doing there?” asked a driver that pulled over before I did. We were on the shoulder of Clairemont Mesa Boulevard before it turns into Regents Road. “I have no idea,” I responded, ...

Chicken Pie Shop 80 years later

To-go, delivery, and four social media posts a week

This year marks the 80th anniversary of San Diego Chicken Pot Pie Shop being in business. “After the Peking Restaurant (circa 1931) closed last year,” said Lisa Townsend, “we became the fourth oldest restaurant that ...

San Diego doggie bag wars

City puts out dispensers, but that doesn't always work

“It is estimated that the typical dog excretes between one half to three quarters of a pound of waste per day,” according to the City of San Diego website. “In San Diego alone, there are ...

Mid-city Ambassador chases down trans prostitutes

"They now take their johns up to Polk Avenue"

On March 26, Edwin Lohr was a panelist at the Prostitution Impact Panel at the police store front near 54th Street and University Avenue. “I am getting educated and we are telling these johns, 'You ...

Tongue numbing tea

Don’t bother tasting it — just experience the chill

I think it’s safe to say that kombucha’s not a fringe beverage anymore. At least here in California. Once the domain of health food shops, these days I find the probiotic tea in gas stations, ...

Perfectly balanced BBQ

The sauce doesn't overpower the meat

Think politics is polarizing? It’s got nothing on BBQ. It’s a passionate topic where people have their theories on things like wood or propane. sauce or rub, and brisket or ribs. BBQ aficionados are picky ...

Upstream cigarette butts

How to get them on University before they hit Chollas Creek

Last year, 32,247 cigarette butts were collected from the San Diego beach cleanups, according to the San Diego Coast Keeper data numbers. The City Heights Business Association and I Love A Clean San Diego are ...

Craft beer and Vietnamese food

North Park's latest gastropub dishes bún, bánh, and phở

With the opening of Shank & Bone in February, North Park finally got the contemporized Vietnamese restaurant its hipster heart craved. Taking over the space previously occupied by Japanese gastropub The Safe House, the new ...

Dodge Ram trucks stolen for their Cummins motors

Catalytic converters sell for good money on eBay.

On February 26, there were three auto thefts that were reported within a 2 mile radius in North Park. One theft in particular, was for the truck’s sought after motor. “The Cummins engines are valuable,” ...

Career as rockin' tattoo artist not recommended

“Right now I’m booked nonstop; other weeks, it’s crickets."

Mike Stobbe of North Park’s Avalon Tattoo started inking San Diego’s most famous rock stamp 25 years ago. “I did at least 100 to 150,” he says of the Rocket From the Crypt rockets he ...

A chicken salad torta

Melted cheese, crisp lettuce, and smashed avocado on grilled telera

Fruit salads, smoothies, açaí bowls: all kinds of stuff we're all supposed to fit into our healthy diets. Those are the offerings I've always associated with Señor Mango's. Back when I lived in North Park, ...

North Park’s crusade against shifty developers

No respect in fight over end-run around planning group

The North Park Planning Committee has lost track of how often apartment developers apparently realize they’ve built condos at the end of construction and come to ask for a map that divides the apartment building ...

Raised sidewalk + broken kneecap = $137,500

Blame it on a root, charge the taxpayer

San Diego city councilmembers were expected on February 26th to give final approval for a payout over injuries caused by an uneven sidewalk. The city agreed to pay Lynn Whitehouse $137,500 to settle a complaint ...

Even a sandwich snob likes a deal

Working Class beer combo gets it a second look

At the North Park street corner where Ritual Tavern sat for the past decade or so, a new, neighborhood-oriented bar and eatery has opened, refurbishing the space and offering a different interpretation of the gastropub ...

Vegan Americana

Anthem goes from farmers market stand to roadside diner

The distinctive A-frame storefront design of 2611 El Cajon Boulevard gives it the appearance of a mid-century motor lodge or roadside diner, and a diner is what it has been for decades, even as the ...

Pacific Beach's high crime problem

"Police are doing the best job they can under impossible circumstances."

Pacific Beach continues to be one of San Diego's highest crime neighborhoods, according to new stats released by the San Diego Police Department. Public records indicate the beachside entertainment hotspot ranked in the top five ...

Egged in the city

“It just seemed so dumb, like a dumb thing to do.”

A spate of incidents where people walking in North Park and Normal Heights were hit by or nearly hit by eggs has left social media abuzz, but the police say they haven’t heard about it. ...

The Eppig saga continues

North Park brewer sails into Point Loma waterfront

San Diego's got no shortage of bay views or craft breweries, but until now we've been short a bay-view brewery. Enter the Eppig Brewing Waterfront Biergarten, an indoor/outdoor tasting room that directly overlooks America’s Cup ...

Powerballs hits Rock Lotto, keeps in the Pink

Random gig leads to a steady one at house that Reises built

Veteran singer/songwriter/guitarist Chris Henry says his new project dubbed Powerballs proves it’s good to avoid rock ’n’ roll inbreeding. “We all wanted to experience something outside our own gene pool,” says Henry, best known for ...

Foie gras served with strawberry pickled mangos

Pizza and burgers — high minded and friendly

When North Park's D’Angelo Pizzeria closed in late 2017, I failed to notice. The small pizza shop on 30th had a mostly hyper-local following for at least the last decade, and though I must have ...

Bivouac Cidery opens thoughtfully

The restaurant wasn't always part of the plan

Bivouac Ciderworks has opened in North Park. San Diego's latest craft-beverage business becomes the tenth in San Diego to make hard cider and the first to follow a sort of cider brewpub model. It doubles ...

This just in: Observatory's troubles far from over

Venue's 15-day suspension over, but issues remain with fire dept., code compliance

Lt. Steven Behrendt of the San Diego Police Department’s Vice Operations issued the following statement this morning (January 17th): “Based on the incident that happened at the Observatory on June 7, 2017, and other prior ...

North Park Observatory allegedly under observation

Latest abrupt show postponement said to be related to XXXTentacion incident

Fire department spokeswoman Monica Muñoz didn’t respond to a request for comments on specifics, but a different government source explains that the North Park Observatory won't be putting on any shows this week due to ...

Bank-card skimmers enjoy the high season

Thwart them with apps and vigilance

On Christmas morning, Rob Brand learned that his debit card had been skimmed and the card was used to try and purchase something from Amazon Prime. “I have not heard of this before,” said Brand, ...

Thorn Brewing grows into Barrio Logan

Thorn Street Brewery keeps small batches going in North Park

Thorn Brewing Co. opened to the public in Barrio Logan at the end of November. If you're thinking it's the same business as Thorn Street Brewery, you're partly right. Thorn Street founders Dennis O'Connor, Eric ...

Great year for 7-Eleven beer-runners

Vigilant employees, cameras, locked coolers, barricades don't stop them

“Yesterday at 9:40 [p.m.] two Modelo 24 oz. cans fell out of his pants,” said Fredley. “I said, 'What the hell...what is this?' then he grabbed them and ran away…but his girlfriend is right behind ...

Huli huli beats teriyaki

Author probes past the shrugging counter woman

It's been a while since the aroma of food lured me into a restaurant. But, as I was passing through North Park, whatever was cooking at Chris' Ono Grinds Island Grill made me hungry enough ...

Downtown homeless people driven north by cops

Normal Heights residents vexed with influx

Normal Heights residents remain frustrated and angry over the recent influx of homeless people in their neighborhood — which city staff say was prompted by the downtown streets bleaching to ward off hepatitis A. The ...

Queen Bee's northern migration

Arts center planned for Oceanside

Alma Rodriguez is meeting with city officials to launch a Queen Bee’s in Oceanside. Since 2009, the Puerto Rican–born impresario has hosted bands, poetry slams, and swing, salsa, and samba dance lessons at the 250-capacity ...

While my family slept in

Had to try Nomad's gourmet doughnuts and Montreal bagels

I try to have three square meals a day, but for weekend breakfasts, I like to keep things round: As in bagels and doughnuts. One of my fatherly duties on Saturday is to get a ...

Vagrants and adversaries, make way for Target

Corporate store's plans will likely overcome North Parkers' resistance

Target is sizing up the former Wang's restaurant — on the corner of University and Ray — for a new Target Express. So far, nearby South Park has the only Target Express in San Diego. ...

Godfathers of vinyl

"I thought I was out, but they pulled me back in."

After a five-year break, former M-Theory owner Eric Howarth is getting back into the brick-and-mortar record-store business. His new shop will be a mere stone’s throw away from the old M-Theory location on the corner ...

Goodnight, Irenic

North Park church rumored to be ending band appearances

The Irenic, the 70-year-old North Park church building that for the past six years doubled as a 450-capacity music venue, seemed to be the perfect place for headliners who wanted an all-ages venue but were ...

Finnegan Blue's conga line starts to move

"We finally clawed our way into the North Park Festival of the Arts.”

Anna Lee Fleming was born and raised in North Park. “I have definitely seen a transition,” says the founder/songwriter/lead singer of Finnegan Blue. “When I was first going to school my parents wouldn’t let me ...

Curse of the Georgia Street Bridge

Photographer can't stop shooting overdue rehab project — "I'm miserable."

Restoration of the 103-year-old Georgia Street Bridge began in August 2016 with a completion date of about now. Anyone driving past the site can't help but notice it doesn't look anywhere close to being done. ...

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