North Park Stories

XXXTentacion and neighbors unload on Observatory North Park

“Our guards are internal employees who work diligently for all our shows."

Shortly after regaining consciousness after he was blindsided onstage at the Observatory on June 7, XXXTentacion went on Instagram Live. He seemed to claim that the venue’s security team played a part by hiding the ...

Rob Stone — the guy with the glasses? — did it?

No, he says, on XXXtentacion assault, but "I knew it was gonna happen."

Rappers beefing in real life may be good for lyrics but it can cost you gigs. Consider local rapper Rob Stone, best known for his breakout 2015 hit “Chill Bill.” He tells how Florida rapper ...

Pig meets ramen

Tajima and Carnitas’ Snack Shack join forces

Tajima’s new Adams Avenue locale, discreetly lodged between a French bistro and a coffee house, was thoroughly covered by Reader writer Patrick Henderson shortly after it opened. New since his visit, however, is a flash-in-the-pan ...

Succulent thief in North Park and University Heights

“Who steals plants?”

Yesterday, a woman parked her white Prius right there [in front of my house],” said Steve from University Heights, “then started to cut my succulents (with a pruner), and left. That’s stealing!” Steve, 67, is ...

What is someone's junk is now everyone's junk

Alley-pickers are pickier in North Park and Normal Heights

In the last day (June 6), Mike G. has seen a desk and three mattresses dumped in plain sight around his Normal Heights’ streets. “….and all sorts of cabinets, bookcases, etc. will appear on the ...

Everyone gets what they want — on the menu, anyway

Tacos and sushi under one roof...hmm...

“Something for everyone!” says the website for Craft & Sea, the North Park restaurant now occupying the space that was — as far back as I can remember — Zensei Sushi. I find it interesting ...

Busted, Palomar Card Room now a magnet for graffiti, trash, homeless

El Cajon Blvd. waits for slow grind of legal process

Palomar Card Club, a.k.a. Palomar Casino, at 2724 El Cajon Boulevard, has been closed down since it was raided in December 2015 by the FBI and other law enforcement personnel. The entity itself and Naseem ...

No money allowed at food swaps

Surfeit of oranges, lemons, and eggs in Spring Valley and North Park right now

“The only rule of the [food] swap is that there is no exchange of money,” said Marianne West. On Saturday (May 27), she met with about forty other San Diegans at the Spring Valley East ...

This way to the Donkey Show in North Park

Tamarindo gives shout-outs to the flavors and aromas one finds anywhere from Tijuana to San Juan to Buenos Aires and beyond.

Everyone knows that gringos going gaga for Cinco de Mayo is stupid, but new North Park neighbor Tamarindo takes it in stride, cheekily dubbing the day’s drink special “The Donkey Show.” It’s a nod to ...

Decadent vegan?

Omnivore seeks satiety on a meatless plate

I live close to South Park’s self-described “decadent vegan” bar and restaurant, Kindred, and most nights as I pass by it bustles with stylishly dressed couples and groups who sip craft cocktails, sample the amaro ...

Low planes over North Park start buzz

Flashes of 1978 PSA accident

“I didn’t see the plane,” said Jean, “but I heard it and noted how incredibly low it was.” Jean, 61, is a yoga instructor from the Montclair area of North Park (by Commonwealth Avenue and ...

Project is not dense enough or land is too steep

Project on Indiana St. on edge of Florida Canyon opposed by neighbors

The City of San Diego's preliminary approval of a thirteen-unit condominium on the edge of Florida Canyon in North Park will now head to court. On May 22 attorneys for North Park residents Lark Holden ...

Angle parking for North Park may hang on who decides

"A simple majority vote could hurt our quality of life."

A draft ordinance that will speed up changing street parking from parallel to angle won the endorsement of the North Park Planning Committee Tuesday night, with a few suggestions. The proposed ordinance will reduce the ...

Neighbors take sides in Normal Heights dog dispute

How soon does owner need to respond?

“[Regarding] the neighbor who threw dog poop on another neighbor’s windshield for not cleaning up after their dog,” said Melissa Popovich, “I can understand why a person would get frustrated enough about it.” Popovich, 43, ...

North Park wants what Civita doesn't

A connector road leading to Texas Street

Adding a controversial connector road in Mission Valley's Civita came to a North Park Public Facilities committee (part of the area planning group) Wednesday night for review for its potential effect on Texas Street traffic. ...

North Park hosts panel on homeless Wednesday at Lafayette Hotel

Smart & Final employees on University Ave. can't pursue thieves.

Officials from the City of San Diego, along with nonprofit organizations, served as guest panelists for a two-hour Quality of Life Forum on April 26, at the Lafayette Hotel on El Cajon Boulevard. It was ...

Frankenpizza

You can get a large pizza with a different topping on each slice. But don’t.

Between Lefty’s, Berkeley, URBN, and Tribute, there’s no shortage of great pizza in North Park. Still, when popular Pacific Beach pie spot Mr. Moto Pizza House decided to open on 30th Street, I paid attention. ...

Self Shape Surf Competition in at Seaside Reef in Cardiff

Cam Richards, Andrew Doheny, Nathan Strom, Leah Dawson will be competing on their self-made boards

Just off El Cajon Boulevard and 30th Street, there is a surf shop that has a mandatory day off to surf every Monday and you don’t even have to work there to work there. You ...

Lucky Charms? Trix? Cap’n Crunch Berries?

Milkshakes + sugary breakfast cereal at North Park’s Milk Bar

Having conquered the unlikely combination of fried chicken, coffee, and donuts, the proprietors of North Park’s Streetcar Merchants could have sat on their hands and waited for chicken to fry. But instead they turned the ...

A crow sanctuary in North Park

After her neighbor killed five of them, she befriended Gomez

“So her macho boyfriend took it upon himself to run out, get a gun of some kind,” said Kay Marsik, “and then he bragged to me that he had killed five of them [crows].” Since ...

Green tea, leaves and all

Matcha hits North Park

I’m an every day, any time of day coffee drinker, and as long as I am physically able to lift a cup of joe to my lips, that will be the case. Still, while I ...

North Park: Pizza Hut instead of Olympic Cafe, Olympic Cafe instead of Jersey Joe's

Rinse salon moves, a new brewery near 25th on University

When Olympic Cafe lost its longtime lease at 2340 University Ave. (at Texas Street), it was up in the air over what would move in there. It’s turned out to be a Pizza Hut franchise ...

St. Spyridon Greek Orthodox church versus SOHO

Park Blvd. church plans to pull down two historic houses on Indiana St.

Historic preservationists have found a taker for at least one of the two homes Indiana Street that St. Spyridon church plans to demolish, but has yet to win the delay needed to get the paperwork ...

Umphrey's McGee hypnotizes Observatory

Reeling in the years with the progressive jam band

As far as concert performances go, Umphrey’s McGee can run hot and cold. Sunday night, they were on fire. Normally reminiscent of a free-form rock group like Phish, Umphrey’s McGee brought their sound down to ...

Cherokee Point is no North Park

“It’s misleading marketing, which is kind of obnoxious.”

“How many neighbors have realtors cold-calling them and sending them mail asking if we are interested in selling,” said Cherokee Point resident Frederick Simson in a Nextdoor post recently. “I get about one letter a ...

Attuned to ramen life

Exploring the Underbelly of North Park

Take a look at the noodle landscape surrounding San Diego’s urban core these days, and you’ll find a dozen dedicated ramen bars. But when Consortium Holdings opened Underbelly in Little Italy five years ago, most ...

Shins return to sound if not form

Indie rockers' Heartworms better than the band on this night

The Shins’ return to San Diego after a five-year hiatus — for two nights at the Observatory — was special for more reasons than just the long absence and mini residency. To start, for many ...

Tiny-house movement for the homeless

"We have so many people who are sleeping in tents...."

A group of homeless advocates has unveiled examples of a long-brewing plan to create extremely low-cost emergency housing as a temporary remedy while longer term solutions to regional homelessness are sought. "We've been trying to ...

North Park Main Street hits the road for Iowa

More people, bigger meetings required more space

North Park Main Street has vacated its office space at 3076 University Avenue in North Park and moved to new offices in the Iowa Street Seniors apartment building at 3939 Iowa Street. San Diego Housing ...

Where there's no smoke, there's no chicken

“The wind usually blows towards the east in the Pancho Villa parking lot."

“We just lost their main flagship,” said Mr. Robinson, a resident who lives one block away from the Pancho Villa supermarket at 3245 El Cajon Boulevard. Robinson said he is “bummed out” by the pollos ...

North Park Jack in the Box rebuild permit has yet to pop up

Cheeseburger, fries, and a long lawsuit, please

Jack in the Box and North Park neighbors return to court.

Pariah Brewing says no Fruity Pebbles here

But North Park's newest suds center serves up a milk-urchin stout

North Park's brewery count is up to ten. Pariah Brewing Company officially debuted its beers to the public at select taproom events the first weekend of February, followed by a ticketed grand opening scheduled for ...

Craft spirits heads to North Park

619 Vodka to open distillery, restaurant, and bar this spring

Craft spirits are coming soon to North Park. 619 Vodka has started building out a distillery at the former site of a produce shop just off 30th Street (3015 Lincoln Avenue). Slated to open by ...

Ready to fill with North Park foodies

Long empty and tagged, former movie theater gets spiffed up

The long-empty storefront at 3020 University Avenue in North Park may at last find a lessee. The building has been an eyesore for several years in the ever-growing, popular foodie district of North Park (in ...

Dessert still Heavenly in North Park

Just add gelato

It wasn’t much more than a year ago that longstanding North Park dessert spot Heaven Sent moved from its 30th and University corner location into a smaller space two doors down. So I was surprised ...

Beer, sports, and toddlers

Twisted, a bar for the whole family

Over the summer a new sports bar and restaurant opened in North Park, across from the Lafayette Hotel at the original corner location of Pomegranate, the Georgian restaurant that has since moved into a larger ...

You gotta use your noodle

Ah, the comforts of ramen

Once found mostly on Convoy Boulevard in Kearny Mesa, noodle spots have lately popped up in hipster neighborhoods such as Little Italy, North Park, Hillcrest, and University Heights. Tajima started as a small restaurant in ...

It’s not easy to do good bacon

Blackmarket nails it

A large, retro sign saying “Bakery” recently went up in North Park, the work of Blackmarket Bakery. The new restaurant represents the third installment and first San Diego entry of a small Orange County bakery ...

Mr. Robinson's frontier spirit

Psych-n-blues-rock band Chris Robinson Brotherhood takes the stage at the Observatory on Friday

Ex–Black Crowes singer Chris Robinson brings the Chris Robinson Brotherhood to the Observatory North Park on December 16. In between the phone signal cutting out in Appalachia, he took some questions. Where am I reaching ...

Juniper Canyon’s evidence of tectonic plate activity

Experience feeling alone with nature in the middle of the city

Juniper Canyon Open Space is mainly an urban remnant of the local native coastal sage scrub, with some intermingling of chaparral and some weedy growth along the trail. The trail itself varies from a narrow ...

Not all San Diego beer tasting rooms look alike

Six spots that go beyond reclaimed wood

They may range in size and scope, but most of the nearly 150 breweries and tasting rooms pouring across greater San Diego have at least one thing in common — their looks. Since the majority ...

North Park stroll

Business changes along University Avenue

Tobacco Rhoda’s dive bar closed down in June 2016. The bar had reportedly been a problem in the neighborhood for years. Artist Sam Ballard, who had a studio behind the bar for eight years, described ...

Rocket From the Crypt up from the crypt

Punk-rock big band headlines Casbah's Halloween bash at the Lafayette

Rocket From the Crypt played their “final concert ever” at the Casbah’s then-annual Halloween party at the Westin Horton Plaza in 2005…so it was only fitting that the beast be brought back to life to ...

Park-starved residents locked out of school playgrounds

"Responsibility for opening seems unclear and too often forgotten."

At least three of San Diego's joint-use playground parks have limited or eliminated public access to playgrounds in North Park, Normal Heights, and Kensington, and no one knows who is responsible. After three days of ...

New on the North Park beer block

Former Ballast Point brewers bring on the Eppig

North Park's status as a beer hub gets a major boost in the next few months as a trio of turnkey breweries leasing from HG Fenton's Brewery Igniter program begin to go online. Three ten-barrel ...

A cozy, out-of-the-way spot in the middle of North Park

Bangkok Spices Thai relocation a good move for old standby

The name seemed familiar, but when I walked past Bangkok Spices shortly after it opened on 30th Street, I couldn't quite place it. Eventually I realized I'd been to a restaurant of the same name ...

Hipster zone planned for North Park

Community plans for Golden Hill and South Park also laid out

Mid-city residents packed city-council chambers on Tuesday afternoon (October 25) as councilmembers convened to consider long-awaited updates to community plans for North Park and Golden Hill. The most contentious discussion centered around the North Park ...

Atmosphere casts its line at the Observatory

Slug and friends mix Fishing Blues with the classics

Atmosphere's tour began with a broken down van just outside of Saskatoon, but smoothed out quickly with a string of sold-out shows leading into Friday night's gig at Observatory North Park, which sold out weeks ...

North Park finds room for one more coffee shop

Biker cafe is surprisingly comfortable

I didn't think North Park needed another coffee shop, particularly along 30th Street. But when I walked into the newly opened Torque Moto Café, I immediately felt as though it scratched a neighborhood itch that's ...

What North Park's future will look like

"Our plan is for the millennials. If they can avoid having a car, they do."

The North Park Planning Committee on Tuesday (September 6) approved the area's draft community plan update — the roadmap for long-term growth and preservation for a neighborhood deemed one of America's hippest hipster neighborhoods in ...

Oh, those free-range birds

Late lunch in North Park

David and I finally made it to Encontro, in that magical empty hour between lunch and dinner. The restaurant is positioned at the corner of University Avenue and 30th Street, which puts it right in ...

Tribute pays tribute to the world’s best pizza

Get a slice of hospitality

Tribute Pizza has been in soft opening mode for the past month or so, but this review begins about two years earlier. The setting is BLVD Market, San Diego’s premier prepared-foods monthly on El Cajon ...