North Park Stories

Pig changes at Porchetta Shack

North Park's Snack Shack rebrands with a new pork obsession

The first food story I ever wrote in San Diego covered then newly opened hole in the wall Carnitas Snack Shack. That’s hole in the wall in the original sense: just a window facing the ...

Who's sleeping on the Orange Avenue bridge over 805?

Not a problem on Adams Ave. overpass

On April 5, motorists traveling southbound on the 805 prior to exiting on El Cajon Boulevard were greeted by a Caltrans changeable message sign that reads “FEELING DROWSY? EXIT AND REST.” Some drivers may have ...

New North Park Target starts debate on grab-and-dashes

The Ralph's approach vs. Costco's

Joan LaRose has been to the new Target store in North Park three times since it opened on March 12. She and her neighbors "love" the convenience of having a 35,200 sq./ft. "small-format" Target nearby; ...

Just caveman desserts for Paleo Treats

Cakes and chocolates taste better than canned jokes

It’s just too easy to make fun of the paleo diet, otherwise known as the paleolithic diet or the stone age diet. Blame whoever started calling it the caveman diet for the jokes. The term ...

North Park locals patrol the neighborhood

“It’s a freak show out there”

The last time there was a seemingly life threatening conflict behind Claudia’s Spanish Revival home in North Park, she didn’t swipe her smartphone to dial 911 — instead, she pumped her 12-gauge shotgun. “Expecting the ...

Late night visits to The Nood Bar

Pan Asian counter offers soups, stir fries, and every type of noodle

I like a good pun almost as much as a good bowlful of noodles, so when The Nood Bar opened in North Park a couple months back, I grabbed a stack of one dollar bills ...

Poetry on the menu at Medina

North African meets Baja at new North Park bar and restaurant

The poet Ezra Pound coined the word melopoiea as a way to describe how verses or even individual words may charged with musical properties, bringing their own sense of rhythm and melody to spoken language. ...

The lively last days of Peking Restaurant

A final visit for chop suey and egg foo yung

It doesn’t look like a restaurant that’s about to close. Four parties have shown up at once during lunch rush, and the staff hustles to turn over red leather booths as they become available. But ...

619 Spirits uses local spirits including own vodka brand

North Park's first urban distillery

Has there been a better time to be a boozehound in San Diego? As the craft beer scene has matured, some locals are branching out into other liquor areas and creating an intoxicating distillery scene ...

North Park garage art delayed – but on its way

Kris Moore and Don Masse art to go up at 29th and University

The art competition launched last year to add new murals to the North Park parking garage had a stated installation of Fall 2018. Obviously that did not happen. The fading original artworks by artist Blair ...

The value of prime tacos

Baja inspired eatery makes a case for better Mexican food

The value of Mexican food in San Diego keeps rising. I don’t mean the cost, because the costs at all our restaurants have been going up alongside property values, energy costs, and minimum wage hikes ...

Shyrehl Wesley leaves best friend's body on Twin Oaks Valley Rd.

Why do good girls love bad boys?

“I attracted a lot of women, yes,” Shyrehl Wesley testified in October of 2018. “I do believe that men are the dominant ones in a relationship with a woman.” Wesley turned in the witness box ...

What the heck is a lichtenhainer?

How a San Diego dentist’s historical German beer became an American medal winner

There’s nothing easier to find in North Park than a good IPA. But a good lichtenhainer? Only one place that I know about. So, what’s a lichtenhainer? I wondered too. The unsurprising answer would be ...

Photogenic, but still comfortable

North Park's new coffee shop has it both ways

In the food item as bowl domain, few have impressed me so much as the caramel apple dessert offered by the new North Park coffee shop, Deja Brew Lounge. Situated in a converted craftsman bungalow ...

Solace for breakfast

A North Park restaurant changes its weekday game

Credit Urban Solace as a building block to the lifestyle destination North Park has become. The neighborhood didn’t yet have that national press cachet when Solace rode a rising comfort food trend into what’s now ...

The world’s first hard kombucha bar

The flavor possibilities are infinite

They call this North Park tasting room the “world’s first hard kombucha bar.” Not hard to believe given high alcohol kombucha didn’t really exist prior to spring 2016. That’s when Chula Vista-based Boochcraft took kombucha, ...

What's the market price on that fish?

Grilled local beats fried anything, despite the cost

I should have been ordering the local catch all along. When North Park’s Beerfish first opened a couple years ago, I went for the fish and chips. They were all right. After it retooled a ...

Smells bad on 30th and University

New lessees watch and wait

Some empty businesses in North Park squat for years, while homeless park outside on the sidewalk. Two particular storefronts have had a rough time lately finding lessees. One is the former Discount International Fashions on ...

$500 apartment in North Park? – dream on

Craigslist scams grow like Topsy

As North Park property values increase to an all-time high, so have scams on renters. “My husband and I had already rented this [North Park] unit in May,” Kersu Dalal said on November 15, “and ...

North Park tear-downs push infill

Developers cranking out pricey apartments

Developers can’t seem to acquire building sites in North Park fast enough. Vacant lots are rare, so old structures have to come tumbling down. The latest case in point: The Progressive Health Services building, a ...

Behind the $15 lunch

North Park's Encontro serves steak from Cardiff

I’ve gotten used to paying 15 dollars for lunch. I remember days that would seem outlandish, but these days I’m unfazed by $15, when that charge includes tax and tip. That’s usually for a sandwich ...

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 ...

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