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Downtown Eagle's Aerie: Safe!

Is there a better place to watch the passing parade downtown?

I don’t think so.

And even though Nathan Hiedo has taken over this joint, he promises this won’t change.

Here on the ramp overlooking K Street and Fifth Avenue, you’re in the cat’s cradle…pig’s pen…uh, eagle’s aerie…whatever.

Image

Ciné Café from down on the sidewalk

Outside of Ciné Café (412-420 K Street, downtown, 619-595-1929), and back in the day, that’s what it was, a café for ciné nerds — they have an elevated ramp with tables, chairs, that looks down across K to the Gaslamp Hilton.

Image

You can watch the toffs, the coiffed, and the Botoxed alighting from their limousines. They tip their drivers more than you’ve just paid for your New Yawk sandwich — this beautiful wad of corned beef and roast beef and sauerkraut — $8.50.

Image

Inside the Ciné Café

And that’s top dollar for what you pay here. Cheaper are, like a half chicken-salad sandwich ($4.50), really enough on its own to fill you.

Image

The half chicken sandwich

This place is your backstop when everything else fails you in the Gaslamp.

And, actually, half the people coming in are here to get shaving cream, jars of salsa, stuff they forgot to buy at the downtown Ralphs. This is the neighborhood store, too.

Nathan recently took over the joint from Debbie Santos. Well, actually, they’re partners for the next five years, but she’s tired of doing all the heavy lifting. She has kids growing up.

So, yes. Every time I’m down here trying to decide between Ciné Café and Hilton's New Leaf eatery (which is also open six a.m. to midnight), uh, no contest.

And as Nathan says: if it works, don’t fix it.

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Is there a better place to watch the passing parade downtown?

I don’t think so.

And even though Nathan Hiedo has taken over this joint, he promises this won’t change.

Here on the ramp overlooking K Street and Fifth Avenue, you’re in the cat’s cradle…pig’s pen…uh, eagle’s aerie…whatever.

Image

Ciné Café from down on the sidewalk

Outside of Ciné Café (412-420 K Street, downtown, 619-595-1929), and back in the day, that’s what it was, a café for ciné nerds — they have an elevated ramp with tables, chairs, that looks down across K to the Gaslamp Hilton.

Image

You can watch the toffs, the coiffed, and the Botoxed alighting from their limousines. They tip their drivers more than you’ve just paid for your New Yawk sandwich — this beautiful wad of corned beef and roast beef and sauerkraut — $8.50.

Image

Inside the Ciné Café

And that’s top dollar for what you pay here. Cheaper are, like a half chicken-salad sandwich ($4.50), really enough on its own to fill you.

Image

The half chicken sandwich

This place is your backstop when everything else fails you in the Gaslamp.

And, actually, half the people coming in are here to get shaving cream, jars of salsa, stuff they forgot to buy at the downtown Ralphs. This is the neighborhood store, too.

Nathan recently took over the joint from Debbie Santos. Well, actually, they’re partners for the next five years, but she’s tired of doing all the heavy lifting. She has kids growing up.

So, yes. Every time I’m down here trying to decide between Ciné Café and Hilton's New Leaf eatery (which is also open six a.m. to midnight), uh, no contest.

And as Nathan says: if it works, don’t fix it.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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