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Back in July, I reported Consortium Holdings—the company behind Neighborhood, El Dorado, Noble Experiment, Craft & Commerce, and Underbelly—would be opening a new venue near the corner of 30th Street and Adams Avenue. As it turns out, CH headmen Arsalun Tafazoli and Nathan Stanton will be opening two venues; different coexisting sister spaces designed around a common theme—nostalgia.

The first of the pair to hit the Heights will be Polite Provisions, a 2,200 square foot local revival of the old-timey drugstore where a town’s people would assemble, sit a spell with a fountain libation, and converse about everything under the sun. Like the American institutions it’s designed to pay homage to, Polite Provisions will serve milkshakes, malts, egg creams, and the like. Unlike Pop’s Pharmacy, those sweet treats will be available with a lacing of alcohol for self-medicating. The venue will also sport 46 taps; not surprising given Tafazoli’s long-standing love for craft beer. What is surprising is those taps will mostly pour forth various wines, craft sodas, spirits and cocktails, including beer-tails developed in collaboration with local brewers.

In building the concept for Polite Provisions, Consortium Holdings partnered with big-name bartender Erick Castro, a mixologist known for his “vintage minimalist” style—focusing on pre-Prohibition ingredients and recipes—which have put both he and spots like his San Francisco speakeasy stomping grounds, Bourbon & Branch, on the map in a big way. In 2010, he was recognized as Rising Star Mixologist by StarChefs, and the aforementioned venue has been cited as one of the best bars in America by Esquire and one of the finest in the world by Food & Wine. But he’s from NorCal! Relax, Raider haters and SoCal fanatics. There’s no need for picket signs or pitchforks. Before blowing up in the Bay Area, Castro went to college at SDSU.

Once Polite Provisions is up and running, it will be followed by Soda & Swine, an eatery specializing in exactly two low-frill comfort items—meatballs and apple pie. The former will be made of various proteins ground on-site against a butcher shop backdrop while the pies will be similarly from-scratch. All will be the product of Jason McLeod, a veteran chef with San Diego roots who was hired earlier this year to oversee the culinary operations at all of Consortium’s locations. This two-in-one addition to Normal Heights is scheduled to open in December.

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ChristyS Sept. 11, 2012 @ 1:23 p.m.

30th and Adams is North Park, not Normal Heights. You guys continue to get this wrong in articles. Although that address is 92116, which is a ZIP code shared by Normal Heights and Kensington, the Adams Avenue bridge over the 805 draws the line between Normal Heights and North Park. That is why you see a "Welcome to Normal Heights" sign (and vice versa) as you cross the bridge.

North Park is bordered on the north by the canyon over the I-8, on the east by the 805, and on the west by Texas Street. This isn't about what people "feel" are the neighborhood boundaries, it's what the city and media use and therefore what is correct.


Ian Pike Sept. 11, 2012 @ 1:38 p.m.

Christy has a point, but it's also a little woeful that the most accurate community map I can find on the city website is this:


Hillcrest apparently doesn't even exist :D


Brandon Hernández Sept. 11, 2012 @ 2:14 p.m.

It was my belief it was North Park originally, but when I first reported the story, people became livid, stating it was not North Park. So, when the business owners stated they were coming to Normal Heights, I figured I had indeed gotten it wrong and went with their assessment as well as those who had originally informed me that I was incorrect. Thank you for your informative comment. I do appreciate the thorough explanation.


ChristyS Sept. 11, 2012 @ 11:15 p.m.

Well, the business owners are wrong -- again, this isn't about what people "feel" it's about getting the facts right. That area is North Park and should be changed in your story based on the facts I shared with you and the city map as shown at the link above.


Ian Pike Sept. 12, 2012 @ 8:01 a.m.

I think that a concerned citizen like yourself would be the PERFECT candidate for requesting a better neighborhood map from the city! I am fairly sure there is an aspiring civil engineer out there who would relish the challenge of creating a more informative/definitive neighborhood map. Maybe not just for the urban districts, but the entire county and including EVERYTHING nebulous boundary in an easy-to-read format.


se123 Feb. 22, 2013 @ 9:39 a.m.

Hey Christy, how about you lighten up. OMG somone said north park instead of normal heights. or vise versus. get over it


adamsavenuebusinessassoc Sept. 11, 2012 @ 3:28 p.m.

For what it's worth, many of the Adams Avenue Business Association members refer to this section of Adams Avenue as Normal Heights also. The topic has been debated for many years and no disrespect to the counter opinions expressed on this subject. In any case, we appreciate the ongoing reporting by the Reader, in highlighting the many wonderful improvements coming to our business district.


ChristyS Sept. 11, 2012 @ 11:17 p.m.

RE: "For what it's worth, many of the Adams Avenue Business Association members refer to this section of Adams Avenue as Normal Heights also." So what? They're wrong. This isn't a case of "opinion" but fact. I wish people, especially the BID for god's sake, would quit perpetuating this inaccuracy.


LivinInTheHeights Dec. 30, 2012 @ 7:52 p.m.

For pete's sake, chill out. You should be the first in line to get a milkshake with a few shots of anything 80 proof for self medicating...


weese07 Sept. 12, 2012 @ 3:10 p.m.

Hey Christy, you really need to chill. It's about the two new businesses that sound unique and a welcome addition to the neighborhood.


ChristyS Sept. 12, 2012 @ 8:41 p.m.

Yes, it is, weese07, but it's also "about" being accurate if you want people to respect your work in the media.


AdamsAveShop Sept. 26, 2012 @ 10:45 p.m.

ChristyS, The official map does have an extension that goes north on that corridor from the 805 to Texas St. to Adams, but as a business owner I refer to our end of Adams Avenue as Antique Row if I am asked. Frankly we don't care what the "official" name of that part of Adams is. If you want to get into a lengthy discussion of words, go ahead and tell them that my business is in North Park. Everyone considers North Park to be University and 30th St. and folks have enough problems finding their way around town without getting more confused. We have nice green signs that designate that part of Adams as Antique Row. Why not just refer to it as Adams Avenue west?


billiame Nov. 5, 2012 @ 9:47 a.m.

I live 2 blocks from that intersection and I call it North Park, since it's in North Park. I don't know how one could cross over a bridge spanning a canyon and freeway and still think they were in the same neighborhood, especially since there's a sign that says "Welcome to North Park." I know some people call this area "Between Heights," but I think that makes it sound like the homely step child. I believe that this area is historically part of the University Heights subdivision, so even calling it that would be more accurate. And, I think it's rediculous that members of the Adams Avenue Business Association would be ignorant to the area they represent (shoudn't that fact be known as a condition to their representation?).


LivinInTheHeights Dec. 30, 2012 @ 7:48 p.m.

Who the heck cares, and BTW, the business association is focused on the Ave, even in Kensington. Chill out and withold uninformed dings whenever possible...


LivinInTheHeights Dec. 30, 2012 @ 7:58 p.m.

This is exciting news for the Ave and whatever the hell neighborhood border it technically falls within. We need more interesting venues on and near the Ave like these and continue to keep out fast food chains as found in other neighborhood districts such as in North Park. Best wishes to the new businesses!


opassons March 3, 2013 @ 7:31 p.m.

These conversations always surprise me. I stumbled across this page today. Arsalun and Nathan, your concept is fantastic. We went today, our server Melissa was lovely, knowledgeable and very, very friendly. We tried almost everything on the menu in S & S and a few drinks in Polite Provisions. Very nice attention to detail with the classic finishings. The skillet-presented dishes could stand to be a bit warmer, but that'll come with time. As for this "where is it" debate, the reality is that it is in both Greater North Park and Normal Heights. Communities - not just official planning maps - define where people call home. Historical North Park as a community stopped further south, but if you look you can find a historical map to say at least three different things. People are starting to call parts of North Park all sorts of things, and honestly community pride of any shade should be celebrated. These two establishments are served by a Business Improvement District that cuts across four communities. One much more important point. We tried to go first on Friday and it was so packed we ended up at Cantina Mayahuel. They were busier than we've ever seen them. Host said it was directly related to PP and S&S. This, in my opinion, is the real story. Synergies making a portion of the community stronger. Welcome to the community, please do your best to support the many groups out trying to help make it cleaner, safer, more walkable and vibrant for neighbors. Nice work, gents.


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