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Hot news tonite!

5:00 p.m. [Friday 3/22] at Snooze, the pretty-new Hillcrest breakfast place (3940 5th Avenue, Hillcrest, 619-500-3344)...

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...they’re holding their Second Annual Ping Pong contest, with a three-foot-tall trophy topped by a table-tennis bat for the winner and a 6-inch tall mini-cup for the runner-up.

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“All the staff will be competing, but the doors will be open and any member of the public can take part,” says Justin, who’s running the bar right now (about 1pm).

“Last year’s winner was Matt Meyer. He worked here. But he’s gone back to Colorado, so it’s wide open.”

There’s plenty of room. This way-big space is actually new but feels like an old hangar. There’s lots of space between tables...

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...And it definitely has a hip feel about it. I was attracted to here just because even though everything else on this side of Fifth was empty, this was a-buzz with people. Kinda like Sushi Deli-2 always is downtown. Crowded. Fifteen-minute wait. People having breakfast at midday.

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My kind of place! It’s been going a year and from what I've heard, clicked from the start.

I’m here for a late breakfast. Don’t know why I haven’t been before. I ordered a breakfast pot pie ($9), and it’s the lightest, airiest, smoothest, flakiest thing I ever did eat. Natasha brings it...

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...It’s got a, like, filo pastry boat under a gravy scattered with house sausage, rosemary, carrots, celery, parmesan cheese and I don’t know all else.

A leaning tower of hashbrowns sits beside it on the plate.

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Natasha also brought me a coffee ($2.50, with endless refills).

The place serves alcohol at the bar from 6:30 in the morning when they open. Lots of night shift hospital crew from nearby Sharps Mercy come in for a Bloody Mary, says Justin, to help them get to sleep.

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And has a great orange and lime-green padded-seat patio out on the street...

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...Design-wise, you’d say Lindbergh Terminal meets Petco Park bleachers, but I like it. It’s full of color, it brightens up the sidewalk, and you can bet it's sunny in the morning.

So how come a wakey-wakey morning place is called “Snooze”?

“It was the owner’s idea,” says Justin. “He ran a nightclub, his girlfriend was a teacher. He’d come in just as her alarm was going off to start her school day. So he’d sometimes hit her clock’s snooze button just so he could have a moment with her. That’s where the idea came from. That snoozing moment before you have to go off and do your thing.”

So the ping pong contest: The restaurant usually closes at 2:30 p.m.. Will they have food?”

“No,” says Justin. “But plenty of booze.”

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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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