Category Archives: Hillcrest

La Marque to Bring New Brews to Hillcrest

A new coffee and craft beer cafe is opening soon in Hillcrest at Fifth and Brookes—just one block south of Hash House a Go Go. We’re still waiting to learn many of the details about La Marque, but we understand that it’s set to open in the next few weeks.

La Marque

We do know that you can expect a unique selection of craft beers, along with coffee from San Diego roasting brands like Bird Rock Coffee Roasters. Oh—apparently they’ll also have wine, but why drink wine when there’s craft beer? This is San Diego, after all.

La Marque

We really like what they’ve done with the place—at least on the outside. This is the former home of Chi Hollistic Collective, a marijuana dispensary that closed in 2012. Years ago, this was a branch of women’s consignment store My Sister’s Closet.

La Marque

As typography geeks, we could probably stare at the logo all day.

We’ll be sure to keep an eye on La Marque as its final pieces come together.

Movement in Babbo’s Old Home

San Diego Streets friend Gregory M. alerted us to new activity at the former home of Babbo Grande at 1731 University Avenue in Hillcrest. We’ve had our eyes on this spot for a while now, as we recently noticed some cleanup happening on the inside.

1731 University Avenue

Behind the wall, it turns out that they’ve completely removed the facade while renovation takes place.

1731 University Avenue

This former restaurant is actually two spaces—1731 and 1733 University Avenue—and it appears that it may be getting divided again for two separate tenants.

1731 University Avenue

We sure do miss cheap eats over here. Babbo Grande was an old favorite of ours, with its dependable comfort food and friendly service. After this location shuttered in 2011 due to flood damage, it reopened around the corner on Park Blvd at the former Gulf Coast Grill space.

1731 University Avenue

Of course, that comeback as Babbo’s Bar & Grille lasted only for a short time, as fire damage caused it to close for good. They had a loyal following—and we weren’t the only ones hoping for another return—but it seems that it’s the end of the line for Babbo. We’re curious to see what’s next.

Furniture Store Opens at Fourth and University

We’ve noticed quite a few developments happening around Hillcrest in the last few weeks.

Hillcrest

It’s hard to miss Famaliving, which recently opened at Fourth and University in the former Column One location. We’ve never heard of it, but they apparently have another store in San Marcos and several others around the world. They specialize in custom furniture from Spain, but we’ll probably never see the inside because we’re so turned off by that odd canopy advertisement.

Hillcrest

It looks like something is going in at 435 University Avenue, where Cathedral—one of our old favorites—closed last year. We were sad to see that boutique close after 18 years of business in Hillcrest.

Hillcrest

At Eighth and University, scaffolding has gone up around Kelly’s Treasures, which closed earlier this year. We hear that this might be turning into a Japanese restaurant.

Hillcrest

Mankind is still working on its new location at Richmond and University in the same building as Filter Coffee House. The revolving storefront next door currently features Cheaters & Sun, a reading and sunglasses retailer. On the second level, the former Hillcrest Organics medical marijuana dispensary space appears to be getting divided.

Uptown District Gets a Facelift

Work began this week on a major redevelopment at Uptown District in Hillcrest—you know, that shopping madhouse where Ralphs and Trader Joe’s are located. Big changes are already underway as the center becomes The HUB | Hillcrest Market.

The Hub | Hillcrest Market

Walls are up around what will become a courtyard between two food and beverage tenants. Regency Centers, who purchased the development at the end of 2012, is currently seeking unique restaurant concepts to lure guests into the new courtyard area.

The Hub | Hillcrest Market

They’ve already started tearing up the concrete. La Salsa and Pick Up Stix previously occupied the spaces on each side of the courtyard.

The Hub | Hillcrest Market

The $3 million renovation will include custom murals by local artists, new wayfinding signs, new landscaping, and art sculptures by Chris Puzio and MakeFab.

The Hub | Hillcrest Market

Uptown District opened in 1989, replacing a Sears department store. The mixed-use development was a pretty new idea for the time. Next time you’re in line at Trader Joe’s, look around for historic photos of the site as it was before redevelopment.

The Hub | Hillcrest Market

We’re okay with a little mess if it means neighborhood improvement.

The Hub | Hillcrest Market

HUB stands for Hillcrest Uptown Block. We can’t decide if that’s clever or just marketing baloney.

The Hub | Hillcrest Market

Spoiler alert: that Facebook page doesn’t yet exist.

The Hub | Hillcrest Market

Here’s what that new courtyard will look like. It’s not a huge area, but it could turn out really nice.

The Hub | Hillcrest Market

RadioShack wants you to know they still exist, but you’ll have to walk around if you want to go in.

Napizza, a popular Little Italy joint, is moving into the 2,010-square-foot space to the right.

The Hub | Hillcrest Market

If there’s one thing we love, it’s a public notice of alcoholic beverage sales. No protest here.

The Hub | Hillcrest Market

It will be great to see these empty spaces transformed into lively restaurants. We think Hillcrest has lost some of its luster in the last year or two, but this boost in development could make a big difference.

Cali O Burgers Might Have a Chance

We previously told you about Cali O Burgers taking over the former Shawarma House space at the corner of Richmond and University. As work continues at the ever-changing Hillcrest location, we noticed a smart addition to their new sign.

Cali O Burgers

Let’s break it down:

Grass Fed Beef  For those who like their cattle to have natural, healthy diets.

Organic Salads  Attracting those “healthy” types.

Shakes  Because who doesn’t love a good shake?

Craft Beers  The only magical words needed to open something new in San Diego.

We’re impressed by the effort. Maybe this place has a chance.

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