OB Hostel Gets New Name and Improvements

June 30, 2015 by Matthew Wood
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By Matthew Wood

Say goodbye to the Ocean Beach International Hostel and hello to USA Hostels Ocean Beach.

That’s the new name of the iconic housing building for those passing through our magical beach community, which was bought last year by USA Hostels.

The company also owns a hostel in downtown San Diego, as well as Los Angeles and San Francisco. It’s part of a number of changes the company is making to improve the guest experience, according to Chief Operating Officer Maria Argyropoulos-Minos.

She said rooms will have a new look, including new flooring, fresh paint and new lockers.

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Union-Tribune Ad Circulars Up for Debate at Wednesday’s Ocean Beach Town Council Meeting

May 27, 2015 by Matthew Wood
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By Matthew Wood

A healthy debate is expected at tonight’s Ocean Beach Town Council meeting regarding the San Diego Union-Tribune’s practice of distributing their “Local Community Values” advertising circulars.

“I’ve been picking these things up from in front of my house and getting annoyed about it for a long time,” said OB resident Mary Tolena, who will present a case to the council to have the Union-Tribune end its practice of tossing out hundreds of the plastic-wrapped circulars in the neighborhood each week.

She says the advertisements are supposed to be targeted to subscribers, but instead they are sent out willy nilly and end up sitting on neighborhood sidewalks and in yards, creating a nuisance.

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New Thrift Shop on Newport Avenue Is All About the Animals

May 19, 2015 by Matthew Wood
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By Matthew Wood

When local lawyer and activist Bryan Pease opened up his Newport Avenue thrift store earlier this year, it could be confused with a number of other thrift shops in the neighborhood. But this store, like his original store in Clairemont, is all about the animals.

Call it a co-op for a cause. A four-legged five-and-dime. A no-flea market?

Whatever you want to call it, the store isn’t in it to make money, just to further Pease’s pro-animal causes.

He started the Animal Protection and Rescue League back in 2003. Since then he has been a champion of a number of animals rights issues in the news, such as protecting the seals in La Jolla, fighting against puppy mills ,,,

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Slightly Stoopid Makes the Rounds in Ocean Beach

May 15, 2015 by Matthew Wood
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By Matthew Wood

This week has been a whirlwind neighborhood tour for Ocean Beach’s favorite band, Slightly Stoopid.

The local boys played an invitation-only show at OB Noodle House Bar 1502 on Wednesday night, then made an appearance this morning with 91X at Nico’s Restaurant.

“You can’t beat being home,” said Kyle McDonald, one of the band’s founders. “It suits us nice to live in the place you want to be.”

The show at Noodle House celebrated the restaurant’s first anniversary. It also helped raise funds for the OB Fireworks Show on Fourth of July.

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OB Rec Center Make-Over Allows Everyone to Be a Kid

April 7, 2015 by Matthew Wood
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Spring Renovations Include Re-Surfaced Gym Floor

By Matthew Wood

This isn’t your grandfather’s Ocean Beach Recreation Center.

Oh sure, it’s the same building that has been on Santa Monica Avenue for the past 60-plus years. But recent renovations have sharpened up the place that gives kids of all ages a chance to, well, be a kid again.

The first thing you’ll notice is a brand-new paint job on the walls, …

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Checking In on the Agreement CVS Made With Ocean Beach Town Council

April 6, 2015 by Matthew Wood
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Report on Progress with OB Community Agreement

By Matthew Wood

When CVS moved into the old Appletree Market building at Santa Monica Avenue and Bacon Street, it was with great fanfare – and an equal amount of worry around the community as to whether the store would be a positive for Ocean Beach.

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OB Hostel Termite Tent Merely Precautionary

February 27, 2015 by Matthew Wood
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Those who walk by the OB Hostel this week and think the place is either wrought with bugs or hosting a perverse carnival need not worry. The owners are tenting the place as a precautionary measure to protect against termites.

“Who doesn’t have termites in San Diego?” said Maria Argyropoulos-Minos, Chief Operating Officer of USA Hostels.

“That’s pretty much the way it works. Anytime you have a house, you tent it.”

The tent has been on the iconic building for much of the week, but should be down by mid-morning on Friday.

“We just want to make sure it’s safe and secure from the little buggers and this seemed like a good time,” she said.

Argyropoulos-Minos said it is part of a number of upgrades the company is making to the place since purchasing it late last year.

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It’s an Ocean Beach Family Affair for Owners of Little Lion Cafe

February 5, 2015 by Matthew Wood
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By Matthew Wood

When the Coulon sisters looked to open a restaurant, there was no doubt where it would be.

“I would tell people I want to open a restaurant in OB,” said Jacqueline Coulon, general manager of Little Lion Cafe. “They would say, ‘Oh, you want to open a restaurant.’ And I would say, ‘No, I want to open a restaurant in OB.'”

The emphasis is all hers. And the result is a charming little restaurant the three sisters opened in the old Point Loma Beach Cafe location on Sunset Cliffs late last year.

It’s a lifelong dream for the three sisters. They follow in the footsteps of their grandparents, who owned The Belgian Lion Cafe in OB for years.

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Where to Watch the Super Bowl in Ocean Beach

January 30, 2015 by Matthew Wood
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By Matthew Wood

As OBceans decide who they’ll root for in Sunday’s decidedly non-SoCal Super Bowl, the bars of OB are fast at work coming up with specials to entice spectators.

Most bars in the neighborhood remain neutral between the New England Patriots and Seattle Seahawks. That’s not the case for Wonderland Ocean Pub, which supports Boston’s finest (if not classiest) fans.

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Community Discussion: Common Sense, Communication Are Keys to Staying Safe

January 22, 2015 by Matthew Wood
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Ocean Beach Residents Discuss Recent Burglaries and Other Issues

By Matthew Wood

By Matthew Wood

‘Lock your doors. Secure your windows.’

That was the underlying theme from Wednesday night’s Ocean Beach community discussion, which mostly surrounded the spate of break-ins in the neighborhood. About 60 people gathered at Teeter on Niagara Avenue to talk about littering, vandalism and other topics. But the conversation invariably came back to the eight reported burglaries in the neighborhood …

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Historical Society Takes Trip Through Time With New OB Book

December 19, 2014 by Matthew Wood
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By Matthew Wood

Take a beach stroll through time in our fine neighborhood with a new book from the Ocean Beach Historical Society.

The publication, part of the “Images of America” series, shows rare photos from the beginnings of OB, following through its growth into a destination spot as it finally settles in as the sleepy beach community we know and love.

Knowing that it is part of a number of publications highlighting neighborhoods throughout the country gives the book a bit of a cookie-cutter feel. But you can’t argue with the content, which is mostly photographs with sparse but descriptive captions that give bits of history along with explaining what you’re seeing.

Most of the focus is on the first half of the 20th century, but it manages to give a glimpse into the future that will be with a smattering of updated pictures to show a contrast between past and present.

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OB Cat Adoption Center Looking for a Few Good Owners

December 12, 2014 by Matthew Wood
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By Matthew Wood

Bone Appetit Ocean Beach Pet Supply owner Kelly Patri is looking for a few good cat owners. But be warned: She won’t give up her rescue kitties to just anyone.

“We have an application process,” Patri says about her cat adoption center in the back of the store on Sunset Cliffs Boulevard. “We’ve definitely turned people away.”

The adoption center is approved by San Diego County, meaning it has passed their requirements as an “approved adoption facility.”

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New OB Hostel Owners’ Upgrades May Include Covering Exterior “OB-esque Hippie Floral Design”

November 18, 2014 by Matthew Wood
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By Matthew Wood

When the Ocean Beach International Hostel was sold last month, OB residents couldn’t help but be a little worried about the future of the neighborhood relic.

Fortunately, the business is in the hands of USA Hostels – a company that started in San Diego with a hostel in the Gaslamp District and seems to have the best intentions of the relic on the heart of Newport Avenue in mind.

Here’s USA Hostels president David Reuter response to those worries:

“We’re in it for the long haul. We’re the owners and operators. It’s going to be a hands-on approach. We’re interested in becoming members of the community.”

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OB Goes Big For San Diego Beer Week

November 7, 2014 by Matthew Wood
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By Matthew Wood

As San Diego Beer Week kicks off tonight, Ocean Beach is quickly becoming a central hub for some of the best events. Places like OB Noodle House – which has been a part of the event for years – save some of their best brews for the upcoming week.

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Culture Brewing Co. Set to Open Tasting Room in Ocean Beach

October 30, 2014 by Matthew Wood
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Newport Ave Storefront to Be Similar to Solana Beach Brewery

By Matthew Wood

The Ocean Beach craft beer scene is about to get a bit sudsier, as Solana Beach’s Culture Brewing Co. builds a new tasting room on Newport Avenue.

Construction is already under way on the storefront, which is just west of OB Warehouse. Co-owner Steve Ragan said he hopes to have the place open by November 8, in time for San Diego Beer Week.

He said the place will be similar to the Solana Beach brewery, except all the beer will be brought in from there and none made at the OB location.

It will be a rather bare-bones operation: No food, no TVs, no other booze. Just 20 or so taps serving nothing but their beer.

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A Tour of the OB Oktoberfest

October 13, 2014 by Matthew Wood
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By Matthew Wood

Ocean Beach got its “oom-pah” on this weekend at the 10th annual OB Oktoberfest. Festivities included the 5K Brat Trot on the beach, a stein holding contest, music on two stages and – of course – a whole lot of beer.

Here’s a look at the “partei” in some pics from the event.

The Rey Vinole Oktoberfest Band performed all day on the side stage by the seawall, playing traditional German polkas and other favorites. … Fans start to crowd the main stage as night falls on the fest. A dozen bands in all played the festival over the two days. …

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Cash Stash Takes Over OB on Eve of Oktoberfest

October 10, 2014 by Matthew Wood
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By Matthew Wood

Why were a bunch of dudes wandering around the corner of Bacon and Newport this morning? They were looking for some cold, hard cash.

It’s part of the festivities for this weekend’s OB Oktoberfest. The contest is called “Find the Schnitzengruben.” Organizers are leaving 10 envelopes full of $10 bills around OB, then tweeting out clues as to where they are.

Whoever finds it keeps the money, up to $150.

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Santa Monica Ave. School Crosswalk Officially Sanctioned

October 2, 2014 by Matthew Wood
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Ribbon Cutting Ceremony Officially “Opens” the OB Elementary Crosswalk

By Matthew Wood

The crosswalk outside of Ocean Beach Elementary School that has been a decade in the making finally got a proper introduction on Wednesday.

City Councilman Ed Harris was on hand for a formal ribbon-cutting ceremony with OB Elementary Principal Marco Drapeau and parents of the school’s students. They used the opportunity to tout next week’s National Walk to School Day with a pre-class assembly.

“We’re trying to promote walking and biking to school,” Harris said. “In order to do that you gotta have safe routes. All these things have been lacking for years.”

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Take Back OB at Second Annual Raglan Beach Cleanup

September 5, 2014 by Matthew Wood
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Raglan Teams Up With Cleaner Streets Initiatives, San Diego Coastkeeper and South Coast Surf Shop for “End of Summer OB Beach Cleanup”

By Matthew Wood

Summer’s over, the tourists are gone and it’s time to take back our beach.

That’s the thinking behind Raglan Public House’s second annual End of Summer OB Beach Cleanup on Saturday, September 6.

“It’s a nice thing we can do,” said Raglan manager Mike Zouroudis.

It’s just nice to have this beach back and a little slower. It’s a great way to get our town back for the next six or seven months.”

Raglan is partnering with the Cleaner Streets Initiatives, San Diego Coastkeeper and South Coast Surf Shop to put on the event, which runs from 9 to 11 a.m. …

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Niagara-Bacon Area Quickly Becoming OB’s New Hot Spot

August 22, 2014 by Matthew Wood
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By Matthew Wood

Move over, Newport Avenue. There’s a new hot spot in Ocean Beach.

OK, nothing’s taking over for OB’s main drag in terms of businesses and foot traffic. But if you walk just a block south on Bacon Avenue, you might be surprised at the renaissance of business and shopping.

The long-perceived notion that the only businesses that can survive have to be on Newport is quickly diminishing. That’s evident with the addition of Bar 1502 – the new incarnate of the immensely popular OB Noodle House just eight or so blocks down – at the southeast corner of Bacon and Niagara. It now gives a solid restaurant option at each corner of that intersection, providing ample opportunities for businesses on the block to attract traffic.

“It’s awesome to see,” said Bar 1502 owner Steven Yeng, who passed up offers to open up shop on Newport. For him, the location is a personal dream come true, as it is just steps from his boyhood house.

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Longtime OB Barber Passes the Scissors and the Business to Haircut Heir

July 16, 2014 by Matthew Wood
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By Matthew Wood

Ron Pilcher has been cutting hair for 40 years at Sunset Clipps in Ocean Beach. That all changes this week when he passes the torch to the next generation.

“I’m 70 now,” he said. “My wife is getting ready to retire. It’s time to hang up the scissors.”

It’s a veritable changing of the clipper guard, so to speak.

It was a long journey to find who would take over the shop at the corner of Santa Monica and Sunset Cliffs. Enter Jason Bullard, 45, a trained stylist and longtime OBcean with big plans for the place. He says taking over the shop is a dream come true.

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OB Elementary Principal Reflects on His First Year

July 11, 2014 by Matthew Wood
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By Matthew Wood

It’s the middle of summer and the halls of Ocean Beach Elementary School are desolate.

The kids are long gone, having hit the beach or camp or family vacation and otherwise soaking in the three-month summer break. Teachers have been dismissed to recharge for a few student-less months.

Yet here’s principal Marco Drapeau, sitting at his desk, sifting diligently through paperwork as the rest of the world around him goofs off.

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“Mallow out!” Says the OB Town Council – No More Marshmallow War

July 1, 2014 by Matthew Wood
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By Matthew Wood

If the Town Council has its way, Ocean Beach will be a marshmallow-free zone this Fourth of July.

Town Council President Gretchen Newsom hammered home that point Tuesday morning during a press conference at the Veterans Memorial by the beach as they spread the word to “Mallow Out.”

“This has been too much. The last couple of years, it’s gotten completely out of control. It has desecrated our memorial,” she said. “It’s time for our community to clean itself up.”

The Town Council is calling for all businesses to stop selling marshmallows in order to keep participation down. Newsom cited people throwing marshmallows that frozen, on fire and stuffed with batteries at last year’s Marshmallow War.

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Acai Bowls Return to Lazy Hummingbird “Coffee Shop”

July 1, 2014 by Matthew Wood
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Wrong standard had been applied to the coffee shop by over-zealous health inspector

By Matthew Wood

The acai bowls are back at the ‘Bird, and there is much rejoicing in OB.

For nearly a month, the coffee shop that shares a storefront with the OB Business Center on Santa Monica Avenue had to shut down the popular bowls and other food production because of what owner Danielle Eder calls an overzealous inspector.

“For the last three years, we’ve been getting A’s,” Eder said of health inspection reviews of the coffee shop, which just celebrated its third anniversary.

“They change the rules every day. There are so many exceptions to them, especially with food carts.”

She said the inspector – who she declined to name – had a problem with the way they were preparing some of their food and shut them down just before Memorial Day.

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Watching With the Enemy: US – Germany World Cup Match at Kaiserhof

June 27, 2014 by Matthew Wood
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By Matthew Wood

The biggest question is, Why? Why watch the big World Cup soccer match between the United States and Germany at Kaiserhof, the long-standing Ocean Beach biergarten and general German fan meeting place?

Like the idea of climbing so many mountain tops and starting so many world wars, I countered with, Why not? When I came up with this hare-brained idea, …

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OB Gets Its New Entryway Sign

June 19, 2014 by Matthew Wood
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By Matthew Wood

Meet the new Ocean Beach entryway sign, same as the old sign.

Well, not exactly.

After a long process of bringing in local artists and voting on new ideas for the sign, organizers decided to … stick with the same exact design.

OB Town Council President Gretchen Newsom unveiled the new sign Wednesday on Sunset Cliffs Boulevard just outside of Robb Field during a ceremony that included San Diego County Supervisor Ron Roberts, current District 2 City Councilman Ed Harris, former Town Council President Jim Musgrove and Steve Clippinger, of Integrated Sign Associates. Clippinger made the actual sign.

Roberts secured the funding from the county for the sign, which cost around $7,000.

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Networking Group Brings OB Business Owners Together

June 17, 2014 by Matthew Wood
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By Matthew Wood

Stroll by Te Mana Café on a Tuesday afternoon and you’re liable to see some of the future movers and shakers in the OB business community.

That’s where the Ocean Beach Networking Group has been meeting for a weekly luncheon ever since March. The group was the brainchild of Chuck Hardwick and C.C. Summerfield.

“None of my clients were in OB. They’re all over,” said Hardwick, who owns a web marketing business. “I really wanted to meet some local people. That’s how it came about.”

So he took to the Internet, posting a message on LinkedIn looking for interest. That’s where he met Summerfield, a real estate agent in the area.

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Where to Watch the World Cup in OB

June 13, 2014 by Matthew Wood
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By Matthew Wood

Calling all soccer fans: The place to be if you want to watch the World Cup in OB is at Niagara and Bacon Streets.

That’s where neighboring spots Bar 1502 (aka the New OB Noodle House) and Raglan Public House will be showing all the games with the best specials in the ‘hood.

“We’re really excited for it,” Bar 1502 owner Steve Yeng said about the World Cup. “We want people to come out and have some fun.”

They will have an array of specials as well as jersey and soccer ball giveaways throughout the tournament, which runs through July 13.

Get select drafts for just $2 each day, as well as $10 glass boots (10 liters). Shots will flow freely, with specials including $3 Jim Beam, $4 Jameson and $5 Makers Mark, as well as $3 shots of Fernet – the official drink of Argentina.

Bar 1502 will also be open for breakfast during the games, …

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Bar 1502: Did You Know the New Noodle House is Open?

May 19, 2014 by Matthew Wood
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By Matthew Wood

It’s just after noon on Friday afternoon and Steven Yeng looks nervous.

The man who opened the wildly popular OB Noodle House is standing in the middle of his new creation, Bar 1502, and the place – which opened less than a week before – is half empty during the normal lunch rush.

“I don’t think people know we’re open,” he says.

It’s hard to imagine being able to walk into Noodle House and get a table. At the original location, on Cable Street just north of Voltaire, the wait is almost always an hour-plus can grow to more than two hours.

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OB Restaurant Week Is Back and Includes Hotels

April 25, 2014 by Matthew Wood
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NEW UPDATES !

By Matthew Wood

OB Restaurant Week is back. This time it’s bringing some hotels along for the ride.

The week kicks off Sunday -April 27 – with four hotels/B&Bs hosting a launch party with samples from the 20 participating restaurants. Then the restaurants take over, offering specials every day from Monday to Sunday.

“We’re excited. We really have enhanced the event since the first year by letting the hotels host the event,” said Liz Greene, Creative director for Ocean Beach Mainstreet Association, which is one of the event sponsors.

“It’s like an open house for them to be able to show locals, visitors, everyone who wants to see.”

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