by Cindi Guilbert
I am an Ocean Beach Restaurant Walk newbie. There, I said it. When I first caught mention of Restaurant Walk in a post on OB Rag, I wanted to know more. What’s the story behind the bus? What bands will I see? Which food businesses and bars are participating this year?
I needed to know EVERYTHING that is Restaurant Walk the way Nancy Drew needs a whodunnit. I asked when to expect to see a blog about this event, and a few emails later, found myself offering to dish on the details of one of OB’s best kept secrets…
One of the most anticipated events in Ocean Beach will occur on Tuesday, November 10th from 5pm to 9pm. The annual OB Restaurant Walk kicks off the season of giving by raising money for the OB Holiday Food and Toy Drive.
Organized by the OB Mainstreet Association for the OB Tree Committee, proceeds and donations collected from the Restaurant Walk have benefited less fortunate families from the Senior Center, schools, churches and the Julian Sanctuary for over 20 years.
This year, the funds raised will benefit approximately 70 needy families who would otherwise be without during the holidays. The OBMA organizes the event without accepting payment for their efforts. Denny Knox of OBMA described her group’s efforts as “Getting marketing exposure for our restaurants and bars AND do something we all enjoy which is helping those in our community who are in need.”
Then there are the 40 food and beverage participants in Restaurant Walk who are generously offering free food and heavily discounted drinks (bars are required by law to charge something for drinks) during these tough economic times.
As Denny put it:
“I just want people to know that all these restaurants and bars are donating to the fundraiser even though this is one of the most challenging times ever for small businesses…yet they always participate. It’s what makes Ocean Beach such a terrific community. Our local merchants are very generous, even in hard times likes these and participate in this event because they really do care about OB and the people of OB. Their generosity has kept this event going all these years.”
Those of you on a shoe string budget will truly appreciate the cost of this event. Fifteen clams gets you on the bus (exclusive to the event), rock’n your butt off to arguably the best musical entertainment OB has to offer on a Tuesday night, and a chance to taste a wide range of dishes and beverages.
Do you need more excuses to participate? How about the music lineup? The Blonde Brothers -a group made of of local teens – will be at Shade’s.
Coco and Lafe who have a song on the WAVES CD (features local OB musicians) will be at O’Bistro, local favorite DJ Mike Ryan will be at Lighthouse, as well as OBceans Beer Feet (Mallory’s) and Dr Peter Hall and the Earthwalkers (Elsbree House B&B).
Skip the cover charge you would normally pay to see Jetwash at Winston’s, and experience their “blues rock” for free. 3rd Corner will have a San Diego based piano player, and ROK live band karaoke will be in Hodad’s parking lot.
The event kicks off at two locations. Lucy’s Tavern located at 4906 Voltaire Street between Bacon Street and Cable Street and Sunshine Company on Newport.
This year there are 40 local participants offering the most delectable nibbles and a noteworthy night of cheap drinks. Some establishments like O’Bistro will even be offering seconds. O’Bistro has been a participant of Restaurant Walk for the last 3 years. Owners Jongo and Brenda Park live, work and play in Ocean Beach.
“We are proud to be supporting the OB community with this event. We will have a band on the patio and heaters to keep participants warm, but we want to invite you inside to taste the food.” O’Bistro is offering lobster bisque followed by penno pesto with panko crested chicken. Brenda pointed out that this event isn’t just a chance to try out local businesses, it’s also a chance to rub elbows with your neighbors and meet new people in the local community.
“Restaurant Walk has that old-time feel. Like when you would hang out on the front porch and talk to neighbors who walked by. With life being so busy, you don’t always get to to visit and hang out. So this event recreates that old time spirit.”
Nancy Casady, General Manager of OB Food Co-Op, is pleased that her location is participating for the first time. She mentioned “It’s an opportunity to sample local businesses. To take a chance and try things they might normally not want to try.” The OB Food Co-Op is filled with fresh organic locally grown produce and is proudly owned by the community it serves. Most of it’s staff ride their bikes to work. Nancy will be at the store during Restaurant Walk and is looking forward to seeing participants try their curried “mock chicken” and Oatmeal Raisin cookies. The event will offer a wide array of dishes and flavors, enough to tempt any discerning pallet. This includes desserts that will make you forget all your promises to avoid sweets until next New Year.
Tickets go on sale starting Wednesday October 28th during Farmer’s Market at the OBMA stand in front of Wing’s. After Wednesday, tickets will continue to be sold at Dog Beach Dog Wash, Lucy’s Tavern, Indulgence Salon, Bone Appetit Pet Supply, Sunshine Company, Surf N Sea Wetsuits or the OBMA office.
Since there are only 500 tickets available, and this event is always a sell out, OBMA recommends buying tickets early.
In summary, this is what I have learned about OB Restaurant Week:
- Restaurant Walk is on Tuesday, November 10th.
- Get to Farmer’s Market early on Wednesday to purchase tickets for $15 each.
- Be punctual to starting location to scope out fellow participants “pre-board.” Like in Nascar, pick a “pace partner” for both eating and drinking to ensure successful completion of the event.
- Expect the unexpected and be open to trying new things.
- Bring a warm jacket–shocking for California I know, but November officially kicks off winter, so come prepared.
- Always use the handrails (someone on Yelp blogged about the danger of Nick’s staircase when combined with alcohol and stilettos).
- And last but certainly not least, don’t forget to save a little cash at the end for the cab ride home.