“Newport News” is our occasional newsy update on what’s happenin’ on Newport Avenue, the main business street in Ocean Beach. Who’s opening? Who’s moving and who’s closing? We feel that a business district reflects and represents the soul and spirit of a community. We encourage shopping locally and we support businesses who give back to their community.
New Salon – “Smart Clips” – to Open Saturday May 7th
George Wolf and Rima Salloum, a husband and wife team, are opening Smart Clips – a new salon for Newport where the old Paladin Video stood. I caught George as he was sitting on the shop’s floor, finishing up some last-minute painting. The plan is to have a grand opening Saturday, May 7th, he told me. The family-owned shop has 7 chairs installed, a three year lease and a beautiful, finished interior.
On Saturday, George and Rima will start with three to four stylists, people they know. George – whose family is originally from Lebanon – has been in California for 20 years, 14 of those in San Diego. He seemed very excited with the approaching “grand opening”. Stop by and welcome them to the neighborhood.
Nice Changes at Gary Gilmore’s Goldsmith Shop
Gary Gilmore is planning on some changes at his well-known goldsmith shop. They’re good changes. Since his family already works there – Beth, his wife, and Alex and Vanessa, their daughters – Gary has decided to change the name of the business to “Gilmore Family Goldsmith“. Also, the Gilmores are planning on re-doing the front of their shop – that change is not due till August, this summer.
Shop Owner Makes Many of Her Own Soaps
Jackie Penebaker makes many of her own products at her Pine Tree Road Soap Shop, which is near the corner of Cable on the 4800 block of Newport. She makes her own soaps, of course, but also body butters, sugar scrubs, and lip balms – about a quarter of all the products she carries, she told me. She also carries soaps made by other San Diego soap makers. Her first year anniversary was last February 9th, and since her opening she has much more stock on hand. Jackie has lived in OB for 7 and a half years – just up the hill, and she loves it, she said.
More Tables and Chairs on Sidewalks a Positive Move by Local Restaurants Like Ortega’s and Yogurt Farm
We have noticed that more and more restaurants are placing tables and chairs out on the sidewalk in front of their businesses. This is definitely a positive move as it allows local merchants and their customers – our neighbors – more access to the usual bare and empty “public space”. Ortega’s Mexican food has upgraded their tables and chairs, and did this about a month ago. If you were wondering about their missing sign, it was broken in a recent windstorm. It’s being replaced, plus some additional repairs and painting have to occur.
Ortega’s neighbor, the Yogurt Farm, has just brought out some new spiffy tables and chairs for their customers. They did this two days ago, I was told, to celebrate the fact that they now sell coffee. Yea! A yogurt place that sells Chinese food and coffee. I also noticed that the Arizona Cafe has more tables and chairs outside their take-out place on Bacon.
We welcome all these new and renewed efforts to use the space that the sidewalks usually unilaterally command and control all by themselves. This is modeled after the “European” style – a continent that is known for outdoor eating and drinking.
‘Want Ad’ at James Gang a Positive Sign?
We all know that the James Gang Graphics has to change. Pat and Susan James, who have owned the shop for years have been very public about their need to sell their business. We don’t know what’s going on, but we know it’s all down to the wire.
But there is a ‘want ad’ attached to their door, a want ad for an experienced screen printer. We’d have to surmise that if the graphics shop was about to close, they wouldn’t be advertising for anybody. So this could be a positive sign that the business that the James brothers and their people poured so much time and energy into over the decades will continue in some kind of configuration. We can only hope.
Stay tuned to these pages for any updates on the future of the James Gang Graphics.
noon Holding “Grand Re-Opening” May 12th
noon, the jewelry and paper goods store, has moved from their isolated place on Santa Monica Avenue to a much more visible site – a store front in the two-story building at Niagara and Bacon – where their shop now fronts on Bacon. They moved last week, I was told by Lauren, who works for Mia and Nora. They’ve moved the work shop to their Solana Beach store. Business is better, she said.
They are having a “Grand Re-Opening” on May 12th, during which they’ll offer wine and snacks catered by The Vine, the restaurant across Niagara. During their reopening party, noon will be having a sale on their jewelry, and if you present your receipt to the Vine, they’ll knock 20% off your restaurant bill. Check it out.
10th Anniversary at Luminous Hair Design
Karen Kirby, owner of Luminous Hair Design, is celebrating her 10th anniversary this May. She’s been at 5005 Niagara for all those years, right next door to Poma’s. So, all month, she’s offering deals to customers, such as no tax on any products. Karen started with Paul and Lynne Bolton of the Electric Chair, and was there for 9 years before she broke out on her own.
Yoga Center on Bacon to Open in Mid-June
A new yoga center, Indie Yoga, has signs outside that seem to suggest something is going on at 1857 Bacon. Construction workers from next door, who are also working on the inside at the new yoga place, told me that they thought it would be opening in mid-June.
Sushi Bar Still Promises to Open
In the old Rags storefront in the middle of the 4900 block of Newport, there has been a sign hung from the rooftop that has been promising that an OB Sushi Sushi will be opening. Construction workers inside told me it would be opening in 2 to 3 weeks. However, by the looks of the still raw interior, I don’t think so
Newport Ave Car-Tow Company Still Going Strong
Every Wednesday it’s the same ol’ story: beach goers fail to see the “No Parking” signs for Farmers’ Market, fail to hear the loud-speaker announcements, and get their vehicles towed. It costs a pricey $300 to reclaim your car from the private company that contracts with the City of San Diego. It’s not that bad during the winter months, but come Spring, it happens all over again. This day wasn’t too bad, I was told, only 3 cars were caught in the web.