Occasionally, we’ll post an update on the comings and goings on Newport Avenue – the main business street in OB. And even less occasionally, however, we’ll showcase news from ‘off-Newport’ – updates away from the main business district, where there’s also village and commercial life.
And that’s what we found on Thursday, March 15th, as we cruised the back streets, allies, and beaches of ‘Off-Newport’ and hereby file this report:
Finally! OB Streets Are Being Striped!
It has finally happened. Certain streets in OB are being striped. Sections of Sunset Cliffs Boulevard and Cable Street were having their final yellow stripes added.
Cable Street itself over the past several years has taken a number of hostages in the tire world, as it’s pothole were infamous. Now, with the new pipes, the new asphalt, and now the stripping – the community can begin to settle back after having its roads torn up for over a year.
New Seawall Means Expanded Beach at Bermuda
Over at the bottom of Bermuda Street, we found a work crew busy filling up a truck with old concrete riff raff that had either being thrown over the cliffs during years past or had crumbled as earlier versions of seawalls. This crew had started work on Wednesday and were hoping to finish the project by the end of Friday – the 16th.
The owners of 1415 Ocean Front Street had commissioned the work, as they had gained permission from the California Coastal Commission to put in a new seawall. But in order to do that, they had to remove the old one.
The old wall had collapsed in 1999 we were told. According to workers of the crew, when they are finished, there should be even more beach at the foot of Bermuda.
Kecho’s Cafe Opens
Chris Stavros – owner of the Olive Tree Market and the adjoining beer tasting room – has finally opened his restaurant. Located at 1774 Sunset Cliffs Blvd, the new ‘Northern Mediterranean” Kecho’s Cafe, just a few steps from Chris’ tasting room, opened on March first.
The cafe has a very nice and comfortable – altho small – front room, with a beer and wine bar, and then it also has a heated back patio. “It can sit 35”, Bill told me. I was surprised at how roomy the place was, as it once had housed a dry cleaning establishment that had been there for decades.
Kecho’s serves salads, flatbreads, vegetarian, meat and seafood “mezzes”, a few great desserts – one of which I tried – and even offers gluten free items. Check it out.
“New” Mural at Seedless
Always changing, the wall at Seedless on Bacon Street has a new green mural. Just in time for St. Patrick’s Day, I thought. Always appreciative of the business’ contribution to OB’s tradition of murals, I looked around for more info about the mural, but the door was locked. A local I talked to said the new mural had been up for maybe 5 months already.
Dover Plumbing Returns to OB
After being absent for 5 years from Ocean Beach, Dover Plumbing has returned to Voltaire Street. Opening up in the old Staniforth Electric building – next to Jim Bell’s center – the long-time Peninsula business was on Voltaire for decades when the property was bought by World Oil (who still wants to build a two-story medical building at Sunset Cliffs and Voltaire). That’s when the plumbing firm moved over to West Point Loma, next to Baron’s market.
I spoke to the new owners, Scott Hoff and Craig Skinner – each of whom had worked at Dover’s for years and years. They had bought out the former owners, Laura and Darin Goodwin -Scott is related to them through marriage. Having reopened on March 1st, Hoff and Skinner are in the process of getting a new paint job for the office. They had bought the property from Ray Staniforth and had to clear up the lot. They have 5 employees, including local OBcean Sherry, who has worked for Dover for many years.
Featuring bacon specialties and a hamburger-dominated cuisine, Mother’s Saloon on Bacon Street in north OB, is a bright spot in that part of town. Completely refurbishing the old club that once stood there, the new place has added a kitchen, cut the old stage in half, and has added a shuffle board and pool tables.
The new place is certainly well-lit, as multiple windows have been cut through the front wall, and it is definitely a solid upgrade from the old establishment that offered booze and little-known musicians. So, Mother’s bacons … uh, beacons the denizens of North OB and is a hit with them.
Former Gormlie House “Rehabbed”
For several years while I was a teenager going to Point Loma High School, the Gormlie family lived in a large, four-bedroom house on Monaco Street – a half block from Sunset Cliffs. This is where I learned to surf – without a leash and without concrete stairs leading to Garbage Beach. We had desert landscaping – and it was my job to keep the sand free of weeds – and this was a constant challenge. My dad planted the palm trees that ringed the house, and every week I had to empty a bucket of water on each of the budding trees. Now, of course, they’re all tall, stately guardians.
But during the early Sixites recession, my dad lost his job at Convair. And we had to scale back. We sold the second car and eventually my parents had to sell the house and move into condos. For years, the old family house stood there as new owners moved in and out. Now, however, the old house has been completely torn down, and a new, two-story, McMansion built in its place. But they kept the old garage so the new construction could be considered a simple “rehab.” But it’s really crazy to call it a simple rehab as the former residence part of the lot was totally removed. This is how developers get around certain requirements – a practice that has been going on for decades all over town. Yet, now this practice has really hit home.
Here’s the full gallery (click on photos for a larger version).