By Frank Gormlie
On occasion, we publish a ‘what’s happening around Newport Ave’ type of news summary, providing an update on the comings and goings of merchants on OB’s main commercial street and within the blocks surrounding it.
Here, then is our latest – and we note that at least 4 new restaurants are either about to open on Newport or will be opening in the near future – and all of them expect to serve alcohol.
Where Is CVS?
Passing by the front of the old Apple Tree Market and looking into the cavernous structure, it’s clear that there has been no movement on the ground or inside the old market. This does not mean that CVS Pharmacy is not going in. On March 26 a CVS rep told the Town Council in an email that “the lease will be executed in the next few weeks. Break ground should be in early summer after the City issues construction permits.”
The former Inbetween and Community Service building on Newport has had a giant funny face painted on the plywood nailed to its front for months and months. Now, we can report that there is progress, as we went behind closed doors into the interior of the building to witness just what was happening.
The owner of Newport Pizza – right across the street – bought the building many moons ago. This is the building that was the Inbetween – a famous youth drop-in center that thrived in the 1970s – and in an ironic twist became a so-called community service building with a fortress-looking facade (just the opposite of the Inbetween). It closed years ago and has been a forlorn two story statute to the recession for all that time. Until recently.
The new owners plan on installing a brewery in the back of the property that will contain 4 to 5 tanks where the beer will be brewed on site. The rest of downstairs will be the tasting room.
Then upstairs there will be the main dining area and kitchen, and finally there will be roof-top dining where patrons will be able to look over the roof of the building to the west to see the sparkling ocean.
Passing into the interior, it was immediately obvious that the insides have been completely gutted and several mighty beams now provide a secure flooring for the second level.
Outside the main room, there were signs of a cement pour about to happen, and past that area is where a temporary wall has been thrown up – this area will house the tanks.
I asked the on-site manager when the place was to be finished, and he responded “June” whereupon I chuckled. He smiled, and some of the other workers around us chuckled.
We already reported on the new police trailer by a repost of Mercy Baron’s Reader piece (San Diego Reader ). But here it is again, in broad daylight.
The expansion by the BBQ House into the space next door – the former Cow (which moved across the street) – is on hold, we were told by a knowledgeable insider, until after the summer. The family is dealing with permits and contractors currently, but they expect to finally have a full service bar along with a much larger seating area.
One of the latest additions to OB merchants is a brand new surf shop, Salt Water, and it’s located where the former Surf n Sea sat. The owner, Neil McCaffrey, is planning a “soft opening” this Saturday, April 26, and will be having a grand opening in a couple of weeks.
Neil offers surfboards, wetsuits, accessories, clothing and plans to offer ding repair stuff and other material for people who want to build their own boards. Right now, his boards come from Rusty, a local San Diegan, PlusOne, and a brand from Australia.
“Trunk Show” Coming at Gilmore Family Jewelers
Gary and Beth Gilmore are hosting a “Trunk Show” for their customers May 2 through the 10th. They’ll have three times the items, the textiles, gems and other staples from their suppliers on display in the store.
The Gilmores are still celebrating their new facade – and name – with new paint, displays and succulent trays outside.
OB Hookah Lounge Open at Night
Locals mentioned to us that when then walk by at night, there is not a whole lot of activity going on yet. We heard that they are attempting to obtain a beer and wine license.
Sal’s Greek and Middle-Eastern Restaurant
We caught Sal doing some measurements inside his new place. The site of the former check cashing store, the new site will be a Green and Middle Eastern eatery, he said.
Sal was the former owner of Victory Liquor – now his brother runs it. He also opened the Fruit Tree in 2002. He’s lived in the area for over a dozen years.
Sal doesn’t have a name for the place yet, but he will be one of the chefs, he said. He also is applying for a beer and wine license.
Italian Ice Coming
A new Italian ice establishment is also coming to Newport.
It is very elegant inside, but right now it seems they are a bit short staffed – which could mean they’re busy.
All photos by Frank Gormlie, 4/23/14