Newport News – OB’s Main Street and Beyond

by on March 15, 2010 · 30 comments

in Culture, Ocean Beach, Popular

krist IMG_4612

Spiffy new paint at Ace Tattoo and El Rodeo. All photos by Kristin Condon.

by Kristin Condon

The building with Ace Tattoo and El Rodeo is looking spiffy – it has gotten a new paint job and new banisters and signs, including the new “L Rodeo” sign.

IMG_4617 edCiao Bella Ristorante e Pizzaria at 4953 Newport opened at the end of February, and appears to be doing a brisk business. Their extensive menu features soups, salads, antipasto, pasta, panini, risotti, pizzas, and handmade desserts. They have a very nice dining room, and also will take phone orders to go.

IMG_4613 edThe Tamale Cart that has been in business in the parking lot next to the new OB Surf & Skate has a new location. OBKanobe’s has taken over the front of the lot next to the sidewalk and built “garden seating,” while the tamale cart is now in the middle of the lot, far from the sidewalk. A contact at the tamale cart estimated that their business has gone down by half since their cart was made to move, and says no one seems to see the sign on the sidewalk pointing them to the cart.

IMG_4625 edA new shop has opened next to OB Hardware called $2 Thrills. The store is selling CDs, DVDs, books, vinyl, and clothing, and every item in the store is $2.

The construction of the Pizza Port location at the site of the old OB Grille/Boll Weevil (1956 Bacon St.) is in full swing, and according to a contact at the Solana Beach location, they hope to open by April 15th. Pizza Port ( has locations in Solana Beach, San Clemente, and Carlsbad.

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The Carlsbad location includes a Bottle Shop to sell beers to go, but as of now, there are no plans to include a Bottle Shop at the Ocean Beach restaurant and brewery.

IMG_4623 edAt the site of the old OB Surf & Skate at 4881 Newport, the space was divided up, and three new businesses have opened. One is a smoke shop called Stuff 2 Puff, then there is a soap shop called Pine Tree Road specializing in unique soaps, and finally there is a spa called Swanky Sugar ( that specializes in sugaring, waxing, facials, massage, and more.

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IMG_4624 edGreen Lady Hydroponics at 4879 Newport has been open for a few months, but is apparently having a “grand opening” on April 3rd & 4th.

OB has a new taco truck! Mariscos German, which already has taco trucks set up in Normal Heights, Otay Mesa, and Clairemont, has set up shop in the Apple Tree parking lot.

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They have rave reviews for their other locations on sites such as, and are famous for their fresh seafood tacos and cocktails, as well as the complimentary cup of seafood soup you receive while you wait for your order. This blogger has sampled their fare, and gives it 2 thumbs up.

IMG_4631 edComputer Arts Gallery opened in November at 4985 Voltaire ( The gallery consists of giclee art from artist-in-residence Hyacinthe Kuller Baron whose current show is titled “Animal Nature,” as well as works from other artists. Currently there is art by Darby Kelly also on display. Giclee is the process of making fine art prints from a digital source with ink-jet printing. Baron is going to be featured in the new magazine San Diego Business Woman that is being produced by LaDainian Tomlinson’s mother, Loreane Tomlinson (

IMG_4632 edThe location also does computer repair performed by Baron’s son, Steve Kramer.

{ 30 comments… read them below or add one }

OB Steven March 15, 2010 at 6:23 pm

Nice work Kristin.


PSD March 15, 2010 at 6:28 pm

Cool beans…


Kristin C. March 15, 2010 at 6:36 pm

Note: the link for the Computer Arts Gallery is incorrect – a better link is Sorry about that!


Mark Williams March 15, 2010 at 6:43 pm

Great site! I lived in OB but left a dog’s age ago for work in Tampa, wound up back in CA (via NY & Philly) but up north in Sacto about 10 years ago (I lived at DelMonte & Bacon). Married along the way (in New York) and one of the first places I introduced my wife to when we moved here was OB… the Chili Cook-off, and introduced Casey the Pound King Charles rescue to Dog Beach when we rescued her from the Sacto county pound in ’01). We still fly down a few times a year as our schedules allow, sometimes for work (one of my biggest freelance jobs is in SD).

In fact, we were just down there a few weeks ago – during and just after the big storms – scouting places to live. We have unloaded our Placer McMansion McDisaster and OB was high on the list of places to move (our jobs allow us to live pretty much anywhere). I posted a couple of photos of Casey, Holly & me enjoying a slice on Newport Ave. on my FB page, quite a few more I still need to put up (mostly the awesome surf and a guy making some equally awesome jack-o-lantern kinds of things out of the huge kelp pods that were pile on the beach – we also found out that Casey just loves the small kelp bubbles and learned from her vet that not only are they not harmful to dogs but actually help her health issues – she is 11 and has a bum liver, we spend roughly 500. per month and occassionally a whole lot more than that on her care.

In the end we opted to lease a home in East Sac until mid-summer, but that doesn’t mean that OB is off the list :)

A decade after first seeing it, I am still blown away at the Starbucks! How that never got burned to the ground before it opened still escapes me – lol! Heck, I’m a Dunkin Donuts coffee fiend and would’ve provided the can of gas! (for the humor impared… that was called “sarcasistic humor” and not a serious offer)

I am just thrilled to read here that the vibrant OB business community is really as healthy as it appears to be, and to find this site! My home town is Boston, my Heart Town is OB!


Seth March 15, 2010 at 6:56 pm

Good stuff. Spoke to lot of those new businesses when I was collecting signatures recently. A lot of great additions and I hope they do well. The new moped/electric bike store is cool too.


Patty Jones March 15, 2010 at 7:20 pm

Welcome Kristin! Thanks for a fresh look at Newport!


Hollabama March 15, 2010 at 7:29 pm

Very nice, Kristin! Learned about lots of cool new stuff going on in town! I found this super useful and you did a great job, much obliged.


Andrew Deans March 15, 2010 at 7:56 pm

Kristin this rocks.


Hyacinthe Kuller-Baron March 15, 2010 at 11:03 pm

Kiristin: Since Steve is the one running around to do emergency and other computer repairs to Macs/Laptops/Desktops where computers and their people live and work(quickly, expertly and inexpensively I might add) where computer repairs are ccncerned his telephone number is the key: Steve: 619 737 6252.

The gallery telephone is 760 408 1881. Might need it since I am determined to keep Beach Hours. Thanks.for the nice mention. Hyacinthe Kuller-Baron


Baldtel March 16, 2010 at 1:53 am

Nice one Kristen.

From a guy living in Britian, this wonderful little town embodies everything that is still awesome in a 21st Century way of living. Great people, great town and great article.

Keep it up.


lane tobias March 16, 2010 at 10:15 am

definitely rocks. thanks for the update!


Editordude March 16, 2010 at 10:52 am

OB Rag readers: thanks for welcoming Kristin with her very first post on our blog.


Kristin C. March 16, 2010 at 5:11 pm

Agreed! I really appreciate the warm welcome and nice comments, and look forward to getting some more posts going!


Stephanie Bernard March 16, 2010 at 1:13 pm

Nice Job Kristin! Very informative!


objackie March 16, 2010 at 2:33 pm

thanks for the support, kristin!


Jack March 16, 2010 at 4:27 pm

Excellent around-the-town article…a very dynamic village, but…..

Don’t forget some of the old timers who have been hanging on despite a depression and still serving the community….Pepe’s and Rancho on Sunset Cliffs Blvd., and the Java Jungle and Newbreak Cafe are a few which have maintained consistency with service and prices.

Perhaps a follow up article on those kind of places…..with summer approaching and all..



Tania March 17, 2010 at 1:25 pm

Great Job, Kristin!

I had no idea about half of this.
I’m going to hit up that taco cart ASAP !



comatoad March 18, 2010 at 1:48 pm

Great Job Kristin.


liveinOB March 22, 2010 at 12:03 pm

Great Article!
I just heard some really sad news, & I guess it’s true and I’m probably the last to find out, but… Apple Tree is closing at the end of this year!
I am a regular shopper there, I know most of the people that work there, and they are devastated, how can we save it?
does anyone know what’s going to replace this ?


PSD March 22, 2010 at 12:50 pm

That’s news to me! I’m not an Appletree regular because their prices aren’t competitive and in my opinion their produce and meat quality stinks, but I do go in whenever I’ve got a handful of things to pick up – hard to imagine a community without a local grocery at all. If it does completely close down (versus the business/building being sold to someone else intending to operate a grocery store), that’s going to represent a rather significant loss to the community…


lane tobias March 22, 2010 at 2:46 pm

that is interesting, even moreso because the owner is the same person who owns the former RPS building (OB surf and skate). wonder why the supermarket isn’t an ideal fit for that spot anymore…..


Gary Gilmore March 30, 2010 at 5:06 pm

Rumor has it that the AppleTree will become a pharmacy (CRV I think). Appletree didn’t move into Rock, Paper, Scissors because it just isn’t big enough and parking wasn’t sufficient.
Hey Kristin…… Nice work. Glad I read your article. I wasn’t aware of the Mariscos wagon. I’ve gotta give that a go.


Sunshine April 2, 2010 at 5:13 am

Didn’t the Appletree used to be a Safeway or Mayfair market? When did that transition happen? Just wondering…


doug porter April 2, 2010 at 10:02 am

yes it was a Safeway. I worked there as a bag boy in the late sixties. I used to catch grief everyday because of my hippie friends (and I cut my hair to get that job)


Frank Gormlie April 2, 2010 at 11:57 am

Not certain when the ol’ Safeway closed, but Vons moved in for awhile – Vons bought Safeway? – and all Safeways in Southern California were changed over to Vons. I recall some rascals from the 1970s who secretly stenciled an image of Che in the middle of the giant “S” in Safeways sign but it was black and you could hardly see it. It stayed there for years.


Dickie April 2, 2010 at 10:13 am

Sunshine, the Mayfair was where the big pharmacy is on Sunset Cliffs and Niagara (Rite-Aid is it?) I knew it well because back in the day I sold OB Rags there every two weeks (a quarter or more if you can . . . free if you can’t pay) in front of the store. I needed the $$ to support my community impulses and got to keep half the change . . . probably made $85. a month for most of two years doing it. It is amazing how those Rags sold . . . I’d sell or give away almost a hundred in 2 or 3 hours. Get your OB Rag!!


Frank Gormlie April 2, 2010 at 11:48 am

The most famous sales in front of Mayfair was by Denny Doyle. One night, with the Rags hot off the press, he stayed out in front of the store until 2am selling OB Rags, and ended up making $85 – which back in those days, could be rent.


kristine April 18, 2010 at 1:30 pm

the stuff 2 puff store SUCK MAJOR BALLS! they have stupid people working there, they have stupid worthless pieces there, and terrible service. i bought things from there which keep breaking in the same place, and the lady sold me what i needed which was the wrong size, and i asked for what i needed and she sold me something else. please do not go there, they service SUCKS MAJOR BALLS!


Kathy Sweeney September 30, 2010 at 5:35 pm

Best smoke shop in OB


San Diego Highwayman July 20, 2010 at 4:32 pm

Well now,

noticed the tamale place mentioned here — went ta find it yesterday — GLAD I did!

GOOD tamales! Be goin there agin I will — when I take my She-girl to the Dusty —

like, every couplea days or so —


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