Demolition Derby at OB’s Waterfront – the Destruction of Old Apartments and Former Dempsey’s

by on October 21, 2013 · 11 comments

in Culture, Economy, Environment, History, Ocean Beach

OB Demolition Sarat tract 02

Equipment rests idle over the weekend at the site of old apartments. (All photos by Frank Gormlie)

A Pictorial Walk-Around of the Remains of the Saratoga-Abbott Street Apartments and the Old Dempsey’s

OB Demolition Saratoga green01The sub-headline says it all.  Come along as we walk around the site.

OB Demolition Sarat green02This is a pictorial gallery of what the site looks like now – a site that once held ancient apartments built in the middle of last century and the former Dempsey’s – a beachfront restaurant.

OB Demolition Sarat insi 03Dempsey’s was also the site of the original Hodad’s.

OB Demolition Sara insid01Three story condos will be built here.

OB Demolition Sarat insi 05All the tenants had to be out by January.

OB Demolition Sarat crost 02Yet demolition didn’t begin until October.

OB Demolition Sarat nameThe site is fronted by the Saratoga Street Park on the west and Abbott on the east, …

OB Demolition Sarat crost 03Saratoga Street on the north and the lifeguard station parking lot on the south.

OB Demolition Sara crost 05Take in this view now, as it won’t last for long.

OB Demolition Sarat crost bestSoon, OB’s waterfront will change.


{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

GeekinOB October 21, 2013 at 2:09 pm

Truly heart breaking. I remember going to Dempsey’s all the time as a kid, their quesadilla’s were perfect after a morning in the waves. I always hoped they’d open back up some day.


enzo October 21, 2013 at 9:48 pm

This will start to happen more and more in Ocean Beach. Old buildings torn down to
make way for new more expensive housing. Over the next twenty years OB will be
transformed into a smaller version of La Jolla with rude drivers and boutiques selling
overpriced trinkets and perfume.


Frank Gormlie October 22, 2013 at 8:38 am

enzo – Yes, that is the danger and challenge. OB does have a history of fighting for itself.


bodysurferbob October 22, 2013 at 12:16 pm

I even remember when the original hodad’s was there at the beach. mike’s folks and mike himself squeezed into the small space of this little box on the beach. burgers, fries, milkshakes. this is where hodad’s mike got his start. it’s the site of one of ob’s most successful business story, hodad’s.


Goatskull October 22, 2013 at 2:36 pm

What year did Dempsey’s close?


Geoff page October 23, 2013 at 8:13 am

What is really a shame is that the City sold the 15 foot wide alleys on the west and south sides to the developer for a mere $50,000. That land could gave been used to expand the park and the parking lot ,benefiting the whole community. This was a unique opportunity to use public land for a long term benefit but the City opted for a short term gain of a few dollars.


John O. October 23, 2013 at 10:04 am

Can you please elaborate on this? This seems like a backroom deal if this is the case. Where in Southern California can you buy any oceanfront property for so little? I would gladly live in a 15 ft wide home on the beach for 50k.


Goatskull October 23, 2013 at 10:52 am

I don’t know the specifics of this case so I can’t verify that this was a backroom deal or not but if it is, it wouldn’t be anything unusual for this city.


Geoff Page October 23, 2013 at 11:43 am

No, unfortunately, not a back room deal, just the City handling our public resources badly as usual. If it was up to me, I would ever have allowed it because the two pieces were so unique, one would have expanded the park by 15 feet wide by the length of the project and the other could have expanded the parking lot. You can thank Development Services for once again placing devopment desires above everything else.


obracer October 26, 2013 at 11:00 am

Or you could place a 10′ x 40′ eyesore aka a “police ” trailer in that 15′ space and provide police vehicle parking as well.
This “deal” started at the O.B. planning board and was approved by the city.


Lora October 29, 2013 at 5:48 am

Of course there are many cons from the side of people who liked this place and many others who don’t uphold the decision. The destruction of old apartments and former Dempsey’s and the building of three story condos is not a consolation for citizens, but anyway, the modern life requires new things, so sometimes, old ones give them place.


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