Ben-Moshe Family Purchases ‘Newport Avenue Antiques’ Building – to Be Replaced by Wine Testing Room

by on March 13, 2015 · 23 comments

in Culture, Economy, Environment, History, Ocean Beach

OB Newport Ave Antiques 4838The Ben-Moshe family has bought yet another Newport Avenue property to add to their generous collection of downtown OB storefronts – this time, it’s the ‘Newport Avenue Antiques’ building, located at 4836 Newport. The Ben-Moshes – through their IAC Management, LLC – purchased the 7,500 square foot parcel for $1.3 million in cash.

Eli Ben-Moshe, the Newport Ave optometrist, told the OB Rag that a wine tasting room will be opening at the 6,500 square foot site. Eli and his brother Sony are members of IAC Management, a limited liability California corporation. Newport Avenue Antiques is reported to be closing this Spring.  They’ve been on Newport Ave for more than 20 years.

The Ben-Moshes own a number of storefront and properties in and around the OB downtown area.

Additional news source: The Beacon


{ 23 comments… read them below or add one }

OB Mercy March 13, 2015 at 2:58 pm

I for one, am not happy to hear this. OB is known for it’s antique stores. Another place filled with alcohol, oooh how original. And certainly NOT needed, ugh.


Debra March 14, 2015 at 10:52 am

I’m not happy either. I’ve spent many an hour searching for and finding treasures in the old Antique Mall. I’d rather keep it. Too bad the Ben-Moshe’s didn’t purchase the old Portugalia restaurant and turn THAT into their wine bar.


objamie March 15, 2015 at 12:57 am

bwwhahahaha sorry your dusty old tax write off is going the way of the dinosaur. NOT.


Selina March 13, 2015 at 3:23 pm

I agree with Mercy on this one. I love my wine don’t get me wrong but part of the charm on Newport are the antique shops. Best of luck.


OB Mercy March 16, 2015 at 10:44 am

Charm is the correct word, thanks Selina. There is NOTHING charming about a place that sells alcohol for the sake of just selling alcohol. At least OB Warehouse ALSO has delicious food!


Geoff Page March 13, 2015 at 5:02 pm

It’s interesting how time marches on. I was disappointed when the Old Coronet Store gave way to another antique store as did the pet store on the corner. At the time, it seemed OB was turning into nothing but consignment antique places. Now you folks are missing the antique stores. It all depends on when we all got here I guess. Some day, the wine tasting place will be gone and folks will be missing that.


OB Mercy March 13, 2015 at 7:02 pm

You’re missing my point Geoff. We have ENOUGH alcohol joints in OB. Heck, Culture Brewing and OB Warehouse just opened right across the street from this!


OB Dude March 13, 2015 at 7:37 pm

OB Mercy…I get your point and agree with it. Did ABC ok the alcohol license for this wine tasting room? Weren’t their a bunch of people concerned about CVS selling alcohol even thought the prior tenant sold alcohol. So now this location is a NEW alcohol license.

It would have been nice to have Moshe move the tenant occupying the old theater into the new building with another tenant or two and revitalize the movie theater and bring cool movies/entertainment to OB.

IMO Moshe should be giving back to the community which has supported his business for 20 years which has made him wealthy enough to purchase main street real estate. Is alcohol really what OB needs? Maybe OB need another optometrist on Newport?


Geoff Page March 15, 2015 at 12:01 pm

I got your point, Mercy, I just wasn’t commenting on the issue that concerns you. My comment was more about the march of time and folk’s perceptions over the years.

However, I will say something now I guess. I’m not a wine drinker but I have friends who are. I could understand an objection to another bar or liquor store but I don’t think wine tasting rooms have a big reputation for rowdiness. If anything, wine tasting seems to attract a crowd with money that is generally full of pretty civil people.


gregg sullivan March 14, 2015 at 5:18 am

How about some low/mid income housing on top of the wine bar? But that’s hard to do with the 30′ height limit and the strict parking requirements. It’d be nice if the cc-4-2 zone was exempt from this and could go to the 60′ height as is allowed in other parts of the city; so much needed affordable housing could be provided!


Frank Gormlie March 15, 2015 at 11:12 am

Gregg – I’m certain you’re aware of the 30 foot height limit, a restriction placed into law by the people themselves.

The new OB Community Plan does allow for mixed use along commercial zones, like Newport, Voltaire and Pt Loma Ave, but within that much-needed and sacrosanct 30 feet.


gregg sullivan March 15, 2015 at 4:54 pm

I am aware of the 30′ height limit law and that its a mixed use zone. But I think its out dated and its misguided to use the height limit as a blanket rule. Its fine for the residential zones and I would add that we should encourage laneway houses in these zones. It would be nice if it was flexible for the CC-4-2.

You may not agree with me but if you want to slow gentrification, have a more affordable housing stock then you need higher density to be cost effective. That means going up! With the height limit in the commercial zones only higher end housing be it for rent or sale is worth developing.

Having restrictions as height, high parking requirements and a low supply of housing only speeds up gentrification and higher housing costs. We both don’t want that!


Dave Rice March 15, 2015 at 11:44 pm

Doesn’t matter if it’s 2 stories or 10 stories, if it’s new construction in a desirable area there isn’t going to be a single affordable unit, though there may be a couple token “affordable” ones (the official definition of “affordable” is that someone with something like 130% of the average median income, 0 debt, perfect credit, and 20% down could hypothetically afford the debt service).

I don’t want to be a NIMBY or an anti-gentrification honk, but any development whatsoever in a place like OB has the explicit intent and effect of displacing middle-class folks to make way for the wealthy. I’ll leave it up to society in general to determine whether that’s good or bad, but I’ll still argue that it’s undeniable fact, and I’ll be sad if development overtakes me before I’m wealthy enough to afford to stay in the neighborhood where I chose to build my family – not that my personal chagrin should stop “progress” if that’s what everyone else feels is best.


Seth March 16, 2015 at 9:46 am

Valid concern, but I think the over-saturation of bars and restaurants on Newport Ave will take care of itself eventually. A lot of “main streets” out there are struggling to find viable business models in a world where people are increasingly buying goods online and at big box stores. For all the mistrust over the business interests on Newport, make no mistake that a lot of people are losing money and very few are getting the highest and best use from their investment. They have to be able to make money lest they eventually be replaced by the same corporate crap that makes up pretty much every other main street out there, and if a wine bar is how this can happen, it’s probably not the worst thing.


Seth March 16, 2015 at 9:47 am

Oops… post was supposed to be a reply to Mercy above.

Damn you, internet!


Geoff Page March 16, 2015 at 9:58 am

Good comment, Seth.


Frank Gormlie March 17, 2015 at 10:42 pm

gregg – a couple of things: 1) the city / planning commission has found plenty of “exceptions” to the 30 foot rule over the years. 2) the height restriction has allowed OB to NOT be developed like many beach communities up and down the California coast. It was totally citizen-driven and the establishment tried to block or slow it down for years. 3) OB is already one of the most dense neighborhoods in San Diego; 4) it’s a false argument that says that height restrictions, parking requirements FOR DEVELOPERS speed up gentrification, because in OB the experience is just the opposite. Restrictions – very popular with the village folk – have definitely kept OB from becoming like other beachfront neighborhoods which have allowed 3-story McMansions that have helped decimate any real community.


gregg sullivan March 18, 2015 at 11:47 am

I have to disagree with you Frank. First I was only talking about the height in the commercial zones not the residential. Maybe exacerbate would be a better word than speed up.

Prices are only going up. One needs a gross monthly income of $12,000 for a $600,000 home which is probably the average price of a home in OB. Only the upper income can afford that so I would say OB might already be gentrified.

Through my travels up and down the coast I haven’t noticed any beach communities that are any denser than San Diego’s. OB is dense but not that dense. It’s only 28 units/acre. New York City is 400 units/acre. By no means am I advocating that but I think Ob could handle 40-50 units/acre and keep its village charm. We need AFFORDABLE housing. Higher density is the way to achieve that in the commercial areas and laneway housing in the lower density residential.

What you need are regulations/policies with teeth; if a developer wants to increase density that might necessitate going over the height limit then say 30% of the units would have to be affordable.

If the market didn’t crash in 05 and was still going gangbusters OB would probably be totally built out and completely gentrified! I have some links about urban design that I would like you to watch, below, to see where I’m coming from. Instead of getting in a writing match with you I’d be happy to sit down with you over a beer or two and share each others thoughts.


RB March 14, 2015 at 11:02 am

I am amazed how some want to micromanage every business change in OB.
There are plenty of antique stores, and if the wine bar is not a good idea, it will fail.


rick callejon March 14, 2015 at 2:38 pm

60′? Perhaps in Lemon Grove.


objamie March 15, 2015 at 12:58 am

OB isn’t becoming PB…it’s skipping right to Bird Rock.


ObVeg March 16, 2015 at 6:57 am

hey, if you aren’t happy about it, then you can rent it yourselves and open your own antique store, or something else. There’s a new ad for it on Craigslist as of a few days ago. just wondering if those folks who don’t want more alcohol in ob protested/complained about ob warehouse or culture? i acthally read reviews/comments where some of you do the opposite…Just sayin’…


John O. March 18, 2015 at 5:14 pm

I’ve given up on owning anything even though I’ve worked hard all my life… born and raised in Southern CA (South Bay LA). Just too many people moving here like my parents did in 1970.
After 8 years in OB and 20 in San Diego, I’ve seen it change a bit just like all the formerly cottage style/small home filled beach areas in LA.
I don’t think OB needs another wine place either, but selling alcohol in a popular beach area is simply good business.


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