Shades Restaurant to Close – Last Day Will Be Sept. 5th

by on April 29, 2016 · 8 comments

in Culture, History, Ocean Beach

Shades inOB

Below is the Shades Restaurant Family Statement

The popular Ocean Beach restaurant Shades has announced it’s closing at the end of the summer. Shades Oceanfront Bistro, which sits along the beach at the end of Santa Monica Avenue, announced on its website that its last day will be Sept. 5. After closing temporarily for a fire, Shades owners said that it received an offer by a prospective owner seeking to take over the eatery.  The restaurant has been in business for 13 years. NBCSanDiego

Shades family

Dave Martin and his family. (We apologize as we don’t know everyone’s names.)

Here is the Shades’ family statement:

Time to go…

“Alright, lets start gathering our things and getting ready to go”

“Noooo! I don’t want to!”

“Now please, no tears. We’ve had a wonderful time, parades and fireworks Festivals and Chili Cook-Offs, Sunshine and Surf, Children and Dogs, Weddings and Funerals, Family and Friends. We’ve done everything here that we could possibly hope to do, and now… It’s time to go…”

“Not yet, I’m not ready..!”

…a little bit longer, just a little bit longer…

One last summer to celebrate the time we’ve had here together.
To laugh and share memories and wish each other well.

Labor Day, September 5th 2016  will be our last day of business.

And then we will go.

It’s hard to believe that 13 years have come and gone since we created this little place.

We’re older, we’re tired, and the fire took something out of us. It was all just a little too much, so when we received an offer while we were closed, what we might never have given a second thought to, suddenly became an attractive possibility. A way to rest.

Over the years, we had discovered that building a business for your children was really a good idea if the children wanted it. Ooops… in hindsight, we probably should have thought that one through a bit more.

After much consideration, discussion and many tears, we accepted the offer.

Now usually, everyone finds out that a restaurant has sold when their employees show up for work and the doors are locked.


We want everyone to have a chance to say goodbye. To have one last
Weekend Scramble and a Bloody Mary.

The new owners plan to completely remodel the restaurant (God knows it needs it!) and re-open as a new restaurant. They would like to have the staff return, and they are going to do their best to keep them working during construction. They’ve said that they want the restaurant to remain Family and dog friendly, and will do their darndest to continue with our involvement in the community. I guess we really couldn’t ask for more than that.

Shades will be open for one last summer.
That means you have exactly 130 Days to get your buns down here and eat some Chilaquiles and give us a hug!

You’ll be hearing a lot from me in the coming weeks. I’m going to run some fun Biographies of our fabulous staff, and try to keep you updated on the future plans for the Shades space.

“No tears now, just memories and hugs.”

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

DAN DENNISON April 29, 2016 at 3:42 pm

Wow! What a wonderful place in our very special community. Additionally Dave has been such a remarkably active member of our community and a Mega- contributor! We have all benefited from Dave and his family and his wonderful restaurant.

Knowing Dave’s strong and focused interest in a continuing bright future for OB I am confident that his choice of successor will carry forward his vision.


Debbie April 30, 2016 at 2:09 am

Will this be another Cohn restaurant?


OB Mercy April 30, 2016 at 1:42 pm

Funny how none of the stories got the word that the group that owns Wonderland, right above Shades is who bought them. They own several other restaurants in SD. No, it is not the Cohn group. They also own The Local in Downtown and PB and Bootlegger on Market St.

Some are lamenting that another Mom & Pop place in OB is going away, to be owned by a company that owns several establishments and is obviously growing.

Dave Martin told me that Mina, who owns Wonderland and the other places is determined to keep it open as a breakfast, lunch and dinner place and to keep a commitment to the community going as she has done with Wonderland.


Goatskull May 1, 2016 at 7:48 am

I wonder if it will just be an expansion of Wonderland? In all honesty, I like Wonderland and the Bootlegger. The Local is (downtown) is okay. It may not be mom and pop but it’s still a local company. Hopefully it will be something that will fit right in with the OB spirit.


Alex Alexander May 5, 2016 at 7:11 am

The food and Joaquin (Waiter) are the only thing to miss.


Mina Dawn Desiderio August 21, 2016 at 4:48 pm

I just wanted to leave a comment because I feel as though people view Wonderland as some kind of massive corporate type of company. Here is a little about myself before you go on judge me some more. Hi! My name is Mina and I live in Point Loma with my 6 year old daughter. My father owned a produce business and sold produce all over town. At one point, my father held the lease in the space that is now Hodads. We actually sold our business to Mike ( Hodads). I opened my first bar, The Local, in 2003 with a home loan my mother took on the house I grew up in Mira Mesa. Barely made it through 2008-2010. Make a long story short, I partnered up with an incredible man named Brendan and we took an opportunity/risk and ran with it. We were offered to purchase both Nicks in PB and OB and here we are now. Scared as heck because we knew opening a place in OB would be risky. Millions of dollars we raised ( like our friends and family) and had no clue we would be creating such a beast of a place that is now called “Wonderland”. Wonderland shows off our incredible town like no other and we are only trying to improve day to day. Now, we are blessed to have come across this opportunity with purchasing Shades. We are not a corporate Chinese company coming in OB and buying up land. We are just local people trying to create a living for ourselves, families, and others. Don’t be scared of us! We are normal and not trying to take over the world! ;) Cheers to the best beach town in San Diego! GO OCEAN BEACH!


Doug Blackwood August 22, 2016 at 12:54 pm

Hi Mina & Brendan,

We have lived on Santa Monica Ave for 25 years.
Since your opening there has been a constant barrage of noise from : “Wonderland”!
One easy solution: close your doors & windows: you exceed the legal noise limit nightly!
Over the years I called Brendan, spoken to numerous night managers, door men etc. Some project attitude, some polite; but it continues:blasting into our living room.
We are not anti bar/restaurant My wife has worked in one for 15 years; I formerly did as a entertainer & bartender. We understand the business.
However this is a neighborhood. Please be considerate of your neighbors, working men and women who want peace & quiet in our homes. Constant yelling & screaming from your patrons is maddening and illegal.
Brendan & Mina please take action to be a good neighbor!

Doug & Lydia
25 + years in OB


Chris August 30, 2016 at 8:12 pm

Thanks for all the great meals, the service; the icing on the cake was looking out at Ocean Beach


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