Newport Ave. Corner with OB Town Council Bulletin Board and Palms Taken Out

by on August 11, 2016 · 13 comments

in Culture, Environment, History, Ocean Beach

OB willie corner 1Have you noticed the changes at the southwest corner of Newport Avenue and Cable Street?

The OB Town Council had a bulletin board there, and there were some palms and shrubbery. And Willie’s Shoe Shine place was also right there, just steps from the corner.

The Town Council had at their own expense installed the bulletin board and maintained it. They had an arrangement with the furniture store, Mallories. For years. The OBTC also had an agreement that their board would down be changed or removed without their involvement.

Well, all that has changed.

OB willie corner 5 edThe bulletin board is gone. The palms are gone. And Willie’s store has been pushed back – more into the interior of the parking lot. And new asphalt has been poured in the immediate site.

According to my sources within the board of the OBTC, the bulletin board was removed without the Council being informed.

Apparently, a new renter has taken over the parking lot area. The new leasee wanted the changes and went right to work, altering a small corner that had been dedicated to the community by the Town Council. All of it is now gone.

And who is this new leasee?

Ronnie Shamoun

Ronnie Shamoun

It turns out it’s Ronson “Ronnie” Shamoun, the wealthy tax attorney, who owns a number of businesses around Ocean Beach. He and his family own the OB Quick Stop on Voltaire Street, the Newport Quick Stop, the property where O’Bistro’s was and where a new cowboy sports bar is supposed to be going in. Shamoun and company also own the property where the proposed 7-Eleven is going to be – across from Olive Tree. (Shamoun was once on the OB Planning Board.)

And now he has sub-leased the property where Willie’s Shoeshine is and made the changes, without notifying the OBTC. (BTW, fyi, Willie has worked on Newport since the original OB Rag was printed in 1970. His store once burnt down and locals built a new one.)

Mallories also used to let OBMA use the parking lot for free for the farmers market (for vendors). Now, Shamoun will be charging OBMA for the booth spaces.

Reportedly, Shamoun plans on putting a coffee cart in the corner parking lot, like the one over on Voltaire on the property of the OB Quick Stop. Already eyebrows are being raised. Is it legal to have a drive-through right off a main street? some local business owners are asking.

{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

daniel beeman August 11, 2016 at 12:06 pm

Yes! All is legal, like unlicenced(liquor) ‘tasting rooms’ thx Byron Wear & co. making us pay, community wise for decades after we got him out of office: now baby Byron via Zapfs good olé boys(&girls) club!! See Pt.Loma ‘riche’. BeWEAR just gonna get worse.! 8,,..v(


RB August 11, 2016 at 1:35 pm

The tasting room laws came from Sacramento…….
The beer producers wanted to be treated like the wine producers.


kh August 11, 2016 at 5:09 pm

Other cities have required them to get conditional use permits, to allow some local control. San Diego isn’t one of them. ABC consider a tasting room to be a “non-retail” use! They put it in the same category as wholesaler who ship wine bottles!


Retired Botanist August 11, 2016 at 12:14 pm

Seriously, is this the deforestation of Ocean Beach? What the heck?


triggerfinger August 11, 2016 at 12:22 pm

Go open up some liquor stores and ruin your own neighborhood in east county, you jackhole. Get out of OB!


Frank Gormlie August 11, 2016 at 1:07 pm

Some times we receive some pretty crazy comments that we don’t publish. Here’s an example from Jim Landers:
“More changes to rid OB of trash and arsonists like Frank and his minions. It’s all legal . Don’t like it, do some liberal couch potato exercises like protesting. The Rag bulletin board was tossed in the trash…Did you want to save it?”


Jon August 11, 2016 at 1:31 pm

Can’t speak for the OBTC folks of today. But during my time on the board I recall the bulletin board and surrounding shrubs to be a nuisance and place that collected trash. We tried numerous times to trim it back and clean that corner up, but it was always short-lived. The bulletin board was perhaps a great idea prior to the Facebook age. But it became a magnet for taggers and litter-bugs. IMO… This is a net-positive for that corner, and glad to see he didn’t make Willie leave. Just move slightly south. I can’t fault Ronnie for running his business to be profitable, but I sincerely hope he pays attention to the overwhelming community voices that do NOT want a 7-11 in that space on Sunset Cliffs. That would be an unmitigated disaster for that intersection and that sleepy part of our great neighborhood. C’mon Ronnie… Try to find a better fit. Thanks for cleaning up this corner. Now don’t make a mess out of sunset & Narragansett by moving in an unwanted chain store.


Frank Gormlie August 11, 2016 at 1:35 pm

Jon, thanks for your clarification.


Happyinob August 11, 2016 at 2:42 pm

What a let down Ronnie!
You should be ashamed of yourself!
OB has been very good to you
throughout the years and you just
shit over everything’
Let’s stay away from all his
Liquor Stores !!!!
The guy was right, put this in your


Byron Wear August 12, 2016 at 9:43 am

Just to set the record straight from Mr. Dan Beeman’s unusual post/rant…
1. I have NO involvement or financial interest with any business venture in Ocean Beach or on Newport Avenue.
2. I frequent many Ocean Beach mom and pop places including retail, dining establishments and yes, tasting rooms.
3. I served on the San Diego City Council from 1995-2002 and represented Ocean Beach and worked closely with all the OB community groups. I was re-elected in the June 1998 Primary with 56% of the vote. I served a maximum of two terms.
4. I grew up in OB and Point Loma, attended Point Loma High, served on many community organizations and stood watch as a lifeguard in OB at the foot of Santa Monica 1975-1978.
5. I now am involved as a community volunteer serving many Peninsula groups. I will jump off the OB Pier on Monday afternoon around 1 pm for a $75 donation to help teach urban kids to swim.

Anyone want to join me? You need to swim from the end of the Pier to the beach.


OB DUDE August 12, 2016 at 11:49 am

Can’t – some of us have to work – no big pension fund for me….

On the other hand, I am glad you are supporting the community and the jump. Can you help save the Torrey Pines?


Debbie August 12, 2016 at 9:53 am

I would not doubt if the furniture store next to the parking lot closes soon.

Glad Willie got to stay (he needs a sign on his building) and why should the OBMA get free anything?

Can’t fault someone for knowing how to run a business….look at the Newport Eyes…he owns a bunch of buildings in OB and has increased rents. Some people are successful and willing to take risks and invest and then get to call the shots on what they do with their investment. Not saying I like all the changes … just saying.


nostalgic August 12, 2016 at 10:19 am

It appears that a ne (permitted?) electric line has been installed where “new asphalt has been poured in the immediate site.”


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