Ocean Beach’s Ranchos Is Moving – Charges Landlord with Racism

by on October 20, 2016 · 25 comments

in Culture, History, Ocean Beach

ob-ranchos-frontWe’ve been following what’s happening with OB’s vegetarian Mexican food restaurant, Ranchos, over these last couple of weeks with concern.

Now, we find out something dark has been going on. The owner of Ranchos has apparently posted signs in the windows explaining that they are moving – and why they are moving.

In hand-lettered signs – in places hard to decipher – , the Ranchos owner charges their landlord with racism and a hatred of Mexicans.

And the Ranchos owner says they will be moving in a month to another location in San Diego – and invites his loyal customers to a new place with mariachis – and fresh fish and lamb added to a new menu – with better prices. No address of a new location was listed.

Here (to our best of our ability and with spelling corrections) we reprint what the signs state:

Dear loyal friends of Ranchos –

In one month Ranchos will move to a new location in San Diego.  The reason for our moving is because of Mr. Mark Bitterlin (is) a racist person who hates Mexican people as you will find out through Channel 10, 8 and all local stations. They will print his letter of him saying we have to leave if he does not get the rent check that same day.

Never been late. It was my 3rd day late. But I cannot have some red neck come and humiliate me in front of my customers – telling and yelling if I don’t give him the rent he will throw me out.

Have him in video you will see in the news. And my lawyer will tell you another day how much all this month of racism will cost him.

Thanks, loyal customers.

We love you and will see you in a much bigger Ranchos with mariachis, home-made tortillas, everything organic, fresh seafood and lamb added to the menu.

Much better service and cheaper prices. Catering and delivery will start.

See you next month – will have first day half price everything.

Here are photos of the signs – thanks of South OB Girl.



According to Mark Bitterlin’s company website – Bitterlin Industries, Inc.

Mark D. Bitterlin founded the Company in 1980. The Company and its wholly owned affiliate, San Diego Property Management, and Trust Real Estate Services manage and operate over 100 Commercial and Multi-family properties in San Diego, Los Angeles, and the San Francisco Bay area. The company corporate office is located in San Diego and the combined Companies’ employ 45 people.

Mr. Bitterlin is considered one of the foremost authorities on Trust Real Estate in Southern California. His current business relationships include Bank Trust Departments, Private Family Trusts, Law firms, CPA firms and Wealth Management Advisors. He specializes in Trust Real Estate Assets with an emphasis on Commercial and Multi-family projects, including office buildings, industrial, shopping centers, apartment buildings, and land acquisitions. He serves as managing director and President of several corporations and closely held family businesses where the primary assets are real estate investments and operating businesses.

Mr. Bitterlin is a building rehabilitation expert and has completed numerous successful building rehab projects. He has served as a Rotary Club President, President of The Point Loma Association, Member of San Diego Association of Realtors, California Association of Realtors, National Association of Realtors and is a past President of the Estate Planning Council of San Diego. He and his wife, Anita, reside in North San Diego County. They have three grown children and four grand children.

{ 25 comments… read them below or add one }

Jen October 20, 2016 at 9:58 pm

Thanks for keeping us updated on this! We love Ranchos’ food and all the staff there. Will definitely follow them to the next location!


Steve October 20, 2016 at 11:39 pm

I hope they can find a way to stay in OB.


Christo October 21, 2016 at 7:46 am



Wendy October 21, 2016 at 8:13 am

I have been going to Ranchos sinc they opened. I love Hugo, Gabriel and all the staff. The food is delicious and affordable. For years Ranchos has been a part of the community and brought beauty and soul to OB. I am horrified to hear that the closure might be due to racism. I rarely take things like this on face value, I like to gather as many details as possible. However, if this is true we have a big problem on our hands. I consider the Ranchos staff like part of my family. They’ve seen me through graduate school, they’ve seen me on so many dates, they catered my sister’s wedding and my mom’s funeral, when my nephew was a newborn we went there to share him with visiting family, whenever anyone visits we go there, they are a huge part of the fabric of my family’s life. I hope the new location maintains the same staff. Sending lots of love to Ranchos.


jettyboy October 21, 2016 at 8:41 am

Got a link to the above mentioned video?


Frank Gormlie October 21, 2016 at 12:01 pm

What video, amigo?


Elliott Blackwood October 21, 2016 at 2:18 pm

I believe jettyboy is referring to staff’s letter posted on the window:

“…Have him in video you will see in the news. And my lawyer will tell you another day how much all this month of racism will cost him….”

It’s unfortunate to see a staple of the community making such an abrupt move over leasing problems.


Frank Gormlie October 21, 2016 at 2:24 pm

No, we don’t.


HenryW October 21, 2016 at 9:59 am

Please do your best to stay in OB.
You are our favorite by far – please don’t leave.


Angelika O October 21, 2016 at 10:04 am

This is very upsetting.


Mark October 21, 2016 at 10:36 am

We don’t know the facts, but maybe Mr. Bitterlin does.

Mark D. Bitterlin, President
Bitterlin Companies, Inc.
San Diego Property Management
P.O. Box 81007
San Diego, CA 92138
619-718-6565 x201
Fax: 619-718-6555
Cell: 619-851-8079
CalBRE Lic. # 01183827


Jon October 21, 2016 at 3:17 pm

please keep me informed


steven October 21, 2016 at 4:18 pm

Sue the hell of him and hit him where it hurts!!! What an idiot thing to do from someone who owns a property management company especially…not to mention the racial part. I’d bet anything he is a big Trump supporter!


GML October 21, 2016 at 5:33 pm

Only one side of the story so people should probably not be so quick to make a judgement. Especially since the term “redneck” is considered derogatory by many as well.


Joe October 21, 2016 at 6:03 pm

We have a diatribe that seems like it might be libel coupled with an assertion that they’ve never been late with the rent (except for the fact that they’re three days or more late with the rent now).

California is a two party consent state for wire tapping and recording. A property owner ought to be able to insp from his property without having surreptitious video and audio recordings taken and threats of being held out as a racist redneck if he wants a tenant to pay rent on time and in full.

Ranchos has been in this location for years. They’ve opened other locations and had to close them over the years, leading one to question the business acumen of the operators. Nevertheless, there’s no serious suggestion that the property owner / manager suddenly woke up one morning and decided to get all racist and kick their tenant out for no reason. In fact, the author of this screed in the window acknowledges that they haven’t fulfilled their obligations as a tenant. How is offering someone years of opportunity to run a business profitabily in a beach location “racist”?

The folks at Ranchos are overplaying their hand. They say that they’ll have a bigger location, new entrees, and better service. What the heck is stopping them from offering better service today??


Tyler October 23, 2016 at 4:52 am

A voice of reason….


Tom October 21, 2016 at 11:42 pm

there was a break in just now, it looks like the posters were removed and mark showed up in person. Police sent in dogs the whole nine yards…


Zen October 22, 2016 at 1:50 am

Sorry to Ranchos fans, but there are nine other Mexican food options in the Newport Ave corridor, so I cannot mourn its closing. I hope to see some authentic Asian restaurant open in its place. I like Thai Time nearby a lot, but Laotian, traditional Chinese like you see on Convoy, oh my that would be great. Or even a Spanish restaurant, PB has two of them, both very good, we have 0.

And yeah, someone who uses the word “redneck” should not be accusing others of racism. Maybe the story of being evicted for being 3 days late with rent is true. Personally I don’t care if my tenant is late a few days, half the time I don’t even cash their check for three days anyway. (PS to tenants who look like they may be coming up short with rent: advance notice you will be late and a partial rent payment on your due date go a long way, much better than just saying nothing and letting the payment date pass.)


Chris October 22, 2016 at 4:50 am

Yeah like Joe said, I also find it odd that all a sudden after Ranchos has been there for years the building owner “hates Mexicans” all of a sudden. Hey, maybe it’s true but if he/she is truly a racist redneck why would the owner of Ranchos remain in that same building for so many years? This whole situation seems a bit off and I sure wish this mysterious video becomes available. Regardless, I love Ranchos and hope they successfully find a new location and do well.


Jessr trujilli October 22, 2016 at 3:44 pm

I have known the Movet Family for 30 years and they have always been very upstanding and community oriented. I believe that a number of personal problems have been taking their toll oN Marcos the proprietor. Coupled with hard financial Times it appears that the aforementioned may have been overwhelmed hi I am sure the dustwill settle and all will be well.


OBKING October 24, 2016 at 2:59 pm

On a side-note, very mediocre Mexican food – they will not be missed from OB’s culinary landscape.


OB Native March 20, 2017 at 3:37 pm

speak for yourself. as someone who grew up barefoot in OB, i and every local i know, love ranchos. your comment is way off…


John October 25, 2016 at 12:23 am

Isn’t calling someone a redneck racist?


Stuart Inpot October 27, 2016 at 10:32 am

I”m a redneck and I used to eat at Ranchos. I feel so conflicted.


Mike November 12, 2016 at 8:34 am

Very sad. I have been in OB for nine years and Ranchos is the best place here. The staff are extremely welcoming, awesome salsa, and the covered outdoor spot was cozy. Yeah, there’s other Mexican food around, but I will miss the lobster burritos, and mostly the warm hearted people that worked there. Sad :(


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