Mr. Motto Pizza Goes for Alcohol License, New Owners at Pepe’s and Other News of Ocean Beach Businesses

by on March 4, 2019 · 5 comments

in Ocean Beach

In the OB Rag‘s continuing efforts to keep abreast of the news of the Ocean Beach business community and to inform the village of the latest, this reporter visited several of the principle commercial streets of OB on Friday, March 1 – and here is what was found.

New Owners at Pepe’s Promise “No Changes”

There’s new owners at Pepe’s on Sunset Cliffs. Vanessa Perez and her hubby John have taken charge and promise no menu changes – and in fact, stated John – who doubles as manager and cook – nothing has changed; they’ve kept it the same way as the previous owners. As it turns out Vanessa is active US Navy and as a psych corpsman, teaches survivor courses to military people who risk being captured by adversaries, especially pilots. John is Reserve Navy.

John with apron. That’s Vanessa in the back.

Yet restaurants are in Vanessa’s blood. Her mother has owned a restaurant in Los Angeles for 12 to 15 years and was the personal chef for George Carlin, and the family has restaurants in Mexico. It’s definitely a family affair. Vanessa’s mom was there when I visited doing dishes. Vanessa was meeting with bankers. John also has mucho restaurant experience – he worked for the Marriott and for Brinker, who owns the Chili’s chain.

Mr. Moto Pizza Goes for Beer and Wine License

As workers continue to finish the interior of the brand new Mr. Moto Pizza House opening up in the brand new OB Plaza – there’s a sign on the front window.

It’s a notice of their application for a beer and wine license.

OB Plaza Looks Close to Completion

The completion of the OB Plaza appears to be on hand.

New businesses are moving in, getting ready for their grand openings.

There’s even 3 parking spaces for EV vehicles.

Interestingly, the structure of the new building follows some of the lay-out of the former medical building.

The interior at Dirty Birds hasn’t changed much lately, however, perhaps because of the foul-up with their liquor license.

Of course, Stephen’s Cleaners is still there, having never closed, but with a new front.

Stephen’s Cleaners is still there

Creations Began in Tucson

Creations still has their “grand opening” banner up in front, but it was actually held back in November 2017, the manager apologized.

The family you works for started Creations in Tucson, Arizona way back in 1971, she said.

Kareema, the manager

They now have 5 stores – 3 in Arizona, one in Pacific Beach and this one. There’s shawls, hats, sunglasses, you name it.

They also own the brand “Angie” which some OBceans would find familiar. And because many of her products are direct, she can offer them at good prices, Kareema promised.

She employs 5 full-time and part-time employees. Kareema loves OB – she’s lived in OB for the past 2 years, and in San Diego for five.

Seams to Me and In Harmony Are Still Open

As the new owners of the former Nati’s building construct a new space for the incoming Pop Pies, two businesses have survived the onslaught of construction and are quite open. Mary Ann’s Seams to Me is still running and In Harmony, next to her, is also open for business.

Mary Ann at work.

I spoke to Mary Ann briefly and she says she’s met the new guys from Pop Pies and they’re real nice.

Before You Can Bake Pies, You’ve Got to Have an Oven

The demolition and construction of the new Pop Pies restaurant coming in continues.

All photos by Frank Gormlie, except this one by Brett Warnke.

The New THC

The changing THC is literally created a construction zone in the alley, as the new 2-story building emerges, slowly.

East side of the new THC.

West side

Target on Target?

Is the new Target on target? We don’t know, but there has been progress, if you can call it that.

The new wood siding in front looks finished.

New Paint and Design for the Electric Chair

Wow – new paint and design has totally changed the exterior to the Electric Chair.

Bike Rentals Is a New Thing Here

Himalaya has begun renting bicycles.

What’s Going on at Litickers?

New paint, new plaster, nothing special. No mural.

Scooter World

Is this the future – or just a stage?



{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

adam March 5, 2019 at 11:48 am

What happened to the coffee cart at the corner of cable and newport?


Roderick T. Long March 8, 2019 at 12:42 pm

It’s Mr. MOTO, not Mr. “Motto.”


Frank Gormlie March 8, 2019 at 12:54 pm

Thanks, made the changes.


Mare March 11, 2019 at 11:35 am

“haven’t never closed”? Come on now.


Frank Gormlie March 11, 2019 at 11:54 am

Our proof readers are our readers.


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