Annual events showcase food and art diversity of Uptown neighborhood
By Margie M. Palmer | SDUN Reporter
The University Heights Arts Association and the University Heights Community Development Corporation will be hosting the seventh annual Arts Open and Taste of University Heights this weekend, with residents, community members and guests invited to sample bites from 17 local restaurants while strolling along a self-guided tour of the arts.
The event will take place on Sunday, Sept. 16 between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. and will kick off with access to the UH Arts Open. This free, one-of-a-kind event celebrates artists of all mediums and art in all forms.
Much like years past, this year’s UH Arts Open will showcase sculptors, dancers, musicians, painters, poets, potters and more. Attendees will have the opportunity to watch performances, chat with artists, check out exhibitions and visit studios.
A second event, the Taste of University Heights, will begin at noon and will run through 3 p.m. Diners will have the opportunity to partake in bites from a diverse selection of restaurants. Tickets can be purchased for $20 in advance or for $25 the day of the event.
UH Arts Open event organizer Judy Riffle said the event is a great way to promote not only the local art scene, but also to expose participants to the rich culture that University Heights has to offer.
“There are so many interesting theaters in the neighborhood and this is a great way for us to promote all the weird and eccentric things about University Heights,” she said. “Many of these places are very unique and have a lot of performances. Of course, there are better-known venues such as the Diversionary Theatre, but there are many that people might not know about.”
Art lovers are invited to visit seven local studios and will also be able to check out exhibits and live performances at 11 additional venues. Patrons will also be able to tour a historic San Diego street car, which will be parked along the 4600 block of Park Boulevard.
Attendees will have their event program stamped at each of the 18 locations. Those who drop off their stamped and completed programs at the event’s information booth by 4 p.m. will be entered into a raffle. Prizes include gifts and gift certificates from Plumeria Restaurant, Salon 4416, Lestat’s Coffee House, Michael Borrelli Design, Inc., Park Blvd. Wine & Pizza, Cueva Bar, Soltan Banoo and the Diversionary Theatre.
UH Community Development Corporation Treasurer Ernie Bonn said the UH Arts Open / Taste of University Heights event allows people who may be unfamiliar with the neighborhood an up close and personal view of, what she believes, is a very special community.
“We’re a bit more compact but we have that historic ambiance,” Bonn said. “We’re one of the oldest subdivisions in San Diego. The first records of subdivisions in San Diego date back to 1888, which appears on the University Heights neighborhood banners, she said.
Most of the Taste of University Heights event will take place on local streets directly outside of the restaurants. Some of the day’s featured restaurants will include Babbo’s Bar and Grill, Bourbon Street, Lei Lounge, Eclipse Chocolate and more.
Artwork from the Arts Open will be on display in several of the eateries as well, Bonn said, and attendees are invited to use a complimentary shuttle to maneuver through the neighborhood.
Those wishing to kick off the event early are invited to attend the Art + food FUSION reception on Friday, Sept. 14 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. The catered reception will talk place at 3RDSPACE, located at 4610 Park Blvd.
For the Sunday event, those wishing to purchase advance tickets can do so by calling 619-297-3166. For more information, including a complete list of sponsors, participating artists and restaurants, visit uharts.org