Uptown News Briefs: Oct. 6–19, 2017

Posted: October 6th, 2017 | News, Opinion & News, Uptown Briefs | No Comments


The historical bar known as The Flame, located at 3780 Park Blvd. in Hillcrest, is up for lease.

The building housing The Flame was sold to Hillcrest developer James Nicholas of Clownfish Partners in 2015. Donny Duenas sold the property for $1.9 million.

Nicholas told San Diego Uptown News at the time that he would turn the single-story structure into a multi-use project by adding six apartments and a central courtyard. He also promised to restore the façade of the vintage building as well as the iconic sign.

In early October, the brokerage firm Location Matters began marketing The Flame to potential clients, writing in a brochure:

“An iconic building in San Diego’s University Heights/Hillcrest community, currently under construction to become one of San Diego’s most desirable mixed-use buildings, offers an extraordinary opportunity for a cocktail lounge/bar operator. Become a part of this diverse and eclectic area’s collection of hip wine bars, nightclubs, restaurants, and craft beer breweries.”

The Flame opened in 1984 as a lesbian bar. The space previously was used as a restaurant, The Garden of Allah, until it was destroyed in a fire. The lesbian bar was sold 20 years later to the owners of Numbers, a gay bar across the street. The Flame changed ownership again in 2010, before eventually closing and being sold to Clownfish Partners.

According to Location Matters, The Flame lease will come with a full liquor license, known as a Type 48. For more information, contact Michael Spilky at or by calling 858-792-5521.


The Hillcrest Town Council (HTC) will meet at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 10, at Joyce Beers Community Center in The Hub shopping center, 3900 Vermont St.

Guest speaker will be Jen LaBarbera, head archivist at Lambda Archives of San Diego. She will talk about “Hillcrest’s LGBTQ Past and Present.” HTC board member David Vance will also participate in the discussion.

Also at the meeting will be the election to the Uptown Community Parking District (UCPD) board. HTC has two seats on the UCPD board, and one of those seats will be filled at this election. Candidates can be nominated by another resident or by themselves. They will be given 2 minutes to explain to the audience why they want to serve on the UCPD board. Only residents of Hillcrest may serve in this position or vote in the election. Proof of residency is required.

For more information, email or


Jennifer Powell and Seth Marko have taken ownership of the West Grove Collective, located at 3010-B Juniper St. in South Park, and reopened it as The Book Catapult, a general-interest bookstore.

The Book Catapult began in 2006 as a book blog written by Marko. The popular blog gained notoriety from literary happenings such as the 117 Days of James Patterson, the South Park Donnybrook, a “Cloud Atlas” film screening/literary salon, and in-conversation events with authors such as David Mitchell and Anthony Doerr.

Now reinvented as a brick-and-mortar business, The Book Catapult aims to be a community hub of literary activity, promoting a lifelong love of reading through a well-curated selection of books for all ages, book-related gifts and author events, while providing a forum for literary conversation, the exchanging of ideas and community engagement.

Powell will run the day-to-day operations as general manager, sidelines buyer and media contact; Marko will be the primary book buyer.

The Book Catapult has retained the clothing, jewelry and home goods vendors from the West Grove Collective in a boutique space within the bookstore. There will be a soft opening on Saturday, Oct. 7, from 6-10 p.m. during the Fall South Park Walkabout with music, light refreshments and lots of books.

Call 619-471-5493 for more information.


The Art Glass Guild will host a Fall Patio Show and Sale on Oct. 14-15 at 1770 Village Place in the Spanish Village Art Center in Balboa Park.

The hours are from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

This is the largest art glass show in Southern California and is focused on showcasing artwork by local glass artists.

More than 30 juried artists will exhibit their creations such as blown, fused, torch, stained, cast, etched and mosaic glass. Check out live music and demonstrations featuring torch-work and glass cutting. Visit an area for children and adults to create their mosaic art pieces to take home.

The guild is a nonprofit art education center focused on supporting local glass artists as well as other San Diego nonprofits with art-related programs benefiting the community.The event is free to the public and pet friendly. Visit or call 619-702-8006 for more information.


In the craft beer capital of the world, there are countless opportunities to enjoy refreshing local brews — even in the stockroom of a grocery store. For its popular Backroom Beer Pairing from 6-8 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 18, Barons Market will team with Green Flash Brewing Co. to offer gourmet bites with brewed delights at each of its seven Southern California locations, including the grocery in North Park.

These party pairings taste good, and do good. In recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Barons Market will donate 100 percent of proceeds from its four San Diego locations to the Shades of Pink Foundation and from its three Temecula Valley locations to Michelle’s Place. In 2016, the market raised more than $26,000 for local organizations through its quarterly Backroom Beer Pairings.

“Our Backroom Beer Pairings give our communities a new way to enjoy craft beer,” said Rachel Shemirani, vice president of marketing for Barons. “Each brewery that we partner with has its own characteristics and flavor profiles, creating an unrivaled pairing experience. No two evenings are alike.”

Barons’ Backroom Beer Pairings transform loading docks and stock rooms into food and local brew speakeasies, this time featuring Green Flash brews. A select team of food and beer experts carefully curated the mouthwatering menu:• Passion Fruit Kicker – A refreshing ale with a tropical twist, expertly paired with a feta, cranberry and pecan salad.

GFB – A new blonde ale with hints of honey and orange peel complemented by a mellow malt character, paired with Madras Lentils over Basmati rice.

Soul Style IPA – A single IPA allowing bright tropical waves of flavorful citrus and floral notes to hit the palate, paired with mango chipotle pork sliders.

West Coast IPA – An IPA brewed with a tantalizing menagerie of hops to create tropical fruit and grapefruit zest, pine notes, citrus zest and a floral aroma, paired with Barons Market Angus Chili.

Tickets will sell out, so purchase yours for $15 at


Children get free admission during October at the San Diego Zoo and San Diego Zoo Safari Park.

“Kids Free” is presented by Mission Fed and is an annual event that offers free zoo and Safari Park admission for children ages 11 and younger, when they are accompanied by an adult. Special weekend activities are planned at both sites, including extra treats for the animals in the form of pumpkins and festive gourds — some stuffed with “goodies” and others just given “au naturel” for the animals to gnaw on, bite, bash and enjoy. Special keeper talks are also scheduled, with interesting information and fascinating stories about zoo and Safari Park animals from the animal care experts who know them best.

On Oct. 27, 28 and 29, the zoo will be open until 8 p.m. for HalGLOWeen, the zoo’s first Halloween event in decades. As the sun sets, the zoo will glow under black light, with fun for all ages. HalGLOWeen will feature Halloween entertainment, including a Glow Zone with a DJ spinning Halloween tunes, glowing “Boolahoops,” the Funky Monkeys, “Dr. Zoolittle’s Creepy Crawly Show,” acrobats, Itsy-twisty Spiders contortionists, a roaming magician, jugglers and more.

Visit and for more information.

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