By Frank Sabatini Jr.
Old Town’s new speakeasy, Oculto 477, pays homage to the repeal of Prohibition with a party from 5 p.m. to midnight, Dec. 5. Guests are encouraged to wear period outfits from nearly a century ago as they imbibe historic-style cocktails such as fizzes, shims, sours and other types of alcoholic drinks that had been outlawed beginning in 1920.
The official end of Prohibition in the U.S. occurred on Dec. 5, 1933.
Oculto 477 is located within Tahona, an establishment specializing in mezcal and Oaxacan-inspired food. 2414 San Diego Ave., 619-255-2090, oculto477.com.
The much-anticipated return of Babycakes to Hillcrest is on the calendar with a soft opening Dec. 2, followed by a grand opening from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Dec. 14. The latter will feature merchandise giveaways and free samples of the company’s lauded baked goods while supplies last.
“Our inventory at the new location will be the same as when we were on Fifth Avenue,” said Christopher Stavros, who owns the bakery with business partner Rafael Del Rio. The lineup will include cupcakes, cookies, brownies, cakes by the slice, and whole custom-made cakes.
Babycakes left its original Hillcrest spot on Fifth Avenue more than a year ago to focus on a larger facility it runs in Paradise Hills. Shortly thereafter, it made a partial return as a small retail outlet inside Fiji Yogurt at the HUB Hillcrest Market. That will soon close.
The new digs, previously occupied by Pinkberry, offer indoor-outdoor seating for about 40 customers amid whimsical décor and large windows that look onto Robinson and Fourth avenues. Assorted coffee drinks will be in the offing, and Stavros promises beer, wine and “a focus on Champagne” once he obtains licensing. 3795 Fourth Ave., 619-990-2282, babycakessandiego.com.
The newish Alfredo’s Pizzeria in Hillcrest is up and running with daily late-night hours (until 2 a.m.) plus draft and bottled beer as well as wines by the glass and bottle. The bill of fare is the same as that in the shop’s original Point Loma location (3022 Cannon St.), but with the addition of an all-vegan pizza using plant-based cheese and faux sausage. Pizzas are sold whole or by the slice. Pasta, subs, wings and desserts are available as well. Customers in Uptown neighborhoods receive free delivery orders of $15 or more. 1417 University Ave., 619-539-7206.
Construction on the upcoming Tommy Bahama Marlin Bar in Fashion Valley Mall has kicked off with the goal of a June opening. The 7,200-square-foot space will combine retail areas of its summery clothing line with a casual restaurant and bar. An “island vibe” and spacious patio will prevail in what was formerly AllSaints clothing store on the mall’s lower level. 7007 Friars Road, #305, tommybahama.com.
Famous for her popsicles, Dixie Hall, of DixiePops in Mission Hills, has branched into ice-cream pies, which made their debut in November with flavors such as apple, pumpkin, malted caramel, peppermint, German chocolate, and more.
Hall moved her shop to Uptown from Little Italy earlier this year. Soon after, she began making ice cream, which is sold in cones and pints. But customers began requesting ice-cream pies, which led to their recent (and indefinite) availability. Hall says that “fun pies” are in the pipeline, such as those tailored for weddings, bridal showers and even relationship breakups. In the meantime, her popsicles sell in nearly 15 different flavors. 915 W. Washington St., 619-255-5473, dixiepops.com.
A piece of San Diego restaurant history is up for grabs through a sale of nearly a dozen paintings of topless women that hung for decades inside the former Albie’s Beef Inn in Hotel Circle.
The restaurant’s previous owner, Ted Samouris, has decided to sell part of the collection after keeping “the nudies” in storage since closing Albie’s in late 2015. He told San Diego Uptown News the starting price per painting is $6,500.
“The reception so far has been good,” he said. “I’ve had a number of inquiries.”
Throughout most of the restaurant’s 53-year run, the antique-style paintings projected a curious mystique over the dimly lit bar and dining room, where patrons reveled in martinis and prime rib. They were painted specifically for the restaurant by the late Larry “Vincent” Garrison of La Mesa. The women who posed for him were supposedly stewardesses for the former PSA airlines.
“They’re special, and unlike any of his other works,” Samouris noted, while adding they he may sell more pieces from the collection in the near future.
For now, those interested are asked to contact Samouris via Facebook, through either his personal page “Ted Samouris” or the Albie’s Beef Inn page.
— Frank Sabatini Jr. can be reached at email@example.com