Hotel remodel and new retail shops lead changes underfoot in La Jolla
By Pat Sherman
From the return of high-altitude dining in La Jolla Shores to the opening of a gourmet frozen confectioner in the Village, commerce in La Jolla continues to flourish.
The renovation of the 11-story Hotel La Jolla has reached the halfway mark, announced Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants, which took over management of the property last year.
The project includes the remodel of its 110 guest rooms, as well as structural work to the lobby foundation and 11th floor restaurant. The $4 million renovation is scheduled for completion this summer, with a grand opening July 11.
The new guestrooms will feature luxury amenities, including flat panel TVs, oversized desks, feather pillows and 600-thread-count linens.
The remodeled lobby will provide access to an outdoor terrace and pool lounge with fire pits and cabanas. Los Angeles designer Gulla Jonsdottir oversaw the décor, incorporating petrified wood and other organic materials.
The hotel’s scenic, top floor restaurant — originally slated for relocation to the ground floor — will reopen in place as Cusp Dining & Drinks, with an additional 1,000 square feet for meetings and special events.
The 100-seat eatery, formerly Elario’s, Clay’s and The Grill at Hotel La Jolla, will offer coastal Mediterranean cuisine by Executive Chef Donald Lockhart, focusing on sharable plates. Menu standouts include Fried Honey and Sriracha Pork Belly, Pepperoni Rolls with Spicy Marinara and Charred Octopus Panzanella.
‘Field of Dreams’
The Gillispie School on Girard Avenue has purchased three adjacent residential units at 7430-7434 Girard Ave. for $1.23 million.
Pending city approval, the school hopes to move the existing faculty parking lot off Girard to a portion of the new property, transforming the current lot into what administrators envision as a “high-end, turf-covered field of dreams” for youth sports.
“We want green space, whether it’s there or off campus,” head of school Alison Fleming said.
More dining options
• Amici’s East Coast Pizzeria chain opened its first Southern California location recently at 811 Prospect St. in La Jolla.
Known for pizza prepared in open-flame, 700-degree ovens, Amici’s serves East Coast-style, thin-crust pizza, as well as pastas and salads in a casual atmosphere.
Amici’s partners Peter Cooperstein and Mike Forter opened their first restaurant in 1987, and now operate 12 Amici’s locations in the San Francisco Bay area.
• Bella Roma Italian restaurant has reopened at 5737 La Jolla Blvd. in Bird Rock, offering pizza, salads and calzones for lunch and dinner, with an open mic night 8-11:30 p.m. on Fridays.
• Bardot Bars is set to open June 20 at 1025 Prospect St. with sweet, cool treats for the summer and year-round.
The luxury ice cream bar shop, which brands its product as “love on a stick,” offers traditional to classic flavors in packages that keep the bars cold for up to eight hours without refrigeration.
Flavors include “Ebony and Ivory,” featuring mascarpone cheese and dulce de leche, “Inner Peace,” a combination of raspberry and green tea, and “Twinkle Twinkle” with cotton candy.
• The long-awaited opening of Herringbone, the latest fabric-inspired title from restaurant visionaries Brian Malarkey and James Brennan, will have its grand opening on May 31. A soft opening was scheduled earlier this week for the $2.5 million eatery, which is situated on the site of a former Oldsmobile dealership and includes live olive trees in its interior dining area.
• Mother and son business partners Mari Ramirez and Andre Rene Briones have opened James Grant new and vintage men’s clothing boutique at 7527 La Jolla Blvd.
“I’m a big fan of James Dean and Cary Grant so I put the two names together,” said Briones, 23, of Bankers Hill. “James Dean is the western/work-wear/creative side of the store’s aesthetic and Cary Grant represents our more refined and buttoned-up apparel.
“I think there’s a really good art scene popping up in La Jolla. It just felt right (for my business).”
• Y-3 has signed a five-year lease for 1,500 square feet at 7852 Girard Ave. The store will feature men’s and women’s apparel, from footwear to accessories. The store, a partnership between Adidas and Japanese fashion designer Yohji Yamamoto, is set to open this summer.
• In addition, Vans and Deko Floral opened in the Westfield UTC mall as part of its ongoing $180 million renovation. Ben Bridge Jeweler will open there in the summer and The Art of Shaving will open in the fall.
- Herschel building seals the deal for newest Malarkey venture
- Kudos to La Jolla’s D.G. Wills Books
- Gillispie School kindergarteners adopt Aussie koalas
- Teachers, parents stand side by side for Gillispie International Day
- Crowds turn out for opening of La Jolla Sprinkles shop
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