New businesses ready spaces in the Village, including the long-vacant site of Jack’s La Jolla restaurant
By Pat Sherman and Ashley Mackin
Though La Jolla bid adieu to the upscale Hotel Parisi this month, many more businesses are entering the Village to fill the void left by the former Prospect Street hotelier.
Across the street, La Valencia Hotel has finished room renovations and is preparing for the expanded reopening of the new Café La Rue in late August or early September. It will include sidewalk seating along Prospect Street and a glass-covered arbor in the front patio area, to accommodate Café La Rue guests.
Managing director Mark Dibella said La Valencia’s new “lighter, brighter, more accessible” front entry, including new columns, should be complete July 1.
Phil Wise, a senior vice- president with Colliers International real estate, noted that Shiku Sushi also opened this month in La Jolla Plaza (1271-1277 Prospect St. between Ivanhoe Avenue and Roslyn Lane). Four of the spaces in La Jolla Plaza have been vacant since last year when Nicole Miller, an art gallery and Italian handbag company closed. Of the four spaces, 900 square feet of restaurant space is available, including a 450-square-foot patio.
“Prospect Street has long been home to the most coveted retail sites in the jewel box of La Jolla,” Wise said, though noting that in recent years businesses entering the Village such as Puesto, Wisknladle, Brooks Brothers and Seaside Home chose to open near the intersection of Wall Street and Herschel Avenue, where there were more vacancies and more moderate rents.
“Although the marketplace shifted away from the coast for a brief period, life is now back and very much alive along Prospect Street,” Wise said. He pointed to recent restaurant openings such as Amaya La Jolla and Eddie V’s, as well as this year’s opening of the new La Jolla Village Information Center and a current remodel of the former Top of the Cove site, which the owner plans to lease to a high-end restaurant tenant, along the lines of the Chart House.
“For many years these sites were black holes on the street,” Wise said. “Fortunately, all is now right on Prospect.”
Black hole to chic bazaar
The business community is abuzz with news that the Village’s largest retail void, the three-story building at the corner of Wall Street and Girard Avenue (formerly housing Jack’s La Jolla restaurant) will soon undergo a high-end renovation. The building at 7863 Girard Ave. has sat almost completely vacant since Jack’s closed suddenly in July 2009, victim to a down economy and employee embezzlement scandal.
The new owners, Davlyn Investments, purchased the building recently via an online auction. Though they have thus far been mum on details about the remodel, the La Jolla Village Merchants Association has said plans call for a bazaar-style development with high-end retailers and specialty stores. Renovations are expected to begin next month, with a target opening in early 2014.
One confirmed tenant is Lissilaa Boutique, which will relocate to the space from its current location at 1250 Prospect St., near George’s at the Cove.
Longtime boutique owner Jalila Lissilaa told the La Jolla Light she helped the new owner (one of her clients) design the space, which she said will feature a Turkish bath-style spa on the lower level, a showpiece clock and central piano for public entertainment.
Lissilaa said the owner is sparing no expense, using the finest glass and stone in the construction of what she promised will be the “crème de la crème” of La Jolla retail.
“He refused to build it cheap,” she said. “We’re going to do something really fabulous for the economy. We’re going to make it like Saint-Tropez, Ibiza — why not? La Jolla women don’t belong in the malls; they want to stay in La Jolla.”
Mike Slattery, with Cassidy Turley La Jolla Property Group, said that if developed correctly, the roughly 30,000-square-foot building (currently home to only Panera Bread bakery) would be a “valuable addition” to the Village.
“You have so much square footage that has a potential to generate foot traffic,” he said. “Hopefully it will be successful.”
Having seen initial design concepts for the project, Slattery said Davlyn Investments plans to make the storefronts along Wall and Girard level with the street. Now, the public must enter by walking up or down stairs.
“A lot of people resist going up and down stairs — unless you have a major draw,” Slattery said. “You’ve got to have some traffic flow into that.”
Other grand openings
On Girard Avenue
■ Sur La Table, Inc., a cutting-edge culinary shop, has signed a 10-year, $2,079,974 lease for 6,720 square feet of retail space at 7643 Girard Ave.
Slattery of Cassidy Turley said, “The location on Girard Avenue is in the heart of the Village of La Jolla’s upscale shopping district and will be a popular spot for residents and tourists who enjoy creating fine food.”
The store will also offer the renowned Sur La Table Cooking Class Program, one of the largest vocational cooking programs in the country.
■ Opening next door to Sur La Table is Phenix Salon Suites, which signed a 10- year, $1,881,600 lease for 6,400 square feet of retail space at 7655 Girard Ave., Suite C.
The company, which has 35 locations across the country, offers private salon suites for independent hair stylists, masseurs and aestheticians, said Slattery, who handled the lease for Cassidy Turley.
Located in a portion of the now defunct I. Magnin & Co. department store building, Phenix Salon Suites is scheduled to open in early September.
■ ProRituals Salon and Academy celebrated its opening with an event May 16. Located at 7443 Girard Ave., the salon offers eco- friendly styling.
■ Nosh Delicatessen La Jolla, a second location to the Nosh Delicatessen in Encinitas, is in the final stages of development and should be open in the coming weeks. The new location is 7734 Girard Ave. (formerly Tabu Sushi).
■ Following a 20-year hiatus from the Village, Diane’s Beachwear is returning and will occupy 2,000 square feet of retail space at 7920 Herschel Ave. (it was formerly located on Girard Avenue).
Co-owner Diane Biggs said that after expanding into five different states in the late ’90s, the retailer is reorganizing its business model, seeking select, “A-plus” sites, such as existing locations in Del Mar Heights and UTC. Biggs said she hopes to be open by July 4.
■ Opening adjacent Diane’s Beachwear at 7940 Herschel will be Champignons (C Lifestyle) home accessory- gift store and interior design services. The family-owned company also maintains a location in Vietnam.
■ Fitwall studio was scheduled to open last weekend at 7710 Fay Ave. Its training focuses on the activation of muscles, balance of the body, caloric burn and decompression of the spine, enabling customers to build strength, enhance flexibility and get a cardiovascular workout in less than 40 minutes.
■ La Jolla Cosmetic Laser Clinic will relocate from 1111 Torrey Pines Road to 7720-7728 Fay Ave., once an ongoing remodel of the 7,000-square-foot building is complete in October. The building was formerly home to multiple tenants, including C&H Photo, now located at 7442 Girard Ave. The exterior should be finished and enclosed in two months, Island Architects said.
La Jolla Cosmetic purchased the building for $3.2 million, according to the San Diego Daily Transcript.
■ The La Jolla Brewing Company is set to open this summer at 7536 Fay Ave., replacing the La Jolla Brew House.
In addition to showcasing San Diego beers, LJBC will brew a few of their own. Starting with a core of an India Pale Ale (IPA), a brown ale, a stout and a pale ale, head brewer Brett Stampf said he hopes to build from there, adding two or three unique creations, all brewed on site.
Stampf has two decades of brewing experience in several states, most notably Dogfish Head brewing company in Delaware, as well as Green Flash Brewing in San Diego and Stone Brewing Co. in Escondido.
Stampf said in developing beers for LJBC, he would pull influences from the places he has worked, and would be available to answer questions from guests whenever possible.
Having the brewers, bartenders and owners available to guests is part of their hope to become a neighborhood establishment. They also plan to make the rear dining room available for beer events, for use by brewers that don’t have tasting rooms of their own, and parties and private events.
Joking that Stampf is not a beer snob, but a beer enthusiast, co-owner Phil Aitken said one goal is to raise customers’ beer IQs. To do so, they plan to hire other beer enthusiasts to work there.
“We’re going to make sure the staff gets a ‘Beer 101’ and knows about beer in general, but specifically ours,” Stampf said. “Hopefully we’ll hire beer geeks.”
Another goal in designing the place is “to make good beer and have it be a place we would want to go.” That, Aitken said, is what will give LJBC staying power.
Design space shift: Spencer & Company Interiors downsized its showroom at 1010 Torrey Pines Rd. by half, freeing up an additional rental space in that block.
Spender & Company Interiors’ owner-ASID designer Renee Alison said she didn’t require as much floor space to display furnishings, because many clients place orders based on what works for their living space, and not on display furnishings. The business has been in the Village more than three years, and features high-end furniture and custom upholstery work.
Silent (but not for long): The space at the corner of Girard Avenue and Torrey Pines Road formerly occupied by Beyond Tech speaker and electronics store will reopen in the near future as a California Closets. Check the Light for details as they emerge.
Cafe refresh: The La Jolla Shores Starbucks at 2206 Torrey Pines Road was scheduled to reopen last week after being closed for a remodel.
- Commercial real estate vacancies up slightly in 2012
- Hotel Parisi in La Jolla closes doors after 14 years
- Task force buys more time in effort to delay La Jolla post office sale
- Hotel remodel and new retail shops lead changes underfoot in La Jolla
- Viscuso kills plans for Mike’s La Jolla nightclub
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