New Business Roundup: Coming to La Jolla in November include Cat Lounge, Lash Theory Studio, Community Psychiatry, Black River Caviar


The following businesses have contacted La Jolla Light to announce their openings.

Pop-up store with games and “La Jolla” items

After operating her business distributing City- and themed- “Monopoly” and “Clue” games for more than two decades, La Jolla resident Shawn Chapin has opened her first pop-up stand a few weeks ago to offer specialty board games, specialty water bottles, stickers that read “La Jolla” with proceeds that go toward ocean clean-ups and more. It is a kiosk located on the corner of Herschel Avenue and Prospect Street.

“I’m licensed by Hasbro to produce these games, and I started 25 years ago with La Jolla-opoly,” she said. “Now we have ‘Game of Thrones’ and ‘It’ Monopoly games that are really popular. I decided to open a pop-up because I live in La Jolla and thought this was a great location, and everyone loves games. There is nothing like this in town, so we’re excited to roll the dice!”

Cat Lounge

You won’t find a cuter group of greeters than at the grand opening of a part cat café/part adoption center in the Cat Lounge, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday Nov. 2, at 1006 Torrey Pines Road. Throughout the day, cats and kittens up for adoption will be out and about. The Cat Lounge looks to reimagine the shelter experience.

“We are a non-profit and we rescue cats from shelters in other counties where the kill rate is high,” explained owner Renee Shamloo. “We rescue them the day they’re supposed to be euthanized. At the Cat Lounge, the public can come socialize with them before they — ideally — take them home. You get to go to this fun living room-type place to hang out with cats, and if you happen to connect with one, you can take it home.”

The idea emerged from the popularity of “cat cafés,” at which guests pay an admission fee to play with cats. “We ask for a $20 donation to hang out, and we have snacks and food. There is no pressure to adopt, we just like the idea of kitty therapy,” Shamloo said. “I’m a firm believer that animals have positive energy and bring so much comfort, you can watch them for hours and forget whatever else you have going on.”

Should a guest decide to adopt a cat, the $100 adoption fee ($200 for kittens) covers spay/neuter services, microchipping and vaccines, and proceeds go into medical care for future cats.

As to how Shamloo came to locate in La Jolla, she said: “I’d been looking all over San Diego for the right spot, but didn’t think I could afford La Jolla as a non-profit. But I found the current location and the owners are philanthropists, and the owner was actually at a cat café when I applied for the space! The rate was do-able because they believe in the mission. And in the course of construction, people looked in and wanted to know what was going on. People are kind and that’s the environment we wanted.”

Following its grand opening, the Cat Lounge will be open 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday-Tuesday. Appointments are not required. Admission to the lounge is $10 during the grand opening. Learn more at

Lash Theory Studio

A grand opening party for Lash Theory studio is slated for 4-7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 7 at the 5726 La Jolla Blvd. Run by clinical-scientist-turned-lash-artist Kai Bella, Lash Theory offers eyelash extensions (used to enhance the length and volume of natural eyelashes) and eyelash lifts, similar services for those who do not have enough natural lashes for an extension.

“I’m a scientist by trade, but 10 years ago, I found my way to the beauty industry by curiosity, and then I fell in love with it,” Bella told the Light. “Lashing requires chemistry, which interests me. But in developing the business, I found there was misinformation about the lash industry, such as extensions damage lashes, cause infection, etc. What makes us unique is that I educate my clients from the start about what to expect.”

She said the first 15-20 minutes of each session are spent discussing how the process works: “Lash extensions are something that make your morning routine easier, but there are limitations. So I’m not afraid to say no if someone is not a good candidate.”

After living in the Cayman Islands, and with an Encinitas-native husband, Bella said when it came to moving to the San Diego area to open Lash Theory, being beach-side was a requirement. “We were sitting at Windansea and just fell in love with it,” she said. “We decided to explore the area and moved to Bird Rock. It had the small-community feel we wanted, so having a business here was a no-brainer.”

Services start from $75 for a lift, up to the “Mega Volume Eyelash Extensions” package at $375. Hours are by appointment only, generally Tuesday-Saturday. Lash Theory is at 5726 La Jolla Blvd., Suite 108. (858) 250-0275.

Community Psychiatry

Scheduled to open in mid- to late-November, Community Psychiatry seeks to improve access to mental health services by providing doctors and nurse practitioners where they are needed, and accepting more insurance providers than most other psychiatric facilities. With offices across California, the new La Jolla branch will be located at The Campus on Villa La Jolla, 8950 Villa La Jolla Drive, Suite C217.

“It brings better mental health services closer than people think,” said Julie Norris, Community Psychiatry director of marketing and communications. “And a little bit of mental health service and treatment goes a long way. It gives people the ability to take care of their minds, and have a holistic, healthy way of living. We believe if people had more access to mental health services, they would be less afraid to talk, reap the benefits and reduce the stigma surrounding mental health.”

Community Psychiatry has 40 offices and 125 professionals across California, and telemedicine for people who cannot easily access an office. (858) 638-8125.

Saffron Thai and More

Saffron Thai restaurant, 1055 Torrey Pines Road, is looking to partner with Karina’s Mexican Seafood, to mirror its Little Italy location by adding Karina’s ceviche and tacos to the menu. In a presentation Oct. 14 to the La Jolla Planned District Ordinance committee (for approval to create a new sign that includes Karina’s) spokesperson Lorena Whiteside said: “We’re looking to do a dual-concept inside Saffron Thai to expand the menu,” and hopefully, the items will debut sometime in November.

Black River Caviar

La Jolla Gourmet Meats, 7660 Fay Ave., Suite C, will now be the only brick-and-mortar to carry Black River Caviar, the first producer of sustainably produced, premium Russian Oscietra Caviar in the southern hemisphere.

“I live in The Village, and I purchase all my meat from La Jolla Gourmet Meats’ owner Jeff Lefstein,” said Rick Edward Richards, Black River Caviar director of sales and marketing. “I brought in a sample, and (Jeff) said he had some requests for caviar, but didn’t know where to get it. Meat and caviar are not necessarily compatible, but he’s gourmet and so are we, so it’s a good match.”

Live Source

The new Live Source fundraising mobile app, launched by La Jolla High School graduate Scott Levin with offices in Scripps Ranch, brands itself as an “in-the-moment marketplace.” The app provides opportunities to purchase collectibles, memorabilia and experiences in an auction-type format on smartphones, and is often used at sporting events as a fundraiser, or as a replacement for a silent auction at galas. “We have partners who use it to sell things like fan experiences and products — think game-worn jerseys — while the game is going on. The fans can bid and buy in real time,” Levin explained. Learn more at