La Jolla Business Roundup: Pizza place, barre studio and gallery open; more on the way
A bounty of businesses from Bird Rock to The Shores are opening in La Jolla, even in the midst of the global pandemic.
American Pizza Mfg.
7402 La Jolla Blvd.
American Pizza Mfg. opened in The Village on July 22, offering professionally assembled pizza to be baked at home.
Menu options are a 12-inch medium and 14-inch large (and even a “cutie pie” child-size pizza made with one topping), ranging from The Deere with vegetables to The Harley with sausage and sage.
“We don’t want to be high-end, just very good-tasting. ... We don’t want to be the Wolfgang Puck of pizza; we want to be approachable to everyone,” owner Andrew Melone said.
When ordering, customers are given the raw pizza on a cardboard round that can be used to transfer the pizza to and from the oven. Each order comes with cooking instructions.
Barre + Bay Wreath
5628 La Jolla Blvd.
Part yoga and barre studio, part lifestyle market, Barre + Bay Wreath opened in Bird Rock in April. The studio offers limited outdoor classes in accord with San Diego County COVID-19 restrictions, with the retail space open for shopping.
“There are so many barre styles, but for me … the realness of barre is it’s about isometric movements, almost like physical therapy on steroids,” said owner Erika Gray. “It about working your core while getting sculpted, toned and lean.”
The store frontage is a “wellness-based lifestyle market” with Wildflower San Diego as the in-house florist. It also offers athleisure wear, candles, books, items for children, home decor and more.
2218 Avenida de la Playa
In partnership with the La Jolla Art Association, Perry Gallery opened in La Jolla Shores on Aug. 20. The gallery has small rooms dedicated to different artists and themes, with one room dedicated to the works of La Jolla Art Association artists.
“We did that because the gallery is designed to support local artists and the people that live here to be able to collect and show art that comes from La Jolla artists,” said co-owner Andrew Perry. “But on top of that, we also show art from established artists.”
Currently, 10 artists’ works are on display in a coastal landscape room, a florals room, an animals room and a large-scale room with wall-size pieces, among others. Exhibitions will rotate about every 60 days, and artists often can be found out front painting.
The gallery is seeking new artists to showcase their work. The gallery doesn’t charge for that, but takes a commission when a piece is sold.
At Westfield UTC
Three new culinary tenants have opened in the past month at Westfield UTC mall near La Jolla at 4545 La Jolla Village Drive.
Three more businesses are slated to open in coming weeks: an Avocado Green Mattress store, the Almost Nakey headquarters and collaboration space, and Poppy Bank.
Avocado Green Mattress
7646 Girard Ave.
Specializing in all-natural and organic eco-conscious mattresses, Avocado is slated to open its La Jolla location Labor Day weekend.
Vice President of Business Development Kris Karuna said the company uses a farm-to-factory model, working with farms that grow the trees from which the company extracts natural rubber and with those who grow cotton for the cloth covering.
The Avocado mattress was ranked No. 1 in 2020 by U.S. News & World Report.
1298 Prospect St.
Almost Nakey, a bikini business that started while founder Liv Johnson was a student at The Bishop’s School in La Jolla, will have new headquarters upon its grand opening Sept. 25. The operation will not be a retail shop open to the public but will provide office space for Almost Nakey and collaboration space for local artists and artisans in need of a brick-and-mortar location.
“It is so special to me to be here as a local. In the last few years, we would see businesses we love leaving. We hope to bring a pulse back to this area,” Johnson said. “This can be a space for local businesses to have launch parties or art events.”
Johnson started Almost Nakey as a teenager, making bikinis by hand and selling them at the La Jolla Open Aire Market and out of a van at Windansea Beach. The company has since expanded to sell tank tops and other clothing items and accessories.
7544 Girard Ave.
Santa Rosa-based Poppy Bank is slated to welcome customers in October at a branch inside the Vons supermarket on Girard Avenue.
Poppy Bank Chief Executive Khalid Acheckzai said that since the bank opened in 2005, it has focused on small-business and other commercial loans and facilitated $100 million in Paycheck Protection Program loans during the pandemic.
“We started as a small community bank with one branch and we have grown to $3 billion in assets, but we treat each community in which we have a branch as our community,” Acheckzai said. “We’re very excited to be moving to La Jolla. We look forward to supporting the community in its economic growth, especially with where things are with the challenges of COVID.”
Down the line
In coming months, a new restaurant will open in the former Whisknladle space.
1044 Wall St.
The family behind San Diego-based Puesto Mexican Artisan Kitchen & Bar has signed a lease for the former Whisknladle location in La Jolla, where it plans to open a restaurant called Marisi Italiano in early 2021.
According to media material, diners at Marisi can expect fresh pastas from chef Patrick Money (Cesarina, Cucina Enoteca, Smoking Goat), “who learned from his nonna in northern Italy the same commitment to sourcing local ingredients and quality as seen at Puesto, and housemade everything, including breads, pastas and pastries.”
“Chef Erik Aronow, Puesto’s culinary director, whose resumé includes Republique, Destroyer and Ink, will consult on Marisi’s bread and pastry program,” the company said. ◆
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