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La Jolla Business Roundup: Galaxy Taco closes, new gallery and eating spots open

Artemis Fine Art Gallery on Prospect Street showcases artists who support conservation efforts.
(Courtesy of Artemis Fine Art Gallery)

Enterprises are coming, going or moving in La Jolla. Here’s a look at some of the latest business news in town.

With a mission to support artists and worldwide conservation efforts, Artemis Fine Art Gallery opened in July at 1152 Prospect St. The gallery provides a space for painters, photographers, sculptors and glass artists who support conservation efforts, with a percentage of sales set aside for donations.

Co-owner and curator Tammy Tillack once worked for the National Geographic Fine Art Gallery in La Jolla and said she was inspired by the artists who showed there.

“We are the safe keepers of this planet for the next generation, so we need to protect it,” she said.

For a lot of the artists, “conservation is a personal mission, so whenever a piece of art sells, a portion goes toward those efforts, and it’s up to the artists which ones,” Tillack said.

Past conservation efforts that have benefited include Oceana, Surfrider Foundation, Great Plains Foundation, Project Ranger and others.

“These artists focus on nature, so when you come into the gallery, it’s nature,” Tillack said. “We have paintings and photographs of the ocean, trees and animals. It’s such a nice place to go to work.”

Artemis Fine Art Gallery is open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and noon to 5 p.m. Sundays. Learn more at artemisfineartgallery.com.

Galaxy Taco

After 6½ years on Avenida de la Playa in La Jolla Shores, Galaxy Taco closed its doors for good Oct. 27. But a new, yet-to-be-determined restaurant concept will open next year in its place.

Galaxy Taco owner and chef Trey Foshee told the La Jolla Light that the closure was prompted by rising labor and product costs. “We can’t raise the prices on our menu [to accommodate for labor costs] to the point that they don’t make sense,” he said. “Rather than fight the losing battle, we decided to shut it down. That same concept in a different location might work, but in a beach community that is pretty casual, there is a price people want to pay and we can’t charge that” and make a profit.

Foshee said he was “sad to have to close it” after outlasting other contemporary Mexican restaurants in town and surviving the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. “I’ve always been proud of what we’ve done there. We’ve always stood behind the food and did what we wanted to do.”

He said his team will meet to decide the next concept and that no plans could be disclosed yet. The intent is to open in the spring, he said.

Other business news

A poke-ceviche combo from Pacific Catch, which has opened at the Westfield UTC mall.
(Ashley Mackin-Solomon)

Pacific Catch opened its first Southern California location Oct. 18 at the Westfield UTC shopping complex at 4575 La Jolla Village Drive.

With sustainable seafood offerings, the menu includes pupu platters, sushi tacos, a make-your-own combo plate of poke and ceviche choices, Pacific Rim-inspired meat options and more.

Lark & Owl opened over the summer at 5604 La Jolla Blvd. in Bird Rock, specializing in pizzas, smoothies, acai bowls, sandwiches and salads.

Lark & Owl operates out of a small kiosk next to Starbucks, with tables and chairs fronting the space. Learn more at (858) 886-7028.

• La Jolla-based Avant Services, which provides commercial building services, was hit with a $10,000 citation from the California labor commissioner’s office last week for failing to register with the state, a requirement that helps ensure workers receive sexual harassment and violence prevention training, according to advocates.

Additionally, five companies that employed Avant Services were fined $2,000 each for failing to ensure the company was registered.

Avant Services ownership could not be reached for comment.

The Property Service Workers Protection Act, passed in 2016, requires companies that provide janitorial services to register with the state’s Division of Labor Standards Enforcement and meet conditions such as providing sexual harassment prevention training. — The San Diego Union-Tribune and La Jolla Light

Events.com is moving into a space on Prospect Street once occupied by a series of restaurants.

The website offers support to event organizers through event management software, sales and check-in assistance, promotional tools and more. It currently operates at an office on Fay Avenue.

The new space at 811 Prospect St. has been home to Amici’s Pizza, StreetCar Merchants, Parachute Brunch & Supper House and MVP restaurant since 2015. ◆