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La Jolla Business Roundup: Pizza on Pearl and Whaling Bar preparing for a return to The Village

Pizza on Pearl will reopen in its former location at 617 Pearl St., replacing Mr. Moto Pizza House.
Pizza on Pearl will reopen in its former location at 617 Pearl St., replacing Mr. Moto Pizza House.
(Elisabeth Frausto)

What’s old is new again in La Jolla, with two enterprises in various stages of coming back.

What’s old is new again in La Jolla, with two enterprises in various stages of coming back.

Pizza on Pearl

The Mr. Moto Pizza House at 617 Pearl St. closed abruptly early this month and will reopen as Pizza on Pearl in coming months.

Mr. Moto owner Gibran Fernandez confirmed that the restaurant would reopen as Pizza on Pearl and said the menu will “go back to the way it was,” but he declined to provide additional details or publicly identify the location’s owners.

Pizza on Pearl operated in La Jolla from around 2011 until it became Mr. Moto in 2018. As Pizza on Pearl, it specialized in New York-style thin crust pizza, offering pizzas whole or by the slice.

Mr. Moto’s other San Diego-area locations — such as North Park, Pacific Beach, Little Italy and others — are still open.

The Whaling Bar

After almost a 10-year absence, La Jolla’s Whaling Bar will make its return to the La Valencia Hotel on Prospect Street in its original location (now Cafe La Rue).

La Valencia’s marketing director, Annalise Dewhurst, said the design team is filtering through more than 300 responses from a survey the hotel conducted last year. Thus, a timeline for renovation has not been made available.

The windows of what will be the Whaling Bar in the La Valencia Hotel.
The windows of what will be the Whaling Bar in the La Valencia Hotel are lined with decorative paper reading “Once an icon, always an icon.”
(Elisabeth Frausto)

“The Whaling Bar continues to be a focus for our team, and the survey responses we received from 300-plus past guests proves how excited the community is about the Whaling Bar,” Dewhurst said. “[This year] we’re aiming to finalize a design that celebrates the Whaling Bar’s rich history and story in the current space. Like all businesses and industries, the challenges of the past two years have slowed the project, but we look forward to continuing with the design phase.”

Additional details were unavailable by the La Jolla Light’s press deadline.

The La Valencia opened as an apartment hotel in December 1926. The Whaling Bar opened in the late 1940s and hosted authors, Hollywood personalities and more. The Whaling Bar officially closed Feb. 14, 2013, and became Cafe La Rue later that year. ◆