La Jolla Business Roundup: Cormorant Hotel, Rosemonts Cafe among a long line of openings and soon-to-be open

The 26-room Cormorant Hotel is at 1110 Prospect St. on the former site of the La Jolla Inn.
(Courtesy of Oceanic Enterprises)

Along with ushering in May flowers, April brought a variety of new businesses to the La Jolla area, with more on the horizon. Here’s a look at newly opened offerings and what is planned to open soon.

Cormorant Hotel

After three years of construction and multiple delays, the Cormorant Hotel is now open following a ribbon cutting April 29.

Replacing the La Jolla Inn at 1110 Prospect St., the 26-room boutique hotel is more modern than its predecessor, with an “old meets new” art deco-inspired aesthetic, larger rooms and suites, a larger lobby and a rooftop dining area called Birdseye. The rooftop area, which is open to the public, offers small bites, craft cocktails and views of the ocean. The hotel also has an adjoining market to sell wine, beer, snacks and beach supplies.

The ribbon is cut for the Cormorant Hotel on Prospect Street on April 29.
(Elisabeth Frausto)

Because the rooms are smaller than standard hotel rooms — and to create the aesthetic that management was looking for — all the fixtures are custom-made.

At the ribbon cutting, owner and developer Manoj Chawla said construction took a long time but “we realized it’s our one and only opportunity to do this right, and that’s what we did.”

Learn more at

Rosemonts Cafe

Rosemonts Cafe opened April 30, serving pastries, small breakfast items, sandwiches and charcuterie boards at 6830 La Jolla Blvd.

Owner Abby Cleary said she wanted to open in the Windansea neighborhood because it “has great options for food, drinks and groceries, but what it doesn’t have is a coffee shop.”

The cafe will “bring life in the neighborhood for those early-risers,” she said. “The menu also provides the perfect takeaway options for a picnic at Windansea.”

She said she loves the walkability of La Jolla and hasn’t owned a car in 10 years.

“I’ve lived in many other countries and states and have never felt such a close sense of community as I have since moving to La Jolla four years ago,” Cleary said. “Since my first day even getting in this space, I can’t tell you how many neighbors have popped in to see what was opening up here and have offered their help. … I am so excited to open and have Rosemonts be a neighborhood gathering space.”

Learn more at


Spurred by La Jolla-based Realtor Kailey Watson, Safe-Seller launched in mid-April to provide safeguards for sellers during the home showing process. The company installs temporary keyless locks on closets for the homeowner and/or Realtor to safely store personal belongings.

“We transition exiting closets into safeguarded spaces to prevent theft for the whole time the house is on the market,” Watson said. “You are not purchasing the lock forever; this is just for the home selling process. We have different locks with different finishes so it looks nice as part of the house. And we reinstall your existing finish when you’re done.”

She said she and her mother came up with the idea while selling their family home and realized the need to keep personal items out of reach. But they realized a lock with a key can be broken into and Wi-Fi-based keyless pads are subject to hacking.

With Safe-Seller, “the lock is a touchpad with multiple codes,” Watson said. “The seller has a code, the agent has a code.”

This sketch of Windansea Beach is one of the images in La Jolla artist Scott West's clothing line.
(Courtesy of Scott West)

Combining his love of surf culture with his love of art, La Jolla resident Scott West launched a clothing line last month featuring sketches of La Jolla’s signature surfing spots.

As a complement to his Scott West Galleries, launched in mid-April to sell sweatshirts, T-shirts, coffee mugs and pint glasses bearing West’s images.

“I think so many people, even those that don’t surf, love the lifestyle,” he said. “Especially here in La Jolla.”

West said his favorite hangouts when he first moved to La Jolla included The Cove and Windansea. “I loved watching the waves break,” he said. “I started taking a pen and paper and doing drawings.”

West said he put an image on a sweatshirt and his friends and family wanted one, then their friends and families, which prompted him to create a line.

Looking to feature “the soul and essence” of local surf spots, his apparel line includes drawings of Windansea Beach, Black’s Beach and more.


The flip-flip shop Havaianas opened in April on Prospect Street.
(Courtesy of Brandon Lindley)

Offering locals and tourists “the original flip-flop,” Havaianas had a soft opening April 2 at 1049 Prospect St., with a larger opening planned in coming weeks.

“It is the original flip-flop and has been made in Brazil since 1962,” said owner Brandon Lindley. “It’s a tribute to the Hawaiian lifestyle and culture of the ‘50s and ‘60s. You could have a piece of Hawaii on your feet wherever you go.”

“When you go on vacation or ... somewhere that will give you a break, you need something that puts you in ‘time-off mode,’” Lindley added. “It’s simple, bright, colorful and fun, and they can be customized. It’s an essential for the beach, the pool or around the house, and they’re made of rubber, so they last a long time.”

Learn more at

Showa Ramen

Showa Hospitality, the San Diego restaurant group behind La Jolla’s Taco Stand and Himitsu, has opened Showa Ramen in the North Torrey Pines Living and Learning Neighborhood at UC San Diego in La Jolla.

The new location serves three varieties of ramen, as well as gyoza and chashu bowls.

To learn more, visit — The San Diego Union-Tribune

Coming soon

Sandpiper SD

La Jolla Shores is scheduled to have a new restaurant in coming weeks in the former Galaxy Taco space — as soon it is staffed. The oyster bar and grill, to be named Sandpiper SD, will be a sister restaurant of George’s at the Cove led by chef/owner Trey Foshee in collaboration with chef Christine Rivera and General Manager Evan Vallee at 2259 Avenida de la Playa.

“Our menu features a variety of fun, shareable items from a custom-designed wood-fired grill and oyster bar, along with desserts from George’s at the Cove pastry chef Aly Lyng,” Foshee said. “We’ve thoughtfully crafted our wine and full bar offering to focus on the classics.”

However, he said staffing issues still pose a challenge, and management is hoping to open at the end of May. Those interested in working at Sandpiper can email

Galaxy Taco, owned by the same restaurant group, closed in October, citing rising labor and product costs.


In the space formerly occupied by Subway on Girard Avenue, a Dunkin’ franchise (formerly known as Dunkin’ Donuts) is set to open in July.

The location will have “a European influence, as it will have more of a modern cafe-style design concept,” said franchisee Tali Burton. “All of the same Dunkin’ products will be offered, and the store will have ordering kiosks, digital menu boards and the tap system similar to other ‘NextGen’ stores.”

Burton said “Dunkin’ anticipates the store to be a popular location and a great addition to the current lineup of San Diego Dunkin’ stores that will cater to several surrounding beach communities as well.”

La Jolla was chosen because “many people love to visit and reside [there],” Burton said. “It offers a nice mix of restaurants, shopping and activities to explore.”

Learn more at

Other news

Amazon at UTC

Online retail and technology juggernaut Amazon is taking up residence at The Collection at UTC with a 123,000-square-foot lease of office space.

The lease includes new space on the second and third floors of two buildings at the east end of the Westfield UTC mall at 4575 La Jolla Village Drive.

The Collection at UTC is the Phase 1 reimagining of the former Sears parcel. The development, which opened in October, is a 226,200-square-foot mixed-use center with a three-story north building and a two-story south building, separated by an open-air corridor. — The San Diego Union-Tribune

UCSD gastrointestinal clinic

UC San Diego Health has opened a multidisciplinary clinic for patients with gastrointestinal and digestive diseases at 4303 La Jolla Village Drive in Westfield UTC.

The approximately 11,000-square-foot clinic is the first of its kind in San Diego County to offer advanced care by a wide range of specialists under one roof for patients with health issues in the upper and lower digestive tract, including the esophagus, stomach, intestines and colon.

Learn more at

South 8 Technologies

UC San Diego spinout South 8 Technologies, which has developed a way to boost voltage and improve safety in lithium batteries, recently announced that it has raised $12 million in a first round of venture capital funding.

The 15-employee company will use the money to get more prototype cells with its Liquefied Gas Electrolyte — or LiGas — technology into the hands of outfits working on electric vehicles, all-weather grid storage, aerospace and defense products and renewable energy.

South 8 sprang out of a university research project to improve lithium battery performance in extremely low temperatures. The method scientists discovered, however, works across all temperatures and could enable higher-voltage cells, as well as avoid thermal runaway, reduce costs and encourage recycling, according to the company.


La Jolla-based software company CMX recently announced the appointment of Bert Clement as chief executive, succeeding company founder Mitch Porche in the role.

Porche will now serve as chief strategy officer, a new position, with responsibility for product innovation and long-term vision. CMX also announced that Chief Operating Officer James Gunn-Wilkinson has been promoted to president and COO.

Clement has more than 25 years of leadership experience in public and private companies. ◆