La Jolla Business Roundup: Local enterprises change offerings, locations, operations for new year

The Corner Specialty Shoppe recently opened at 8070 La Jolla Shores Drive to provide take-home beer and wine, gifts, and more
The Corner Specialty Shoppe recently opened at 8070 La Jolla Shores Drive to provide take-home beer and wine, gifts, and more.
(Ashley Mackin-Solomon)

Change is underway with the start of the new year in La Jolla’s business community. Some have expanded their offerings, moved locations or closed completely.

Corner Specialty Shoppe

As an offshoot to the adjacent Corner Mercantile & Eatery in La Jolla Shores, the Corner Specialty Shoppe recently opened at 8070 La Jolla Shores Drive to provide take-home beer and wine, gifts and jewelry, and soon will feature specialty desserts and caviar.

Because the Specialty Shop once housed La Jolla Postal and Shipping, the mailboxes are still onsite and usable for mail receiving.

Further, Corner Mercantile at 8080 La Jolla Shores Drive expanded its food offerings to include sushi made in-house, crab cakes and salmon cakes, bread, salads, sandwiches, meat and cheese plates, grab-and-go snacks, and more. Corner Mercantile owner Lisa Kennedy also moved tables to the sidewalk so patrons have a place to eat on site, and so Corner Mercantile can host wine tastings, pop-up dinners and private parties.

The Corner Mercantile still packs its shelves with snacks, pantry necessities, refrigerated goods and specialty items for at-home or beach consumption. Most of the items in the store come from customer requests.

“We’re entering the time of year in which locals like to stay in town,” Kennedy said, “And we want them to know there is a place to come … that is an extension of your living room or kitchen.”

Learn more at

Birdie Day Spa

Birdie Day Spa owner Birdie Soontorncharoen will move her operation across Fay Avenue in January.
(Provided by Birdie Soontorncharoen)

After 17 years at the same Fay Avenue location, Birdie Day Spa is moving to a smaller location — but still on Fay. As of Wednesday, Jan. 4, the new address is 7744 Fay Ave., No. 104.

Owner Birdie Soontorncharoen said services and individualized care would remain the same. The spa specializes in facials and facial massages, treatments for anti-aging and sensitive skin, body wraps and massages, and other skincare offerings such as waxing and makeup application.

“I want to create a very relaxing experience,” she said. “And I only work with one client at a time. I have local clients and a lot of people that are seasonal clients that come during the summer. Before I established this place, I had clients at another practice that followed me. Some of them are generations within the same family, and I’m so grateful to them.”

Learn more at or (858) 459-4965.

Pilates Movement

A new studio called Pilates Movement is opening Monday, Jan. 2, at 7843 Girard Ave. A grand opening event is planned for later this month, according to owner Cameron Kotch.

To learn more, call (760) 815-9391 or visit

Pharmaca pharmacy

Following a merger with digital pharmacy company Medly — which later filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy — some have questions about the future of La Jolla’s Pharmaca pharmacy.

In June 2021, Medly — which is touted as “a full-service, digital pharmacy that offers free prescription delivery for all types of medications” — announced it had acquired the 28 stores in the Pharmaca pharmacy chain, including the La Jolla store at 7650 Girard Ave. Soon after, Pharmaca was remodeled and management said the merger would add “modern-day wellness offerings such as free, same-day prescription delivery and an easy-to-use mobile app.”

But late last year, Medly laid off more than 1,000 employees nationwide and announced it had filed for bankruptcy. While one Pharmaca La Jolla employee said the in-store offerings have been uninterrupted thus far and the store would remain as is, representatives from Medly did not return La Jolla Light’s request for comment by deadline as to whether any changes are coming to the local branch.

Learn more about Pharmaca services at

Karina’s Cantina closes

The space on Torrey Pines Road that once housed Karina's Cantina and Starbucks coffee shop
This space on Torrey Pines Road housed Karina’s Cantina and Starbucks coffee shop before they both closed in recent months.
(Elisabeth Frausto)

After multiple attempts to expand and revise its offerings, Karina’s Cantina has quietly closed its La Jolla location at 1055 Torrey Pines Road. A reason for the closure was not given.

Karina’s Cantina is part of the Karina’s Group that features nine other restaurants across San Diego, one of which is Saffron Thai. Saffron Thai opened at the Torrey Pines Road location in 2018. The next year, management announced it wanted to expand Saffron Thai to provide a “dual-concept menu” that would include Karina’s Cantina offerings. Soon after, Saffron Thai closed, and the location reopened as Karina’s Cantina only in November 2020.

The closure comes just three months after the adjacent Starbucks coffee shop also closed.

Westfield UTC

Outside the Village and Shores shopping areas, the Westfield UTC shopping center at 4545 La Jolla Village Drive will house at least two new offerings.

Lady M

Known worldwide for its “Mille Crepes” cakes, Lady M bakery recently opened a location within Westfield UTC. According to Lady M, the Mille Crepes are “an unforgettable cake coupling layers upon layers of soft cream and lacy French crepes,” with each cake featuring at least 20 layers.

Created in 2001 and led by chief executive Ken Romaniszyn, Lady M’s recipes have been refined over the years to provide the finest quality in taste and appearance, according to press material.

As to why La Jolla was chosen for a location, Romaniszyn told La Jolla Light, “I grew up in Orange County, so Southern California has always been home for me. With the amount of support we have received from our Lady M Irvine location, we knew that there was a demand for Lady M in San Diego and we are thrilled to see it come to life.”

Hours are 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. Learn more at

A Lady M tiramisu cake, complete with its signature layers of cream and French crepes
(Provided by Lady M)

P.volve fitness

In the coming weeks, a new fitness studio known as P.volve will open in Westfield UTC. P.volve classes, according to press material, feature low-impact moves that “sculpts, tones and strengthens your body in a sustainable and safe way using science-backed movements.”

With a name shorthand for “personal evolution,” P.volve’s 3,100 square foot studio offers 55-minute classes including strength & sculpt, cardio burn and sculpt & burn.

Kirstin Keohane, owner and manager of the San Diego studio, said La Jolla was chosen for a location because, “with San Diego being one of P.volve’s top 20 digital markets and a location with great foot traffic and co-tenants, [a La Jolla location] was a no-brainer to bring P.volve’s proven method to a greater audience.”

Learn more at ◆