La Jolla News Nuggets: Ex-Jack in the Box; restaurant grant; photography winner; more

The former Jack in the Box at 564 Pearl St. in La Jolla is pictured in 2021 before fencing went up around the property.
(Ashley Mackin-Solomon)

News and events briefs


Bishop’s School still seeking tenant for former Jack in the Box

Nearly a year after plans to rent out a former Jack in the Box property in La Jolla fell through, the building remains vacant, with no tenant in sight.

The Bishop’s School completed the purchase of the property at 564 Pearl St. for $5.5 million in September 2021, around the time the fast-food restaurant quietly closed. The site was intended to be leased out in the short term and later converted for student use that hadn’t yet been determined. The hope was for a tenant to open by the following summer.

In August last year, representatives of The Bishop’ School said a deal with a potential tenant fell through “late in the process.”

This month, the school issued a statement to the La Jolla Light indicating the building “remains for lease,” with no deadline to find a tenant before converting it for school use. There also was no timeline for next steps.

“If demolition is warranted at some point, we will follow the city of San Diego process for permitting and any work necessary,” according to the statement. “We prioritize the safety, health and wellness of our school community and greater community, and when we are ready to convert the property for school use at some time, the plans will go before community groups for review.”

In April, tarps covering the fences that surround the vacant building were vandalized during a rash of graffiti believed carried out by the same person at locations along Pearl Street and Fay Avenue. The tarps were replaced soon afterward.

Ambrogio by Acquerello receives $5,000 grant from Restaurants Care

Ambrogio by Acquerello co-founders at La Jolla restaurant
Ambrogio by Acquerello co-founders Giacomo Pizzigoni, Andrea Burrone, Silvio Salmoiraghi and Paolo Tucci gather at the new restaurant in La Jolla.
(Bhadri Kubendran)

La Jolla’s new Ambrogio by Acquerello was one of 18 San Diego restaurants that recently received a $5,000 grant from the California Restaurant Foundation’s Restaurants Care Resilience Fund, a $2.1 million fund financed by California’s energy companies, including San Diego Gas & Electric.

The fund started in 2017 as a “safety net for food and beverage workers,” according to the organization, and was amplified during the COVID-19 pandemic. Grants can be used for kitchen equipment, technology upgrades, employee training/retention and “unforeseen hardship.”

Ambrogio by Acquerello, at 7556 Fay Ave., is led by Michelin Star chef Silvio Salmoiraghi and chef-partner Choi Cheolhyeok and offers modern Italian cuisine using traditional flavors of Milan with Pacific Asian influences.

La Jolla resident wins Best of Show in county fair photography exhibition

La Jolla resident and photographer Kim SignoretPaar and her photo "Walking in Hanoi."
La Jolla resident and photographer Kim SignoretPaar won a Best of Show award at the San Diego County Fair for her photo “Walking in Hanoi.”
(Provided by Kim SignoretPaar)

La Jolla resident Kim SignoretPaar won the Best of Show award at this year’s San Diego County Fair Exhibition of Photography, which is on view at the fair in Del Mar through the Fourth of July.

The victory “has left me floating around,” she said. “I’m still amazed.”

The competition includes a wide variety of categories, from landscapes to sports to still life, according to the fair.

SignoretPaar’s winning photo, titled “Walking in Hanoi,” is a 40-by-20-inch black-and-white image depicting a traffic circle in Hanoi, Vietnam, near an area known for its street food and beer. The photo was taken during a trip across Asia in 2019.

“I stayed in Hanoi for two days by myself and did a street food tour in old Hanoi,” SignoretPaar said. “I took a few photos, but this one was shot down a street and I just loved it. It has so many people in it and shows the street and all the complexities of French architecture and what it looks like now. It looks old but it is new. This image needed to be big.”

SignoretPaar, a La Jollan since 2000, also won Best of Show at the fair’s Exhibition of Photography in 2014.

She got into photography in her youth with a “brownie camera” her father gave her, she said. Photography would go on to be part of her various careers. She now teaches phone photography.

She entered her first contest in 2012 and has been competing ever since. “Photography has really consumed me,” she said with a laugh.

Scripps Research receives $46 million in funding from NIH

The Scripps Research Translational Institute in La Jolla has received $46.8 million in renewed funding over a seven-year period from the National Institutes of Health’s National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences. As part of the nationwide Clinical and Translational Science Awards program, the funds will support the institute’s mission to transform human health research through technological innovations.

The institute, led by founder and director Dr. Eric Topol, combines genomic and digital technologies with cutting-edge artificial intelligence to transform personal health data into clinically useful knowledge.

“We’ve been very fortunate to be part of the CTSA consortium for the past 15 years,” said Topol, who also is a professor of molecular medicine and executive vice president at Scripps Research. “In that time, we’ve made tremendous strides in leveraging genomic, wearable sensor technologies and AI for the capture and interpretation of huge ... data sets into actionable health information.”

The CTSA program consists of a national network of more than 60 “hubs” — biomedical research institutions and universities working together to advance translational science. The Scripps hub, led by the Translational Institute, includes Calibr (the drug development arm of Scripps Research) as well as long-standing partners Scripps Health and the Rady Children’s Institute for Genomic Medicine.

La Jolla Shores Permit Review Committee OKs two requests

The La Jolla Shores Permit Review Committee supported two requests at its June 15 meeting without opposition.

The first was a 72-month extension for coastal development and site development permits to demolish a 4,453-square-foot house and build a new 8,697-square-foot single-family home at 2326 Calle Chiquita.

The PRC first approved the project in 2017.

Applicant representative Lindsay King said the original permits expired during the COVID-19 pandemic, when paperwork delays occurred. The owners then placed the project on hold because “they were uncertain of how things would happen with construction,” King said.

The plans have undergone “minor changes,” King said, with no changes to height or setbacks.

“This is a very procedural thing as long as there are no substantive changes to the project,” PRC Chairman Andy Fotsch said.

Applicants show plans for a new home on Prestwick Drive to the La Jolla Shores Permit Review Committee.
(Elisabeth Frausto)

The other item was approval of coastal development and site development permits to demolish a two-story house and build a new two-story house at 8283 Prestwick Drive.

The design of the new house is based on “modern architecture and appeal that is already existing” in the neighborhood, according to applicant representative Abby Sanchez.

Planned setbacks for the house range from four to 85 feet. The height will reach 29 feet, 11 inches.

The house will total 8,166 square feet with a floor area ratio of 0.32, Sanchez said.

— Compiled by La Jolla Light staff