Hess Brewing had three sold-out Grand Opening events this weekend at their new North Park brewery, and we attended the first one on Friday. It was a full house in the tasting room from first pour at 7 PM right up until we left a few hours later:
North Park has a reputation as a craft beer hot spot, so it’s great to have an actual brewery operating in the neighborhood now. While there were food vendors for the Grand Opening, Barry mentioned that folks are welcome to bring food in from the neighboring restaurants to enjoy with their beer. One suggestion – as a sometime-cyclist I’d like to see space set aside in the parking lot (lots being a rarity for bars/restaurants in the neighborhood) for a bike rack or two.
As I biked up to Hess I noticed the rapidly-progressing Foundation for Form project in the old North Park post office lot, which is currently sporting a rather unique roof line on its north side. It’ll be interesting to see how this turns out – I haven’t been able to find any renderings online.
– Meanwhile there’s been a bit of a pushback over the parklet added in front of Caffe Calabria on 30th. I didn’t get a chance to snap a picture yet, so this will have to do for now:
Turning precious parking spaces into something called a “parklet” is about the most retarded idea to emerge from hipsters to date.
— Bartzilla (@bartzilla) August 7, 2013
@CaffeCalabria I won’t be able to make it anyway since I drive an automobile and there’s no place to park. Much like every place else in NP.
— Bartzilla (@bartzilla) August 7, 2013
There was also a good exchange on the North Park Facebook page criticizing the removal of “much-needed” parking, and one resident demanding that no new construction occur in the city because he can’t park in front of his house (we don’t own the street parking in front of our homes, and all residential construction has [unfortunate] parking minimums in the area).
The argument that there’s “no place to park” in North Park is absolutely ridiculous. There’s a huge parking garage right down the street from Cafe Calabria. The real issue is that there’s often no *free* parking available on the same block as the business. Because of this, the logic goes, we can’t convert .01% of our parking spaces (which dominate nearly all curb space) to much-needed mini-parks, there should be no more growth in dense, walkable neighborhoods served by public transit, and we should tear down existing structures to put in surface parking. All so these folks can always have free, convenient parking.
Look, communities featuring ample free parking exist all over San Diego (Mission Valley, Grantville, Allied Gardens, Santee, Eastlake, Clairemont, Kearny Mesa, Tierrasanta, Scripps Ranch, Rancho Bernardo, Poway, Mira Mesa, Escondido, Liberty Station, etc), they’re just usually not as interesting as denser, walkable neighborhoods like North Park. And there are plenty of top-tier world cities like New York and London where you likely won’t find free on-street parking anywhere. Sure, they offer much better public transit, but they created the density first to justify it. So why can’t some neighborhoods in San Diego be like these top-tier cities, instead of boring, car-dominated remakes of our suburbs?
I don’t think I’ll ever get the logic of the me-and-my-car-first crowd. Maybe it’s an entitlement thing among many boomers and my generation (X) where we’ve been raised in a car culture and expect parking everywhere, regardless of how dense or popular a neighborhood is. And this sense of entitlement is way more important than the quality of life for the rest of us who live there. At least millennials appear to be rejecting this philosophy.
– On a more positive note: Young Hickory will be serving up canned beer and hot Bird Rock Coffee Roasters coffee come September in the former Filter space on 30th:
Our Neapolitan-style pizzas were excellent – the highlight was a salami version – and our appetizers (beef and pork meatball, calamari) were gobbled up quickly. When I asked to have half my pizza boxed up, our Italian server exclaimed “Hey – the girl over there, she eat her whole pizza, see?”. So I’d say it was a pretty authentic Italian experience by San Diego standards.