Lively home goods store taking over North Park

Lively_home_goods_store_taking_over_North_Park_-_San_Diego_Uptown_News_-_2014-10-08_10.05.26This story was reported for San Diego Uptown News on Sept. 12, 2014.

It isn’t a typical business one would see in North Park, but on any given day, it draws just as large of a crowd as its neighbors.

University Avenue’s kaleidoscope, which opened in May, is owned by neighborhood residents Becki and Lee Kaplan, who say their shop is already winning the affections of locals.

The store attempts to distinguish itself from typical home goods stores by catering to fashion lovers.

“When we decided to open our first retail store, we asked ourselves what will set us apart from all the competition out there,” Lee said. “We ultimately decided to focus on mixing fashion kitchen essentials with great fashion gifts for the home. And our customers have given us an overwhelming positive response to our product mix.”

The store offers goods ranging from kitchen products to gifts that are vibrant, colorful and uncommon — such as a silicone spatula in purple.The shop’s unique name is derived from its eclectic bunch of products.

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Move over, beer

Move_over,_beer_-_San_Diego_Uptown_News_-_2014-10-08_10.03.24This story was reported for San Diego Uptown News on Sept. 12, 2014.

Kombucha now offered on tap

It’s been described as a natural antibiotic with plenty of health benefits. And now it’s offered on tap at several local eateries.

Kombucha, a fermented drink that’s more likely to be found in bottles, can now be found fresh from the keg, thanks to the San Diego County-based company, Kombucha on Tap (KOT).

“People like to be served from as close to the source as possible, and the tap program certainly helps to eliminate some of the dissonance associated with bottled beverages,” said Evolution Fast Food’s general manager Zach Vouga. “They’re excited, we’re excited. It’s great.”

The Bankers Hill restaurant is just one of about a dozen locations where the freshly brewed drink can be found in the region — just a few months after KOT was created.

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Dark Horse coffeehouse gallops toward expansion

Dark_Horse_coffeehouse_gallops_toward_expansion_-_San_Diego_Uptown_News_-_2014-10-08_10.00.59This story was reported for San Diego Uptown News on Aug. 29, 2014.

A favorite Normal Heights coffeehouse is expanding.

Daniel Charlson, owner of Dark Horse Coffee Roasters on Adams Avenue, recently opened a Lake Tahoe location and soon plans to open coffeehouses in North Park and Golden Hill in September and October.

Charlson, 32, said he and his co-owner and brother, Bryan Charlson, chose to expand their business because of their employees.

“The only reason we are expanding is because we have so much potential in our employees,” said Charlson, who opened his original location in 2013. “I want to set them up and have them insert their personalities into Dark Horse. Without them there’s no way we’d be expanding.”

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Japanese tapas bar joining North Park food scene

Japanese_tapas_bar_joining_North_Park_food_scene_-_San_Diego_Uptown_News_-_2014-10-08_09.58.15This story was reported for San Diego Uptown News on Aug. 29, 2014.

A University Avenue space that has stood empty for three months will soon reopen as another arm in North Park’s growing restaurant monster.

The SafeHouse, a Japanese tapas restaurant serving craft beers and wines, will open in September by local businessmen Nick Thanasith and Ernest Hsu.

“We want to bring a restaurant and bar to North Park that we hope will become a place where people want to go,” said North Park local Thanasith. “We’re not looking to be millionaires.”

The restaurant, which is located at 2930 University Ave. between Kansas and 30th streets, will feature skewers, bun tacos, ramen and the finest wines.

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The Rabbit Hole to open in time for Adams Street Fair

The_Rabbit_Hole_to_open_in_time_for_Adams_Street_Fair_-_San_Diego_Uptown_News_-_2014-10-08_09.56.29This story was reported for San Diego Uptown News on Sept. 17, 2014.

At the end of this month, three men with more than 45 years of industry experience plan to unveil The Rabbit Hole at the Adams Avenue Street Fair after just six weeks of preparation.

The trio — Mark Huber, David Schiffman and Brendan Huffman — purchased the space that was previously known as Heights Tavern, which closed mid-August.

“We’re working around the clock,” said Huffman, 39. “I probably work in my sleep. We’re trying to turn it around pretty quick.”

The Rabbit Hole, which Huffman described as a “community-driven” business, was named after the rabbits that apparently inhabited the Normal Heights area before it was developed.

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