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Mar 14, 2014 09:34 PM

Date Street Project in Little Italy

If this happens, it could have a seminal impact on the future of dining in Little Italy, as well as on the general atmosphere and density there.

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  1. How would it be "seminal"?

    Not trying to pick a fight but I don't see yet another mixed use project in the downtown area to be all that influential, groundbreaking or original.

    A majority of the a East Village, Gaslamp and the Marina are mixed use developments of one form or kind.

    11 Replies
    1. re: ipsedixit

      This would be the only place in our city where an entire street is permanently closed to vehicular traffic. Correct me if I'm wrong.

      That would precipitate significant changes in the surrounding area, I would think!

      1. re: DoctorChow

        Really? Closing a street to vehicular traffic will be the difference?

        But whatever.

        Whether it's a seminal project aside, I think Little Italy is probably the one area in downtown that least needs a project like this.

        1. re: ipsedixit

          Yes! Pedestrian-only streets like this tend to become vibrant centers of pedestrian activity and expanded dining choices.

          San Diego needs more areas of concentrated dining opportunities, beyond Hillcrest. If LI continues to evolve into one of these, then great.

          I'm very happy to see this happening, and I completely disagree with you. This will help to further the establishment of LI as a concentrated, interesting dining destination.

          1. re: DoctorChow

            Actually, now it occurs to me that this is certainly not the first or only vehicular-free, pedestrian friendly mixed use project in San Diego.

            The Mercado del Barrio predates this project.


            1. re: ipsedixit

              OK, there's a precedent. So I guess my question to you, then, is do you think that the Mercado del Barrio has had little or no effect on the area (and won't in the future)? I'm betting it has and will.

              The Date St. project may result in positive or negative changes in LI, but I can't see how this "stunt", to use RBH's term, won't have a "seminal effect" (to reuse my own), on the future of that area, and in particular the dining options there. I personally think the changes will be positive.

              The article I referenced wasn't clear as to whether the underground parking lots will be available to the public. I hope so, because more parking is something that LI needs.

              1. re: DoctorChow

                Regarding the effect of the MdB on Barrio Logan, has it affected your view of Barrio Logan as a dining destination?

                You didn't even know it was there.

                Just based on that fact I would gather it's had absolute zero effect on you.

                With respect to Little Italy, I think the Date St project is totally inapt.

                Of all the hoods in the downtown area Little Italy is probably the only one with some natural character and an organic sense of mixed-use development where you'll have random retail shops like Pappalecco and Extraordinary Desserts or 7-Eleven or professional buildings (eg law firms) auto shops or dry cleaners all of them bounded by residential units ranging from apartments, to condos, to single unit dwellings.

                There are also hotels mixed into the area in a sort of natural, inconspicuous way.

                Then there's a nice anchor with the downtown area in Little Italy on India St.

                Plus, don't forget Little Italy has it's own crack house and hourly-rate motel.

                Why impose a totally artificial construct like a pedestrian village?

                1. re: ipsedixit

                  Well, OK, fair enough. I do hope that it has a positive effect, though..I want to be optimistic. It sounded from the article like it was well on its way to being approved, with construction starting soon.

                  1. re: DoctorChow

                    " It sounded from the article like it was well on its way to being approved, with construction starting soon."

                    With the new mayor it is...

        2. re: DoctorChow

          Union Street South of Broadway was permanently closed recently to create a public space adjacent to the new Federal courthouse. It followed an extensive study of the affect it would have on traffic. The same kind of study will be required if the proposal to close a block of Date is formally presented to the City.

          I would think the restaurant community would welcome the addition, but the permit process will invite comment from all ....for and against.

          1. re: eatemup

            While a street won't be closed, let us not forget Horton Plaza Park slated to open in 2015. There is a spot for a food vendor there, but given management of the area is being handled by Westgate, I am going to guess a restaurant of the chain variety will emerge with the contract.

        3. re: ipsedixit

          "Not trying to pick a fight"?

          Oh, come on, Ipsy - that is what you do. Own up to it. Revel in it.

          I actually like having a chance to park near there on a Friday night (like I did this evening), though. This sort of stunt would end that. Trolley stop, I guess...

        4. It might have an impact on how the neighborhood will be perceived as an important part of SD especially for tourist but I don't think it will have a positive impact on the dining scene. Other cities have shown that such plazas or streets are good to attract tourists and large retail chains but not any particular good restaurants (more the opposite as rents will move up and only large chain restaurant can pay them).

          5 Replies
          1. re: honkman

            Also fair enough.

            Mainly, I pointed to the news article about Date St. because I think this project is almost on its way and because I think it'll have a significant impact on the area. It may well be, as you say, that that impact will be primarily tourist-oriented, and if that's the case it could prove to be a net negative for local dining there. Or not. I'm hoping not, and that Date Street will be done in a way that will draw locals and local restaurants, not just tourists. Time will tell.

                1. re: The Office Goat

                  Duh...the Old Pancake Headquarters near Seaport Village. The one with CF and Mozza.

                  1. re: Stiflers_Mom

                    Headquarters is usually abbreviated as "HQ" and San Diego already has a few OPH'es.

                    On behalf of pancake addicts, I beseech you to call it OPHQ. ;-)