ALSO: BAR BODEGA, SIRENA & LOFTY COFFEE
Remnants from the San Diego Bayside Anthony’s Fish Grotto, shuttered since Jan. 31, will be auctioned off March 7, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. A list of auction items for the eatery’s estate sale includes hundreds of pieces, including tables, chairs, barstools and seats. Much of the furniture looks circa 1965. That was the year Anthony’s moved to its now-former location on Harbor Drive. It opened downtown as a 16-seat diner back in 1946.
The Port of San Diego chose to not renew the lease for the iconic seafood restaurant. It’s set to be replaced by a $13 million project by Brigantine called Portside Pier. However, that plan stalled due to oversight confusion between The Port and the California Coastal Commission.
The closing of Anthony’s has been bittersweet. It’s seen many a birthday and anniversary party over the course of a half decade. A facelift was necessary. The food was middling and parking was a pain. Still, giving the place the boot was akin to kicking your favorite aunt or uncle out of the neighborhood.
SAY CHEESE, BAR BODEGA
The Cheese Store in Little Italy (1980 Kettner) is getting remodeled into a Spanish tapas and wine bar to be called Bar Bodega. Plans call for Bar Bodega to open in April. Servings will include cheese and charcuterie boards, fresh legs of Jamón Serrano, fresh artisan bread, olive oil and Spanish olives. Expect a wide variety of wine from all over the world, including Sangria. Hours will be extended to serve lunch and dinner.
Bummer alert. Last year, Sirena Cucina Latina general manager Michael Zentano said: “You can be mediocre and do well over on India Street [in heavily traveled Little Italy]. Here, our concept is what brings people in.” Oh, the Chilean and Peruvian cuisine, with a dab of Japanese, was indeed an awesome concept. Unfortunately, Sirena lost the battle of foot traffic. Diners couldn’t be bothered to make their way one block off India Street to Columbia Street. The February closing was our collective loss.
And yet, it is possible to open and possibly sustain business in Little Italy east of India Street. Lofty Coffee Co. has been caffeinating customers at the corner of Cedar and Columbia since Feb. 9. The open-air spot is open daily until 9 p.m. It’s boosted for business by being adjacent to Queenstown Public House, which has lengthy waits for weekend brunch service. Lofty might be the perfect place to quell your thirst while waiting for a Queenstown table to free up.