The Gaslamp Shutter | 1919, Ocean Pacific Grill & Pasha Lounge Recently Close

January 9, 2017

With rising property values comes higher rents, and combined with an increased minimum wage, the result is that many establishments are being pushed from their spaces due to the excess costs of doing business. 1919, Pasha Lounge, and Ocean Pacific Grille are the latest victims of the Gaslamp Shutter - a new disease spreading throughout San Diego and closing businesses in record numbers.

Owned by the crew behind Nicky Rotten's Coronado and Music Box Little Italy, 1919 sports bar and its basement speakeasy Prohibition, both located at 560 5th Avenue in the heart of the Gaslamp, closed yesterday after being open for less than a year. Dragon's Den, the Asian eatery & lounge in the East Village, quietly closed right after the New Year. Pasha Lounge hookah bar at 425 Market Street also ended its run this week. Ocean Pacific Grille, which had positive reviews online and was led by a talented chef, also recently shuttered, as did Bugsy's BBQLa Fiesta, Ocean Room, and Dick's Last Resort. The highly anticipated Blush didn't even make it a year. Even Hooter's is on the market and trying to get out of the Gaslamp. Heck, even Javier Plascencia got sick of it and parted ways with his San Diego-based restaurants. 

We have also heard rumor that it's only a matter of time before Crazy Goose closes, as the restaurant was recently seen selling off some of its furniture. Word on the street is that Jolt 'N Joe's time in the Gaslamp is almost up. Another rumor is that Double Standard Kitchenetta has been sold and the concept will be rebranded and revamped later this year. So what's going on in San Diego?!?

We live in Pacific Beach, and a cursory stroll down Garnet Avenue, much like San Diego's Gaslamp, shows many empty retail spaces and a rise in the number of transients. Property values in America's Finest City are at an all-time high, as is our homeless population and the state's minimum wage. With rising property values, commercial owners are paying more for buildings and also realize that they can get more in rent. These rising rents combined with increases in minimum wage costs push out businesses and makes operating unaffordable. Homeless encampments will also keep people away. The combination of all these factors will eventually boil over in San Diego, with the bubble already visually bursting at the seams. Mark our words, things will get worse before they get better unless things change.