San Diego's 50-Year-Old Pannikin Cafe Set To Shutter In La Jolla

March 14, 2022

After serving San Diego for more than 50 years, Pannikin Cafe is at risk of shuttering next month in La Jolla because of an inability to renew its lease. 

Pannikin Coffee and Tea first opened in 1968 in one of the cottages at the Green Dragon Artist Colony above La Jolla Cover, where owner Bob SinClair started roasting coffee from a peanut roaster and blending teas to sell wholesale from his home. Bob and his wife Gaye eventually opened seven Pannikin locations throughout San Diego, including in downtown, Point Loma, Encinitas, Del Mar, and two downtown locations. In 1971 the original Pannikin Cafe relocated to what was once a home on Girard Avenue in downtown La Jolla. In 2007, Pannikin La Jolla was purchased by longtime employee Amanda Morrow, who currently operates the cafe with partners Gloria Serna and Dan Grunow. 

The original La Jolla branch of Pannikin Coffee is set to close next month after ownership was unable to come to terms on a new lease agreement. Although the Pannikin team is remaining optimistic that a new lease term will be negotiated, they are currently prepared to close after end of business on Saturday, April 9. Pannikin's current landlord served them with a 30-day notice to vacate this past weekend. 

Based on public records, the building long occupied by Pannikin La Jolla is owned by Clem Abrams Trust. Clem Abrams was a La Jolla real estate developer that passed away in 2018. Clem's wife Lydia made news in 2020 when she went missing from her 117-acre Bonita Vista Ranch east of Idyllwild while hiking in San Jacinto Mountains. She has yet to be found dead or alive. Lydia's alleged fiancĂ© has since claimed that her children have "attempted a hostile takeover of their mother's properties by financial strangulation and harassment." 

The original Pannikin Cafe is located at 7467 Girard Avenue in San Diego's La Jolla. For more information, visit pannikinlajolla.com.