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Cedros Design District

Solana Beach design district’s own super bloom

Posted on June 1, 2019

This fall, Cedros Design District in Solana Beach gets its first mixed-use development with 330 Cedros, featuring a huge sidewalk restaurant, retail space, decked-out lofts, and requisite murals. “We envisioned something that matches the feel of the Cedros community while providing something unique that Solana Beach hasn’t experienced yet,” says Adam Robinson, president of RAF Pacifica Group, the developer behind the project.

Consider it the next iteration of Cedros Design District, undergoing a refresher course with a new guard moving into this two-and-half block stretch. Cool-kid imports like Native Poppy are migrating north, choosing the district for its second flower shop after its South Park location. Next up? The Bay Area’s Barefoot Coffee Roasters is living up to the buzz when it opens this summer.

Cedros Design District
Meg Blancato and Natalie Gill of Native Poppy

On any given day the street hums with bustle: There’s the legendary Belly Up Tavern, art galleries, and retailers like SoLo, Tucci, and Pink Lagoon, collectively showcasing all the trappings for an elevated beach lifestyle. So, stop and smell the wildflowers.

Living the Design District Dream

Located in the old Cedros Gardens space, 330 Cedros will feature eight luxurious one- and two-bedroom units at approximately 980-1,750 square feet as well as a 78-car garage with EV charging stations. SGPA Architecture and Planning is dreaming up the design while the “timeless but edgy” interiors come courtesy of Sara Simon of L.A.-based Handsome Salt. The units will be the first and only residences amidst the charming district. As of press time, no tenants have been announced for the four retail spaces nor the huge 3,207-square-foot restaurant and its future hot seats abutting the sidewalk.

Cedros Design District
The forthcoming 330 Cedros

Street Chic

Native Poppy arrived with fanfare in mid May, hand-picking the street for its second location after South Park. The magical flower shop, stocked with wild blooms and handmade, locally-sourced gifts, is equal parts boutique and feel-good community hub. (If the bouquets don’t make you a believer, the branded merchandise will.)

Established in 2015 in the backyard of founder Natalie Gill, Native Poppy is known for creating arrangements with unorthodox choices. No dozen roses or bridal copycats here. A daily flower menu offers seasonal blooms du jour from growers like Vista’s Wayward Daisy. There’s a subscription service geared toward homes and businesses with local delivery by bicycle where possible, and a flower club offers classes on all things rooted in nature, from pressed flowers to the carnation revival.

As such, Native Poppy is in good company with its new-ish neighbor Urban Remedy, purveyor of ready-made organic meals, plant-based snacks, and cold pressed juices in rainbow hues. EC Gallery, which last year decamped Downtown for a new 4,000-square-foot coastal home, brings the artistic counterpart to super blooms. Owner and longtime gallerist Ruth-Ann Thorn consolidated six galleries into one, going for bold with an al fresco wind sculpture garden adding texture and movement to the skyline. Inside, a state-of-the-art exhibit space features the rotating work of 30 artists including Daniel Ryan’s recent “Sacred Spirit Animals.”

Cedros Design District
American sculptor Lyman Whitaker created this wind sculpture garden in front of EC Gallery

Coffee Talk

Down on South Cedros, Bay Area expats Jon and Jillian Dolin unsubscribed from Silicon Valley, moving to Solana Beach to debut a more robust version of their Barefoot Coffee Roasters. The 1,300-square-foot space with a 540-square-foot patio is being designed by Brian Church — a natural choice considering the notable architect’s studio is located next-door.

The coffee has earned legitimate buzz for its sustainable sourcing and small-batch roasting methods, hitting all the high notes for coffee snobs who consider cupping de rigueur. From its sidewalk café, expect purist brew and health-minded cuisine by day, while beer and wine enliven the street scene.

Across the way, Homestead Café took over the Lockwood Table space earlier this year. Locals know to arrive early for Wayfarer Bread & Pastry goods, hot off the truck from the famous Bird Rock bakery. The sunny bistro setting is ideal for casual meetings sans scene and rock-star sightings.

Cedros Design District
Homestead

Worldly Goods

The store previously known as Leaping Lotus has rebranded as Lotus, now with a sleeker black façade and minimalist signage. The interior marketplace is still sprawling with vendors hawking everything from resort clothing to whimsical tchotchkes. For the more refined aesthete, there’s SoLo across the way, housing the largest selection of design and art books south of Los Angeles. Housed in a Quonset-inspired building, SoLo owner Carole Carden and her celebrated dealers have made it a must-stop for gifting and serious bibliophiles alike. Expect a modern-day treasure hunt.

Next Door, David Alan Collection wins praise for San Diego’s worldliest goods. Inside the labyrinthian HQ, heroic Buddhas and custom wood slab tables mingle alongside rare antiques and artifacts. Designers in-the-know enlist his custom work, while insiders shop new arrivals like the Japanese kimono collection. Choose from a dizzying selection of authentic, vintage kimonos, many of which are hand- embroidered and hand-dyed via the art of shibori.

Cedros Design District
David Alan Collection

Clothes Horses

When it comes to luxury clothes shopping in San Diego, malls are not alone on the list. That’s because boutiques like Tucci have carved out a megawatt following for a streamlined selection of modern classics, be they summer frocks or cult sneakers. It’s a charmed life amongst the jewelry cases with 15 lines to covet: Foundrae, Retrouvai, and Spinelli Kilcollin among them. Across the way, Pink Lagoon has a specific rich-girl rebel vibe and a bragworthy partnership to boot with Decades, L.A.’s va-va-voom vintage Xanadu. Star sightings: Decades founder Cameron Silver will be at the store this month on June 8 and 9. Meanwhile, the shoe always fits at Cedros Soles, the perennial fave for its wide selection of shoes and outfit staples. There’s accessible denim, day-to-sunset sandals, and last-minute sweaters and hats to complete the look.   Jamie Reed

Native Poppy & EC Gallery: Photography by Vincent Knakal     330 Cedros Rendering: Courtesy Image      All other photography by Marisa Holmes

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