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Plaza’s New Personality
- Betty Wheeler | Seaview Avenue

This architectural drawing shows a more open view of Pacifica Breeze and the south patio. Del Mar Plaza - South Patio Redevelopment
robinson hill architecture, inc.
Click to enlarge.
More pictures below.

Community events, a fresh mix of tenants, and some architectural and signage changes are the approaches the new owners are taking to revitalize the Del Mar Plaza. Patty Brutten, who is taking the lead on these changes, is anticipating a major announcement soon – a new restaurant for the prominent space across from Pacifica’s. The long-lived, beloved Epazote proved this space can be a big success, but a succession of post-Epazote tenants points to the challenge in getting the right restaurant for Del Mar. Brutten sees this decision as the key that will unlock additional improvements in the overall tenant mix, so she is intent on getting this right.

Once the restaurant decision is made, other priorities for Brutten include a small market and pharmacy, along with other tenants that cater to Del Mar’s interest in a healthy, active lifestyle – fitness, good food – and high-quality treats such as gelato and ice cream. With the original market space unavailable, “small” is going to be the operative word for a new market and pharmacy, but bringing back a way for locals to buy essential market goods at the Plaza is a high priority for both the Bruttens and residents. Question: since market space will be limited, what are the grocery/market items you would most like to be able to buy at the Plaza? Send your “wish list” to delmarplazaca@gmail.com. (And thanks for seconding this writer’s nomination of artisan bread, Peet’s coffee, and locally-grown dark leafy greens!)

In the meantime, a number of special events have been enlivening the Plaza’s upper deck, along with new furnishings to make it a more inviting place to hang out, including posh outdoor sofas and fire pit tables, umbrellas, and a ping pong table and other games. A pop-up holiday market with free photos with Santa, “Lil Tritons Club” events with music by Del Mar’s beloved Hullabaloo and kid-friendly meals, Halloween trick-or-treating, and Seaside Sessions live music are some of the community-friendly events offered by the Plaza in recent months. The Plaza’s sponsorship of the Del Mar Foundation’s Summer Twilight Concerts was paired with an option to order gourmet picnic boxes that came with free parking for the concerts.

Given the perceived “invisibility” of the upper level of the Plaza, Brutten is working with architects on some key signage and modest architectural changes, removing some of the mass to improve visibility and enhancing the garage entries. (See image top left for a preview.) A preliminary meeting with City planning staff occurred recently, and within a few months, these changes will be available for community review and consideration. Brutten also looks forward to the trees and lighting in the Streetscape Plan that will benefit the appearance of the Plaza’s immediate surroundings.

 

A ping pong table and other games invite
kids and adults alike to enjoy the upper deck.
Photo Betty Wheeler.
Click to enlarge.
Posh new outdoor furnishings, including seating, fire pit tables, and umbrellas, create a more welcoming environment
for the upper deck and its stellar views.
Photo Betty Wheeler.
Click to enlarge.
 

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