Plus, atmospheric rivers and adoptable pets.
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Today’s Forecast

62º | Sunny | 0% chance of rain | Sunrise 6:52 a.m. | Sunset 4:59 p.m. | High tides 6:25 a.m. and 8:27 p.m. | Low tide 1:53 p.m.

🌇 We built this city
SD John D. Spreckels legacy in San Diego
The Spreckels Theatre building on Broadway in downtown San Diego opened in 1912; this snapshot is from 1920. | Photo via San Diego City Clerk Archives (author unknown)
Spreckels. That name is all over San Diego’s biggest landmarks — a nod to John D. Spreckels, the sugar magnate and businessman who helped our city develop into a thriving commercial hub.

But who was Mr. Spreckels? Let’s delve into another local history lesson, including a few places where you can see and feel the Spreckels legacy.

SD John D. Spreckels

Businessman John D. Spreckels left a legacy for the books in San Diego.


Photo via Schumacher Portraits, Los Angeles, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

📰 Fast facts

  • Born in Charleston, South Carolina, on Aug. 16, 1853, Spreckels worked for his father, Claus, who ran a successful sugar business. By 1880, Spreckels was a wealthy entrepreneur in his own right.
  • He first visited San Diego in 1887 on his yacht to stock up on supplies and was drawn in by the town’s short-lived real estate boom.
  • In 1890, he became the owner of Hotel del Coronado.
  • He bought the San Diego street railway system in 1892, upgrading it from horsepower to electricity.
  • He bought the “San Diego Union” newspaper in 1890, then the “Tribune” in 1901.
  • He permanently moved to San Diego in 1906 and into his mansion in Coronado in 1908.
  • He also owned the San Diego-Coronado Ferry System, San Diego & Arizona Railway, and Belmont Park.
  • He built downtown’s Union Building in 1908 and opened the Spreckels Theatre in 1912.
  • In 1914, Spreckels and his brother, Adolph B. Spreckels, donated the Spreckels Organ to the City of San Diego for the 1915 Panama-California Exposition at Balboa Park.
  • Per the San Diego History Center, Spreckels at one time “paid 10% of all property taxes in San Diego County.”
  • Spreckels died on June 7, 1926, as “the wealthiest man in San Diego.”
There's plenty of seating today for those free concerts. | Photo via Monica Garske + SDtoday

There’s plenty of seating today for those free concerts. | Photo via Monica Garske + SDtoday

🏙️ Keep reading to learn about six places where you can still see the Spreckels legacy in San Diego today.
Thursday, March 16
  • Celia Álvarez Muñoz: Breaking the Binding | Thursday, March 16-Sunday, Aug. 13 | 10 a.m.-4 p.m. | Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, 700 Prospect St., La Jolla | $25 | This career retrospective highlights the conceptual artist’s works, which draw inspiration from her experience as a resident of the US-Mexico borderlands.
  • 30th San Diego Latino Film Festival | Through Sunday, March 19 | Times vary | AMC Mission Valley Cinemas, 1640 Camino Del Rio N., San Diego | $12-$120 | The celebration of Latino cinema, arts, and culture featuring 160+ films continues.
  • Boogie T: Monster Energy Outbreak Tour | Thursday, Mar. 16 | 9 p.m. | House of Blues, 1055 Fifth Ave., San Diego | $25-$75 | The EDM DJ spins.
Friday, March 17
  • St. Paddy’s O’Beach Party | Friday, Mar. 17 + Saturday, Mar. 18 | 1-11 p.m. | 5099 Newport Ave., San Diego | $20-$50 | Live music, a beer garden, themed games, and a “guac off” on Saturday.
  • Center Cabaret: Anyway You Want It: The Music of Journey | Friday, Mar. 17 | 8 p.m. | California Center for the Arts Escondido, 340 N. Escondido Blvd., Escondido | $80-$200 | Don’t stop believing in the influence of Journey — tickets sold by the table.
Saturday, March 18
  • Spring Tails Family Day | Saturday, Mar. 18 + Sunday, Mar. 19 | 9 a.m.-1 p.m. | Helen Woodward Animal Center, 6461 El Apajo Rd., Rancho Santa Fe | $55 | Enjoy hands-on animal encounters, cute crafts, and games; one ticket admits up to four people.
  • Liberty Public Market 7th Anniversary Weekend | Saturday, Mar. 18 + Sunday, Mar. 19 | 11 a.m. | Liberty Public Market, 2820 Historic Decatur Rd., San Diego | Free | Live music, food, a scavenger hunt, beer bingo, and more fun to celebrate the beloved market’s anniversary.
  • Women’s History Month: Family Day | Saturday, Mar. 18 | 11 a.m.-4 p.m. | San Diego History Center, 1649 El Prado, Ste. 3, San Diego | Free | Learn about the brave San Diego women that helped shape our lives, make a button with Suffrage campaign slogans, and more; donations encouraged.
  • Jason Mraz | Saturday, Mar. 18 | 8 p.m. | Del Mar Fairgrounds, 2260 Jimmy Durante Blvd., Del Mar | $155-$450 | The musician and North County avocado farmer headlines the new venue, with special guest Gregory Page.
Sunday, March 19
  • Forest/Nature Bathing | Sunday, Mar. 19 | 9-11 a.m. | San Diego Botanic Garden, 300 Quail Gardens Dr., Encinitas | $37-$45 | Slow your pace, connect with nature, and elevate your senses with an excursion in the garden that includes sampling tea and local fruits.
We have a calendar filled with events and activities you can plan for in advance. Click the button below to bookmark ideas for upcoming date nights, family outings, and time with friends.

Click here to have your event featured.
News Notes
  • 60º | Partly sunny | 3% chance of rain
  • That was another good soak. The National Weather Service says this week’s storm brought “impressive rainfall” to the region. As of 9:20 a.m. yesterday, the agency had logged 2.68 inches in Carlsbad, 2.60 inches in Escondido, 1.63 inches in Poway, and 1.47 inches in Kearny Mesa. (National Weather Service)
Sunrise + Sunset
  • Rise: 6:58 a.m.
  • Set: 6:57 p.m.
  • Low: 1 p.m.
  • High: 5:12 a.m. + 7:57 p.m.
  • Water Temperature: 56°
  • The Port of San Diego Commissioners unanimously approved a new law that’ll crack down on people crowding The Rady Shell’s adjacent promenade — a popular spot to try to watch the concerts for free. San Diego’s Fire Marshal says the path must remain clear for emergency use; the ordinance begins Friday, April 14. (San Diego Union-Tribune)
  • County officials are asking locals to take the Housing Blueprint survey to help shape the region’s plan to develop more housing around transit hubs, build affordable housing, and reduce housing prices. The survey is open through Friday, March 31.
The Word
  • Atmospheric river. Per the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), they are long, narrow regions — akin to “rivers in the sky” — that carry water vapor “equivalent to the average flow of water at the mouth of the Mississippi River.” San Diego has seen lots of these lately; another is expected next week. (NOAA + Fox 5)
  • The Rooftop Cinema Club on the fourth floor terrace of the Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego opens for the season today with a real homecoming flick — “Top Gun.” We also spy “10 Things I Hate About You,” “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever,” and “Turning Red” in the opening weekend lineup.
  • Feeding San Diego announced it is the charity partner of San Diego Restaurant Week (SDRW), which goes down Sunday, March 26-Sunday, April 2. For every meal ordered from SDRW prix fixe menus, $2 will be donated to the nonprofit to continue its mission to help locals facing hunger.
  • Know an incredible teacher? San Diego County Credit Union and the San Diego Office of Education are seeking nominations for SDCCU Classroom Heroes, an initiative that’ll recognize three local teachers each quarter. The winners will be announced on social media and receive a $250 Visa gift card. Name names.
  • Lucky dog. The County of San Diego Animal Services is offering a $17 adoption fee special from St. Patrick’s Day through the Sunday, March 19, for all animals. Fees are normally $75 for dogs and $65 for cats, and include spaying or neutering, a microchip, and updated vaccinations. Find your new pet.
  • Exercise equipment for astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS) includes a treadmill and a “space version of a stationary bicycle.” NASA’s Jessica Meir posted this fun throwback of herself working out in space — as if we needed another reason to praise the astronaut with San Diego ties.
  • Have you heard? San Diego International Airport announced the winners of its 2023 Fly Quiet Awards, which recognize airlines making an effort to reduce noise during arrivals and departures at SAN. Among the shoutouts: With its Boeing 737 MAX, Southwest Airlines earned the highest Fly Quiet Score for large domestic carriers.
  • In yesterday’s newsletter, we spelled the late Rolly Crump’s name incorrectly and we regret the error. The Carlsbad resident, Disney animator, and theme park designer began working for Walt Disney Co. in 1952, and his contributions will live on.
  • Looking for a new laptop that checks all the boxes without breaking the bank? Enter: the Acer Chromebook 311. This lightweight laptop is decked out with all the essential Google apps — like Google Chrome and Google Calendar — it’s quiet, and it has up to 10 hours of battery life.
☘️ You’re in luck
The Field Irish Pub San Diego
The Field is located in Gaslamp Quarter in the heart of downtown San Diego. | Photo via @thefieldsd
It’s time to break out the green clothes and shamrock swag — St. Patrick’s Day is tomorrow. We’ve rounded up local Irish pubs where you can raise a glass of Guinness and have great craic.

🍀 The Field Irish Pub | 544 Fifth Ave.
This downtown bar and restaurant has been around for 25 years and is known for its traditional Irish fare and draft brew selection.

🍀 Rosie O’Grady’s | 3402 Adams Ave.
This Normal Heights watering hole has been going strong since 1983. The menu features Irish cocktails and food — but it’s the vibrant atmosphere + live music for us.

☘️ Patrick’s Gaslamp Pub | 428 F St.
This downtown pub is beloved for its drinks — including its Irish Whiskey Flight of Favorites — and its live music scene.

🍀 O’Brien’s Pub | 4646 Convoy St.
Established in 1994, this Kearny Mesa spot prides itself on its pub grub and 28-tap craft beer list.

📍 Pro tip: Use this map to plan a pub crawl with your buddies.
The Wrap
Monica Garske headshot Today’s Edition By:
From the Editor
Hi, friends. If you want to learn more about John D. Spreckels and the making of San Diego, check out local author Sandra Bonura’s book, “Empire Builder.” Bonura not only explores Spreckels’ successes as a businessman, but also his love of family and music.

I’m grateful for the city Spreckels helped build and love that he always saw San Diego’s potential as a place that could thrive and one day become America’s Finest City.

Missed yesterday’s newsletter? We showed you 10 local, mid-sized music venues where you can rock out.
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