Plus, are the giant pandas coming back?
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Today’s Forecast

73º | Mostly sunny | 4% chance of rain | Sunrise 6:36 a.m. | Sunset 4:41 p.m. | High tides 5:11 a.m. and 4:42 p.m. | Low tides 11:29 a.m. and 10:47 p.m.

🌇 Tried-and-true local legends
SD San Diego Chicken Pie Shop
This spot has been around since 1938 with the same Chicken Pie recipe as always. | Photo via Monica Garske + SDtoday
San Diego is brimming with special, local businesses. Today, we’re shining the spotlight on five legacy businesses in America’s Finest City — operating since 1869, 1885, 1938, 1943, and 1949.

The Cosmopolitan Hotel & Restaurant, Old Town

Built 1827-1829 as the home of settler Juan Bandini, this is one of San Diego’s oldest standing buildings. Stagecoach operator Albert Seeley bought it in 1869, added a second story, and turned it into a popular hotel. The Cosmopolitan underwent a major $6.5 million restoration and reopened in 2010.

SD Tivoli Bar and Grill San Diego

Tivoli Bar and Grill was converted into a saloon in 1885.


Photo via Michael Beausoleil + SDtoday

Tivoli Bar and Grill, Gaslamp Quarter

Billed as “Gaslamp’s oldest bar,” this spot was built in 1864 and converted into a saloon in 1885 — where Wyatt Earp was an early patron. With a brothel above it, Tivoli was part of the city’s red light district. Today, the bar and grill remains open daily until 2 a.m. — with its original cash register.

San Diego Chicken Pie Shop, North Park

This comfort food staple opened in 1938 and moved from Hillcrest to North Park in the early 1990s. Eight decades later, the same Chicken Pie recipe remains on the menu, keeping customers coming back for more.

SD Frank the Trainman San Diego

The hobby store on Park Boulevard is the oldest train set shop in the US.


Photo via Monica Garske + SDtoday

Frank the Trainman, University Heights

This model railroad and hobby store has been running since 1943 — making it the oldest train set shop in the US. Its namesake, Frank Cox, kept the biz chugging along until 1982; today, it’s operated by three generations of the Cooley family — right next door to the J.A. Cooley Museum.

Rudford’s Restaurant, North Park

Open 24/7, this local retro diner has been serving hearty, home-cooked meals since 1949. Fun Fact: On June 6, 1963, President John F. Kennedy cruised El Cajon Boulevard on his way to deliver a speech at San Diego State, and the famous photo — with Rudford’s prominently in the background — is featured on the top of the menu.
What’s your favorite longtime San Diego business?

Friday, Nov. 17
  • Lightscape at San Diego Botanic Garden | Through Monday, Jan. 1 | 5-8:30 p.m. | San Diego Botanical Gardens, 230 Quail Gardens Dr., Encinitas | $16-$26 | The glimmering holiday experience returns with colorful new installations lining a 1-mile walking trail, set to music.
  • Cooking Class: Mediterranean Tapas Party | Friday, Nov. 17 | 6-8 p.m. | Saint Ephrem Church, 750 Medford St., El Cajon | $65 | Learn to make three classic small plates — hummus, tabouli, and stuffed grape leaves — paired with fresh pita chips.
Saturday, Nov. 18
  • 2023 Holiday Bazaar | Saturday, Nov. 18 | 10 a.m.-2 p.m. | Olivewood Gardens & Learning Center, 2525 N Ave., National City | Free | Shop for unique, locally made gifts from vendors, crafters, and “Kitchenistas.”
  • San Diego Made Holiday Market | Saturday, Nov. 18 + Sunday, Nov. 19 | 11 a.m.-5 p.m. | Julep Venue, 1735 Hancock St., San Diego | $6 | Explore 120+ local makers selling goods and enjoy photo ops, a floral bar, art installations, a tarot card reader, and cocktails by Snake Oil Cocktails.
  • Uncorked: Derby Days Wine Fest | Saturday, Nov. 18 | 12-4 p.m. | Del Mar Thoroughbred Club, 2260 Jimmy Durante Blvd. | $25-$80 | Enjoy 100+ wines and bubblies from across the globe plus horse races, food trucks, live music, and the Derby Dame and Dapper Dan fashion contest.
  • CIF San Diego Section Open Division Football Championship | Saturday, Nov. 18 | 7 p.m. | Snapdragon Stadium, 2101 Stadium Way, San Diego | $9-$17 | The California Interscholastic Federation 2023 championship game touches down in Mission Valley.
Sunday, Nov. 19
  • 2023 Holiday Street Fair | Sunday, Nov. 19 | 9 a.m.-5 p.m. | Highway 101, downtown Encinitas | Free | Explore 450+ vendors selling crafts, food, and gifts — plus live music, entertainment, and a beer garden.
  • James “Murr” Murray | Sunday, Nov. 19 | 5 p.m. | Balboa Theatre, 868 Fourth Ave., San Diego | $25+ | The writer, comedian, and “Impractical Jokers” star performs live.
  • Aqua “Barbie World” Tour | Sunday, Nov. 19 | 8 p.m. | House of Blues, 1055 Fifth Ave., San Diego | $65 | Come on Barbie, let’s go party — with the original “Barbie Girl” group, plus guest Vassy.
  • The Linda Lindas | Sunday, Nov. 19 | 8 p.m. | The Observatory North Park, 2891 University Ave., San Diego | $24 | The all-female, LA-founded indie band rocks the stage with guest illuminati hotties.
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News Notes
  • The state Public Utilities Commission will host two virtual public participation hearings Monday, Nov. 20, at 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. to discuss SDG&E’s request to change electric rates for the next four years. Join the conversation by calling 1 (800) 857-1917 (Passcode: 6032788#), and watch the webcast live.
  • Port of San Diego Commissioners greenlighted a new law that bans all forms of motorized transportationincluding those loud pedicabs — from pedestrian walkways, parks, and piers along San Diego Bay. The rule goes into effect Thursday, Dec. 14; pedal-only pedicabs can still operate across parts of the Embarcadero. (San Diego Union-Tribune)
  • San Diego FC will open its official pop-up retail shop, Eighteen Threads, this Sunday, Nov. 19, at Mission Valley mall — 1640 Camino del Rio N., Ste. 337. The 1,900-sqft store will feature in-store exclusives in addition to team-branded merch that’s available online.
  • The Midway Rising team will host an informational public workshop Wednesday, Nov. 29, 6-7:30 p.m., at Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation. Locals are invited to learn more about the plan to redevelop 48.5 acres in SD’s Sports Arena community, which includes 4,250 housing units and a brand-new, 16,000-seat entertainment arena.
  • This may cause panda-monium. Chinese President Xi Jinping hinted he might return some pandas to the San Diego Zoo as a gesture of friendship. The last of the zoo’s beloved giant pandas — Bai Yun and Xiao Liwu — were repatriated to China in 2019, a sad moment for SD. (Times of San Diego)
  • The Leonid Meteor Shower — produced when Earth passes through the debris of comet 55P/Temple-Tuttle — is expected to peak today and tomorrow. According to NASA, it could produce up to 15 meteors per hour. Pro tip: Stargazers may want to trek to Anza-Borrego Desert State Park for prime viewing. ( + NASA)
  • The City of San Diego has reached a record 71% diversion rate for the amount of waste diverted from the landfill, a stat based on all waste generated by locals within city limits. As SD continues to work toward its Zero Waste plan, the next goal is 82% by 2030.
Plan Ahead
  • Local celebrity Chef Richard Blais and his wife, Jazmin, have a new collaborative cookbook: “Plant Forward: 100 Bold Recipes for a Mostly Healthy Lifestyle.” The couple will host a book signing and meet-and-greet on Wednesday, Nov. 29, at one of Blais’ local restaurants, California English. Get tickets.
  • Recruit Military and Disabled Veterans of America will host the virtual National Veterans Job Fair on Tuesday, Nov. 21, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. More than 100 employers will chat with jobseekers; the free event is open to all transitioning military service members, vets, and military spouses and dependents.
  • With one of the “best reward cards of 2023,” enjoy exceptional rewards on purchases and a $300 welcome bonus. And start racking up those rewards.*
  • Need the perfect holiday gift for your dad, brother, husband, or boyfriend? This brand has you covered with all the gifts and stocking stuffers that men will actually use. (Plus, they’re all 25% off during the Black Friday Sale, happening now.)*
The Buy
A great deal from Amazon’s Black Friday sales, which officially start today. Get 40% off Adidas running shoes or 20% off Martha Stewart cotton sheets.
We asked where you like to read. You said…
SD Joyride Bookshop Liberty Station

This is a very cute spot to grab some books for the kids.


Photo via Monica Garske + SDtoday

  • Snuggled on my couch at home: 56%
  • At local coffee shops: 22%
  • At the beach: 17%
  • At local parks: 6%
With the cooler weather, it’s prime time to curl up with a good book, don’t you think? Find your next great read by shopping small and local at these used bookstores, or check out these titles by San Diego authors.

Pro tip: If you’re looking for fun books for the kids, visit Joyride Bookshop at Liberty Station or The New Children’s Museum, or browse the titles available via the Sorrento Valley-based Printers Row Publishing Group.
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The Wrap
Monica Garske headshot Today’s edition by:
From the editor
Happy Friday, San Diego. With so many fun, festive things to do around town this season, SD is fully getting into the holiday spirit.

You could glide into some local ice rinks, check out opening weekend of Lightscape at the San Diego Botanic Garden, or book tickets to a holiday show. Oh, and the festive pop-up bars are about to be poppin’ — most of them debut next week. Let us know what type of seasonal events are your favorite.
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