Plus, a new taco shop and rent prices decrease.
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Today’s Forecast

59º | Rain — heavy at times with a chance of thunderstorms | 87% chance of rain | Sunrise 6:39 a.m. | Sunset 5:25 p.m. | High tides 6:06 a.m. and 8:15 p.m. | Low tide 1:37 p.m.

⚓️ Whale-come back
Rendering of the dining area inside the new Whaling Bar in San Diego with wooden floors and marble tables.
This is a modern take on a historic La Jolla restaurant. | Rendering via Schoos Design
Ahoy, The Whaling Bar. La Valencia Hotel’s historic cocktail lounge is set to return this month — a decade after it sailed away. Its redesign is set to make quite a splash, mixing familiar elements with a new menu and dining experience.

🐳 A killer history

In 1949 — 23 years after La Valencia opened — The Whaling Bar debuted as a cocktail lounge that shared a wall with Café la Rue.

Wing Howard's mural “The Whale’s Last Stand” behind the bar at The Whaling Bar prior to its closure in 2012 depicting whales popping out of the ocean.

“The Whale’s Last Stand” in its former home at the original Whaling Bar.


Image courtesy of La Valencia Hotel

The space had a dark, late-1800s nautical theme with art by Wing Howard, including a 20-ft mural dubbed “The Whale’s Last Stand.” During its run, it attracted famous guests like Theodor “Dr. Seuss” Geisel, Gregory Peck, and Robin Williams.

By the time the new millennium arrived, and into the 2010s, The Whaling Bar was considered a relic of a bygone era. It was causing financial strain on La Valencia, and hearts broke when the restaurant closed on Valentine’s Day 2013. It was replaced with an expanded Café la Rue that has since closed.

Rending of the inside of the Whaling Bar with tables, green velvet booths, and the bar in the back.

We see those velvet booths.


Rendering via Schoos Design

🐳 Orca-strating a comeback

A new chapter for The Whaling Bar is upon us, with the redesigned restaurant set to debut Friday, Feb. 16.

The $1.5 million project gutted the 1,500-sqft space and will feature black marble bar tops, coffered ceilings, and new flooring to blend with La Valencia’s Mediterranean design. Also look for throwbacks to the original lounge, like velvet booths and Howard’s mural.

The restaurant is managed by SDCM Restaurant Group, the local hospitality company behind hotspots like Kettner Exchange and The Grass Skirt. Its menu will feature offerings by Executive Chef Brian Redzikowski and beverage director Eric Johnson. Expect to see the New York strip loin — an homage to the original restaurant’s liver and onions — but we’re still waiting to see if the classic Whaler’s Grog returns.
Tuesday, Feb. 6
  • Resident Free Tuesday: Model Railroad Museum | Tuesday, Feb. 6 | 10 a.m.-4 p.m. | San Diego Model Railroad Museum, 1649 El Prado, San Diego | Free | All aboard, SD residents — get in free today with your valid ID.
  • Trousdale | Tuesday, Feb. 6 | 8 p.m. | House of Blues, 1055 Fifth Ave., San Diego | $32 | The pop-folk trio performs their “Out Of My Mind Tour” with guest Abbey Cone.
Wednesday, Feb. 7
  • San Diego State Aztecs vs. New Mexico Lobos Women’s Basketball | Wednesday, Feb. 7 | 11 a.m. | Viejas Arena, 5500 Canyon Crest Dr., San Diego | $6-$20 | Watch the local team dunk on their opponents from Albuquerque.
  • Knit One, Crochet Too | Wednesday, Feb. 7 | 4-5:30 p.m. | Central Library, 330 Park Blvd., San Diego | Free | Try your hand at knitting at this beginner-friendly class; supplies included.
  • Sleepy Pearls | Wednesday, Feb. 7 | 8 p.m. | The Music Box, 1337 India St., San Diego | $10 | This band’s sound is influenced by coastal California doo wop and Western folk of the 1950s and 1960s.
Thursday, Feb. 8
  • The Good, The Bad & The Ugly | Thursday, Feb. 8 | 6:30-8:30 p.m. | Backyard Brewery, 2229 Micro Place, Escondido | Free | This bingo experience — dubbed “Heartstrings Bingo: Love Songs Through the Ages” — explores love through memorable songs, even the cringey tunes.
  • Pride and Seek: The Queer Comedy Show | Thursday, Feb. 8 | 7:30 p.m. | Mic Drop Comedy, 8878 Clairemont Mesa Blvd., San Diego | $20 | LGBTQ+ comedians from SoCal joke about love at this Valentine’s Day edition.
Click here to have your event featured.
🏈 Super essentials for game day
A rotating gif of Super Bowl game day essentials, including tees that support Taylor and a slow cooker buffet.
It’s Super Bowl LVIII: Taylor’s Version. | Photos via Amazon
Ready for Super Bowl Sunday? Gear up for hosting, snacking, and cheering on Taylor’s boyfriend your favorite team with game day essentials.
News Notes
  • Expect another wet day with the possibility of thunderstorms and heavy rainfall this afternoon. The National Weather Service’s countywide Flood Watch remains in effect until 10 p.m. tonight. (National Weather Service)
  • Ballots for the March 5 presidential primary election are being mailed to registered San Diego voters this week — and yes, they include “I Voted” stickers. You can return your ballot through the mail or at an official county drop box through Tuesday, March 5.
Coming Soon
  • Taco ‘bout exciting news, Tacos El Franc — a popular Tijuana taqueria — plans to open its first US location this summer at Westfield Plaza Bonita. The restaurant will include two terraces and the same menu as its Tijuana location. (NBC 7)
Real Estate
  • Rent prices in San Diego dropped by 0.4% percent last month, bringing the median price of a 1 BD apartment to $1,932, or $2,421 for a 2 BD unit. Despite the dip, the city remains the No. 10 most expensive rental market in the US. (Times of San Diego)
  • San Diego County Department of Animal Services has a deal you’re going to love. The organization is hosting its “You Make My Heart Spin” campaign through Wednesday, Feb. 14. New pet parents will spin the wheel to let fate decide their adoption fee — but don’t worry, they’re all under $20.
Feel Good
  • After watching a segment about the Bucks4Buses program, an anonymous donor did what felt natural — donated $150,000. The fund helps students in underserved communities experience Balboa Park, and this particular contribution will help East County students visit the Natural History Museum. (CBS 8)
  • Ready to try your hand at pickleball? Locally-based brand Rally Republic has launched, co-founded by Encinitas resident Lauren Stohlman. The biz designs paddles branded for colleges and sports teams, also available on Amazon.
  • If you’ve been dreaming of a “one-card wallet,” it’s time to wake up and get your hands on this credit card. Not only does it offer 0% APR into 2025, but cardholders can also earn up to 5% cash back — with no annual fee to boot.*
The best Valentine’s Day gifts for 2024
A graphic with cartoon candy hearts that have different gift categories written inside, like "Home Goods" and "Books."
Six & Main’s snacks, cards, and home goods might just be our love language. | Graphic by 6AM City
Consider this your official reminder that Valentine’s Day is right around the corner. We’re making it easy for you to find the sweetest, most unique gifts for friends, family, and significant others. Bonus: These gifts ship right to your door.

Show the love

Smell the love

  • The fruit-lover in your life will appreciate this Passionate Fruit White Marble Candle.
  • Light the Bellini Candle and relax with your special someone.
  • City Editor Monica’s pick: “Who doesn’t love a good candle? And one that reminds me of one of my favorite places to hike and enjoy those beautiful SD views — it’s perfect.”
Want more options? Swoon over Six & Main’s Valentine’s Day collection.
The Buy
This set of six colored wine glasses, which remind us of Estelle stemware, only more affordable. The multicolor stemware set is perfect for parties, Galentine’s Day, or girls’ night in.
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The Wrap
Michael Beausoleil Today’s edition by:
From the editor
Good morning, San Diego. I’m not a huge football fan, but am I excited for the Super Bowl? “Yeah!” I think Usher will put on a great halftime show. In the past, the R&B singer has come to San Diego at least twice — in 2010 for the “OMG Tour” and in 2002 for the “8701 Evolution Tour.”
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