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Bottom Line on Top of The Cove: Revival Seen After $3 Million Site Work

Demolition has proper permits, councilwoman’s office says in response to neighborhood concerns.

Prospect Street’s famed Top of the Cove restaurant hasn’t served an upscale diner since 2006, but a $3 million remodel could lead to a reopening a year from now, according to U-T San Diego.

“We’re in the demo phase right now, building out the shell of the building, and once we secure a user and a concept, the interior may change to go along with their program,” the paper quoted architect Deborah Marengo as saying.

The work, which the paper said started about two weeks ago, has raised some eyebrows, however.

Several neighbors expressed concerns that the project lacked the proper city permits.

But Councilwoman Sherri Lightner’s office told Patch on Friday that the project has all the proper permits for construction and an inspector was onsite Friday to check on the work.

The U-T San Diego story also noted the historic nature of the site—even without a historic designation. 

Heath Fox of the La Jolla Historical Society was quoted as saying: “The building there is one of the oldest buildings in the village dating back to the cottage era, and we’re concerned about the cottages because they’re a distinctive architectural style of La Jolla.

“We don’t have a plan for a next move on this, but we think it’s unfortunate and want to continue to be an advocate for historic preservation of the cottages and the mid-century modern architecture unique to La Jolla.”

In June, the La Jolla Light reported that the 9,200-square-foot property with a famous view of La Jolla Cove was on the market for $7.5 million. According to Loopnet.com, the site at 1214-1216 Prospect was later taken off the market.

But the U-T story posted Tuesday said current owner Sheila Lipin planned to lease the property to someone who could revive the restaurant space.

It was a turn-of-the-century beach bungalow converted into a restaurant in 1953, said Loopnet.com, and “from its early days up to its closing in 2006, the restaurant was consistently ranked as one of the best restaurants in San Diego and the country.”

Carol McElheney October 20, 2012 at 12:15 AM
My son, his wife and I enjoyed dinner there over Labor Day weekend. I'm very glad we went. After growing up in La Jolla, I have never eaten at George's until then, and I would have missed the experience. It was wonderful and very nostalgic. Our server was very personable. I hope he's not out of work now.
Michelle Mowad (Editor) October 20, 2012 at 04:39 PM
Hi Carol, George's is still open. This is about Top of the Cove.

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