San Diego

Weekend roundup

April 29-May 2


Oxford Social Club Reopening Weekend

April 30-May 1. Nightlife in the city returns! Pendry San Diego Hotel’s posh nightclub reopens its doors with VIP-style entertainment “under the chandelier,” including bottle service, dancing and more. The intimate underground venue is known for its extensive craft cocktail program, top-notch service and sophisticated ambiance—complete with plush couches, Persian rugs and hardwood floors. Catch DJ Shift spinning on Friday night, along with DJ E-Rock on Saturday. See website to be added to the guest list and for table reservations and safety protocols. 10 p.m.-2 a.m. 435 Fifth Ave., Gaslamp Quarter, 619.738.7040.

Cinco de Mayo Fiesta Old Town Mercado

May 1-2. Head to historical Old Town for some pre-Cinco de Mayo fun in the form of an artisan market and dining extravaganza. The 37th annual festival features more than 100 vendors offering handmade leather pieces, jewelry, gifts, artwork and more; plus live entertainment. Guests also can sample food and libations from local eateries offering expanded curbside seating—including Bruno Burritos, Cafe Coyote, Casa de Freds, Cocina 35, Guadalajara Mexican Restaurant and Tahona. Open daily 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Admission is free. San Diego Avenue (between Conde and Twigg streets), Old Town.

Food + Drink


Now Open. With its rich, blue hues and nautical touches, Saltwater is an escape to the Mediterranean. The seafood restaurant features an ice display showcasing global catches flown in daily; plus a glass-enclosed wine room promising the perfect pairing. Chef Christopher Washburn’s menu includes pistachio-crusted tuna with caponata-grilled polenta and Maine lobster fettuccine; plus caviar, a raw bar, salads and ocean-inspired cocktails such as the Reef cucumber-mint martini. Carnivores will love the lamb chops. W-Su 4-10 p.m. 565 Fifth Ave., Gaslamp Quarter, 619.525.9990.


Reopened. The city’s original beer-centric gastropub (circa 2007) has reopened after a two-year remodel. CH Projects’ new-again outpost is an acoustic dream—outfitted with a hi-fi wall, vintage sound system and vinyl record library. Sample exceptional beers by San Diego brewers—along with rare, global beers from small producers—while enjoying pub fare such as chicken schnitzel with crispy potatoes. (Also, Young Blood, a new 16-seat cocktail den, as well as iconic speakeasy Noble Experiment, are now open behind the back wall. Shhh.) See website for hours and reservations. 777 G St., East Village, 619.446.0002.

Cinco de Mayo at The Original 40 Brewing Co.

Upcoming | May 5. Celebrate Cinco de Mayo at this popular 26-tap brewpub—named for the original 40-acre parcel of land that later became modern-day North Park. Specials include $5 drafts of Corn Hub light Mexican lager and Oscuridad dark Mexican lager; plus $3 beer-battered fish tacos all day. Also be sure to try the famous short-rib street tacos with poblano crema, serrano peppers and cotija cheese; and the poutine-style French fries. Dine inside at limited capacity or on the patio. No reservations needed. Noon-10 p.m. 3117 University Ave., North Park, 619.255.8380.

Cinco de Mayo at Union Kitchen & Tap

Upcoming | May 5. Cinco de Mayo fun at this beloved Encinitas gastropub includes live music by Zach Churchill (beginning at 6 p.m.); plus tequila specials and cocktails such as the Vincent Vega made with Don Julio Blanco. Favorite dishes include the dry-rubbed, smoked-cherry buffalo wings with a Sriracha-maple glaze; gumbo with andouille sausage, smoked chicken and okra; and the roasted mushroom flatbread with bechamel, mozzarella, fried sage and truffle salt. Relax inside or on one of three heated patios. 11 a.m.-10 p.m. 1108 S. Coast Hwy. 101, Encinitas, 760.230.2337.

Arts + Culture

San Diego Symphony Livestream Concert

April 30. Rafael Payare (pictured) leads the symphony in Early Genius: String Music of Mozart, Elgar and Mendelssohn—an evening of works by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Edward Elgar and Felix Mendelssohn. Highlighting the orchestra’s string section, the concert begins with Mozart’s Divertimento in F Major, which he composed at age 16; followed by Elgar’s first masterpiece, Serenade for Strings in E Minor; and closing with String Symphony No. 12 by Mendelssohn, who wrote 13 symphonies between the ages of 12 and 14. 7 p.m. $20 (or purchase an all-access season pass for $100).

Paintings from the Confinement at San Diego Museum of Art

Opens May 1. Housed in the museum’s American art gallery, Paintings from the Confinement is a new exhibit comprising 11 egg-tempera paintings by San Diego-based artist Marianela de la Hoz—created in response to the pandemic. According to the artist: “During these very long months of confinement, all of us have changed in many ways. At least for me, it has been a time to reevaluate and confirm that the only treasures I have are my loved ones, family, friends and art …” See website for hours and tickets. 1450 El Prado, Balboa Park, 619.232.7931.

Einstein Comes Through at North Coast Repertory Theatre

Through May 23. Now streaming on demand, this one-act, one-man play stars Jake Broder (pictured)—written by David Ellenstein and Marc Silver. Broder plays a seemingly ordinary man named Hank, who channels his lifelong idol, theoretical physicist Albert Einstein. The two personalities explore topics ranging from life’s everyday annoyances to its big mysteries—with dark and light moments in between. Broder—known for his roles in The Morning ShowSilicon Valley and How I Met Your Mother—shines in a brilliant solo performance. $35-54. 858.481.1055.

Radical Inclusion at Fresh Paint Gallery

Extended through May 23. On the heels of Autism Awareness Month in April, this special exhibit features works by Katie Flores, a painter on the autism spectrum, and her mentor, Amanda Saint Claire (pictured, L-R). The show is a celebration of their unique relationship; the two share a studio, paint and visit art museums together. Radical Inclusion is inspired by the book (available for purchase) by Andrea Moriarty about the benefits of mainstreaming people on the spectrum. F-Sa noon-8 p.m.; Su 10 a.m.-3 p.m.; and by appointment. 1020-B Prospect St., La Jolla, 858.215.2501.

Photo credits: Fiesta Old Town Mercado courtesy of Casa de Freds. Neighborhood by James Tran. Einstein Comes Through by Aaron Rumley. All other images are courtesy of the businesses and venues featured.

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