Adams Avenue, centered in San Diego’s oddly-named ‘Normal Heights’ district, is anything but normal. The two-mile long commercial street began its life as a small suburban hub, but with the advent of malls and big-box retailers, it has had to reinvent itself over and over again.
First it became “Antique Row” with a string of antique shops, some of which still survive around the iconic free-standing clock near 30th. Then, it became a haven for used and antiquarian bookshops, and there are still a few scattered along the avenue.
But recently, Adams Avenue has had to recreate itself again – and now its finding itself at the hip forefront of San Diego, with a world-class pub, The Blind Lady Tavern which is visited by San Diego’s “Ron Burgundy”, otherwise known as Will Farrell, when he leads pub crawls through the city. Participants don’t have to crawl far – the Blind Lady shares a building with Rosie O’Grady’s and an attached wine shop, Proprietor Reserve Wine Bar.
Across the uncontrolled intersection on the opposite side of the street is the Irish bar The Ould Sod, and Lestat’s, a vaguely vampire-themed coffee house and intimate concert space fills up one of the old bookshop locations. On Tuesdays, six or eight food trucks converge on the lot in front of Smitty’s Garage, providing local foodies with sandwiches, sushi, Russian pierogi and other gourmet treats while stepping around the oil stains.
At independent Elos Shoes, which stands between Rosie O’Grady’s and The Blind Lady like a slightly more sober girlfriend keeping two rivals at bay, foot fashionistas find shoes and accessories from far-forward designers such as Avarcas, Hobo, Cushe, Miz Mooz and even a green, vegan line of sandals made out of recycled yoga mats, Sanuk. This year, though, it’s all about boots, with the shop scrambling to keep them in stock.
Hair Drezzers On Fire
3463 Adams Ave San Diego, CA 92116
Walk Ins Accepted
The Salon Bordeaux
3393 Adams Avenue CA 92116
3404 Adams Ave San Diego, CA 92116
Open 7 days; call for hours
3343 Adams Ave
San Diego CA 92116
Blind Lady Ale House
3416 Adams Ave San Diego, CA 92116