La Avenida complex subject to two design review proposals | Coronado City News

Properties at 1301 and 1309 Orange Avenue, owned by father and son Ben and Alex Shaw, have seen two design elements come to the Coronado Design Review Board in recent weeks. Design elements were presented separately by the two tenants of Spanish Revival style La Avenida; the next Blanco Cocina and Cantina in the downstairs space and Stake Chophouse & Bar on the second floor of the property.

At the Design Review Board meeting on April 27, 2022, representatives from the Fox Restaurants chain, Blanco Cocina and Cantina were present when the proposed design for the ground floor space was presented to the board. floor at 1301 Orange Avenue. The space was previously occupied by Bistro d’Asia and Côtier, and is recognizable by its red tiles, arches and cupola.

The proposal included removing the arches on the west side of the building facing Orange Avenue as well as the north side of the building facing Avenue B, extending outdoor seating in these two sections with green awnings above and a sliding magazine. entry doors with bronze-finished frames to replace the arched windows in each of these dining rooms. An additional 3×3 split light window and sliding exit with a bronze finished surround would replace the existing arched window just to the left of the main entrance.

The main entrance would feature a double rectangular wooden door with glass as well as bronze finish hardware. A blue, white and terracotta striped pattern would accompany the entrance on either side of the double doors and also extend below the windows of the building. Vertical decorative lights were also proposed for each side of the main entrance.

Minor changes include painting the existing Ave B railing of the outdoor dining section to be an iron ore color and adding a teak wood cap and adding from this balustrade to the proposed additional outdoor dining section along the Orange Avenue side of the property. Fairy lights, patio heaters, square planters and ficus trees were also included in the proposal to decorate these outdoor dining spaces, and a red painted wall mural of abstract birds and floral motifs in a repeating pattern would decorate also the front wall of Avenue B and behind the main sign at the entrance.

Green awnings would include “Blanco Cocina + Cantina” in uniform script and spacing in the eight-inch valance. A main sign would be placed above the main entrance with “Blanco” in individual channel letters in green, with each letter surrounded by white LED strip lighting to mimic the look of an exposed neon sign. A black canopy steel frame would be under “Blanco” and include “Cocina + Cantina” in small white letters. A second option for the main restaurant’s signage would place it on the cupola, which representatives said would be the preferred option if no changes were made to the cupola in the 1309 Orange Avenue proposal.

The Design Review Board had previously asked Fox Restaurant Design to explore an option that would maintain the existing arches which, in the design proposed at this meeting, were declared architecturally or unfeasible. structural while maintaining an indoor/outdoor dining area. pattern. The size of the opening and the height of the existing header were cited as justification for this conclusion.

After discussion between the Commissioners and representatives of Fox Restaurants, the Design Review Panel proposed to approve the design and design option 2 of the front signage (on the cupola) on the condition that the main entrance arch is maintained, awnings are not scalloped and no awning is over the entrance arch, a landscaping plan is provided at a later date for review by the commission, and that all other personnel requirements provided are met. The motion passed unanimously with all Commissioners present voting in favour.

Local restaurateur, David Spatafore, was on hand for the presentation of the Shaw-owned property’s second floor design proposal for 1309 Orange Avenue at the May 11, 2022 Design Review Board meeting. Stake Chophouse & Bar, part of Spatafore-owned Blue Bridge Hospitality local restaurant group, is the current occupant of the property.

Stake’s design proposal focused on modifications to the roof and second floor area to allow for the expansion of an outdoor dining terrace. Stake Chophouse & Bar’s proposal would remove the existing cupola portion of the red-tiled roof and reconfigure this space as an extension of Stake’s patio, adding a new glass balustrade and additional fire pit. As the intent of the proposal is to create space for additional patrons, a new parking plan application would also need to be submitted for review to meet the City’s parking requirements.

“We have seen a massive shift in what the customer wants and what is popular, and outdoor dining is more popular than ever and in high demand,” Spatafore explained during the meeting. “In order to compete in this city, Coronado and San Diego, we need to maximize outdoor dining as much as possible.”

Spatafore also cited water leak issues and impaired views from the cupola as part of the motivation to bring the idea of ​​reworking the second floor structure to the Shaws. “The reason I think it’s not a simple love it or hate it answer is that it’s about living with form rather than function and understanding what the design of this current building done with the sudden roof elevations and flat roofs,” he added. “If there are reasonable requests or suggestions to achieve all of our goals, we are open to that. We are a small local business and talking about the design of this as ruining the character of downtown Orange Avenue? I think that’s wrong. I think what is likely to ruin the character of downtown Orange Avenue is the rent rates and what happened to the rents and who will be able to pay them in the future.

A public comment period saw a variety of Coronadans talk about the proposal. Rena Clancy, president of the Coronado Chamber of Commerce, spoke on behalf of the chamber in support of Spatafore’s design proposal, citing a desire to support local businesses in Coronado. “With [Spatafore] following all appropriate rules and regulations, our goal is for it to be a local Coronadan operating and competing with great restaurants and hotels around Coronado,” Clancy said. “There’s definitely a lot of competition coming up and we’d like to keep it as local as possible, and empower our local restaurateurs who live here, who have kids in school here, who give back to our nonprofit organizations non-profit and to our organizations, it is very important.”

Christine Stokes, executive director of the Coronado Historical Association (CHA), spoke on behalf of the CHA to advocate for the preservation of the existing property at 1301 and 1309 Orange Avenue. “I would like to bring to the attention of the Design Review Board the provisions of the specific plan for the Orange Avenue Corridor and the importance of the architecture of the La Avenida complex in the plan,” Stokes began. She explained that the plan was approved by the Coronado City Council in 2004 after community workshops and citizen input as a policy document that would act as a bridge between the city’s overall plan and the development of individual projects.

Stokes commented that according to this document, the La Avenida complex is listed as a model building in terms of the document’s objective of protecting the architectural character and identity of Coronado’s commercial areas. “This building was built in 1938 and was designed and built by famed Coronado builder, Walter Vestal,” she added. “At the time of its construction and in the decades since, the building has received numerous accolades for its unique Spanish Revival architecture and as an anchor of Coronado’s distinctive identity.”

Like Stokes, various other members of the community have spoken out in favor of maintaining the architectural style of the La Avenida complex and the historic feature of the cupola in particular.

During discussion, the Design Review Board acknowledged that approval of this project would affect its previous approval of Fox Restaurants’ proposal for Blanco Cocina and Cantina in the space under Stake Chophouse & Bar, given that they had approved that their main signage be placed on the cupola. .

In asking if a sub-committee or something of that nature could be formed to work with the two candidates (Spatafore and the representatives of Fox Restaurants for Blanco Cocina and Cantina) to find a solution that retains the architectural features of the complex while meeting as much as possible to the needs of the two candidates, the city’s senior planner, Jesse Brown, explained that this would not be possible at this time since they are two separate applications.

“We can’t mix these two projects,” Brown commented. “As much as we would like, unfortunately the owners do not intervene and present it themselves. They left it up to each tenant to do this separately and that complicates things. Legally, we have to treat them as two separate requests.

Hearing community feedback on the desire to retain the cupola and citing the specific plan for the Orange Avenue Corridor, the Design Review Board proposed not to approve the Stake Chophouse & Bar proposal as it stands. present, but to pursue the proposal so that Spatafore can submit a revised plan to the commission which responds to these comments. The motion is carried with the three commissioners present all voting in favour.

The next Design Review Board meeting will be Wednesday, May 25 at 3 p.m. at City Hall (1825 Strand Way) or can be viewed online via the City’s website at

FLIGHT. 112, NO. 20 – 18 May 2022

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