Hillcrest is one of the most popular dining destinations in San Diego but many in the community have expressed concern about the number of restaurants that have opened and closed in recent years. Fifth Avenue between Robinson and Washington has been a particularly hard hit area with six vacant storefronts, and in the last several years alone at least 52 restaurants have closed in the Hillcrest area.
San Diego LGBT Weekly contacted the Hillcrest Business Association to ask “What do you believe is causing the restaurant turnover? Interim Executive Director Ben Nicholls said, “A lack of parking or a perception of a lack of parking is certainly a problem in certain locations in Hillcrest. The biggest issue … is the lack of new residences being built in the neighborhood.”
Nicholls added, “Hillcrest doesn’t have a vacancy problem at all, despite what you might see when you visit the neighborhood.” He pointed to restaurants that have survived like the Salt & Cleaver, Heat and Great Maple who have all “engaged the neighborhood,” said Nicholls. He added that Hillcrest has a “great group of (potential) customers who want to try new things.” Unfortunately, the 52 restaurateurs who were not successful might have a different view.
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