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Hideaway Pacific Beach Retooled in $5M Renovation

RESTAURANTS: Aims for Retro ‘Beach Bungalow House Party’ Feel

SAN DIEGO – A former Mexican restaurant in Pacific Beach is being retooled in a $5 million renovation to look and feel like the aging beachside bungalows that CEO Greg Newman knew growing up as an avid surfer in Hermosa Beach.

Hideaway Pacific Beach, slated to open this month, is chock full of memorabilia, old photos, skateboards and surfboards from such legendary San Diego surfers as Skip Frye, Mike Hanson and Justin Poston.

Greg Newman
CEO
Baja Sharkeez Restaurant Group

“We turned it into an iconic Pacific Beach bungalow, like the kind they keep tearing down and everybody wants them not to,” Newman said. “I love Pacific Beach. I love the people, the culture, the party vibe.”

Newman said that he was going for the feel of “a beach bungalow house party” at the Hideaway.

“You don’t feel like you’re in a bar. You don’t feel like you’re in a restaurant. You feel like you’re at a friend’s house,” Newman said, adding that he went for the vintage look because “people feel comfortable in that kind of environment, and it’s where they want to hang out with their friends.”

“I don’t think the place would look right if it looked new,” Newman said. “It’s just nostalgic. It’s retro classic.”

In fashioning Hideaway Pacific Beach, Newman said that he visualized it as the home of a lifelong Pacific Beach surfer who spearfished, was into punk rock, who didn’t want a traditional job and whose grandmother left him the house that he’s filled with treasures he’s collected his whole life.

The idea was to create the kind of place the fictional character would live in, party in and just hang out with friends as he did as a young man.

“The interior was completely gutted, I mean, down to the studs.” Newman said. “When you walk in, it’s a bunch of interconnected rooms so it’s not one big place. We cut it up into small rooms.”

A long bar stretches from inside the restaurant outside to the patio and there’s a smaller horseshoe bar.

“That area is more like a full-on living room vibe,” Newman said. “I don’t want to be a club. I don’t want to be a restaurant.”

The furnishings are what Newman described as “mid-century modern,” much of which Newman said that he picked up at Consignment Classics, a Midway District vintage and antique center.

“We have a bunch of old lamps, so it’s really supposed to look like grandma’s house,” Newman said. “You’re not going to see anything that looks new in there. The place is supposed to feel like it’s been there for 50 years.”

Interior seating includes booths made to look like those of the 1960s.

Flaming Volcanos

Newman said that he also completely redid the exterior of the 5,500-square-foot building near the Crystal Pier at 4474 Mission Blvd. to remove traces of the other restaurants that preceded Hidden Away at the location.

“We basically reshaped it, reshaped the chimney, put cobblestones out there, put white, craftsman siding on it, all the traditional craftsman little design aspects that you’d see on an old beach bungalow,” Newman said. “It’s basically bringing it back to that.”

Although the feel of Hideaway Pacific Beach is vintage, Newman said there are newer touches.

“We put in all the best kitchen equipment. We put this amazing wood-burning pizza oven that’s got a whole display where people can watch these guys make pizzas,” Newman said, adding that he upgraded the audio and visual equipment.

“We really wanted to do it right,” Newman said.

The menu includes thick crust, artesian pizza made with dough that takes three days to make.

There’s also organic salmon, rotisserie chicken, burgers, smoked beef brisket, red sauce rigatoni and meatballs, chicken pot pie, parmesan pesto rigatoni, spicy Korean chicken wings, and a variety of salads.

“It’s kind of like all the stuff you want to eat on a Sunday afternoon,” Newman said.

The drink menu includes a bourbon cocktail that comes in a flask that’s called the iron man, a variety of margaritas, rum mixtures, and 30 locally brewed beer on tap.

“We have a big flaming volcano bowl that we put high-proof rum in, and we light it, and the thing flames up,” Newman said. “We have this cool, brand-new thing that just came out. It’s a mini party keg.”

Baja Sharkeez Restaurant Group
FOUNDED: 1993
HEADQUARTERS: Hermosa Beach
CEO: Greg Newman
BUSINESS: hospitality
EMPLOYEES: 1,000
WEBSITE: www.hideawaypb.com
CONTACT: 619-548-4716: dustdin@hideawaypb.com
NOTABLE: Hideaway Pacific Beach is modeled after a beachside bungalow like those that CEO and surfer Greg Newman knew growing up in Southern California

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