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Waypoint Public Owner Navigates to University Heights for New Concept

Two neighborhood fixtures will be repurposed.

Courtesy image
Courtesy image

Yesterday, a trusted tipster passed along word that Bourbon Street had just shuttered. The Park Boulevard bar, a popular hub for the LGBT community, announced its closure on Twitter and speculation ensued about the space's new proprietor.

Eater has learned that John Pani, who opened North Park's Waypoint Public last fall, has taken over the lease to Bourbon Street and the adjacent Lei Lounge at 4612 and 4622 Park Boulevard.

Pani, the founder and CEO of ELE (Experience. Live. Enjoy.) Collective which also owns and operates Hotel Vyvant in Little Italy, said "With the new location, we look forward to introducing an entirely new concept to San Diego as a whole, but we’re most excited to be given the opportunity to breathe new life into a well-loved neighborhood gem," sharing that "University Heights is such a distinctive destination within the Uptown neighborhoods; we want to provide locals with a gathering place that is uniquely identifiable to their community."

Details have yet to be revealed, but Pani will be renovating the 5,000-square-foot New Orleans-style Bourbon Street and the 2,000-square-foot Lei Lounge and keeping them as separate spaces. The rumor mill says that a brewery might be part of the new concept but a rep shared that despite Pani's background with the beer-centric Waypoint Public, the project will not be a bar, brewery or anything beer-focused, and that Waypoint Public partners Brian Jensen (Bottlecraft) and executive chef Amanda Baumgarten will not be involved in this venture.

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