Del Mar Highlands Town Center is upping its dining game in a major way, with a restaurant collective called The Sky Deck gearing up to open early next year with 10 eateries, a cocktail bar, and outdoor deck featuring taps for beer and kombucha. Part of a $120 million renovation and expansion that includes the recently-relocated Jimbo’s, developer Donahue Schriber is also refreshing the mix of tenants at the complex. Starting this fall, a dozen new shops and services, from a spa to clothing boutiques, will be rolling out along with three additions to the food and drink lineup.
Founded over 70 years ago in Ohio, Handel’s Homemade Ice Cream offers at least 50 daily flavors from a rotating list of 175 different ice cream varieties. Made fresh on-site in small batches — the shop will churn up to 60 batches on a busy day — its menu includes ice creams based on classic pies and seasonal flavors for the holidays. Local franchise owners Travis Campbell and Marcus Weenig, who live in North County, run two locations in Orange County and launched a bustling branch in coastal Carlsbad earlier this year.
Handel’s walk-up ice cream parlor will be located on the lower level of the mall next to Jimbo’s, The Sky Deck, and a new communal gathering space with its own seating. Also nearby will be Nordic Hygge Café and Bakery, the flagship for a new import named after a Danish word that represents “a quality of cosiness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being.” The café will serve smoothies, coffee, sandwiches, and organic baked goods made from flour directly imported from Denmark including the Danish staple, rye bread.
Rounding out the incoming roster is Happy Lemon, a mega-chain of Chinese bubble tea shops that landed in Kearny Mesa last year. Its menu of trendy snacks and drinks includes Asian-style egg waffles and boba milk tea topped with salted cheese foam.