Points of Interest in Point Loma
Where One Native Shops, Decompresses and Dines
Born and raised in Point Loma, Theresa Renfro moved away in her early adult years but returned to the community by the sea in 1995. Since that time, she’s had two girls (Michaela, 15, and Ona-Justine, 12) and, in the last three years, opened a trio of boutiques in the heart of Point Loma Village. En concordia, her first foray into retail ownership, stocks plants, gifts, books, small-batch foods and teas, and clean beauty products (more on that later). See/Saw came second with organic cotton clothes and non-toxic toys, blankets and gifts for babies and kids. And last year, Theresa opened her third store, Good Dog Pet Outfitters, which sells duds, leashes, toys and treats for four-legged family members.
With these storefronts, Theresa’s become part of a larger movement taking shape in Point Loma, one where women-owned businesses with a focus on wellness and preservation are moving in, gentrifying the area and thriving. She invited us to join her at some of her favorite restaurants, hangouts, shops, even an after-hours party.
1. Coffee Hub & Cafe
After dropping the kids off at school, Theresa often (like sometimes five days a week) stops into this cycle-themed cafe for a cup of black, locally-roasted coffee (though today she has a cappuccino) and the omelet, made with spinach, feta, portobello mushrooms and basil pesto. In the year since it has been open (the shop celebrated its first anniversary last month), the eatery has become a gathering spot for locals to work and athletes to refuel. “I love the modern, organic design in here,” Theresa says, “and the healthy, artisanal food.” It helps that owner Sandy Henshaw is doing her part to resurrect the village too; she also owns The Wine Pub in the same complex. 2907 Shelter Island Drive, #107, 619-738-1482, coffeehubsd.com
2. Supannee House of Thai Restaurant
We just pop into this Renfro family favorite a couple of doors down from Coffee Hub. It’s nearing lunchtime, and the smells wafting from the kitchen are enough to make a mouth water. Embracing the farm-to-Thai table concept, the husband-and-wife House team, who co-own this restaurant, grow some of their own veggies in a garden in the neighborhood. Theresa recommends the Green Curry, “as hot (as in spicy) as possible,” she says, with bamboo shoots, green beans, Thai eggplant, bell peppers and Thai basil with tofu or seafood since she doesn’t eat chicken, beef or pork. 2907 Shelter Island Drive, #110, 619-795-8424, sdthai.com
3. La Playa Bayside Trail and Kellog Beach
This historic path stretches from San Diego Yacht Club to the Southwestern Yacht Club. We enter off Talbot Street and begin walking southwest along the dirt walk that borders the marina on our left and homes with beautiful gardens on our right. “This is where I come for inspiration,” Theresa says. “It serves as my external office.” Sometimes she comes and jogs with Michaela; other times she walks alone taking in the serene beauty and thinking through a product-placement problem in her head. We don’t go to Kellogg Beach on this gloomy day threatening rain, but Theresa says it was once the best kept secret in Point Loma. Located on the bay side, the calmer waters provide a safe place for little ones to play (Theresa used to bring her girls here after school on sunny days) and the ideal stage for paddleboard yoga (with or without your dog). But with its breathtaking skyline and Coronado views, it’s also the proposed site for a new condo complex. Within the last year, Point Loma residents have set up a Save Kellogg Beach (savekelloggbeach.com) website and started a GoFundMe campaign (gofundme.com/save-kellogg-beach)—which had raised more than $4,500 at press time—to preserve the neighborhood beach.
4. Kona Kai Resort & Spa
For decades, the luxury resort at the tip of Shelter Island was renowned as an exclusive escape for politicians and celebrities. It’s also a private club (though it’s open to the public as well) that Theresa and her husband have belonged to for 17 years. Theresa comes for SpaTerre—and the Himalayan Salt Stone Massage. “Put hot rocks on me, and I’m a happy girl,” she admits. In the summer, her family enjoys the pool (and the reserved cabanas, a perk of membership); and she and her husband come to Vessel Restaurant in the evenings (four or five times a week) for the view, the live music and a glass of pinot noir from Oregon’s Willamette Valley. “[Vessel] also does a great brunch, and they have an epic bloody Mary bar [on weekends],” she says. 1551 Shelter Island Drive, 619-819-8176, clubkonakai.com
5. Northside Shack
After school snacks typically come from this health-conscious cafe, owned by chef and mom Pamela Olvera. Theresa’s usual? The Organic Pitaya bowl with peanut butter. But other locals flock to this tiny juice bar for the customizable blends, Kombucha, and according to one of our editors here, the best Acai bowl in town! 1255 Rosecrans St., 619-738-8233, northsideshack.wordpress
6. La Playa Books
With a master’s degree in applied linguistics, Theresa adores language, words and literature. “I love used books and knowing that a thousand other souls have touched the pages,” she says. So it’s not surprising that she frequents this bookshop conveniently located across the street from en concordia. “I’m a sucker for the classics and books on esoteric gardening, cooking and nature.” 1026 Rosecrans St., 619-226-2601, laplayabooks.com
7. Beach Community Acupuncture
When it’s time to relax, unwind and get a bit of relief from an old shoulder injury, Theresa walks across the street (from en concordia) to this community acupuncture setup—that costs only $25 per session. “At first, I was totally self-conscious,” she says of the all-in-one-treatment-room layout. “But then I started to look at it for what it is—accessible healthcare that we do as a community, and I love it.” 1024 Rosecrans St., 619-224-2442, beachacu.com
8. Time to Pamper
At the beginning of this year, Theresa rolled out her Cocktails + Clean Beauty Series at en concordia, a monthly gathering on the second Thursday of every month from 5-7 p.m., where friends, neighbors and strangers come to try cruelty-free, green beauty products; sip Prosecco-based cocktails; mingle; and listen to live, acoustic music from local musicians. “I’m really trying to get the junk out of people’s [beauty] cabinets,” Theresa says, “and encourage people to come back to the village after hours; it’s characteristically been a dead zone after 5 p.m.” Well, it’s working. Starting (on April 12) other businesses on and around Rosecrans Street will stay open late to host a variety of special events.
The kid-friendly Wee Gather opens its doors to host a pizza-and-movie night. 3030 Canon St., 619-841-1018, weegather.com
Yoga Arts, the community arts studio, leads visitors through a stretch-and-restore session with essential oils. 3017 Canon St., 619-341-8765, yogaarts.com
La Playa Books will be open late.
Bring pups to Good Dog Pet Outfitters for treats and a pic in front of the very Instagrammable wall outside. 3034 Canon St.,