From left: Juan Yi, Armando Ye, Jorge Garcia-Flores, Elisa Sabatini and Jim Brown are some of the people behind Pan & Sal cafe. / Photo by Kinsee Morlan

A former bread factory in Logan Heights has grown into an exciting art center over the last eight years. A brewery has also opened up inside the Bread & Salt warehouse recently.  So far, though, chefs and restaurateurs have only flirted with the idea of serving food there.

But that’s about to change, and the old bread factory will soon be churning out bread once again.

A new partnership has plans to open a bakery and cafe inside Bread & Salt next spring. They’re calling it Pan & Sal. They’ll serve freshly baked breads, tortas (Mexican sandwiches) using ingredients from an edible garden at the space, plus coffee, beer and wine. And Via International, a nonprofit with its home office at Bread & Salt, will run cooking classes and workshops in the kitchen. The hope is to reach nearby residents who have an interest in learning new culinary skills.

Juan Yi, the founder of a development company in Tijuana whose past projects include Encuentro Valle de Guadalupe, a hotel and restaurant northeast of Ensenada that’s known for its unique design, is partnering with Elisa Sabatini, president of Via International, which provides nutrition education, job training and micro-financing programs to underserved communities in Mexico and Central America, on the project. Chef Jorge Garcia-Flores will create the menu and help run a program that invites chefs and bakers from Southern California and Baja California to run pop-up events throughout the year. Neighbors who take classes at the kitchen will also be invited to host pop-up food events in the cafe.

“It’s a for-profit-with-a-conscious project,” Yi said. “I had this romantic idea of bringing back bread to Bread & Salt. … It’s an idea that has been fermenting for years.”

Sabatini said her nonprofit recently started piloting some of its programming to people living nearby in Barrio Logan and Logan Heights. It’s been successful so far, she said, and Pan & Sal will allow the programming to continue.

“Bread & Salt is a bridge to this community, which is in the process of significant gentrification and there are a lot of social issues in this community,” Sabatini said. “I think to be able to navigate that in a way that is inviting to the people who live here is an art.”

Sabatini said she envisions grandmas who live nearby and are revered in their families for making delicious dishes using Pan & Sal as a platform to possibly launch a new catering business, or just using the space to host a pop-up dinner for their friends and family.

“The idea is to involve the community,” Sabatini said. “Make it really accessible.”

You’re reading the Culture ReportVoice of San Diego’s weekly collection of the region’s cultural news.

Will Horton Plaza Park Get Real Programming?

Horton Plaza has been sold, reports the Union-Tribune.

As part of the deal, the new owners, real estate investment firm Stockdale Capital Partners, have inherited a deal that includes a requirement to host over 200 public and private events a year at the Horton Plaza Park in front of the mall.

Horton Plaza Park / Photo by Kinsee Morlan

The city owns the park property, but Stockdale Capital must pay for its operations, maintenance and programming for the next two decades as part of the deal. The events were built into the agreement as a method of preventing the park from becoming a homeless encampment. Who wants to sleep on the grass when hordes of people are in the park watching a performance, the thinking went.

Horton Plaza Park was designed to host big events. When it first opened, many in the local arts community were excited by the prospect of hosting cultural events in the large, open public space in the heart of downtown.

But that never really panned out. Most arts groups couldn’t afford to rent the space, even with a nonprofit discount.

Instead, Westfield tried to active the space with various recurring events, but nothing the mall operators did ever really took off. The company would often just scatter hula-hoops and other lawn games in the park or ask solo musicians to perform for free in exchange for exposure in order to meet the 208 events a year required in its contract with the city.

William Joey Dorsett, an artist who runs an online group for local street performers, said the new owners should engage local artists to help activate the space.

“A busker program would be great,” Dorsett said. “Maybe six designated spots for buskers – two for musicians, two for artists and two for performance art. That would be awesome.”

Taylor Ward, chair of the advocacy group Rising Arts Leaders San Diego, said the new mall owners would benefit by reaching out to the arts and education community.

“Do calls for artists, invite the dance companies for things like the trolly dances, get the grad students at the colleges to exhibit their work here and have museums host pop-up events,” Ward wrote in an email. “We’ve got all the wonderful art talent we could want in San Diego we just need to support it with venues like this.”

Let me know what type of events you’d like to see happening in the public plaza by commenting on this Facebook thread or shooting me an email.

The Mingei’s on the Move and More News for the Culture Crowd

• The Mingei International Museum in Balboa Park will close at the end of September for a year-long renovation. During the closure, the museum will set up a temporary space at the Arts District Liberty Station. (Times of San Diego)

The Mingei International Museum is being redesigned to be more open and inviting to the public. / Photo by Kinsee Morlan

Here’s more about the museum’s redesign.

•  In a new federal court ruling, San Diego Comic-Con’s trademark of the “comic con” name has been solidified. Other cons that keep using “comic con” in their branding could face future lawsuits. (Deadline)

• Adorable alert: Look at how this local artist, who works by weaving yarn around nails hammered into intricate designs, proposed to his girlfriend.

• The Art Gallery at the downtown Central Library is the closest thing San Diego has to a civic art gallery. Kara West, who ran the gallery since it opened in 2013, recently stepped down and the city is currently looking for her replacement.

• This poetry and spoken word event is popular. (CityBeat)

• The San Diego International Airport has released a draft of its arts master plan and is looking for the public to weigh in. One thing y’all could provide feedback on is whether you think a statue of aviator Charles Lindbergh should reinstalled in the airport despite his anti-Semitic past.

• A new mural is being painted in Chicano Park. (Union-Tribune)

• Artist Kadir Nelson, whose work can often be found on the cover of albums and magazines like The New Yorker, lives in Los Angeles now, but he grew up in San Diego and Chula Vista. Here’s his first-person account of his artistic upbringing. (KPBS)

• Kathleen Stoughton has taken the helm of the Lux Art Institute in Encinitas. (Union-Tribune)

The Kinsee Report: Here’s Where I Want to Be This Week

The annual International Summer Organ Festival in Balboa Park is coming to a close. The finale is a good one: San Diego civic organist Raúl Prieto Ramírez will be playing classics by Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin. The free concert’s happening Monday, when many of us don’t have to work. Yay, Labor Day.

San Diego Civic Organist Raúl Prieto Ramírez / Photo by Kinsee Morlan

• Speaking of Labor Day, it just wouldn’t feel right to let the holiday pass without eating barbecue. This new family-friendly BBQ joint in El Cajon looks promising.

• Eleanor Antin’s photographs look like beautifully intricate Renaissance paintings. She’s just one of the regional artists featured in a new exhibition opening at the San Diego Art Institute in Balboa Park. Antin and others, including Adam Belt, Einar and Jamex de la Torre, Cheryl Nickel and Ruben Ochoa, are part of the show, which features “artists who contemplate how faith meshes with contemporary life, the role of ritual and symbolism, and the metamorphosis of traditional symbols as they become immersed in popular culture,” according to an email promotion.

Food, Cannabis, Beer and Booze News

• A new weekly outdoor food market and craft fair opened downtown. It pops up at Lane Field Park every Sunday. (NBC 7)

• Listicle alert: Here’s a rundown of 16 new bar and restaurant openings around San Diego. (Union-Tribune)

• If you’re into the speakeasy scene, this cocktail event’s for you.

Poway’s getting a new food hall. (Eater)

• Bye, Monkey Paw. (Union-Tribune)

In a bold claim, a CityBeat food writer says Lola 55, a restaurant that recently opened in East Village, has the best tacos in town.

Kinsee Morlan is engagement editor at Voice of San Diego. Email her at kinsee@vosd.org with arts and culture news and tips, or submit your question about San Diego arts and culture here. Want to recommend the Culture Report to someone? Share this sign-up link. Subscribe to Voice of San Diego podcasts

Kinsee Morlan

Kinsee Morlan was formerly the Engagement Editor at Voice of San Diego and author of the Culture...

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