Design + Community: Barrio Logan
Design + Community: Barrio Logan
Barrio Logan long has been an important part of Mexican-American culture in San Diego. With murals, public works of art and artistic spaces to draw people from all walks of life, the neighborhood is an enclave of Latin life. Home to a multitude of galleries and maker spaces, the area is a haven for San Diego creators and those who appreciate their work.
The neighborhood first turned to art as a source of civic pride in the 1960s, when the construction of Coronado Bridge threatened Barrio Logan’s Chicano Park. Residents made it their own again by painting huge, vibrant murals about Mexican-American struggles on the pillars of the bridge. In 2021, Chicano Park is a vaunted landmark home to the world’s largest collection of Chicano murals.
Barrio Logan also offers an impressive taco and tap room scene, with some of the most authentic Mexican fare you’ll find north of the border.
Based on its richly vibrant and authentic concentrations of art, culture and creativity, Barrio Logan has been designated as one of 14 California Cultural Districts, which showcase some of the unique artistic identities that drive California’s culture.
Address: Logan Avenue, San Diego Architect: n/a Completed: n/a
If you’re hungry, you’ve come to the right place. A stroll down Logan Avenue in the heart of Barrio Logan offers an eclectic array of culinary options in unique settings. Read on for more information about these local businesses.
2196 Logan Avenue
¡SALUD! is a Mexican Food Eatery that is pure Southern California from the tattoo inspired murals to the pinstripe car hoods on the walls. The restaurant ‘s menu pays homage to the street food of Northern Mexico and has traditional roots but with its own Chicano flare. The tacos of ¡SALUD! have been featured on the Travel Channel, Washington Post, The New York Times & LA Times.
2234 Logan Avenue
Barrio Dogg fuses international hot dog recipes with the comfort of Nana’s kitchen. The result is meant to satisfy the cravings of the soul.
2181 Logan Avenue
Border X gets their inspiration from traditional Mexican drinks to make their unique craft beer. The brewery offers a welcoming space with an outdoor patio where the community can come together to drink, eat and enjoy.
2154 Logan Avenue
El Carrito restaurant is an old 1930s cable car that was brought to life by community artist, Salvador “Queso” Torres. This authentic Mexican eatery claims to have the best chilaquiles in San Diego.
2146 Logan Avenue
Por Vida features tasty beverages with a Mexican touch, such as their Horchata Latte. A cafe shop with a twist on Chicano culture, the space houses murals by different artists as well as Mexican/Chicano art showcasing the lively Chicano culture.
Address: 1745 National Avenue, San Diego Architect: n/a Completed: n/a
The 40,000-square-foot former factory, which became home to a production facility and tasting room for North Park’s Thorn Brewing Company in 2017, has grown to become the “Acre of Awesome”, housing a multitude of drinking and dining options. A sustainably-minded focus connects all of the businesses. Along with Thorn Brewing’s 30-barrel brewhouse and tasting room, ReBru Spirits upcycles beer that is overstocked or nearing its expiration date into small bath craft vodka, gin, and whiskey. New addition Kové Hard Yerba Mate brews the world’s first alcoholic yerba mate – organic, vegan, gluten-free, and designed to be shared. Rounding out the offering is your choice of tacos, BBQ or wood-fired pizza, using spent grains from local breweries in the crust. Read more of the story behind the Acre of Awesome in this interview with Dennis O’Connor, founder of Thorn Brewing, here.
Address: 1776 National Avenue, San Diego Architect: Hector Perez & Kate Meairs, Designers Completed: 2021
Los Patios is a mixed-use development opening soon. The project utilizes an environmentally passive design strategy that is organized around a central patio which doubles as communal space and surface parking for the residents. The central communal patio interlays with the commercial unit’s covered space and sidewalk cafe extensions to promote interactions between residents and the public.
Each floor offers wide access balconies around the central patio, connecting to each loft suite and facilitating natural light and cross ventilation from both sides. Each unit has a private patio/balcony loft and is designed with large floor to ceiling glass openings that maximize in-out connections and frame the beautiful sunset views to the bay, Coronado Bridge and the downtown skyline.
Address: 1625 Newton Avenue, San Diego Architect: Davy Architecture Completed: 2013
The Monarch School is a unique educational facility; one of a handful of its kind in the United States, created to educate homeless children. The new Nat and Flora Bosa Campus, located in the Barrio Logan district of San Diego, is five times the size of Monarch's previous facility, and allowed the school to double its enrollment to over 350 K-12 students; it houses an array of educational and support services, with room for expansion.
An existing 59,000 square-foot two-story, tilt-up concrete commercial warehouse building at 1625 Newton Avenue was seismically upgraded and transformed into Monarch's new facility. The overall building footprint was maintained while adding an entry portico, arcade/shade structure, exterior color scheme, and landscaping. Windows and doors were added to the majority of classrooms for natural daylight.
Interior improvements include two resource centers, a library, tutoring center, lobby, auditorium, and several support spaces on two floors. The lobby and auditorium are atrium spaces with skylights to create an inviting, comfortable environment for students, faculty, and staff. Parking areas, hardscape play spaces, a kindergarten playground, and new landscape adjoin the facility on three sides.
Address: 1805 Newton Avenue, San Diego Architect: n/a Completed: n/a
The MW Steele Group was founded in 1983 and moved to its present location in Barrio Logan in the spring of 2009. In the 12 years since moving to Barrio Logan, they have been involved in the community in many ways. As a firm, they believe strongly in supporting and giving back to the community and Barrio Logan is no exception. At the present time the company is supporting the community plan update and food bank as an example.
The firm operates as a studio focused on two primary spaces: an open high ceiling studio space and a mezzanine supporting the company with conference spaces and an office kitchen. The building began life in 1961 as a printing company followed by Basile Studios and in 2009, the MW Steele Group. Local lore tells that Shepard Fairey, the renowned American contemporary street artist, and founder of OBEY may have learned silk screening as an intern at the original printing company.
Having their studio in the heart of one of San Diego’s prime design and art communities, which has been designated by the California Arts Council as a California Cultural District, has been a designer’s feast for the firm. They have included the great local restaurant MishMash in thier building street front space which provides a literal feast for our team, clients, and neighbors.
Address: 1894 Main Street, San Diego Architect: n/a Completed: 2003
Founded in 1994 by Brothers Harry, Carmine and Tom, Ryan Bros Coffee started out as a coffee cart in La Jolla and Old Town. In 2003 Ryan Bros. moved into the current headquarters in Barrio Logan. Recognized now as a pioneer for redevelopment in the neighborhood, both the City of San Diego and the Port Authority have awarded the family with a dedicated “Coffee Day to Ryan Bros.” every November 8th; this historical location has become the pride of the neighborhood and a landmark for its innovation to the coffee industry.
From Ryan Bros: “We are passionate about selecting, roasting, and blending unique coffees that create a ritual experience which bonds customers and friends in specials relationships.” Additionally, Ryan Bros, Coffee lives by the trademark slogan, “Life is too short to be bitter!”
Address: 1101 Cesar E. Chavez Parkway, San Diego Architect: Safdie Rabines Architects/Spurlock Landscape Architects Completed: 2013
Estrella de Mercado, developed by Chelsea Investment Corporation, provides 92 units of affordable housing for San Diego families. Commercial uses include the Northgate Market, breweries and more. This mixed-use development links a series of plazas and green spaces from Chicano Park to Cesar Chavez Park along the San Diego Bay.
The LEED-certified project incorporates porous paving, a bioswale for stormwater collection and treatment, drought tolerant planting, and over 100 new shade trees for reducing urban heat island effect. The designers collaborated with regional and local artists to integrate new murals and mosaics with the existing murals at the adjacent Chicano Park.
Address: 2001 Main Street, Ste A, San Diego Architect: n/a Completed: n/a
This progressive design studio comprises designers, craftsmen, artists, and builders who work to push the boundaries of design and fabrication. The Orchid-winning studio, housed in an 11,000-square-foot warehouse complex in the heart of Barrio Logan’s Design District, includes an in-house fabrication shop, allowing a direct dialogue between the design and fabrication of each piece.
Address: 2212 Main Street, San Diego Architect: Rinehart Herbst, 2007 Completed: Established 1946, Renovation 2007
Woodbury University’s distinctive, faculty-designed San Diego campus offers a multitude of timely and compelling study, design, and research opportunities. This former industrial space is furnished with classrooms, studios, a digital fabrication lab, metal and wood shops, and a library, to serve its 150 students. Woodbury also serves as a hub for many of the neighborhood’s planning, education, and arts organizations.
Address: 2632 National Avenue, San Diego Architect: n/a Completed: n/a
L.W.P. Group (short for "Live. Work. Play.") is an award-winning brand of urban properties concentrated in San Diego. L.W.P. has a common appreciation for comfortable, modern living and working environs, affordable places and spaces of character and distinction, urban-minded, lifestyle-driven conveniences, cool stuff. L.W.P. Group’s offices are true to their mission of creating experience driven concepts and reinvigorating spaces. By incorporating a gallery, event space and a rental unit, they achieve an eclectic urban mix that is reflected in the innovative street art and unconventional use of materials. The open courtyard is flanked by shipping containers used as meeting rooms and boasts car tires and packing crate planters, a quirky fire pit made from mechanical components, and an awning made from plastic water bottles.
Address: 2619 National Avenue Architect: n/a Completed: n/a
Roasting coffee has been a family tradition since the late 1960s for second-generation owners Torrey and Kimberly Lee. With a long-time love of vintage motorcycle racing, and technical involvement with espresso machines and coffee blends, their family launched Cafe Moto in 1990. They continue to create new products and offering to meet the changing tastes of their customers. The cafe features new and vintage soap box derby cars as well as vintage motorcycles and sustainably made furniture.
Address: 2222 Logan Avenue, San Diego Architect: Hector Perez, Designer Completed: 2012
La Esquina (the corner) is a small infill project breathing new life into a long-vacant corner lot. The seven double–height, naturally ventilated live–workspaces with mezzanines and adjacent patio decks live a lot larger than their footprint. Colors and materials pay homage to Barrio Logan’s cultural history. A new restaurant, Fish Guts, will soon open in the ground floor storefront space, with outdoor patio.
The mural on the face of the building, by bld | lab, was commissioned to be interactive for passers-by and create a link to the rich history of mural art in Barrion Logan. It was created by using an algorithm to formulate an abstraction of Cesar Chavez. The result is a striped pattern that takes advantage of anaglyph 3D colors to add a sense of depth when viewed with 3D glasses.
Address: 1949 Logan Avenue, San Diego Architect: n/a Completed: 1970
Established by Chicano activists on April 22, 1970, Chicano Park has received international recognition as a major public art site for its monumental murals. Located beneath the San Diego Coronado Bridge, the vibrant 90+ murals painted on the bridge’s flyover columns, ramps and retaining walls depict the social, political, cultural, and historical struggles of Chicanos/Mexicanos. The latest addition is an homage to low-rider car clubs, currently being airbrushed with 30 pounds of gold flakes on a five-story mural.
In 1980, the San Diego Historical Resources Board added the park to the Historical Landmarks Registry, and in 1997, it was listed on the California Register of Historical Resources. The park was officially listed on the National Register of Historic Places on January 23, 2013 and was designated a National Historic Landmark on December 23, 2016.
Address: 1955 Julian Avenue, San Diego Architect: Public Architecture, 2013 Completed: Established 1896, Renovation 2013
Bread & Salt is a 45,000 square-foot gallery and experimental center for the arts with strong community ties. The gallery hosts original works by local and international artists, eclectic events, and a curated assemblage of artisans, educational entities, and non-profit tenants - alongside a robust residency program and publishing house. It is comprised of multiple galleries, studios, and event spaces, and serves as a cultural hub and gathering place for the region’s creative community.
Directly across the alley on the West side of Bread & Salt and under construction now is Daffodil. Designed by The Society of Master Craftsmen and Public, Daffodil is an art and craft driven mixed-use project that consists of 16 apartments, a 5 room boutique hotel and a restaurant. The project will feature murals and installations by some of San Diego’s best artists and artisans, curated by Jim Brown and the Bread & Salt team.
It takes a village, as they say. And around here, it takes a barrio. We couldn’t produce OH! San Diego without the help of those who lift us up along the way. In Barrio Logan, that means Planning Committee members and supporters such as M.W. Steele Group, TECTURE, LWP Group, Ryan Bros. Coffee, MIRIELLO, Los Patios Build, and Community Partner the Barrio Logan Association. Thank you all sooo much for your support!