Food Network 'Makeover' Coming to Jackson Drive

 JACKSON DRIVE -- A little non-descript neighborhood diner just north of La Mesa on Jackson Drive is about to go national.

The Trails Neighborhood Eatery has been selected for the Food Network's makeover show, Restaurant: Impossible. The diner, a sort of homecooking little place in a strip plaza, will close on July 11 and be worked over by restaurant expert Robert Irvine who will have 48 hours and $10,000 to reinvigorate an establishment that has been underachieving with its traditional approach to things.

On the evening of July 12, the restaurant will have a grand re-opening. The entire process, from closure to re-opening will be filmed for an episode on the popular cable network. Local residents can make a reservation for that evening by calling 619-667-2233. That night will be filmed as part of the show.

Stacey Poon-Kinney, the restaurants peripatetic 33-year-old owner, said the restaurant is adored by its regular customers, but she needs to find ways to attract more and different customers. Turning her place over to Irvine (pictured right), she admits, is a bit of a challenge.

"I'm a bit of a control freak,'' Poon-Kinney said. "I may have a bit of trouble taking orders.''

Still, Poon-Kinney said she's hoping the drama of the quick makeover will make it easier for her dedicated customers to deal with change.

Poon-Kinney said she inherited much of the menu when she and her father -- whom she describes as a "not so quiet partner'' -- bought the restaurant five years ago. She described it as heavy on the "comfort'' foods and she's got some ideas she'd like to pursue to add a bit more character to the place.

Poon-Kinney is a former volleyball coach and dancer turned restaurateur. She is following a family tradition in the business.

She lives in Spring Valley with her two children and her husband, the artist who paints under the name Saratoga Sake.

A non-stop marketer, Poon-Kinney is suggesting local residents visit prior to July 11th so they can come back after the makeover and have experienced the "before and after.''

The restaurant is located at 7389 Jackson Drive, just up the hill from Mission Trails Regional Park. It is in the San Carlos part of San Diego, but draws many customers from La Mesa's northside neighborhoods as well.

 

 

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Tags: Food Network, La Mesa, Mission Trails, Restaurant: Impossible, San Carlos, Saratoga Sake, The Trails

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HousingWire

In Southern California, New Homes are Rare and Costly

Source: LA Times

New home prices have soared in recent months in the Southern California region, with the median for the six-county region peaking at $538,000 in June, according to CoreLogic DataQuick. And in affluent ZIP Codes, builders are bidding up already-high land values. Overall, new homes have become all too rare and costly for the average buyer. Making sense of the story:

- A surge in higher-end projects has pushed new home prices above their pre-recession peaks, even as prices for existing homes remain one-fifth below their bubble-era highs. - In Orange County, the median new home price has topped $800,000. - Builders have piled in to pricey ZIP Codes — bidding up land costs there in the process— and polished their projects to a high gloss to woo wealthy buyers with cash or good credit.

- Projects aimed at the middle of the market remain scarce, and overall home building is off about 60 percent from a decade ago. The shortage of new lower-priced product is one factor making Southern California among the toughest housing markets in the country for middle-income families.

- While new homes have almost always sold at a premium, that premium has hit new highs this year. In January, the gap between median-priced new and resale homes in Southern California peaked at $151,000, a 41 percent premium for a new house.

- Several factors contribute to the widening price gap between new and resale homes, housing economists say. For example, competing bids drove up the cost of land in prime areas in 2012 and 2013, which means higher prices today.

- Some builders have made a conscious decision to move upmarket because they see more profit and upside in catering to wealthier consumers. KB Home is among the builders moving upmarket. The Los Angeles builder, long a specialist in entry-level homes, has shifted to more affluent, "land-constrained" neighborhoods.

Read the full story:

http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-new-home-prices-20141014-story.html#page=1 _________________________

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