Daily Business Report — Sept. 5, 2014
A buyer will be sought for the Pernicano’s site with the hope of developing a boutique hotel.
Hillcrest Eyesore Going Away
Pernicano’s to be Put Up for Sale
The long boarded-up Pernicano’s restaurant, regarded for years as a Hillcrest eyesore, will be put on the market on Monday, with the hope of transforming the site into a boutique hotel, U-T San Diego reports.
While the 97-year-old owner, George Pernicano, has resisted for years calls to renovate or reopen the once iconic dining venue and adjoining Casa di Baffi steakhouse, his son Gary said the time now was right to move on and find a buyer who will redevelop the 64-year-old restaurant site.
Closed for 30 years, the doors padlocked, their aging signs now rusting, the restaurants bear little evidence of their once glamorous vibe, attracting celebrities and football icons who at one time dined there.
“The timing, we feel, is right, we want to leave a legacy because we’ve been in the area 68 years,” said Gary Pernicano, who is shepherding the sale with his twin brother Larry. “I want a boutique hotel, a mixed-use project to serve the community, the nearby hospitals.”
His father first opened Pernicano’s pizzeria in 1946 on University Avenue and four years later moved Pernicano’s to its current location on Sixth Avenue. Still a minority owner of the Chargers, the man known for his handlebar mustache, opened the steakhouse in 1960.
“We grew up there, and there are a lot of memories and a lot of reasons why my dad didn’t want to let it go,” said Pernicano, noting that his father put the restaurant up for sale a couple of times in the 1980s but it fell out of escrow. “It’s time to move on.”
Kashkari, Brown Clash Over
Economy, Education, Plastic Bags
Republican Neel Kashkari used a debate Thursday to punch repeatedly at Gov. Jerry Brown’s priorities, while the Democratic governor parried with a defense of his record and, at one point, a dismissive wave of his hand.
The 60-minute encounter, the only scheduled debate in an otherwise low-profile campaign, provided a rare airing of two sharply different visions of post-recession California.
Brown heralded the transformation of the state’s financial condition from budget deficits when he took office four years ago to surpluses today, with increased funding for schools and social services, but also additional reserves.
Kashkari, seeking to undermine Brown’s narrative of a mended state, placed blame for California’s high poverty and unemployment rates on the governor. He also faulted Brown for a public school system that is among the worst performing by national math and reading standards.
Kashkari, a former U.S. Treasury Department official, remains little-known to California’s electorate, and many viewers first saw him as he prodded of Brown on the economy, education, high-speed rail and legislation banning plastic bags.
After Brown said he likely will sign a bill prohibiting single-use plastic bags in California, Kashkari dismissed the measure as trivial, on par with legislation allowing dogs to dine with their owners at restaurants and a measure seeking to reduce contact in youth football.
“No way would I sign it,” Kashkari said.
Nothing in the candidates’ meeting appeared likely to re-shape the course of the campaign, with the third-term governor far ahead in fundraising and public opinion polls.
Brown dismissed Kashkari as an non-serious candidate with “vague” proposals for solving the state’s problems and questioned at the start of the debate whether even Kashkari believed he could overcome the odds.
“You don’t really have much expectation to win,” Brown said.
Yet the persistence of Kashkari’s attacks appeared to exasperate the governor as the debate wore on. He sighed, waved Kashkari off and said, “I feel like I’m getting a sales pitch.”
— Sacramento Bee
New Jack in the Box President Won’t Wear a Tie
San Diego-based Jack in the Box Inc. announced Thursday that Frances Allen will join the company as president of the Jack in the Box restaurant brand, effective Oct. 27. Allen, currently the executive vice president and chief brand officer at Denny’s Corp., has more than 30 years of branding and marketing experience, which also includes senior leadership roles at Dunkin’ Brands, Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications, PepsiCo and Frito-Lay.
Allen joined Denny’s to lead the restaurant chain’s marketing efforts, but later added responsibilities for product development and creation of eateries in non-traditional venues like college campuses, airports and military installations.
When she joins the company, which operates 2,250 Jack in the Box outlets in 21 states, Lenny Comma, chairman and CEO, will relinquish the additional title of president that he’s held since May 2012. He will continue serving as chairman and CEO of the company, positions he has held since succeeding Linda Lang in January.
— City News Service
Despite Rise of ISIS, Isis
Pharmaceuticals Will Keep its Name
The rise of ISIS has triggered some rebranding efforts among organizations unlucky enough to share a name with the terrorist group.
The mobile payment app Isis Wallet is changing its name to Softcard. And the Institute for Science and International Security — a nuclear nonproliferation think tank that goes by ISIS for short — has urged reporters to stop using the acronym in reference to the terrorist group.
But one Carlsbad-based drug company is holding off on a name change. “It’s not something we felt like we needed to do at this point,” said Amy Blackley, associate director of corporate communications for Isis Pharmaceuticals.
Blackley does admit she’s been answering the phone differently.
“It used to be ‘Hi, this is Amy from Isis.’” But now she greets callers with a careful, “Hi, this is Amy from Isis Pharmaceuticals.”
Isis Pharmaceuticals trades under the unfortunate NASDAQ ticker symbol ISIS. But Blackley says so far the only people raising questions about the company’s name have been members of the media.
(Editor’s Note: The terrorist group is actually called “al-Dawlah al-Islāmīyah” in Arabic, with “ISIS” being the suspiciously chosen western abbreviation for “Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.” In other words, the name ISIS has been arbitrarily chosen by western media and governments, making the name much more of an editorial choice than a genuine title for the terrorist group.)
Researchers Find Anti-HIV Antibody
Researchers have identified a vulnerable site of the HIV virus by studying an antibody that is powerful in neutralizing a broad range of HIV strains. It’s the seventh weak spot found in HIV so far, and the third discovered this year. An international project to develop an HIV vaccine has plans to start clinical trials in two years.
Scripps Research Institute, scientists at the Scripps Center for HIV/AIDS Vaccine Immunology & Immunogen Discovery have played a role in the HIV effort. The study can be found in the Sept. 3 edition of Nature.
BST Nano Carbon Acquires
Ellsworth Handcrafted Bicycles
BST Nano Carbon, a design and advanced composites manufacturer, has announced the acquisition of Ellsworth Handcrafted Bicycles, designer and manufacturer of award-winning mountain bicycles for nearly 25 years.
As part of the agreement, Ellsworth Bikes’ Founder Tony Ellsworth will oversee the brand’s product design and work with BST Nano Carbon’s engineering and advanced materials team to create the next generation of Ellsworth bicycles.
Ellsworth Handcrafted Bicycles’ offices and operations, previously based in Ramona, are now located in BST Nano Carbon’s 65,000-square-foot R&D and manufacturing facility at 16275 Technology Drive in San Diego.
“BST Nano Carbon’s acquisition of Ellsworth Handcrafted Bicycles is the perfect opportunity to showcase our advanced composites, engineering and manufacturing expertise to the cycling community,” said William C. Wood, senior vice president of BST Nano Carbon’s worldwide sales and marketing.
City College Invites Public to Open House
As part of its Centennial Founders Week, San Diego City College is opening its campus for a Community Open House Day on Thursday, Sept. 11, from 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The Community Open House Day is an opportunity for the community to see the $475 million transformation of the college.
The college is undergoing the largest renovation in its 100-year history, with the addition of five new buildings since 2010 and the ongoing renovation of its original buildings. On Aug. 18, the Arts and Humanities and Business Technology buildings opened its doors for the first time for students. Three other buildings, the Career Technology Center, Math and Social Sciences, and the Science buildings opened in 2010, 2012, and 2013, respectively. The Math and Social Sciences building includes a full-service Corporate Education Center with a 120-seat lecture hall and 100-seat multipurpose room, and the Science building includes an 82-seat Planetarium.
Procopio Accepting Applications
For Native American Law Internship
San Diego law firm Procopio is now accepting applications for its Summer 2015 Native American Law Internship.
Procopio has had seven Native American Law interns since the launch of the program representing the Iipay Nation of Santa Ysabel, Pala Band of Mission Indians, the Seminole Nation, the Cherokee Nation, the Shinnecock Indian Nation, the Isleta Pubelo and Tohono O’odham Nation.
The internship provides an opportunity for a Native American law student, or law student emphasizing Native American Law, to gain hands-on experience dealing with everyday legal issues facing Native American communities. The intern is involved in matters that deal with specific Indian law-related legal practice matters and other legal problems.
The paid summer internship position lasts eight to 10 weeks, starting after May 11, 2015. Applicants should have completed their first year of law school prior to the start of the internship. The deadline is Oct. 11.
For more detailed information, click here.
Gafcon Moves Headquarters to Sorrento Valley
Gafcon, a 25-year construction management firm, has moved its headquarters from Downtown to Sorrento Valley. The new, 28,000-square-foot office space on Cornerstone Court is designed to accommodate the increase in employees, and comes on the heels of a rebranding initiative.
“We had outgrown our current spaces and designed the new offices for even greater collaboration and cohesiveness within our entire staff,” said Gafcon CEO Yehudi Gaffen.
The new headquarters is located at 5960 Cornerstone Court West, San Diego. More than 50 employees work at the location.