Lowell Jooste, a native South African who is taking over the former site of Julian Bakery at 5621 La Jolla Blvd., discussed his new business venture, La Jolla Crafted Wines.
“My family was in the wine industry for four generations in South Africa,” said Jooste, noting he’s turned the old Julian Bakery site into an “urban winery.”
“We have a winery license, and we’re bringing wine down from Napa (Valley) in barrels for tastings from the glass,” he said, noting he’s taken a page from local microbreweries in offering “growlers,” take-home containers.
“We’ve learned from the beer industry how to do things differently,” Jooste, said noting he’s done away with bottles in part because “70 percent of all bottles end up in landfills. Why not use reuse them (bottles)?” Jooste asked, adding that bottles also use preservatives and other ingredients that he noted tend to “remove a bit of character from the wine.”
Jooste said he signed a three-year lease, with a two-year option, to set up his wine shop, which he hopes to formally open in July.
“We will be serving appetizers,” Jooste said while pointing out his new space is not big enough for a commercial kitchen.
Jooste invited Bird Rock community planners and residents over to his place for a taste test after the meeting.
George Freiha, of the city’s Department of Public Works, gave an update on the Midway Bluff repair project, designed to stabilize the landform.
“Previous storms caused water to go over and erode the bluffs overlooking the ocean,” Freiha told the council. “We are finishing the design right now.”
Freiha said restoration of the bluff face will involve building a supporting wall as well as restoring drought-tolerant landscaping to the affected area. He added the city will maintain the landscaping for 26 months to allow it to take hold.
“Project design will be finished around the end of June, with construction anticipated to start between September and October and last about six months,” he said.
The city official said construction will be done weekdays between 7:30 a.m. and 4 p.m.
“It’s good; we’re glad it's happening,” said Bird Rock resident Don Schmidt. “This has been really bad for 15 years.”
In other action:
• BRCC treasurer Barbara Dunbar noted an oft-damaged community bench in front of Lupi’s Italian restaurant has been struck yet again. Chair Jacqueline Bell suggested residents report the defacing of public property by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. She added that, if possible, it might not be a bad idea for people to take photos with their iPhones of any destructive activity going on in Bird Rock.
• Bird Rock kindergarten teacher Lorraine LaCava said the elementary school’s annual open house will be Thursday, May 28, starting at 6 p.m.