HillcrestBlog by "San Diego News Service" (619) 757-4909

"San Diego News Service" covers hard news, features and reviews for local and national print media, and maintains, "HillcrestBlog." Address: 3907 Georgia St., #15, San Diego 92103-3548. Our editor is Leo E. Laurence, J.D., Copy Ed.: Martin Brickson. Member: Society of Professional Journalists, Latino Journalists of California. Call news tips to (619) 757-4909 (days), Nights: (619) 220-8686 (fax also). leopowerhere@msn.com Copyright 2008 by San Diego News Service

Friday, September 12, 2008


The trendy new nightclub Universal, at University and Vermont in the Uptown District, may fold - or be sold - because of nearly a half-million dollars in unpaid bills.

Neighbors are delighted!!!

Its owner, the "EnDev Enterprises" (with James Brenner, 35, as the majority partner) has reportedly been hit with lawsuits and mechanics liens totaling $446,622.

Universal is part of a 15,000 sq.ft. complex that includes the high-priced and splashy nightclub, the adjacent Dish restaurant and Ciros establishments. It reportedly cost about $5.5 million to develop, but hasn't been formally put up for sale.

Brenner has said he "is considering offers," but won't say for how much, by whom or when - as might be expected when property is distressed.

"We haven't had many bites," he said. "With (legal) liens and lawsuits out there, people see blood on the water."

When Universal, et al, opened in April of 2007, all the flashy queens in Hillcrest were filled with praise, except those who had to pay the premium prices and try to find impossible parking.

Universal staff said the place can handle nearly 1,000. On some weekends, it has been so crowded that the San Diego Fire Department sent their inspectors inside to limit the crowd.

With a capacity of nearly 1,000; that means literally hundreds of cars hit the area on weekends.

Universal provides NO parking.

A deal with Uptown to put cars under the Ralph's Supermarket - for an additional fee, of course - fell through. Many park in the huge Ralph's parking lot, only to find their cars towed at a recovery cost of nearly $300.

Without parking, Universal customers - they are called "clients" in such a trendy place - park in the nearby residential areas. That means even home owners cannot find a place to park, sparking an outrage at the September meeting of the Uptown Planners.

Nearby owners of costly condos in the Uptown District also complain of the extreme noise coming from Universal, and of the many intoxicated "clients" who urinate on their property.

Clearly, the Universal nightclub is popular with the gay queens of Hillcrest, but that's about all.

It's on the block to be sold, but nobody is buying or showing interest.

The neighbors hope somebody buys the building and closes it!

Copyright by Leo E. Laurence leopowerhere@msn.com or call (619) 757-4909.


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