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Saturday, October 31, 2015


BOO, WHO?--Google’s Parisa Tabriz photographed the image above on Halloween.
She asked on Flickr: “Is it just me, or does my coffee look like Jack Skellington...?”
Messing with you on Halloween.  Here are a few coffee-centric spooky places.
We start off with a clever movie trailer that is a wonderful psychological experiment in fake (but real to the victims) telekinetic coffee house surprises.
YIKES! This actually happened in a coffee house. I'd still be running away.
Check it out on You Tube:

 Places where its Halloween all year:

Wake the Dead Coffee House
1432 Old Ranch Road
San Marcos, Texas

The Witches Brew
311 Hempstead Turnpike
West Hempstead, New York

Ghost Alley Espresso
Pike Place Market
1499 Post Alley
Seattle, Washington

BREW Coffee House
3217 Philip Ave.
Bronx, New York

Sacred Grinds
5055 Canal Street
New Orleans, Louisiana

Waking the Dead Café
48 Main Street
Senoia, Georgia

Rimsky-Korsakoffee House (house is haunted and with a bad pun)
707 Southeast 12th Avenue
Portland, Oregon

Stompin’ Grounds Coffee House
 (entire Ohio town is reportedly haunted, including the coffee house)
218 Mansfield Avenue
Shelby, Ohio

Killer ESP
1012 King Street
Alexandria, Virginia

Maybe we'll stick to Starbucks or Peet's
Here’s a coffee-centric news item that’s looking for a place to land.  Why not Halloween? The late Karen Lloyd, 51, passed away from cancer in 2014, but the resident of  Swindon, England, did so with a sense of humor.  She did not want the 450 mourners who attended the services and the wake to be sad.  She succeeded by being buried in a red casket designed to look like a Costa (brand) coffee shipment.  She had printed on the coffin her favorite coffee order, “one shot, extra hot skinny latte."

London entrepreneurs are trying to raise pounds via social media fundraising to open a Death Café, a coffee house where one can sit around and discuss issues of death.  In Sacramento, there’s a spin off event tomorrow (Nov. 1) in Sacramento called Death Café.  It’s a free event, according to organizers and it is set at the Capital Public Radio Community Room, 7055 Folsom Blvd. between 2 and 4 pm.  Not sure if coffee will be served, but they better.”
What?  You want more? Then let’s travel via the spider web to the holy grail of bad ghost puns for sale (below):

DEATH TO PUNS.  Boo. Hiss. Bad pun alert: Spurious Ink has made a collection of punny ghost products that are distributed by Zazzle Greeting Cards in San Jose, CA.
LONG GONE--This coffee house is in the spirit.
Vintage 1958 in NYC's Greenwich Village
IF WE HAD TO CHOOSE--Here's another 1950s vintage New York City
coffeehouse we wish was still around, especially at Halloween.
Here's a coffee house in New Orleans many of us have been dying to visit
Brew in the Bronx Gets with the Program
THEME WINNER--Witches Brew Coffee House in West Hempstead, New York.
Then, of course, for Halloween morning why not have a cup of Death Wish Coffee to startle the day?  And, it's a scary good coffee brand, too.

File this under "OK, it isn't coffee but it's craft beer that's on theme for your Halloween party. It is made by Alesmith, an awesome San Diego craft beer brewer, who brings out "Evil Dead Red Ale" for Halloween. For a treat during the rest of the year try Alesmith's .394 IPA that was created in a partnership with Alesmith and Mr. San Diego Baseball, the late Tony Gywnn.

Friday, October 30, 2015


NICE TOUCH: New indoor-outdoor bar seating is a favorite at this new Little Italy brewpub
When they opened La Mesa’s first brewery, the partners behind Bolt Brewery declared it “the hoppiest comeback ever.” Less than a year since going into business, they are just three-to-four weeks away from opening the doors to their second location, making for what qualifies as the fastest expansion ever…or at least in recent memory.

Located at 1971 India Street in downtown San Diego’s Little Italy community, Bolt’s satellite location is located in the 1,800-square-foot space Little Italy Side Viewformerly occupied by North End Lounge. The Bolt crew inherited a kitchen with the property, and will use it to provide visitors with food options. At first, that will be limited to a small menu of salads and pizzas. Those items will be washed down with 20 taps offering a line-up of Bolt beers similar to what’s available at the La Mesa brewery, plus a variety of guest beers and wines.’s website.  Reposted with permission.

The space, which is decorated to bring the laidback industrial vibe of the La Mesa space, is the handiwork of co-owner Tony Calafato, who spent the past seven months building the satellite location. Calafato spent much of his youth in Little Italy and wanted to go the extra mile to ensure the community got the best Bolt has to offer. He and his partners hope to help along the positive transformation the neighborhood has undergone over the past several years.

Now open, Bolt’s Little Italy space will be open Sunday through Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Thursday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Seating will be available indoors at a long bar and high tables, or on an outdoor patio. All in all, the venue will seat roughly 100 patrons.

Disclaimer:  West Coaster craft beer magazine and website; North Park News, San Diego Home/Garden Lifestyles, and MidCity Newspaper Group media partners of Pillar to Post online daily magazine.

Thursday, October 29, 2015


Gift ideas for the reader in your life, who enjoys a cocktail or two.

“Tequila Mockingbird” By Tim Federle
Congrats. You fought through War and Peace, burned through Fahrenheit 451, and sailed through Moby-Dick. All right, you nearly drowned in Moby-Dick, but you made it to shore—and you deserve a drink!

A fun gift for barflies and a terrific treat for book clubs, “Tequila Mockingbird” [Running Press Publishers, 2013] remains one of the ultimate cocktail books for the literary obsessed. Featuring 65 delicious drink recipes—paired with wry commentary on history’s most beloved novels—the book also includes bar bites, drinking games, and whimsical illustrations throughout.

Even if you don’t have a B.A. in English, tonight you’re gonna drink like you do.

Drinks include:
--The Pitcher of Dorian Grey Goose
--The Last of the Mojitos
--Love in the Time of Kahlúa
--Romeo and Julep
--A Rum of One’s Own
--Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margarita
--Vermouth the Bell Tolls.

Author Tim Federle also penned “Hickory Daiquiri Dock: Cocktails with a Nursery Rhyme Twist.”

“To Have and Have Another” By Philip Greene
Here’s the Hemingway Cocktail Companion we’ve all been waiting for.  Written by noted Ernie H. scholar and cocktail specialist Philip Greene, the author delves deeper into the author’s drinking habits than ever before, offering dozens of authentic recipes for drinks directly connected with the novels, history and folklore, and colorful anecdotes about the man himself.
In “To Have and Have Another” (Penguin Press, 2012), readers will fully enjoy Hemingway’s works beyond the limits of the imagination—pick up this book and taste how “cool and clean” and “civilized” Frederic Henry’s martini was in A Farewell to Arms, or sip a Bloody Mary, a drink rumored to be named by Hemingway himself!

Greene points out Hemingway probably never had a Mojito but he did enjoy daiquiri’s and a drink called Gregorio’s Rx, a rum drink concocted by Gregorio Fuentes, a crew member on Hemingway’s yacht.

Gregorio’s Rx
1 oz honey syrup (1:1 mix of honey and water)
1 oz fresh lemon juice
4 mint leaves
1 oz Papa’s Pilar Blonde Rum
2 oz sparkling water

Add all ingredients except for the sparkling water to a shaker with ice.  Shake very well for 15 seconds.  Strain into a glass with fresh ice.  Add sparkling water to shaker, swirl it around, then strain it into the glass.  Stir once or twice, garnish with mint sprig.

Source: Books available online at Amazon and Barnes & Noble or book stores of note.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015


2015 Bing Crosby (Fall) Racing Season Info 
TRACK SIDE DINING--What’s a day at the track without a track side dining table?  After all it is called the sport of kings.  Opening day table tickets are probably gone but call you never know. Table prices are for all day seating for four persons. Admission and menu prices not included.
Season Opens:
20 Racing Days:
Thursday, October 29 thru Sunday, November 29, 2015.
Racing only Thursday thru Sunday.

Gates Open
11:00 a.m.Thursday - Saturday
10:00 a.m. Sunday
--Post Times
 12:30 p.m. every Racing Day; Thanksgiving (Nov 26) 11:00 a.m.

Interactive Seating Map:


There is an admission fee (gate fee) which gets you in but if you wish to have a reserved seat that is extra.  All admissions include an official program.
--General Admission (seat not included) $6
--Reserved Seats       $4-$8
Diamond Club is a season long discount and special services plan
For info:

Ticket Office
--Buy Online:
--Ticket office hours: During the racing season: Hours 9 am to 5 pm. Thursday thru Sunday and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m Tuesday and Wednesday, closed Mondays.
Phone 858-792-4242. (Toll free number: 877-LETSBET)
--Ticket office telephone
--Information Line 858-793-5533 (more contact information)
Ticket office Email:

2260 Jimmy Durante Blvd., Del Mar, CA 92014 OR MAILING ADDRESS DMTC, P.O. Box 700, Del Mar, CA 92014

--General & Early Bird          $10
--Valet Parking          $20

Restaurant Tables
What’s a day at the track without a track side dining table?  After all it is called the sport of kings.  Opening day table tickets are probably gone but call you never know.
Prices are for all day, which includes seating for four persons.  Admission price not included.
--Opening Day           $100
--Thursday     $50
--Friday          $50
--Saturday      $100
--Sunday        $60

Active duty military personnel and their dependents admitted for free every day with appropriate military I.D. (Please show your I.D. at Stretch Run gates.)
Del Mar’s second go-round with the “Bing Crosby Season” will be bigger – and possibly even better – when it rolls out for a 20-day, five-week stand starting on Thursday, October 29.

Here is the track’s official media guide feature:

Last year’s initial “Crosby” gathering, where the seaside track went back to its historical roots and put on an old-school fall frolic, ran for only 15 days and four weeks. So right off the bat there’s more to be had for this edition, which continues on to November 29 on the same Thursday-through-Sunday schedule that unfolded last year.

But the track’s initial fall session in 2014 proved such a success – from the gorgeous weather, to the turnstile clicks, to the hum in the counting house, to the patron praise for a vibe that just felt delightful – that one-upping it this time around might be difficult. But Del Mar, as is its way, is going to try, starting right from the start and racing to the finish.

One thing “Bing II” will have going for it is racing’s championship showcase – aka the Breeders’ Cup. After a nice Opening Day splash – you may want to break out those old show biz duds a give a go to the prize-laden Hollywood Fashion Contest – racing accelerates on Friday, October 30 and Saturday, October 31 with a bonanza of 13 BC races worth $24.5 million piped in from Keeneland in Kentucky, as well as 18 hometown clashes during the two days, meaning even the hardest of hard-core fans will get their fill and then some.

That Sunday – and every Sunday of the session – will offer a pair of popular presentations, “Free and Easy Sundays” and “Bing+Bubbles+Brunch.” “Free and Easy” is just what it says it is, featuring free admission, a free seat, a free program and half-price domestic drafts, sodas and hot dogs. Do the free and easy sign up for your Diamond Club card and you’re good to go for a price-is-right afternoon. Or, if you’d rather take it up a notch, “Bing+Bubbles+Brunch” gets you a table in the Turf Club, bottomless mimosas or Chandon champagne and a specially prepared brunch planned by master chef Brian Malarkey. The tab there is $100 and more than a few who partook last fall said it was a C-Note well invested.

Over the years, Del Mar has become known as a music venue deluxe and “Bing the Deuce” will only add to that lore. The always-in-demand Reggae Fest will roll on out on Saturday, November 21 featuring local favorites Iration as the lead band. That afternoon also will see the second coming of “College Day Tailgate Party,” where all college kids get in free and events aplenty fill up the dance cards around the day’s races. The following Saturday (November 28) the Seaside Stage will be rocking again with a blockbuster show -- Sublime With Rome. Both concerts are free for those who come to the races.

A popular pair of all-day happenings are sure to ring the bell again – the “Fall Food Truck Festival” (Saturday, November 7) and the November 28 “Craft Beer & Cider Festival.” More than 40 food trucks will populate the former, while 100-plus local and international beers and ciders will flow at the latter. If you’re hungry and/or thirsty, you’ll be covered.

Other food specials at the track throughout the meet include “Daybreak at Del Mar" breakfasts trackside between 8 and 10 a.m. each Saturday, as well as “Football Sundays” when the gates open early (10 a.m.) and several key bars/restaurants offer discounts on food and beverages as the pigskins go flying.

Saturday, November 14 has a special lure all its own with a classy/cozy/fuzzy fleece pullover featuring Del Mar’s black/gold “Crosby Season” logo given free with all admissions. The pullover, which figures to be ideal garb for cool fall evenings, is of especially high quality and track officials believe it just might be the best giveaway ever offered fans at the shore oval.

All Thursdays offer seniors free admission and a free seat; newcomers’ handicapping seminars are available each and every day; Weiner Dog National races will add their cute-but-competitive spice to Sunday, November 8, and eight Thoroughbred races on most weekdays and nine on weekends will be standard fare.

Finally, Thanksgiving Day (Thursday, November 26) will be special in its own way. The day breaks from the starting gate (literally) with a one-mile "Family Mile Fun Run" on the main track at 8 a.m., then transitions to an eight-race card beginning at 11 a.m. Last year’s initial offering of Thoroughbred sport on the holiday proved even more popular than track officials had hoped and an even larger crowd is anticipated this time around. The track’s Turf Club threw its doors open on the day for those wanting to take part in a special Thanksgiving brunch with all the extras and bottomless mimosas or champagne besides. The $100 ticket with its Turf Club table proved a winner and is expected to be a strong draw again. Reservations are required and can be made on-line ( ) or by calling the track’s Turf Club offices (858) 792-4266.

First post daily is normally at 12:30 p.m., with the exceptions of the two Breeders’ Cup days (first post for local races at 12:45 p.m.) and the Thanksgiving exception noted.