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The Hurricane, San Diego, CA, (restaurant)

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Name:The Hurricane, San Diego, CA
Street:436 University
City:San Diego

The Hurricane was a South Seas tropical-themed lounge & restaurant located in the Hillcrest neighborhood of San Diego. It appears to have opened in 1945, as this is the earliest mention found in newspapers and is also the year written on a souveneir mailer. The lounge had food offerings intermittently, and at one point it found itself in trouble with local authorities for not offering food in addition to cocktails. Shortly after this, it was presumably sold and rebranded as simply "Hurricane" and "The" was dropped from the name. In late 1957 an LA Times ad advertises the "very unusual" cocktail bar for sale. Currently, there is no exact address match for 436 University with several modern-looking businesses in its place.

[ Edited by: HillbillyBaggy 2017-05-31 20:46 ]

This is the cover of the small souvenir mailer found at a Long Beach antique mall. It's a gatefold and is roughly 4" x 4" closed. Hand-written on the cover is the name of a Captain and the year 1945. Also found with this mailer was a nearly identical one for Tony's 421 Club at a nearby address (421 University), with more of a latin theme. The name of a Lieutenant was written on this one, with the same year.

When opened, the mailer advertises familier drinks with Ronrico advertising. The style and wording is nearly identical to Tony's and Ronrico may have offered these to lounges using their rums.

The back clearly shows that this was removed from a scrapbook and has the mailing necessities with more advertising.

The first mention I could find in the San Diego Union Tribune archives was this humble ad from July of 1945.

This 1947 ad shows that food was offered and mentions names involved in the operations.

The next year, code violations for not offereng food were imposed to numerous local businesses.

Some nice imagery with this 1949 ad. Also note that "The" disappears from the name.

By 1951, a grand (re) opening is advertised. "The" is gone forever from the name, and classic Hurricane imagery is used in this ad. This was long before Spade Cooley murdered his wife and went to prison in 1961.

Later ads list entertainment acts at Hurricane, advertised next to Western bands in Mission Beach. I can't imagine having to choose between Tommy Duncan, Spade Cooley, or an early SD tropical lounge. It's even harder to imagine these western musical giants playing in Mission Beach.

In 1957, we find the location for sale, being advertised as "very unusual" and "long established." For just twelve thousand bucks, you could have put half down on a gently used tropical lounge in the heart of Hillcrest, San Diego.

Having been around for roughly 10 years, I would imagine that this tiny mailer isn't the only survivor from this place. I searched long and hard but couldn't find another reference to a San Diego "The Hurricane" location anywhere except for newspaper archives. Hopefully someone else has some info on this interesting place.

Aloha, Shane


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