Local businesses September 8, 2019

Mission Bay Visitor Center Update!

By Caroline Abkar, 9/8/2019

Mission Bay Visitor Center 2019

Hello everyone!

I’m so delighted to share this fresh update with you regarding the Mission Bay Visitor Center. You may recall the meeting I organized a couple of years ago when there were talks about turning Mission Bay Visitor Center into a restaurant, and I am so delighted to say that the project has been brought back to life after a hiatus as I am sure you may have noticed, in a different but oh so exciting form!

I am going to be meeting Kristine Schnell next week for all the details; Kristine is the founder of playground agency and project lead of this endeavor. In the meantime, I wanted to share her letter to all of you in the community. I know many of you have been asking about what is going on at the Visitor Center!

The first business to open at the site will be Virtue Coffee & Juice (clean and responsibly sourced coffee), followed by Summer Afternoons (homemade organic ice cream sandwiches), and Beach Bunny (beach gear and equipment).

You can read all the details about each business below. But first, a word from Kristine Schnell.

As always, I am here if you have any questions or comments!

Yours truly,

Mission Bay Visitor Center Update 1

A work in progress. We’re currently installing a new roof to help restore and preserve this iconic San Diego landmark.

Hello Friends & Neighbors!

Thanks to all of your unwavering support during what has been a lengthy project development period, work is finally underway on the Mission Bay Visitor Information Center and we wanted you to be the first to know—if you haven’t already noticed that is!

We are beyond excited to finally be getting into what is, at least for us, the most fun part of the project—creating spaces that invite community and offer a place to enjoy our beautiful bay. We anticipate the launch of several exciting new concepts this Fall and are already planning some special seasonal events to celebrate and make some new memories on this very special site.

If you have any ideas, suggestions or things you’d like to see, please don’t hesitate to drop me a line directly—kristine@playgroundagency.com. Thanks again for all of your support and confidence in our team to deliver a project that is truly all about community, heart and happiness. We’re so honored and grateful for all of the well wishes and encouragement we’ve received throughout this process.

All my best,

kristine schnell

P.S. You can follow along with all of our adventures at Mission Bay (and beyond) on Instagram @playgroundagency. We’re also just starting to share stories and photos for specific businesses, so follow along if you want to be one our first followers—we’re at @virtuecoffeeandjuice@summerafternoonsSD and @beachbunnySD. See you on the gram!

Live Virtuously

Virtue Coffee & Juice will be the first activation to open at the Mission Bay site—and for good reason. It is truly a passion project and so near and dear to my heart. Virtue is a small business on a mission—to create the change we wish to see in the world, one little shop at a time. I strongly believe that business is one of the most powerful forces for good in the world and wanted to create a company to really see that play out directly in how we operate.

At Virtue, we’ll be selecting a charitable foundation each quarter to showcase and offer a percentage of proceeds to support these important organizations. Our goal is to not only support these organizations in concrete financial ways (although that is also part of it!) but to also raise awareness for causes that we believe in. We have an initial list of organizations drafted but are adding to it by the day—feel free to send us your charity of choice as well.

In addition, Virtue is a 100% vegan coffee bar—and we’ll still be making super delicious, totally clean and responsibly sourced coffee.

Happiness in Cookie Form

“Summer afternoon—summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.” —Henry James

Henry James was perhaps the first love of my life—an author that I just couldn’t get enough of. He managed to say all the things I wanted to say in the most beautiful and eloquent way possible. So it makes me incredibly happy to have a small homage to him, which seems perfectly fitting for the happiest little ice cream cart you ever saw. We’re creating the most delicious, homemade ice cream sandwiches based on recipes that I’ve been making since I was a little girl (with organic ice cream bien sûr!), as well as an outrageous good GF and vegan cookie sandwich. Our little cart will also be available for special rental events shortly—happiness is included with each purchase. 🙂

Because Beach Days Are The Best Days

We believe that a day at the beach is one of the great pleasure of life—and of being lucky enough to call southern California home. What I personally hate about a day at the beach is schlepping all sorts of gear to said beach. From paddle boards to the perfect beachside cruiser complete with bell and basket, we’re making it easier to really enjoy the bay without quite as much hassle getting there. We’re also looking to expand our offering with other beach gear and equipment, so let us know if you have something special in mind and we’ll do our best to make sure we have it in stock and ready for you.


playground is an award-winning design and concept firm based in sunny California.

We pair strategic consulting with design thinking to tell stories, build beautiful spaces and create immersive experiences. Never ordinary.

About the author: Caroline Abkar is an established Realtor and Bay Park resident who is absolutely passionate about the community as well as helping her clients with the biggest investment of their lives. She loves to be an advocate for those who place their trust in her and will go above and beyond to serve anyone needing her real estate services. You can contact her anytime at 619-808-4804 or caroline@yoursandiegorealty.com