Another Clairemont landmark will soon be gone, the Baskin Robbins store in the Balboa Mesa shopping center at Balboa and Genesee will be demolished, likely next week. The store closed last Sunday, surprising many.
As most of Clairemont knows, Balboa Mesa is undergoing a much-needed and long-delayed renovation. The construction that has been taking place so far is in accordance with a permit issued 5 years ago, in 2007. Regency Centers, the property's owners, are also pursuing a variance to allow an In-N-Out drive through restaurant on the Genesee Avenue side of the center. That process has moved from approval by the Clairemont Mesa Planning Group to review by the Planning Commission, with the final decision to be issued by City Council.
In the meantime, Baskin Robbins owner Sharan Kooner has signed a lease for space in one of the new buildings adjacent to the spot her store stood for the 16 years she has owned it. She expects to be reopening in the new location in 6 months or so. When asked if she will watch the demolition of the old place, Sharan was undecided. "It's been a long time, and so many of the people I employed as teens still come in, only with their kids now," she said, "so I have an emotional attachment to the place." Still, she's looking forward to the new space, and expects to be busy working plans for it over the next few months.