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L'Angolino North End Lounge Opens In Little Italy


The decor at North End Lounge.
Photo by Ron Donoho

I think the Busalacchi family may be quietly, but methodically, taking over the city of San Diego. At least, the dining scene—and especially the one in Little Italy. The latest addition to their restaurant group is L’Angolino the North End Lounge.

The address for the new place is 1971 India Street (at the corner of Grape, the site of a former antique home accessories store). North End Lounge is right next door to Spaghetteria, another Busalacchi eatery. If you meander down Little Italy’s India Street, you’ll pass Po Pazzo, Zia’s Bistro, Trattoria Fantastica and Cafe Zucchero, all under Busalacchi ownership.

The recently re-opened Busalacchi’s On Fifth is in Hillcrest; Via Lago Trattoria is in the Eastlake area. You watch: 10 years from now every other restaurant on Eastlake Parkway will be an Italian joint with a picture of Joe Busalacchi on the menu.

But back to Little Italy. The restaurant scene is vibrant, but a new bar is a needed addition. North End Lounge is a welcome choice for a couple cocktails, in lieu of down the street's dour Princess Pub.

North End is decorated with a Mafioso theme. There’s a picture of Al Capone on one wall, as well as Godfather stills featuring Al Pacino and Marlon Brando.

There are also old news photos on display that protest the Prohibition era, including one where marchers are carrying signs that read: We Want Beer.

You might say North End, with its wood interior and wink-and-a-nod toward the Cosa Nostra is sort of a Speakeasy (a growing downtown trend). But there’s no password needed to get in here.

North End serves food--we tried a sampler that was heaped high with bar comfort foods like calamari and onion rings.

Oh, but this just in: While you were reading this article, the Busalacchis made plans to open another restaurant in San Diego.