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Pernicano's Restaurant In Hillcrest To Go Up For Sale

The Hillcrest building that once housed Pernicano's Restaurant.
The Hillcrest building that once housed Pernicano's Restaurant.

It's been called an eyesore in the heart of Hillcrest, but after some 30 years, a shut-down restaurant is set to go up for sale.

“Yipppeeeee!” said “Big Mike” Phillips, who co-owns Harvey Milk’s American Diner, next door to the old Pernicano’s Restaurant in Hillcrest.

There is plenty of excitement from local residents amid news the former Pernicano's restaurant will soon be for sale, listed at $12 million.


Pernicano's opened in the 1940s and became one of the most popular restaurants in San Diego. The Hillcrest restaurant has been shut down since 1985, and the building has attracted vandals and burglars.

Councilmember Todd Gloria recently met with the two sons of owner George Pernicano, now in his mid-90s. Gloria says the sons are now making decisions for the family.

“I think you have a family dealing with some significant health challenges and its their understanding it could really turn into a legacy project for the family,” Gloria said.

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices is representing the family in the sale. A representative of the brokerage told us the family will be asking for community input as they mull offers.

“Things like a hotel, additional housing or retail opportunities are all possible on that site, or some mix of those. I have heard from many constituents, business owners and hospitals who’d like to see a hotel,” Gloria said.


The brokerage tells us they’ll be marketing the listing for the next few months, before weighing offers beginning in October.