What Recession? Check Out These New Businesses In Encinitas

ItsEncinitas_PrAna in Encinitas

It’s good to live in Encinitas, folks. Between the killer surf spots, the top-notch nightlife scene, and the overall zen vibe, Encinitas pretty much has it all. It’s no surprise, then, that businesses are drawn to this idyllic SoCal town and, lately, it seems like new establishments are popping up faster than the breaks at Moonlight Beach. Life sure is hopping ’round here and, below, we’ve shared 7 exciting new businesses opening soon (or recently opened!) in Encinitas:

Vallarta Express

You’re craving a burrito something fierce. “I live in SoCal,” you think to yourself. “I’ll have no problem popping in somewhere to get some great Mexican takeout.” That’s not exactly true, however, if you live in Encinitas … until now. Vallarta Express is your way to get freshMex fast and, if your hunger is as fierce as your craving, you’ll love the monstrous portions served here. There is currently a Vallarta Express located on Gennesee Avenue in Clairemont but this North County location will be located conveniently right along Highway 101 when it opens in the spring. 

While you can dine in, the majority of people grab ‘n’ go, and it’s hard to go wrong with anything off their extensive menu. Everything from the Surf and Turf Burrito to the Buffalo Chicken Taco are out of this world, and the Carne Asada Fries are not to be missed. Early birds will love the breakfast burrito option but late owls are in on the game, too. Breakfast burritos are served all day at this Mexican eatery. Talk about a win-win! You can order a la carte or go for the combo plates with rice and beans. Either way, though, you should expect to be stuffed. Good thing a post-burrito swim or surf sesh is mere steps away from this new joint. 

Electra Bicycle Company

Those in other areas of the country might think conservation is a fad but here in Encinitas we believe time on this planet is a privilege and treat it as such. That’s why we know Electra Bikes is going to be a huge hit in our fave seaside town … well, that and the company got its start here years ago, so setting up shop in Encinitas will be a way for this environmentally friendly business to go full circle. It’s quite cool the way they are going about it as well, as Electra is working with the City of Encinitas to get the building – which will be the company’s global headquarters – to match the original facade from the days of black and white pics. The inside, on the other hand, will almost be futuristic. According to Electra president Kevin Cox in a press release, “the interior will be reimagined in a way that amplifies the Electra way to roll and brand vision.” Having tapped one of San Diego’s top design firms, Luce et Studio, the Electra building is sure to be breathtaking. And, located at 1010 South Coast Highway, it’s also in the epicenter of this buzzing beachside town. 

Being that its the company’s headquarters, the impress 10,000 sq. ft. facility will feature offices and meeting spaces but also a showroom to feature its bikes and other products. Speaking of Electra bikes, they are something to behold, in and of themselves. With upright seating, pedal-assist power, and the ability to place your feet flat on the ground at any time with their patented Flat Foot Technology®, these bikes allow you to cruise around this NoCo town for hours without breaking a sweat (at least much of one!). There are a variety of models to suit your needs and lifestyle and each is easy to control. The Electra Townie® Go! is a popular one, as the system kicks in once you begin to pedal to help you take on the Encinitas hills with ease (even that one by Moonlight Beach!). The Loft is for those who have to maneuver the rigors of a busy city (think potholes), so city-dwellers will love its light frame. They also have a kids’ model, so the whole family can roll in environmental style. With helpful staff who know their stuff, you’ll figure out which model is best for you in no time. Encinitas is about as bike-friendly as it gets, so it’ll surely roll with Electra.

Sonima Wellness Center

Wellness and Encinitas go together like low sugar, all-natural homemade jam and almond butter and, thus, the addition of Sonima Wellness Center to the downtown area is ideal. Sonima knows wellness is a multi-pronged approach so, in addition to the 70 weekly group fitness classes they offer (Yoga, Meditation, Dance, Bootcamps, and more), there will also be community workshops, cooking demonstrations, one-on-one consultations with their health coaches, and a line of fresh pressed juices (made daily!) from local organic produce, smoothies, elixirs, and other healthy snacks served right at this stunning, new facility. 

Co-founder Salima Ruffin touts the benefits of the one-stop-nature of this type of wellness center in a world where many people belong to multiple clubs to meet their needs. 

“Our goal is to open up centers like this all over the world,” Ruffin noted in a press release. “The center will have something for everyone, no matter what his or her needs are. We have created a space where guests can create a customized experience to help find solutions to meet their unique needs. It is no longer necessary to have a membership at multiple places to find your ideal balance with health, fitness and wellness—it’s one space for everything.”

Another huge benefit of this type of wellness center is you don’t have to take on the task of gaining a more healthful lifestyle alone. Not only do the high-energy group classes offer camaraderie, but Sonima’s certified coaches offer consultations on nutrition, stress reduction, and weight loss. 

Take note, Encinitans! The public grand opening is just around the corner, taking place on Saturday, February 7 from 7 a.m. – 7 p.m. at 575 S. Coast Highway in Encinitas. Complimentary cold pressed juices and unique and nutritious snacks will be served. Fitness classes will be offered throughout the day, along with consultations with Sonima Health Coaches – and the best part is it’s all free of charge! Now that’s a wellness plan we can get behind.  


If you’ve shopped in the clothing section of REI, you’ve likely been drawn to the chic yet zenlike vibe of prAna clothing. Fortunately for those of us in Encinitas, a flagship store is popping up right in the heart of our favorite town (at 624 South Coast Highway 101) this spring. With stylish, sturdy clothing that is suited for anything from Meditation Yoga and a walk on the beach to a hike in Big Bear and a casual night on the town, prAna could not have found a more perfect locale for its next store than this North County town. Only the sixth store in the U.S., shopping here will also all but guarantee you’ll avoid that awkward “twinsy” moment at your next shindig. And, according to the company’s CEO, landing in Encinitas was a well thought-out move.

“Our roots are in Southern California, so it only made sense to open a store in our own active and free-spirited backyard,” said Scott Kerslake, prAna CEO, in a press release. “The proximity to our headquarters and the community itself made Encinitas an ideal spot to connect with our loyal customers and other like-minded locals.”

While the apparel was initially designed for men and women practicing yoga and climbing, it’s much more versatile these days. With fitted shirts for men and even dresses for women, the line offers clothes that can translate from comfy daywear into attire suited for time on the town. It aligns with Encinitas’s strong environmental values, too, as its production, operations, and supply chain are all closely monitored to make sure its impact on the soil, water, and other natural resources is minimal. Fashionable and environmental? Hurry up and get here, spring.  

Schooner Station

Formerly Today’s Pizza, this place has much of the same food regulars loved (the cooks are the same!) with a more sports bar vibe. With TVs o’plenty and schooners of beer that hold 18 ounces, this isn’t your grandma’s sports bar (no offense, Granny). Slice specials abound, making this the perfect post-skateboard sesh spot for the locals. Don’t go thinking this is only for action sports aficionados, however, as this place is plenty family-friendly, too. With delicious pizza, pasta, sandwiches, salads, and more, there is something on the menu for everyone. And, with 24 beers on tap (and don’t forget about those TVs), this is also the ideal place to catch that next game. Don’t go looking for a website yet, though, as they are so new it’s not live yet. You’ll just have to head on into this new eatery  – located just off the 5 and Santa Fe Road – and check it out for yourself. 

Lindsey McIlvena

More wellness? Yes, please! Encinitas can never have enough businesses that promote wellness, and Dr. Lindsey McIlvena’s private practice in downtown Encinitas should surely strike just the right chord with the health-conscious folks of this town. In addition to being double board-certified in Preventive Medicine and Integrative/Holistic Medicine, Dr. McIlvena holds a Masters degree in Public Health and is also a medical acupuncturist and a Yoga Instructor. She is also a facilitator of the Complete Health Improve Program (CHIP), so to say she walks the walk is quite an understatement. An Encinitas resident, herself, she also knows how important living well is to us North County residents. 

In this day and age, navigating the healthcare system can be a stressful mess but Dr. McIlvena’s approach is like a breath of our fresh ocean air. Her appointments take longer than the normal appointments so she can help understand the patient’s unique issues. She treats chronic conditions from high blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes to high cholesterol, arthritis, and autoimmune diseases. Her unparalleled approach has helped patients to decrease and even eliminate medications altogether, giving them a better quality of life. Dr. McIlvena does this through improving nutrition and lifestyle habits. 

Those who thrive in a group setting will appreciate the one-month group programs Dr. McIlvena offers that help people achieve an optimal lifestyle. What’s even better is she offers this at a fraction of the price of other programs of this ilk. Located at 230 Second Street in Suite 201, this sure-to-be-thriving practice is ideally located near downtown but also feels a bit removed from the hustle and bustle of Encinitas on this serene, tree-lined street. It’s currently open for business, so if one of your new years resolutions was to get well, you’ll definitely want to give Dr. McIlvena a call. 


There aren’t many cities in which you can golf nearly 365 days a year but, for those who live for the links, Encinitas is a hole-in-one. And if you’re looking to hone that swing, you’ll love Encinitas Ranch’s new addition, the GolfTEC Center – the first GolfTEC to be located right on the grounds of a golf course. This isn’t your average teaching center either. With 2,500 sq. feet of property divided into four teaching bays, GolfTEC is the future of golf lessons. The teaching bays include proprietary motion technology and Foresight ball flight monitors, a putting area, and a club-fitting studio, leaving no facet of your golf game unexamined.   

GolfTEC was founded by two Denver-based golf pros who changed the face of indoor golf lessons with the high-tech equipment they enlist. Their customized system focuses on five factors that will help you achieve maximum improvement: fact-based diagnosis, sequential lessons, advanced retention tools, video-based practice, and precision-matched clubs. Needless to say, these lessons are on par with a golf game that will make you the envy of your group. 

The GolfTEC Encinitas hours are as follows: Mon./Sat./Sun. – 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Tues./Wed./Thurs/ – 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Fri. – 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. 


Marnie is a freelance writer and mom to two boys – Finn, 6, and Declan, 4. She started out as a Copywriter for FOX’s americanidol.com and has since written for sites like LivingSocial, Red Tricycle, and Wetpaint. Marnie has also been published twice in San Diego Magazine’s “best of” segments. Her writing on parenting has been featured several times on the popular Scary Mommy blog and on Disney’s parenting website, Babble. This busy North County resident also hosts a mommy blog called LoveButBlog, which takes a rather irreverent look at the trials of motherhood and marriage. On top of raising two nutty boys, she wrangles two portly pugs named Olive and Fred. When she’s not writing or wiping noses and buns, she’s working out, indulging in her trashy TV addiction with her equally addicted husband, cracking a bottle of Malbec, or fantasizing about her dream trip to the Amalfi Coast in Italy.

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