By Katia Lopez-Hodoyan
Although hard to accept, all good things must come to an end, as far as Diane Powers is concerned there is always an exception to the rule. It was only two months ago that Bazaar del Mundo was forced to leave its historical location and hand over its lease to Delaware North Parks and Recreation. The tug of war between Powers and state officials was constant since the transfer of power was announced, and in the end, Powers lost custody of what seemed to be her baby, her creation of 34 years. This weekend, however, the celebration that once followed Bazaar del Mundo will come to life again.
Friday July 29 (10am-8 pm) marks the grand opening for the new, or perhaps old, restaurants and shops Powers and her colleagues relocated to as “Plaza del Pasado” won the bid to take over the park location. Keep an eye out for Juan and Taylor Streets in the Old Town area. There one can see some of the restaurants and shops that once were part of Bazaar del Mundo, including The Gallery, Laurel Burch Gallerita, Ariana Artes de Mexico, Guatemalan Shop and the Kitchen Shop. The celebration will continue throughout the weekend. On Saturday July 30 from 10 am. 8 pm and Sunday July 31 from 10 a.m. 5 p.m. Mariachis and carne asada are promised to be a part of the festivity, so come prepared to dance, sing and eat.
During Bazaar del Mundo’s tenure, Powers operated Casa de Bandini, Rancho El Nopal, Lino’s and Casa de Pico. The Plaza del Pasado restaurants which replaced those just mentioned are headed by executive chef Patrizio Sacchetto.
One of the few places apt for both tourists and locals in San Diego, Bazaar del Mundo, was a complete success during its years in existence. It was a “must see” among the lists of things to do while visiting San Diego. Now, replaced by Plaza del Pasado, there is still Mexican food, but there is no mariachi. Although still in its’ beginning stages, one will have to wait and see if the current plaza holds the same inviting and warm atmospheres that was once a given for the area.
One thing that was surely lost, were dozens of jobs. Although Powers maintained what she could of her enterprise, there is no denying that both space and employees were lost in the process. Waiters and cooks were perhaps the one’s who were most affected by all the changes that inevitably would end their employment there. Nonetheless, other jobs will arise. There is talk of constructing nine hotel rooms near Plaza del Pasado. The Cosmopolitan Hotel has been mentioned as a prospect in the future development.
For the time being, locals must wait and see if La Plaza del Pasado can create the same ambiance, color and folklore that were once part of the Bazaar’s success. Until then, one can analyze and compare the changes during the re-opening of Bazaar del Mundo.