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Bully’s, Adios
Jeff Barnouw | Amphitheatre Drive

On August 9 a Del Mar Historical Society search and rescue team, Larry and Martha Brooks, Jimmy Joe Gooding and Jane Garrison, along with Zel’s owner Greg Glassman, harvested a treasure trove of fixtures from an otherwise vacated Bully’s. There were ten stained-glass panels (two of which will be integrated into Zel’s decor), numerous “Tiffany”-like hanging lamps, bar stools, menus, pictures and posters on the walls. They wanted to take a booth, perhaps to use it to redo the small room in the Alvarado House, but found it was too big to get into the House. There will be a future auction for some items, possibly including some stained glass panels.

So that is another chapter closed in the saga of Bully’s. The original opened in La Jolla in 1967 and the Del Mar version in 1969. They were named for the co-founder and part-owner George Bullington, who died in 1984. Beverly Becker, daughter of the other co-founder and part-owner, Lester Holt, took over Bullington’s business interests in 1984 and full ownership with the death of her father in 1995. She was approached by Hillstone Restaurant Group in 2015 and over the following years negotiated the sale.

The next and last chapter is underway: demolition. Hillstone cut the power on August 20, capping all utilities, electricity, gas, water and sewer, as the prerequisite for the demolition permit now pending at the City of Del Mar. Project designer Kelly Wallace said they are on schedule. Demolition begins when the permit is issued.

The revised parking plans call for a covered garage extending the full length of the property with its ceiling at the level of the alley, Del Mar Lane, with surface parking above that level. The restaurant will roughly take up Bully’s current space. An old sign on the front door says the new restaurant will be called Gulfstream. But, according to Wallace, that is not carved in stone.


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