Del Mar Highlands to feature Sky Deck dining destination

A rendering of the new expansion at Del Mar Highlands Town Center.

Del Mar Highlands Town Center is taking its new expansion up a notch, unveiling its new Sky Deck concept that will feature elevated dining and beer garden experiences.

The Carmel Valley center on Del Mar Heights Road and El Camino Real has reached the midway point of its latest $120 million expansion. Known as The Collection, it will bring an expanded Jimbo’s…Naturally, new shops, restaurants, boutique fitness studios, offices and new gathering spaces.

According to Tara Sanchez, marketing specialist for Del Mar Highlands, Jimbo’s will move seamlessly from its current 14,000- square-foot footprint into a new 25,000-square-foot store to keep up with the organic grocery store’s high demand.

sky deck
A rendering of the Sky Deck. courtesy

The Del Mar Highlands team is most excited about what will be located directly above the new Jimbo’s—Called The Sky Deck, it will bring eight to 10 dining destinations, including a central cocktail bar and outdoor beer garden in one large airy space under one skylight-filled roof.

Sanchez said The Sky Deck draws inspiration from El Nacional in Barcelona, Spain and the “cool” and unique concept will allow visitors to enjoy dining in a destination that encourages lively social gatherings.

“It will be a great addition to the neighborhood,” Sanchez said.

Sanchez said the concept is different from a food hall like the one in Liberty Station in that it features all individual, full-service restaurants. The open-air beer garden will be located on a third story above The Sky Deck.

The first Collection stores are expected to open in late spring 2019; the Sky Deck aims to open by the end of 2019.

As early as this fall, shoppers will be able to experience improved outdoor spaces including a redesigned lounge and valet welcome area located at the upper plaza near Cinépolis Luxury Cinemas, a new “outdoor office” next to Tilly’s, and enhancements to the popular kids’ area near the pop-jet fountain.The new Collection will also feature its own central gathering space.

The center’s latest expansion started with the multi-level parking structure, to help solve some of the parking issues that the busy center faces. Del Mar Highlands also offers curbside restaurant pick-up, valet parking, complimentary shuttle service and free charging stations for electric vehicles.

The latest expansion will also include new signage which will be reviewed by the Carmel Valley Community Planning board. The board had concerns about the size of the signs in the first proposed plans and Sanchez said the team has taken that input into consideration: “The signs are being redesigned to make sure that they are more aligned with the community,” Sanchez said.

“Del Mar Highlands Town Center is where you find everything you need…and more,” said Pat Donahue, chairman and chief executive officer of Donahue Schriber. “Our team has strategically planned this expansion for the surrounding community and our daytime office population. I couldn’t be more pleased to see how our vision is coming together – parking is ready for current and future demand, new community gatherings spaces will welcome shoppers and visitors alike, and our upcoming opening of The Collection will set the tone for a new chapter in our 30 years as the premier shopping destination in Carmel Valley and North County.”

Del Mar Highlands Town Center has already welcomed some new tenants to the lineup, including Philz Coffee and William & Sons Fine Jewelry. This fall, Panini Kabob Grill will open in the former Mia Francesca space by Cinépolis, and Sidecar Doughnuts will open near Nekter Juice Bar. Look for Sidecar to pop up with a mobile food truck serving up gourmet doughnuts on Fridays leading up to the opening.