Iconic Southern California Shop Faces Redevelopment Eviction

After four decades, the shop is being demolished to make way for a new mixed-use complex along a major road.

David Cartwright in his business' profile picture on NextDoor.

Encinitas Autobody Repair, a staple in Encintas, CA, for four decades, faces eviction due to a major redevelopment plan. David Cartwright, 75, and his wife Barbara Grace, who have managed the shop together, are now on a quest to find a new location to continue their legacy of automotive services.

The Coast News reported the redevelopment, spearheaded by RAF Pacifica Group's Adam Robinson, will transform a section of North Coast Highway 101 into The Captain at Moonlight Beach, a mixed-use complex featuring 45 condos and commercial spaces. The Encinitas Planning Commission granted unanimous approval in October 2023.

“We just want to put the word out to see if someone has a place we can find to sublet nearby,” Grace told The Coast News. “We’re a small family operation, but we do services that no one else does, so it would be great if we could stick around.”

Jerry Sova, who owns another business included in the sale, a cell phone repair kiosk, told The Coast News the sale is expected to close June 24.

The sale also includes a restaurant, Captain Keno's, and a hotel, the Portofino Beach Inn.

Cartwright is known for his mechanical expertise, particularly in transforming vehicles like his 1971 Chevy Vega station wagon. He said he wants to spend a few more years doing serving the community’s auto service needs.

“Here’s hoping I die with my boots on with a hammer in hand,” Cartwright told the news outlet. “I came back here in the 1980s (from New Jersey) and was thrilled to get into the auto body business in Encinitas.”

Anyone with information related to space for lease can contact Encinitas Autobody Repair at 760-402-1644.

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