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Renovation ready for Del Mar Highlands center

CARMEL VALLEY — Responding to the wishes of local residents and community members, Del Mar Highlands Town Center will soon be home to three new restaurants and a luxury boutique movie theater. 

Coming soon is Rimel’s Rotisserie, an active Southern California lifestyle inspired restaurant, featuring Mexican and Asian influences; The Counter, a 21st-century version of a burger joint; and Carmel Valley Swirls, a frozen yogurt shop. Additionally, the existing UltraStar Cinemas movie theater will undergo an extensive upgrade inside and out, converting to a new boutique concept premiering at the Del Mar Highlands Town Center.
“We’ve listened to our guests and they’ve made it clear that they would like more food and entertainment options in the community,” said Elizabeth Schreiber, vice president and general manager for Donahue Schriber, owner and operator of the Del Mar Highlands Town Center. “Our team has been working with existing and potential tenants to ensure our reimagined Del Mar Highlands Town Center offers a variety of quality dining and enhanced entertainment in line with the community’s desires, based on the feedback we’ve gathered.”
After conducting a national search of boutique theater operators, Donahue Schriber concluded that UltraStar Cinemas would provide the community of Carmel Valley upscale movie experiences through its new UltraLuxe cinema concept complete with unique amenities.
Among the features the revamped theater will offer include Pure Digital Cinema technology; luxury high-back reclining chairs; eight auditoriums featuring four state-of-the-art Pure Digital 3D screens; in-seat food ordering; special VIP viewing rooms with extra large leather chairs and private party opportunities; a Cinema Café offering an assortment of gourmet movie fare; and online ticketing.
Another new feature of the theater will be the convenience of reserved seating, which allows movie patrons to reserve specific seats for any showing ahead of time.
Rimel’s Rotisserie is best known for their fresh ingredients including locally sourced meats, poultry and seafood. Since opening the first restaurant in 1993 on Torrey Pines Road, owner Matt Rimel has expanded Rimel’s Restaurants with the newest at Del Mar Highlands Town Center.
“Rimel’s is excited to expand to Carmel Valley,” Rimel said. “We hope to become a family fixture in the community as we have in our other locations. We know our food speaks for itself — it’s all natural, healthy — and we’re pleased to bring it to the Del Mar Highlands Town Center.”
Also coming to Del Mar Highlands Town Center is The Counter.The restaurant greets each guest with a clipboard and a list of fresh ingredients for them to use to design their own gourmet burger. The restaurant boasts a fun, family atmosphere and more than 300,000 possible custom burger combinations.
A fourth new tenant, Carmel Valley Swirls, will be located in the soon-to-be renovated amphitheater area at the center. The yogurt shop is owned by Evan Wilensky, a graduate of Torrey Pines High School. Wilensky opened his first Swirls location in Del Mar and a second shop in Encinitas shortly thereafter. The Carmel Valley Swirls will be home to more than 51 rotating flavors, with 10 flavors available each day and many flavors created daily including Cake Batter, Red Velvet, Tart Pomegranate, Dolce De Leche, Plain Tart, Cookies & Cream and Dreamy Peanut Butter.

The yogurt shop offers more than 30 toppings for customers to enjoy including fresh fruits prepared daily. Most of the yogurt flavors are nonfat and Swirls has a selection of no sugar added and non-dairy flavors. The yogurt’s claim to fame is that it is proven to lower cholesterol, improve digestion, increase metabolism and stimulate the immune system.
“Carmel Valley Swirls is a perfect fit for the amphitheater area in which guests will be able to grab a bite to eat, see a movie or enjoy some live entertainment,” Schreiber said.
The existing movie theater will close in early January to undergo its extensive renovation and reopen approximately six months later. Rimel’s, The Counter and Carmel Valley Swirls are expected to open by the mid 2011. The Del Mar Highlands Town Center renovation is anticipated to be complete by summer of 2011.
Originally developed by Donahue Schriber in 1989, the Del Mar Highlands Town Center continues to be the dominant community shopping center in the Carmel Valley area. The center is at the corner of Del Mar Heights Road and El Camino Real and is anchored by Ralph’s Fresh Fare, Rite Aid, Ultra Star Cinemas, Barnes & Noble and Jimbo’s … Naturally.
Additionally, the renovation will improve parking, traffic flow and the overall pedestrian experience at the Del Mar Highlands Town Center. For more information about the Del Mar Highlands Town Center or the renovation, visit

1 comment

B.R.Hartwick October 15, 2010 at 11:53 am

What a wonderful center, and what great additions!
We’re going to enjoy it!

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