NewsLocal News


Destroyed art gallery reborn inside Encinitas pizza shop

Posted at 9:16 PM, Oct 19, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-20 09:26:26-04

ENCINITAS, Calif., (KGTV)— It has been almost three weeks since a fire destroyed several small shops in Encinitas. One of the business owners who lost it all is now getting a lot of support from his local community.

In a blink of an eye, Greg Cali's life work was destroyed.

"One thing's for sure, it's been the most stressful period of my life," Cali said.

His gallery was called "The Cali Life."

It featured works by Cali and several other local artists.

The blaze on September 30, 2019, burned it all to the ground. All except for one thing.

"The sign up over the building was the only thing I got," Cali said.

That sign now has a new home inside of Pandora's Pizza restaurant.

"Art and pizza. Those are two of my favorite things on earth," he laughed.

Two days before the fire, Cali sent out invitations to his gallery's one-year anniversary party.

But with no gallery and no salvageable artwork, it was going to be canceled. That was, until Craig Leslie, Pandora's Pizza owner, reached out.

Some of Cali's artwork was already hanging inside Pandora's Pizza, so Leslie offered to host the gallery party at the restaurant, located just two blocks away.

"We're here to support him," Leslie said. "We're here to support other artists in the community. Let us know what you need, and I mean, we have a lot of walls!"

Cali spent the last three weeks printing his collection, getting new pieces and organizing a silent auction.

Instead of drowning himself in sorrow, he said his community is showering him with hope.

Leslie even told Cali that he could use his upstairs loft as his gallery until he gets back on his feet.

"My future, it looks really bright," Cali said. "There are ups and downs for sure, but I am 100 percent sure that you can turn bad things into positives. That's what I'm going to do."

The San Diego County Sheriff's Department said the fire does not appear to be suspicious.