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Aaron Dean


Making Waves

By David Moye

Photography by Becca Teal Batista | Styling by Ted Baker London, Fashion Valley


Aaron Dean is turning La Mesa into San Diego’s hottest new neighborhood.

La Mesa’s slogan is “the Jewel of the Hills,” but not many people realize this East County gem has homes and views rivaling those in Del Mar and La Jolla, and “at a fraction of the cost,” notes developer and restaurateur Aaron Dean on the deck of his Mt. Helix home. “And you’re only 15 minutes from the beach or downtown.”

Dean’s La Mesa roots trace back to the 1950s, but he had actually lived in Mission Hills until two years ago. That’s when the entrepreneur entertained notions of opening Depot Springs, a 30,000-square-foot brewery-restaurant-entertainment complex on land purchased in 1959 by his grandfather. “The only thing missing in La Mesa is entertainment,” explains Dean. “Lots of parents would rather take their kids to hear music than leave them with a babysitter.”