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August 28: Human Rights in San Diego, Big Mike Phillips, Harvey Milk American Diner

August 28, 2013

frank-lechnerThis was an INTERESTING show covering some big celebs – alive and dead. It is the 50th Anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King’s, “I have a dream” speech. We focused on human rights. We could have spent the time focusing on how far we have to go, but we decided to celebrate by talking to some local human rights activists and bigger than life humans.

Listen to our show as we talk with Big Mike Phillips and Frank Lechner about the new Harvey Milk’s American Diner replacing the iconic City Delicatessen & Bakery.

 

community activist Nicole Murray Ramirez

We also visited with community activist Nicole Murray Ramirez who always sparks passionate feelings – positive and negative. He’s been around publicly since the 1960′s and is hated and loved by many. There is no middle of the road with Mr. Ramirez!

He’s a friend of this show’s host and has done many wonderful and generous acts in our community.

 

Big Mike Phillips of San DiegoAbout Big Mike: A Big Man, with a bigger heart!

Known around town for his big smile and unwavering community goodwill, “Big Mike” Phillips is a man who wears many hats as an established, enthusiastic fund-raiser, popular bartender, government LGBT adviser, co-founder and board member of several nonprofit organizations.

“Big Mike” not only pours a mean drink or two as a well-known bartender at Jimmy Carter’s Mexican Café, but also spends much of his time raising funds to benefit the community. Phillips initially moved to San Diego in 1989 to spend time with his best friend, Tino, who was succumbing to AIDS.

“When I got out here, I noticed that he wasn’t well at all,” Phillips recalls. “So I went back home the following Saturday and sold everything, packed my bags and moved out here. I wanted to be here with him, because I knew he wasn’t going to be around for very much longer.”

His friend died three months later.

“While I was here, he made me promise to give San Diego at least one year’s chance,” Phillips says. “No matter how good or bad it was. So I promised him, and that promise has lasted all these years.”

Harvey-Milk-Diner-logo_t540-300x300About Harvey Milk’s American Diner in San Diego (on Facebook)

In an update regarding the upcoming Harvey Milk’s American Diner, which will replace the iconic City Delicatessen & Bakery, co-partner Mike “Big Mike” Phillips said the transition will occur “as soon as possible, hopefully early summer.” Phillips has joined forces with restaurateur Tom Brown and media-marketing consultant Frank Lechner to open what is considered the first-of-its-kind eatery honoring the civil rights achievements of the LGBT activist. The venture has received licensing support from The Harvey Milk Foundation and human rights activist Stuart Milk, who is the nephew of the late Harvey Milk.

“We’re stepping into a restaurant that has given so much to our community for the past 30 years,” Phillips said. “We literally have some big shoes to fill.”

The restaurant will operate as City Deli until the transition is complete. 525 University Ave., 619-295-2747.