SAN DIEGO — Just in time for the new film, San Diego County’s iconic “Top Gun” house is home to a new bakery serving up savory treats and 1980s aviator nostalgia.
The High Pie dessert bar is the latest chapter in a long and winding history for the Victorian cottage in Oceanside. It’s known to many as the “Top Gun” house for its appearance in the classic 1986 Tom Cruise flick, making it a popular stop for locals and tourists alike.
In 2019, crews moved the cottage a short distance north from its original ocean-view spot on Pacific Street to make way for hotel construction. Now the house is nestled on the grounds of the new Mission Pacific Hotel, located at 250 N. Pacific Street. After the move, it wasn’t immediately clear how the cottage would be used.
Tara Lazar and her team at F10 Creative were tasked with conceiving a neighborhood business that would “do this beautiful house justice,” she told FOX 5 by phone. “They kicked through a lot of concepts, and I just really thought, ‘What’s more American than pie?'”
So that’s what the bakery serves. Its signature item is the titular High Pie, an individual hand pie filled with compote made from seasonal fruits and placed playfully on a popsicle stick. Even more dreamily, you can opt for a mini pie a-la-mode, selecting one of the pies and getting it filled with an ice cream center. You can add from a variety of dipping sauces to top it all off.
Apple and cherry are the pie shop’s mainstays, but Lazar said she also expects a rotating variety of other fruits to make seasonal appearances. Right now, the shop is offering a Carlsbad strawberry rhubarb pie.
“Top Gun” fans will love the ambience, too, including a replica of Cruise character Maverick’s motorcycle from the aviation film. “They’re going to be stoked” when they see the bike, Lazar said.
The inside of the store is decorated with framed prints and photographs from the film and the employees working the counter are decked out in flight suits.
Loving ’80s kitsch aside, Lazar is quick to mention how she envisions the shop fitting Oceanside’s laidback, family-oriented vibe. The mini-pies start at three dollars and a cup of coffee costs a buck.
“We want everyone to come in, we don’t want to outprice the community,” she told FOX 5. “This is a military town and we’re not here to ‘boujee’ it up too much.”
The operator is also proud that her shop strives to use “sensibly-, responsibly-sourced” produce, and minimizes waste from plastic straws and utensils with its popsicle sticks and handheld offerings.
High Pie is in its “soft launch” phase with plans to more fully open to the public May 20. The shop will be open Wednesday through Monday from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m.