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At The Centre, ‘Autojoyment’ Drives Enhanced Car Experience

Night view of The Centre

For over 40 years Judy Jones-Cone has made it her purpose to give customers an unforgettable car buying experience. In 2009, she opened The Centre on Auto Park Way near the 15 freeway where she brought her vision of creating an interactive destination while buying a car to fruition.  

“She spent a lot of time thinking about how she could combine multiple experiences in one place,” said Drew Davis, the General Manager at The Centre. As a female owner, she approached the business very differently and really wants people to feel comfortable when they come here.”

What she has brought to Escondido is a mini-mall that gives customers both quality services and exquisite event spaces in one easily accessible location.

The 326,000 square foot, three-level, indoor/outdoor space starts with the dealership and car center on the ground floor. Where else can someone wait for an oil change and practice their golf swing at the golf simulator, give their children a distraction in the playroom, have some quiet time to answer texts and emails in the library equipped with massage chairs, or get a light meal and coffee at Culture, Craft, Coffee and Espresso? There is something for everyone!

The second floor offers meeting spaces, shopping and self-care. Meeting rooms and event spaces complete with advanced technology amenities are great for both small and large gatherings as we come out of the pandemic. 

They also boast unparalleled views of the mountains and cityscapes. RocknHair is a full-service beauty salon that has clientele beyond just car buyers. For shoppers, JJ’s Boutique sells one-of-a-kind items for every budget, and Stephen Fishwick’s Fine Art Gallery holds many of the internationally renowned artists' works. For shoppers interested in real estate, AARE Realty is available to help find their dream home with the perfect garage to park their new Lexus.

Fine dining and breathtaking views await diners at Vintana.

The top floor is where Vintana Wine + Dine is located. The Cohn Restaurant Group’s, California-Cuisine restaurant serves lunch and dinner created by award-winning chef, Deborah Scott and is a well-known and favorite eatery for foodies throughout the county.

“We’re really excited that Vintana reopened,” said Davis. “Opening the restaurant on that third level has brought a bustling of life and activity again.” Currently, outdoor dining includes the complete lunch and dinner menu as well as ample, spacious seating with heaters. “Because we have two really large decks, it has great capacity,” said Davis. 

Beyond the shopping experience, events are what makes The Centre unique. Event settings are available in various locations throughout The Centre from the art gallery, to the meeting rooms, the restaurant, and spacious outdoor balconies. 

In anticipation of the public health restrictions rolling back soon, The Centre is able to book small meetings and events such as first responder, medical, and essential personnel meetings, church services, micro weddings, and celebrations for dates in the future. Hybrid events that have a few in-person guests and virtual guests online are also able to be booked. “We’ve ramped up all of our cleaning protocols,” said Davis who added they are abiding by the public health orders, clean and sanitize throughout the day, and adhere to mask wearing and social distancing rules throughout The Centre.

“The Centre has served many in our community as a top gathering place,” said Amber Tarrac, Escondido’s Deputy Director of Economic Development. “Pre-pandemic, many organizations and nonprofits used the gathering spaces for events, fundraisers, weddings, quinceaneras, conferences, and business meetings. Now with the restrictions lifting, it’s great to know The Centre is open and ready to serve our community once again. And with Vintana reopened, it’s time to return to one of the most happening dinner spots in town.”

Davis feels the location of The Centre is one of its best assets. “We love being here; the location is fantastic,” he said. “Escondido has always been very supportive and business-friendly. And the people of Escondido are awesome. We have so many local organizations that have held events and gatherings here over the years; it’s become a hub of activity and a celebration place for the community.”

Outdoor venues offer guests spectacular views and a unique dining experience.

Davis said he is seeing an uptick in bookings for events for future dates. Davis and the team are looking forward to the time when all restrictions will be lifted and they can safely create community events and concerts like those of the past, which have included artists such as Rita Coolidge, Shaka Khan, Al Jarreau, and Switchfoot. 

“We’re really looking forward to being able to resume some of the things that the community has so loved,” said Davis.

Brewing Hope

In addition to creating a community gathering place, Jones-Cone makes philanthropy a top priority. Her private foundation, Guest House Ministries focuses on hunger and children’s issues.

New logo for Esperanza Coffee Company.

Her giving is extending to the Culture, Craft, Coffee and Espresso Cafe this Spring. This month The Esperanza Coffee Company coffee brand debuted and this fresh brew is being served at the cafe and is available in 12 ounce bags and K-cups will soon be for sale in the store and through a subscription model. Esperanza is the Spanish word for hope and a portion of the proceeds of this coffee will go to the charities Jones-Cone has supported throughout the years.

“Esperanza Coffee Company was born out of a passion for great coffee as well as a desire to improve the lives of children in our community and around the world.” said Davis. “This award-winning blend has been meticulously crafted by combining the worlds' premier coffee growing regions of Kenya, Peru, and Ethiopia to create a roast that is full body, clean, consistent, and has just the right amount of bright fruity acidity.”

At the heart of the brand and its organization is a desire to serve and to give. It has been part of their spirit and mission for decades to give a portion of our profits to causes that provide hope and change for children who have been impacted by hunger, AIDS, special needs, and/or the loss of their parents.

Additionally, the packaging will include stories about the recipients of the proceeds so customers can have a greater understanding of how their contribution is helping others around the world. The coffee itself is a fair trade, organic coffee roasted locally in San Diego.

Davis said this is a top-quality coffee that he feels customers are going to enjoy. “We spent a lot of time tasting different coffees and we’re super excited about this.” Be on the lookout for the Esperanza coffee brand launch this month.

From shopping to dining, car buying to giving, The Centre is sure to bring ‘autojoyment’ to everyone.

For more information about booking events, fill out the online form and a team member will contact you with date and pricing options. 

The Centre is located at 1205 Auto Park Way. For more information call, 877-568-6118 or email