Another round of unique merchants – plus a restaurant, wine bar and beer shop – have been chosen to join San Diego’s new, large-scale public marketplace set to open this fall at Liberty Station.
From fresh produce and Thai food to pastries and fresh-baked bread, the newest tenants added to the lineup at Liberty Public Market join 18 other previously announced local vendors setting up shop at the marketplace, which is now slated to open in November.
The 22,000-square-foot venue – a historic, warehouse-style building originally built as the Naval Training Center’s commissary in 1921 – has the capacity to house more than 30 purveyors. The first 10 merchants were revealed in July, followed by eight more unveiled in September.
Now, marketplace organizers say four new tenants have joined the list, including: Mama Made Thai; Crafted Baked Good; Bread & Butter; and a locally-sourced produce section.
Mama Made Thai will serve authentic Bangkok-style street food, including classic pan-fried noodle dishes and several fried rice variations. This venture marks the company’s first-ever brick-and-mortar location.
Meanwhile, Crafted Baked Good will whip up decadent cakes, pastries and other sweet treats. The Bread & Butter co-op will also get in on the baked goods by offering fresh bread daily, as well as a robust selection of goods from the city’s best bakers, plus a small tasting menu.
Finally, an oversized section dedicated to fresh produce will also open inside the market, offering a fresh, seasonal selection of fruits and vegetables all from San Diego farms.
Liberty Public Market representatives say a new restaurant dubbed “Mess Hall” will also open in the heart of the marketplace. The name is a nod to the building’s history as the mess hall of the former Naval Training Center.
At Mess Hall’s helm will be Executive Chef Tim Kolanko of Blue Bridge Hospitality. The restaurant will feature a “market-to-menu” concept, meaning all of the ingredients, vegetables and proteins used in the dishes will be sourced directly from the merchants at Liberty Public Market.
The menu at the restaurant will change daily and will some days include à la carte selections, family-style dinners or coursed-out meals. The space will also be used to host pop-up events, traveling guest chef dinners, culinary education classes, private events and more.
Meanwhile, marketplace representatives say a Bottlecraft boutique beer shop from local brew expert Brian Jensen will also open in a 1,000-square-foot space within the market. The space will also serve as a tasting room boasting a bar with 24 draft lines. The shop will be similar to Jensen’s two other popular existing Bottlecraft locations in Little Italy and North Park, offering everything from local brews to rare domestics and international finds.
For wine lovers, Liberty Public Market will also house Grape Smuggler, an 800-square-foot wine bar featuring a revolving menu of offerings by the glass, daily tastings and wine flights. The cellar here will house approximately 500 bottles of wine, and Grape Smuggler also plans to offer a changing menu of small plates.
Liberty Public Market is located at 2816 Decatur Rd., at Liberty Station, adjacent to Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens.
The marketplace – a $3 million collaboration between operating group Blue Bridge Hospitality and developer The McMillin Companies – aims to be reminiscent of public markets in other cities, such as Napa’s Oxbow Public Market or Philadelphia’s Reading Terminal Market.
The focus at the indoor-outdoor marketplace is on fresh, sustainable, locally-sourced goods, including year-round produce sourced from regional farms, plus merchants offering locally-procured seafood, old-fashioned butcher services, homemade tortillas, artisanal breads and pastries, fine wine, locally-roasted coffee, specialty handcrafted goods and more.
Many of the small, local merchants are well-known favorites at farmers markets, while some are entirely new concepts debuting for the first time at the marketplace. For most, this will be their first-ever brick-and-mortar establishment after building a fan base around town.
The market will also boast quick-service counters, allowing patrons to grab a bite on site, too.
David Spatafore, of Blue Bridge Hospitality, is helping to spearhead the project. In the past, he’s helped develop Coronado restaurant concepts such as Leroy’s Kitchen + Lounge and Stake Chophouse + Bar.
Alongside the merchants, Liberty Public Market will also feature a shop dubbed Liberty Public Market Pantry, an oversized space within the marketplace that will showcase products from other San Diego artisans including makers of jams, sauces, spices and oils.
The marketplace will also host weekly interactive demonstrations, classes and events, giving local merchants a change to engage with costumers and patrons an opportunity to meet the artisans behind their favorite goods.
It was originally slated to open this month, but the grand opening is now set for November.