National City

New Food Hall Brings Revitalization, 14 Restaurants to National City

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What’s being promoted as the South Bay’s first food hall is finally set to open next week in National City after a 19-month delay due to COVID-19.

The dining destination is meant to bring vibrancy to the city and also give the rest of San Diego County a little taste of what the region has to offer.

Bobby Alfonso has been looking to revive his grandfather's family restaurant for quite some time.

“It was originally opened by my grandfather in Manila, Philippines,” Alfonso told NBC 7. “We’re a Dutch-Indo family.”

Alfonso was born and raised in the South Bay, so when he learned a new food hall and public market was set to open in National City, he knew that was the way to go.

“A lot of the family is excited," Alfonso said. "Everyone is rooting for us back in the Philippines as well as here, so it's a big thing."

Alfonso’s Cafe Indonesia is one of 14 new restaurants set to open inside Market on 8th next week.

“It's going to be a bigger reason for people to want to come to this community, and I'm hoping it's going to add a spark to the rest of the community,” Joel Tubao, developer of Market on 8th, said on Tuesday.

Tubao, who is also from the South Bay, points out that nearly every restaurant and store at Market on 8th has ties to the area, and many of them are owned by National City locals.

“I grew up on 12th and D,” Phillip Esteban said. ​

Esteban is set to open two businesses in the market: a home goods shop and a ramen restaurant.

“Everyone from South Bay always drives up to North Park or Convoy, but this is now that new place where they can go to and experience new things from local business owners,” Esteban said.

Market on 8th will feature a wide array of cuisine including Vietnamese, Thai and Mexican options.

“I think they're going to get an experience of what a National City is and what all of us here are,” Alfonso said. “We’re a diverse community, like a melting pot."

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