Local Merchants to Be Showcased at New Liberty Public Market

The Liberty Public Market project is taking shape, with its grand opening slated for October 2015

A new, large-scale public market is set to open in San Diego’s Liberty Station and this week, organizers will unveil the lineup of merchants and vendors that will set up shop in the new space.

Liberty Public Market – a 22,000-square-foot indoor and outdoor marketplace – is slated to open at 2816 Historic Decatur Rd. this October.

The $3 million project – a partnership between operating group Blue Bridge Hospitality and developer The McMillin Companies – will transform a historic 1920s-era warehouse-style building adjacent to Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens into a vibrant marketplace housing more than 30 merchants selling everything from locally-sourced food to handcrafted goods.

Organizers say this marketplace concept will allow brick & mortar opportunities for small businesses and locally-owned wholesale distributors, while providing patrons with a community gathering place boasting quality artisan goods that are unique to San Diego.

The marketplace aims to be reminiscent of public markets in other cities, such as Napa’s Oxbow Public Market or Philadelphia’s Reading Terminal Market.

Organizers say the venue will feature a daily farmers market with year-round fresh 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.

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.

Heading into this undertaking, Spatafore believes it’s time San Diego had a marketplace like this.

“Liberty Public Market presents small businesses the chance to sell their good on a much larger scale,” he said. “This project allows the little guys to be part of a very big business opportunity.”

By the way, the warehouse-style space for the marketplace was originally built as the Naval Training Center’s commissary in 1921. In its new incarnation, organizers say the space will pay homage to its historic roots.

The indoor area boasts high ceilings in a communal setting that also includes a large outdoor patio, perfect for socializing. Parking at the marketplace will be free, as it always is at Liberty Station.

Check back Thursday on NBC7.com for the lineup of merchants and the latest updates on Liberty Station Marketplace.

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