Local Merchants Announced for Liberty Public Market

Liberty Public Market is under construction and set to open to the public in October 2015 in an indoor and outdoor space at Liberty Station

A new, large-scale, indoor-outdoor marketplace is set to open this fall in San Diego’s Liberty Station and the first round of local merchants who will set up shop at the market were unveiled Thursday.

From cheese and meats to cold-pressed juice and quality coffee, the vendors showcased at Liberty Public Market will offer unique, locally-sourced goods in the space slated for an October opening.

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 artisans joining the marketplace include: Liberty Meat Shop; The WestBean Coffee Roasters; Fully Loaded Micro Juicery; Venissimo Cheese; Pho Realz; Wicked Maine Lobster; MooTime Creamery; Mastiff Sausage Company; Cane Patch Pies; and Cecilia’s Taqueria.

For some of the small, local merchants, this will be their first-ever brick-and-mortar establishment after building a fan base at local farmers markets and other similar ventures.

Such is the case for Jacob Bartlett, co-owner of Mastiff Sausage Company, a well-known San Diego food truck that specializes in handcrafted sausage sandwiches and subs using ingredients grown in the company’s own garden.

“We’re very excited for this opportunity to get out there,” Bartlett told NBC 7 at the marketplace Thursday.

As a food truck business, Bartlett said he’s used to hitting the pavement and setting up shop all over San Diego. This new venture at the marketplace, however, won’t require wheels.

He said this will be the first storefront for his company, which he co-founded in 2011 with his childhood friend, Chef Eric Gallerstein.

Bartlett told NBC 7 they are still perfecting the menu they will feature at Liberty Public Market, but, at this point, he thinks it will be a condensed version of what Mastiff Sausage Company offers on its food truck, with an emphasis on fan favorites.

“It’s a work in progress,” he said. “We’re excited for this.”

Meanwhile, Coronado-based MooTime Creamery also plans to offer a smaller version of its cool menu, bringing its old-fashioned ice cream parlor style to the marketplace.

At Liberty Meat Shop, San Diego native Tommy Battaglia (aka “Tommy the Butcher”), will also bring an old-fashioned feel to Liberty Public Market offering quality meats at his storefront.

Battaglia told NBC 7 his prime focus will be on high-quality cuts of meat, freshly butchered. Battaglia began working in his family’s butcher shop as a child and has also worked for decades as a meat wholesaler.

He said he’s looking forward to bringing back a brick-and-mortar shop that will pay tribute to his family’s roots and provide a personal experience for patrons.

Kaz Murphy, owner of the Encinitas-based Fully Loaded Micro Juicery, said he’s also looking forward to expanding his business to central San Diego.

His health-conscious company offers 100 percent raw, organic, cold-pressed juices bottled fresh daily.
The juicery sources as many of the ingredients as possible from local farmers.

Murphy said he’s hoping to educate customers on the health benefits of his drinks in this new market.

Liberty Public Market organizers say another round of local merchants and vendors will be announced at a later time.

The marketplace – a $3 million collaboration between operating group Blue Bridge Hospitality and developer The McMillin Companies – will be located adjacent to Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens at 2816 Historic Decatur Rd.

It 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.

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