San Diego is poised to get it’s first-ever food hall with the announcement of Liberty Public Market, a 22,000 square-foot artisans mecca to be filled with a carefully curated lineup of 30+ specialty purveyors. The $3 million project lies in the hands of Coronado native David Spatafore, Principal of Blue Bridge Hospitality, who is partnering with Liberty Station’s developer, The McMillin Companies, to transform the 1920s-era warehouse-syle building into an indoor-outdoor public market by June of 2015. Spatafore's marketplace concept is reminiscent of similar public markets sweeping the nation, such as Napa’s Oxbow Public Market, Philadelphia’s Reading Terminal Market and Vancouver's Granville Island, and will operate as a co-op, giving small business owners a brick & mortar platform to showcase their products on a larger scale without the commitment or contracts of a formal lease at Liberty Station.
The Liberty Public Market is paving the way for an interactive community experience, serving as a one-stop specialty shop as well as a daily farmers market. The venue aims to represent San Diego’s unique culture by offering year-round fresh produce sourced from surrounding regional farms, locally procured seafood, old fashioned butcher services, homemade tortillas, artisanal breads and pastries, fine wine merchants in the Southern California area, locally roasted coffee, a craft cocktail partner, specialty handcrafted goods and more. In addition to purchasing fresh goods to take home, the market will also offer quick-service counters, allowing guests to enjoy food on-site.
Conveniently located at 2816 Historic Decatur Rd. within Liberty Station, the market is being built out in a huge venue in the north end of the complex, situated in a prime location adjacent to the successful Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens. The storied space, which was originally built as the Naval Training Center’s commissary in 1921, will pay homage to its historic roots by housing a diverse mix of merchants, each hand-selected for their passionate support and ardent commitment to San Diego’s culture. The expansive indoor area features high-ceilings in a communal setting and the space will also include a massive outdoor patio, promoting a social atmosphere. Liberty Station offers complete accessibility for San Diego neighborhoods and tourists alike and provides ample and free parking for all visitors.
Alongside The McMillin Companies of Liberty Station, the visionary behind the Liberty Public Market is home-grown success story, David Spatafore, principal of Blue Bridge Hospitality. Born and raised in San Diego, Spatafore has made a name for himself developing Coronado restaurant concepts such as Leroy’s Kitchen + Lounge, MooTime Creamery, Village Pizzeria, Little Piggy’s Bar-B-Q, Coronado Coffee Company, as well as the forthcoming Stake Chophouse + Bar, opening next month on Orange Avenue. As an avid traveler, Spatafore regularly frequents public market concepts across the U.S. to capture the true essence of each city’s unique history and culture. Spatafore returns to San Diego with one thought, “How does San Diego not have a market like this?” And thus, the idea behind Liberty Public Market was born. Invested in bettering and building the community he lives in, Spatafore’s is filling a much-needed gap in the city by creating a truly authentic San Diego specialty market.
“As Liberty Station continues to grow and thrive we are thrilled to introduce the same type of community market concept that has proven to be successful in world-class cities across the US,” says Scott McMillin. “David Spatafore of Blue Bridge Hospitality is a proven operator and we think under his direction, this concept is a perfect addition to a destination that is already rich with local culture and history.”
With the capacity for more than 30 merchants, the Liberty Public Market is locally focused and aims to forge a partnership between the region’s most talented artisans. Blue Bridge Hospitality is curating a hand-selected group of like-minded purveyors that are specialized in their particular craft, who when brought together, are a top representation of San Diego’s unique culture. The space operates as a co-op, giving vendors a platform for success by acting as a collaborative partner for business support and marketing services.
“Liberty Public Market presents small businesses the chance to sell their goods on a much larger scale,” says Spatafore. “Liberty Station is a coveted retail location in San Diego. It’s highly trafficked and centrally located with prime visibility and free parking. This project allows the little guys to be a part of a very big business opportunity. Not only that, but it offers some of the area’s premier local wholesale distributors the chance to have a brick and mortar presence, as well as access to the every day consumer. It’s a win-win scenario.”