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Incoming: Liberty Public Market

San Diego's big public market unveils three big new concepts

By Troy Johnson

Every city wants one of these. A public food market on par with Pike Place in Seattle or the Ferry Building in San Francisco. A hall of food, an amusement park for your discerning mouth. And now Liberty Public Market is reportedly two months away from its debut in November (a betting man might say December is more likely). The 22,000 square-foot project next to Stone Brewing in Liberty Station, spearheaded by Coronado’s Blue Bridge Hospitality (Stake Chophouse, Leroy’s, etc.), will include 30 mostly local food vendors. It’ll have bread, coffee, wine, cheese, seafood, meat, produce, a restaurant, a bar, beer, juice bar, ice cream, lobster rolls, desserts—everything that’s legal and consumable.

Some of those vendors have previously been announced, including Venissimo Cheese, Le Parfait Paris, Liberty Meat Shop (run by local butcher icon, Tommy Battaglia), Cane Patch Pies, Cecilia’s Taqueria, Fully Loaded Juice, Local Greens, Mastiff Sausage, MooTime Creamery (a Blue Bridge concept), WestBean Coffee Roasters, Wicked Maine Lobster, Pasta Design, Stuffed, Point Loma Tea, Fishbone Kitchen and Parana Empanadas.

Today San Diego Mag breaks news on their newest projects. First, four new vendor concepts: Crafted Baked Goods (from Blue Bridge’s pastry chef Francis Laureano, formerly of Bottega Louie), Mama Made Thai, Bread & Butter (a co-op of the city’s best bakeries) and a produce section featuring San Diego farm goods. Then, four big announcements:

  1. Mess Hall. An on-site, sustainably-focused restaurant headed by Blue Bridge exec chef Tim Kolanko (ex-A.R. Valentien). What will the restaurant do? It’ll take the best of what the vendors bring to market that day and create a daily menu. The restaurant will also host pop-ups by local chefs, traveling chefs, culinary education dinners, etc. It’ll also give Kolanko’s talented younger chefs (from Leroy’s, Stake, etc.) a chance to design their own menus for a day.
  2. Bottlecraft. The popular San Diego-based craft beer bottle shop will open their third location in the main room leading out to Liberty Market’s large patio. It’ll have a tasting bar with 24 beers on tap and big retail aspect.
  3. Grape Smuggler. Stake Chophouse and Bar has one of the country’s top sommeliers in Greg Majors, who formerly worked at Tom Colicchio’s Craft Restaurant and Robert Bohr’s former CRU, to name a couple. Grape Smuggler will have about 300 different wines, pulled from everywhere.
  4. A killer liquor license: Liquor licenses are weird. You can often drink in this part of a place, but not that part. The way that Liberty Market is set up, Mess Hall and Bottlecraft will occupy about a third of the space, with the vendors set up in partitioned areas in the “market” part. Thanks to a good liquor license, you’ll be able to grab a beer at Bottleshop or a glass of wine at Grape Smuggler, and then walk throughout the market and shop with your drink. Sounds awesome, and dangerous.

With Stone’s success next door, and San Diego’s top pizza joint Buona Forchetta opening their second location a few hundred feet away, it looks like Liberty Station is finally hitting its stride.

Rendering of the incoming Liberty Public Market, set for a November open (we guess more like December).

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