Coming Soon: An All-Local Food Hall in Little Italy
Whenever new developments are afoot, we worry about an influx of big box stores and chain restaurants. So, we were more than a little relieved to learn that the newest major project in Little Italy has a decidedly local focus.
The 11,000-square- foot European-inspired Piazza della Famiglia courtyard at the corner of West Date and India Street is set to open son. It is going to be a central gathering place to host farmers markets, concerts, and cultural events in the heart of San Diego’s Little Italy. The mixed-use buildings, Vici and Amo, will feature 125 apartments above retail and restaurants, have their own underground public parking lots, and, it was just announced, this summer a new food hall will open there as well.
The Little Italy Food Hall will feature six locally-driven food stations, a mobile outdoor chefs’ area for pop-up cooking demonstrations by Sam the Cooking Guy (who will be serving as the community ambassador for the project), and a full bar program featuring local beers and craft cocktails. The vendors that have been announced so far include Not Not Tacos by Sam the Cooking Guy; The Bar at Little Italy Food Hall; Ambrogio15, a Milan-style pizzeria; Roast Meat & Sandwich Shop; and Wicked Maine Lobster, a New England-style seafood joint. The two remaining vendors have yet to be announced.
“I just can’t fricking wait. The idea for Not Not Tacos has been rolling around in my head for quite a while now, and the opportunity to get it going in the Little Italy Food Hall just made the picture perfect. And with the opening of the Food Hall we are bringing in an opportunity for local concepts to develop and grow. We all really look forward to meeting guests and introducing visitors from San Diego and beyond to this new and very welcome concept and location,” said Sam Zien, better known "Sam the Cooking Guy", cookbook author and host of the popular local television show.
Design-wise, the Little Italy Food Hall will pay homage to Little Italy’s maritime past. Its interior will exude a light and bright feel complemented by clean lines and a modern color palette of rich coastal blues and greens with warm copper accents. Authentic nautical materials, textures, patterns and architectural details will provide visitors with cues of the area’s storied history.
“We believe in hospitality that impacts communities. The Little Italy neighborhood in San Diego is a place of strong cultural heritage. At the heart of that foundation are immigrant family members who built a strong community with faith, hard work and social interaction. We are developing the Little Italy Food Hall in homage to the generation of those families with the goal of creating a place of gathering and celebration. We are all incredibly proud of this project and eagerly await its summer opening,” said Mike DiNorscia, managing director of Sweet 100 and partner of Grain & Grit Collective, the new San Diego-based hospitality group heading up the project in conjunction with the developer, H.G. Fenton Company.
We'll bring you more updates as the project developes.