First announced in February, the highly anticipated Little Italy Food Hall will open to the public on Thursday, July 12 at 3 p.m. adjacent to the neighborhood’s new 11,000 square foot Piazza della Famiglia. Intended as a place of community gathering and familiar faces, the food hall will offer six locally-driven food stations, a bar program complete with an Italian-inspired craft cocktail menu and a mobile outdoor chefs’ area featuring pop-up cooking demonstrations from names such as Sam the Cooking Guy, who will host the inaugural demonstration in early August.
The Little Italy Food Hall has selected its food vendors with authenticity in mind, and carefully curated a lineup including Ambrogio15, a gourmet pizzeria that has imported a traditional pizza oven from Italy, along with a crew to install it, to replicate the Milan-style pizzas made popular at its flagship location in Pacific Beach; Mein St. Asian Kitchen, a new concept offering Asian comfort foods such as dumplings, wings and boba teas; Not Not Tacos by Sam the Cooking Guyoffering an eclectic mix of “tacos” filled with unexpected ingredients like Sam’s Meatloaf, Izzy’s Pastrami and the Smokey Pork + Mac; Roast Meat & Sandwich Shop, who will introduce build-your-own Superfood Salads alongside their artisanal sandwiches, whole roast chickens and beloved meatballs; Single Fin Kitchen by Chef Antonio Quindere, who has worked with celebrity chef Nobu Matsuhisa and will share his take on traditional Japanese Donburi; and Wicked Maine Lobster conveying its New England heritage through Maine Lobster Rolls, Lobster Mac & Cheese, Clam Bake and Shrimp Baskets, Chowder and more.
At its center, guests will discover The Little Italy Food Hall Bar, a welcome addition to Little Italy’s nightlife and cocktail scene that will include local draughts, lagers and ales alongside an assortment of wines, including an exclusive selection of organic Italian varietals. The bar menu will also include local spirits, bitters and liqueurs used to create craft cocktails designed around the food hall’s cuisines.
Aesthetically, the Little Italy Food Hall will pay homage to Little Italy’s maritime past and the families who founded the neighborhood through an interior design featuring clean lines, a modern coastal color palette and an assortment of historical photos. Authentic nautical materials, textures, patterns and architectural details will provide a further nod to the area’s storied history.
Outside, a breezy patio will feature a mobile outdoor chefs’ area with pop-up cooking demonstrations and opportunities for guests to come, be entertained and learn. The first demo is slated to take place in early August as Sam the Cooking Guy and The Little Italy Food Hall Bar team up to inspire guests and passers-by to make the most of the season by demonstrating how to cook up summer appetizers and craft refreshing cocktails.
The Little Italy Food Hall will be open daily from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday. It is the first project from new San Diego-based hospitality group Grain & Grit Collective with additional efforts from construction and consulting firm CLTVT, design firm Gensler, food service designer and contractor San Diego Restaurant Supply and project developer H.G. Fenton Company, who has provided quality places for San Diegans to live and work for more than a century.
About Grain & Grit Collective: Established in 2018 by Sweet 100, Grain & Grit Collective is a San Diego-based hospitality group dedicated to providing Southern California with distinctive culinary experiences and unique event spaces. Its debut projects include Not Not Tacos by Sam the Cooking Guy and the Little Italy Food Hall, a vibrant and locally-driven multi-vendor hall complemented by an 11,000-square foot outdoor piazza in the heart of San Diego’s Little Italy neighborhood. Other projects in their portfolio, of which Sweet 100 has ownership in, include San Diego’s much loved Carnitas’ Snack Shack and the iconic Broken Yolk Café. Visit www.grainandgritcollective.com or socialize on Instagram at @grainandgritcollective and @littleitalyfoodhall.