irAs Little Italy’s highly anticipated Piazza della Famiglia nears its opening date, a new social dining concept for San Diego, the Little Italy Food Hall, has announced it will open within the piazza in Summer 2018. Arriving with it will be six locally-driven food stations, a mobile outdoor chefs’ area featuring pop-up cooking demonstrations from names such as Sam the Cooking Guy and a full bar program complete with local beers and craft cocktails.
The Little Italy Food Hall is the first project from new San Diego-based hospitality group Grain & Grit Collective and is in conjunction with the developer of the project, H.G. Fenton Company. Sam Zien, better known as the host of popular television show Sam the Cooking Guy and author of several playful cookbooks is also involved with the project. Zien’s involvement as the face of the food hall will be seen three-fold: via opening a new concept within the hall, leading live cooking demonstrations and acting as an ambassador for the Little Italy Food Hall.
“This whole thing is so damn exciting,” Said Zien. “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 Zien.
Within the space visitors will stroll through an inviting and lively hall where they can order fresh cuisines from six vendors including Not Not Tacos by Sam the Cooking Guy; the Bar at Little Italy Food Hall featuring craft cocktails, local beer and wine; artisanal Roast Meat & Sandwich Shop; Wicked Maine Lobster and its New England seafood; refined Milan-style pizzeria Ambrogio15 and two yet unannounced vendors.
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 is 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.