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  • Writer's pictureJarnard Sutton

Liberty Public Market's Mess Hall Announces Three New Concepts

Blue Bridge Hospitality, a rising powerhouse in San Diego’s culinary landscape, has been at the forefront of the development and launch of Liberty Public Market, the city’s first tried-and-true food hall located within the historic Liberty Station neighborhood. Having opened to critical acclaim in March 2016 (recognized as one of the “Top 20 Food Halls of America” in a study this week by Cushman & Wakefield) with 27 vendors and a full-service restaurant, Project Principal David Spatafore has spent the better part of the year assessing and responding to the ever-evolving needs of the market. “The market is a social space and we wanted to continue to feed that success. Inspired by the format of the Pine Street Market in Portland and confirmed by the various bars within La Boqueria in Barcelona, I recognized that we could still take a more elevated approach to our restaurant’s culinary program while integrating the format of the surrounding market and increasing the common social areas," said David Spatafore, Principal of Blue Bridge Hospitality.

In response to larger-than-expected crowds, Spatafore had to greatly increase the amount of public seating within the market hall. He and his team welcomed the addition of four new vendors since its debut and have since tweaked the formatting for a number of concepts in order to fine-tune operations. Next, in conjunction with Executive Chef Tim Kolanko, Spatafore plans to build on Mess Hall restaurant’s successful market-to-menu concept through the creation of three distinct eateries to be located in the market’s eastern-most dining hall: Mess Hall Bar, Pi Bar and Grape Smuggler Bar. The existing Mess Hall restaurant and cocktail bar has re-open to the public as of by Dec 19th. "This more casual approach to in-market dining is simply a better fit with the way Liberty Public Market is used by our guests,” said, David Spatafore.


Mess Hall Bar is the fast-casual reincarnation of Chef Kolanko’s former upscale market restaurant. The counter service concept will offer an all-day menu of seasonally-driven, market-sourced fare, incorporating previous Mess Hall menu favorites ranging from the Fish & Chips, Grains and Greens Salad, and the Cauliflower Steak to more hearty proteins and rotating specials.


Beverage Director and industry heavyweight Greg Majors will relocate his in-market wine bar, Grape Smuggler, to Liberty Public Market’s eastern dining hall. The concept will evolve into a wine and tapas bar that draws from Majors’ personal passion and enthusiasm for the lesser-known, undiscovered vineyards around the world. Grape Smuggler Wine & Spirits located in the main market hall, will continue sell a rotating collection of global varietals, alongside a dedicated selection of local liquors, bitters and accoutrements for home bar enthusiast.


Specializing in wood-fired pizza al taglio, a Roman style pie popularized by its characteristically rectangular shape, Pi Bar’s two-foot-long pizzas will be available by the slice or as a whole pie. Traditionally served as a quick-service snack, pizza aficionados can indulge in classic flavors, such as a classic red pie or experiment with a rotating selection of chef-styled creations, such as a butternut squash, Brussels sprouts and fresh ricotta pie or the crème fraiche, bacon and comté pie with caramelized onions. In addition to pizza, Pi Bar will offer a selection of hand pies and pot pies. Highlights include the curried lamb hand pie, chicken and mushroom pot pie and a dedicated focus of sweet pies from Blue Bridge Executive Chef Lori Sauer.

Liberty Public Market is located at 2820 Historic Decatur Rd inside Liberty Station, and open daily from 11a.m. to 7p.m. Hours for specific vendors may vary. A complete list of vendors, including their specific hours of operation, and more information can be found at

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