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More food, more shops coming to expanding Liberty Public Market

Liberty Public Market at Liberty Station in Point Loma is expanding by 6,000 square feet in multiple phases.
(Zack Benson)

In coming months, visitors to the Liberty Station mainstay can choose from among even more eating places and shops as the space expands by 6,000 square feet.

With a wide variety of upscale, global food offerings, trendy retail shops and a family-friendly atmosphere, Liberty Public Market seems to have a firm foothold at Liberty Station in Point Loma.

In coming months, visitors to LPM will have the freedom to choose from among even more eating places and shops. Blue Bridge Hospitality, LPM’s parent company, is expanding the space by 6,000 square feet.

In coming months, visitors to Liberty Public Market will have even more eating places and shops to choose from.
In coming months, visitors to Liberty Public Market at Liberty Station will have even more eating places and shops to choose from.
(Zack Benson)

With a dream of opening their own restaurant, Paul and Shannon Salhany knew they wanted their first establishment to be in Liberty Public Market.

“Market and food halls are very trendy and popping up everywhere now, as families can pick and choose what they want to eat and still have a meal together,” Shannon said. “This is a perfect spot for our restaurant. We wanted to be here and they don’t have any Mediterranean-style food there yet.”

Their eatery, Kebab Craft, will feature beef, chicken and lamb dishes, along with rice, salads and sandwiches.

Mathias Lagger and his business partner opened their eatery, Mathilde de Belgique, at Liberty Public Market in October.
(Courtesy of Mathias Lagger)

Mathias Lagger and business partner Guillaule Ryon opened Mathilde de Belgique at LPM in October with a dream of bringing authentic Belgian street food, specifically Belgian waffles and fries, to San Diego.

“It’s a nice atmosphere, it’s a beautiful place, and the inside and outside is well taken care of,” Lagger said. “People come here to eat and have a good time and everybody’s happy.”

Matt Gordon, vice president of operations at Blue Bridge Hospitality, said, “We’ve opened up 3,500 square feet of new retail space, new storage areas and back-of-the-house spaces.” Coming months will see expansion of a total of 6,000 square feet in multiple phases.

Gordon said the new space is the former location of Moment Bicycles, which moved to Mission Hills.

Gordon said the first phase is already seeing new tenants move in. By the end of six months, he said, most of the retail and food vendors will be in place, with some taking longer because of needed permits. The third phase, encompassing new outdoor space, should begin by mid-spring, he said.

The Mini Donut Co. is among those joining the food hall, with “a doughnut machine that puts out hot, fresh doughnuts all day long,” Gordon said.

Shops surround the food hall at Liberty Public Market.
Shops surround the food hall at Liberty Public Market.
(Courtesy of Blue Bridge Hospitality)

New retail shops include NobelRags, a clothing boutique that will share a double-size space with locally based menswear brand Barrack 22. Also, The Old Town Soap Co. offers a line of organic soaps, plus classes and workshops.

Longtime tenants SoCal Phone Repair and Baker & Olive, with its line of specialty olive oils, will be moving into the front and center space of the market.

Bottlecraft, with more than 500 beers from around the world, as well as wine, cider and 24 rotating beer taps, will be remodeled.

Mess Hall Bar, in addition to its seasonal craft cocktails, will debut an onsite wine and spirits shop alongside Bottlecraft’s retail post. Mess Hall Bar will absorb Bottlecraft’s tap station and extend its selections.

The additions join several other recently opened eating spots, including Pure, a smoothie and juice bar using European ingredients; Radburger, serving burgers and shakes in a 1980s theme; and Weapon Ramen, offering a combination of ramen, chirashi (Japanese-style rice bowls) and listening bars.

White Rice, featuring Filipino food, has been open for about two months and is “generating quite the buzz in the middle of the market,” Gordon said.

LPM already boasts a sizable patio on the north side; a new, similar addition on the south side will increase the outdoor space by 4,000 to 5,000 square feet. It may be used for community events such as live music and trivia nights.

“The south patio is much bigger and has 90 percent of the parking,” Gordon said. “So the new patio area will shift the focus to the south side, becoming a main entrance and thoroughfare into the market as a whole.”

“In the future, we’ll build out a record shop, barbershop and other lifestyle stuff,” he said.

Liberty Public Market patrons seat themselves on the ground when outdoor tables aren't available.
Liberty Public Market patrons seat themselves on the ground when outdoor tables aren’t available.
(Courtesy of Blue Bridge Hospitality)

The Salhanys have been busy preparing for the planned March opening of Kebab Craft and fine-tuning the menu.

“Paul’s family is from Syria and we have obtained a bunch of family recipes,” Shannon said. “We want to stay true to our roots.”

They believe customers will love the authenticity of the food, with traditional, simple marinades and pita bread made onsite. Drink options will include popular sodas as well as fresh hibiscus juice and homemade lemonade.

Kebab Craft, a new restaurant owned by Shannon and Paul Salhany, will open in March at Liberty Public Market.
Kebab Craft, a new restaurant owned by Shannon and Paul Salhany, will open in March at Liberty Public Market.
(Courtesy of Salhany family)

“We’re honestly over the moon about opening,” Shannon said. “Paul and I both have degrees in hospitality, so learning about it in the classroom and then putting it into reality is very rewarding for us.”

Lagger said that although he and Ryon just transitioned to LPM and rebranded after closing their former North Park location, they are “still offering the same great food.”

“Our Bruxelles beef waffle is more like a traditional waffle; it’s light and crispy and beer-battered. Our Liege waffle is sweeter and denser and has butter and sugar inside,” he said.

Belgian fries with various toppings, ice cream, shakes, ice cream on waffles, a waffle sundae, European sodas and homemade lemonade complete the menu offerings.

“The expansion is very, very nice,” Lagger said. “I used to work in Liberty Market five years ago. They’re doing a good job and we’re happy to be here.”

Shannon has similar feelings. “I am not only excited for our concept but for the new area to be complete,” she said. “I think the customers will have even more options and they will love it.”

Liberty Public Market is at 2820 Historic Decatur Road, Point Loma. For more information, visit bluebridgehospitality.com/libertypublicmarket, call (619) 487-9346 or email lpmds@bbhca.com.


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