Photo courtesy of Old Town Urban Market
Old Town Urban Market, the first food hall located in Old Town, is scheduled to open next month.

Photo courtesy of Old Town Urban Market Old Town Urban Market, the first food hall located in Old Town, is scheduled to open next month.

A food hall will soon join San Diego’s plethora of food offerings.

Old Town Urban Market, a 7,000 square foot mostly outdoor-seating venue located at Miranda’s Courtyard in the heart of Old Town, is scheduled to open next month, according to Shannen El-Qasem, operations manager. Michelin-recognized Tuetano Taqueria by Priscilla Curiel and Mar Rustico, a second project by the same owner, will be up-and-running then, she said. An additional seven food, beverage and retail partners will open next year, El-Qasem added, for a total of nine vendors.


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Shannen El-Qasem Operations Manager Old Town Urban Market

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Kevin Sadrieh Co-Owner Old Town Urban Market

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Zoha Sakhavat Co-Owner Old Town Urban Market

Old Town Urban Market joins almost a dozen other food halls around the county, including Liberty Public Market at Liberty Station, Little Italy Food Hall, Windmill Food Hall in Carlsbad and Market on 8th, which opened in National City last month.

 
Typically, food halls in San Diego make between seven and eight figures in annual revenue, according to reports. The expectation is that Old Town Urban Market will perform similarly.


Six Million Visitors

 
“We have always loved Old Town,” said Kevin Sadrieh, co-owner of the food hall with wife Zoha Sakhavat. “We both are San Diego natives so have visited plenty of times. When the opportunity presented itself to do something in this iconic area, it was a no brainer.”


“It was always in the plans to have the space be a market,” added Sakhavat. “It’s great when a single space can offer variety for both tenants and customers to interact. It creates a sense of community.”


Sadrieh and Sakhavat are also owners of SDS LLC, a locally-based development company.


Old Town was the right location for the project, concurred El-Qasem. The historic neighborhood hosts about 6 million visitors a year, she said. For comparison’s sake, the San Diego Zoo gets about 4 million annually, she added.


“It’s safe to say both locals and tourists love Old Town,” said El-Qasem. “It’s a main hub of anyone’s experience in San Diego. Our location is right next to the park entrance, seconds from public transportation, the UC San Diego shuttle, and is located right on the corner of Twiggs street and Congress, Twiggs street being the main street that is shut down multiple times a year for Old Town events. Nothing like this project has ever been done in Old Town. We are in an amazing location for people to gather.”


A Little of Everything


Aside from Tuetano Taqueria and Mar Rustico, Old Town Urban Market will also house Por Vida, a Mexican coffee shop, and Barrio Donas, a local doughnut shop, among others.

 
Por Vida operates a cafe and gallery in Barrio Logan’s art district as well as another location inside the Plaza Bonita Mall. Barrio Donas is headquartered in Clairemont and has a second location in National City.

 
Additionally, Ruth’s No. 5, maker of authentic Mexican salsa, will also set up shop at the fully-renovated site, said El Quasem.


“We are happy with our lineup so far. It’s going to be a chance for anyone in San Diego to get a little of everything in one place,” she said.

 
“We have Michelin-honored Tuetano Taqueria bringing birria and their signature, freshly grilled bone marrow. Por Vida, which specializes in Mexican coffee and has such an amazing branding and unique flair. Barrio Donas will be bringing a whole new concept of doughnut holes and fresh-made tamales. Mar Rustico is bringing Baja-inspired seafood. And, then there’s a bar that will be serving beer, wine and more. The rest of the vendors will be announced soon.”