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The Most Anticipated San Diego Openings of Winter/Spring 2016

Everything you need to know about the biggest restaurant openings of the season

2015 brought some huge openings our way, but 2016 is shaping up to be all kinds of exciting. This winter and spring should see a variety of restaurants emerge, from big-budget projects from big-name chefs to expansion efforts from familiar favorites and new offerings from budding operators. Here now, in order of projected opening, are some of the most anticipated restaurant openings of the winter and spring (January through May):

buona liberty station

Buona Forchetta
The long-awaited second act for the immensely popular South Park eatery is among the impressive new food and drink options in store for Liberty Station. The 2,622-square-foot space will include multiple patios while inside, two wood-fired pizza ovens will bake up its signature pizzas and an open kitchen dishes out a menu created in partnership with BICE Ristorante executive chef Mario Cassineri.
2880 Sims Road, Liberty Station

Photo: Eater


RakiRaki Ramen & Tsukemen
The Little Italy outpost of the popular Kearny Mesa ramen shop should finally be ready next month. Meanwhile, chef/owner Junya Wantanabe is gearing up to launch his new poke bowl and sushi burrito concept, Pokirrito, later this month next to his flagship Convoy eatery. We're hearing that the India Street ramen house will also house a Pokirrito annex.
2254 India Street, Little Italy

Photo: Courtesy rendering

Liberty Public Market

Mess Hall/Liberty Public Market
At long last, all eyes will be on Liberty Station next month as the ambitious Liberty Public Market makes it grand debut. In addition to artisan food vendors, there will be a beer tasting bar operated by Bottlecraft (North Park, Little Italy) and a wine bar and full-fledged restaurant, Mess Hall, run by the group helming the project — Blue Bridge Hospitality. Mess Hall will have a seasonal menu sourced from market purveyors and a format that ranges from family-style dinners to guest chef pop-ups.
2816 Historic Decatur Road, Liberty Station

Photo: Courtesy rendering

carnitas snack shack embarcadero

Carnitas' Snack Shack
Its been a long road for the palace of pork's third location, part of The San Diego Unified Port District's ongoing waterfront revitalization of the North Embarcadero, but owner/executive chef Hanis Cavin tells Eater that the finish line is in sight. The 750-square-foot cafe, which includes a craft beer garden, should be completed this spring.
1004 N. Harbor Drive, Embarcadero

Photo: Courtesy rendering

herb & wood

Herb & Wood
This dual concept from celebrity chef Brian Malarkey and business partner Chris Puffer includes an upscale restaurant with a wood fire-fueled dinner and brunch menu that ranges from pizza to roasted fish and grill-charred vegetables, plus a classic cocktail program. A more casual component, dubbed Herb and Eatery, will focus on daytime eats and grab-and-go food. 
2210 Kettner Boulevard, Little Italy

Photo: Eater

one door north

One Door North
Fred and Tammy Piehl, owners of neighborhood fave The Smoking Goat, are branching out with a casual counterpart to their original bistro-esque eatery. The 5,000-square-foot space, located just next door, will offer lunch and dinner — everything from burgers and pizza to farm-to-table fare — and feature a beverage program that includes the de rigueur craft beer taps, plus beer cocktails, wine and cider.
3422 30th Street, North Park

Photo: Facebook


One of the bigger Baja-inspired openings of the year is bound to be this 8,000-square-foot, open-air two-level project, which is aiming to bring a sophisticated dining option to the beach. Expect Baja wines, agave-based spirits and a menu influenced by Modern Mexican cuisine; owner Mark Oliver says he'll reveal Pueblo's executive chef next month.
877 Hornblend Street, Pacific Beach

Photo: Courtesy rendering

miss b's

Miss B's Coconut Club
Mission Beach gets a serious cocktail infusion as one of several tiki-tinged local concepts gets underway. Anticipate a drink menu that centers around rum and a food program that will feature signature dishes from Caribbean islands.
3704 Mission Boulevard, Mission Beach

Photo: Andrew Jorgensen


Owner John Resnick (Ironside Fish & Oyster) is planning a smokin' new offering for North County. The 6,000-square-foot indoor/outdoor space is being designed by Bells & Whistles (Bracero, Starlite) and helmed by Andrew Bachelier (CUCINA enoteca), who will oversee a seasonal menu based on live-fire cookery paired with a craft cocktail program. 
2725 State Street, Carlsbad

Photo: Rendering courtesy of Brett Farrow Architect

vigilante brewing

Vigilante Brewing
Del Mar scores its first brewery and beer lovers get a brewpub with real food promise, as owner and head brewer Charles Koll is a chef alum of Mille Fleurs and Prepkitchen Del Mar. Vigilante will encompass an indoor/outdoor bar, communal dining room and a spacious patio, overlooking the tranquil San Dieguito River Park, that will be stocked with games and fire pits. 
2201 San Dieguito Drive, Del Mar

Photo: Courtesy photo

craft & commerce

Craft & Commerce/False Idol
Spring can't come soon enough for those curious to check out Craft & Commerce 2.0, which is in the midst of an update and expansion via BASILE Studio. When the remodel is revealed, there will be an entirely fresh menu from new executive chef JoJo Ruiz (Ironside) and the bonus of an adjacent tiki bar, a collaboration between CH Projects and San Francisco-based cocktail guru Martin Cate (Smuggler's Cove)
675 W. Beech Street, Little Italy

Photo: Courtesy photo

et voila

Et Voila!
Joining the increasingly vibrant restaurant landscape on Adams Avenue is a welcome French addition from Ludo Mifsud, who is launching his own restaurant after spending a decade as maître d’ at Tapenade in La Jolla. Along with chef/partner Vincent Viale, Mifsud is planning a menu that will showcase both traditional and modern French cuisine in a 2,500-square-foot space designed by local firm Point of Departure. 
3015 Adams Avenue, North Park

Photo: Facebook