Bread & Salt, which opened in Barrio Logan in 2013 and has since become one of San Diego’s most dynamic hubs for arts and culture, will soon be home to a food hall called Pan y Sal with a bakery at its heart that will bring the building back to its roots; starting in 1891 and continuing for over a century, the site functioned as a commercial bread-making facility.
The 40,000-square-foot space, which contains a brewery, galleries, and workspaces for a number of artists and community groups, was always meant to house an eatery. Its developer, Jim Brown of Public Architecture and Planning, says there have been many interested parties but none had quite the right mix of community intent combined with the resources and experience to make it a viable venture.
Enter Natal Hospitality founder Juan Yi, who was connected to the project by Elisa Sabatini, president of the non-profit Via International, one of Bread & Salt’s early tenants. Yi, whose grandfather immigrated to Mexico from Korea, worked for a billion dollar homebuilding company before developing Encuentro in the Valle de Guadalupe, the award-winning “anti-resort” that incorporates nature and sustainability into its design. Pan y Sal is the first of several projects that Natal Hospitality has planned with Javier Gracia of Gracia Design, which includes new resort/restaurant combos in the Valle and Tijuana that will have famed Baja chef Diego Hernández (Corazón de Tierra) on board as culinary director.
Hernández will also consult on the menu for Pan y Sal, which will have Tijuana’s Jorge García Flores (Tres Fuegos) and Marcela Corrales of the La Ventanita del Pan pop-up as its resident chefs. An 1,500-square-foot indoor space will be stocked with a bakery and deli offering an array of bread, tortas, and baked goods as well as bars serving coffee, beer and wine. With seating for 120, it will also include a 2,700-square-foot outdoor patio and edible garden.
A vital component of the project is a kitchen classroom that will be run by Via International, which has done extensive nutrition and ecology work in both Mexico and the U.S., providing microfinance loans to small producers. With Pan y Sal, Sabatini and her staff plan to continue to developing microbusinesses in the surrounding community, hosting workshops for adults and children as well as pop-ups featuring local home cooks and chefs. Neighborhood residents will also receive special pricing on food and programs.
Pan y Sal is projected to open before Spring 2019.