The team behind a popular Little Italy restaurant is bringing a nearly 4,800-square-foot Italian marketplace and eatery to the East Village later this summer. Kettner Street’s RoVino Restaurant + Wine will be opening RoVino The Foodery on Market Street at the base of the Strata apartment building, where it will reactivate the long-dormant space last occupied by The Market Hall.
The East Village project is a big leap, but all three owners have considerable experience in the industry. Tom Tarantino spent 35 years with Food Basket, a large grocery chain, while Antonia Buono has a background with Sprouts Farmers Market, and Vincenzo Bruno worked at Little Italy’s beloved Mona Lisa Italian Foods; all their families are also founding members of the Little Italy community.
The three partners launched RoVino in 2016, and the 40-seat restaurant has become known for its warm hospitality as well as its menu of Italian classics from executive chef David León based on family receipes. As San Diego’s largest Italian specialty market, The Foodery will stock RoVino’s housemade sauces as well as fresh pasta and prepared food, including their signature rotisserie chicken. The remodeled space will include a sizable deli counter featuring made-to-order sandwiches, a coffee bar and full bakery that will bake up artisan breads and Neapolitan pizzas, a gelato bar, and a retail area with wine, beer, and other Italian products. Featuring 150 seats throughout the marketplace, indoors and out, there will also be a wine bar that will serve a casual menu of Italian street food and new dishes developed just for this location.
Flocke & Avoyer’s Urban Strategies Group facilitated the transaction.