A new multi-use development will break ground this July in National City, bringing housing opportunities, event space, and a mix of office and retail, including several fresh dining options, to the South Bay. The 136,000-square-foot site will land at 8th and B at 130 E. 8th Street.
Scheduled to be completed in early 2021, the project is by Malick Infill Development and Protea Properties and will feature the first solo restaurant from chef Phillip Esteban. It’s a homecoming for the chef, who grew up in National City and earned his culinary arts degree from the Arts Institute of San Diego. After launching his career at The Guild in Barrio Logan, Craft & Commerce, and Tender Greens, Esteban traveled to New York City to cook at David Chang’s famed Momofuku Ssam Bar. Upon his return to San Diego, he worked at Nine-Ten before helping to open The Cork & Craft in Rancho Bernardo. In 2016, Esteban joined CH Projects (Born & Raised, Ironside) as the group’s research and development chef and is currently back in the kitchen of Craft & Commerce in Little Italy .
Called WellFed, the 3,000-square-foot restaurant will offer an “elevated dining experience”, says Esteban. He and his team will also be curating two other spaces, which could hold a cafe and a gallery. The ground floor of the building will also feature several casual eateries.
A community event at the site of the 8th & B development that further previews the project and celebrates its kickoff is scheduled for Saturday, August 3 from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. The one-day, family-friendly festival will benefit National City youth arts organization A Reason To Survive (ARTS), will be free to attend, offering interactive arts stations for kids and adults, musical performances, and food vendors. A beer garden will also be available, with three beer tickets offered for $10.