The Sky Deck, Del Mar Highlands Town Center’s ambitious collective of restaurants all under one roof, is finally scheduled to open to the public on June 11 just in time for California’s grand reopening. Aiming to bring a new perspective to the food hall model, the two level, 26,700-square-foot space will be able to hold 1,000 people at full capacity across 13 different and distinct food and beverage venues.
It’s been a years-long passion project for Pat Donahue, the former chairman/CEO of Donahue Schriber Realty Group, Inc., the developer behind the 30-year-old Carmel Valley center that’s nearing the completion of a major renovation. During the planning phase, Donahue traveled to Spain with architecture firm RDC to do research at Barcelona’s El Nacional. But while the Spanish food hall revolves around one operator running multiple restaurants, the Sky Deck is comprised of independently-run restaurants each with its own separate seating area as opposed to communal seating sprinkled throughout the space. With maritime-inspired elements including a 100-foot-long mural and custom art installations, RDC senior principal Mitra Esfandiari says they’ve worked to ensure that each 1,500-square-foot restaurant is able to retain its individual style within one cohesive design.
In bringing on tenants, Donahue tells Eater that they deliberately did not sign any chains, national brands, or fast-food. While the Sky Deck should become a popular lunch spot for local office workers, they also want it to be a date night destination for residents in the surrounding communities.
Zizikis, which serves Greek street food, is already open at the Sky Deck and the upper level outdoor Brewer’s Deck featuring taps from Northern Pine, Rough Draft Brewing, and Boochcraft Kombucha will be up and running by May 28.
Most of the other tenants, including Ambrogio15, Marufuku Ramen, Le Parfait Paris, J at Sky Deck, Kin Extraordinary Thai, Urbana Mexican Gastronomy, and Understory, the central cocktail bar, will launch on June 11 followed by the opening Glass Box Asian Kitchen and Craft House, with the space fully activated by mid-July.
- All Sky Deck Coverage [ESD]