San Diego native and fourth generation commercial fisherman Tommy Gomes is, without a doubt, the most famous of all local fishmongers. A passionate advocate of sustainable seafood, Gomes developed a large following of chefs and community members during the 17 years he spent working for seafood wholesaler Catalina Offshore Products and parlayed his expertise into his own television show, The Fishmonger, on the Outdoor Channel, which is currently gearing up to film its third season.
Since departing Catalina in 2019, Gomes has been striving to launch his own project, a retail and wholesale seafood market created in partnership with longtime friend Mitch Conniff of Mitch’s Seafood. The duo’s new TunaVille Market and Grocery, which recently landed at Driscoll’s Wharf along Point Loma’s working waterfront, celebrates its grand opening on Wednesday, June 8.
Named after the surrounding Point Loma neighborhood, home to many Portuguese families and fishermen like Gomes, TunaVille will operate from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday, stocking a variety of whole and filleted fish, from bigeye tuna to opah, white sea bass, and shellfish, bought directly off local boats.
The market will also smoke fish as well as dry-age entire fish like California troll-caught salmon and local bonito — a process that firms up the flesh and concentrates its flavor.
Gomes says he’ll continue his work with restaurants, including current clients like Wrench and Rodent, Cori Pastificio Trattoria, and Saiko Sushi, and TunaVille will serve as the supplier and processor for all of the seafood served at Mitch’s Seafood.
There will be also be prepared food available, from octopus salad to ceviche and poke, as well as meal components like cioppino sauce, fish stock, and fresh tortillas and salsas for building fish tacos. Its grocery items include fancy tinned seafood, select produce, heirloom beans, and local jams.
Gomes is a big proponent of seafood education, and tells Eater that he’s planning to remodel an upstairs floor into a space for classes and demos.