Market on 8th
Lunchtime diners gather at Market on 8th. Photo by Chris Jennewein

An ethnic food hall and an eight-story apartment block located across 8th Street from each other are the latest additions to National City’s urban renaissance.

Both are scheduled to officially open Oct. 28, but the food hall was already bustling at lunchtime on Friday during its soft opening and apartments are already being leased down the street.

Joel Tubao, whose family real estate business developed the hall, said he was inspired by similar venues in other cities.

“Every city I go to and travel around with my family, we always go to the food halls,” said Tubao, whose family has deep roots in San Diego County’s second oldest city.

The Market on 8th food hall has 12 different eateries, two retail establishments, an outdoor beer garden with fire pits, and artwork by local artists. 

Celebrity chef Phillip Esteban, a National City resident and past winner of Food Network’s “Chopped” competition, leads the lineup of locally-owned-and-operated kitchens with Weapon Ramen.

A block away from the food hall is Parco, a new development with 127 residential units and ground-floor commercial spaces.

Parco offers contemporary furnished and unfurnished studios, furnished co-living suites, 1-and 2-bedroom apartments, and 2-bedroom townhomes. Residents have access to shared amenities including a rooftop deck with views to the bay. 

Food hall and Parco
The food hall on the left, and Parco on the right are a block apart on 8th Street in National City. Photo by Chris Jennewein

Rents start at under $1,000 per month for co-living suites and approximately $1,500 per month for studios. Leasing began on Oct. 1.

“Along with the Market on 8th , Parco’s small-scale retail and office spaces will welcome local businesses to set up shop and provide even more reasons to spend time downtown,”
said Andrew Malick, whose firm Malick Infill Development was co-developer of Parco.

Tubao said he expects the food hall to draw from Parco, as well as from around San Diego County as people seek out new experiences after the pandemic.

His enthusiasm is echoed by National City Mayor Alejandra Sotelo-Solis.

“Being small-business owned and minority-owned, Market on 8th forms a unique partnership with our Filipino and Asian brothers and sisters,” she said. “It has multi-cultural flair and literally, flavor, which speaks to the beauty and uniqueness of National City.”

A public celebration of the new food hall begins at 1 p.m on Oct. 28 and lasts until 9 p.m. Parco will have an open house from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. on the same day.

Food choices in Market at 8th
Food choices in Market at 8th. Photo by Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.