Little Italy’s Newest Bar & Event Space – Loading Dock Opens
Little Italy’s Loading Dock, San Diego’s newest event center and neighborhood bar and grill located in Little Italy, opened in March 2017 by Christopher Joseph and his family. Joseph, owner of Little Italy’s Loading Dock, dreamed of opening an event center big enough to host his large family of 28 cousins. So, Little Italy’s Loading Dock was born, ending the search for finding a space to retreat to after a long week, a fun night out, a family gathering or before a flight.
The 21 and over bar and grill is a casual and friendly atmosphere offering affordable, BBQ-style fare, San Diego craft beer options, wine, simple cocktails and the “Unloading Hour” special happy hour menu. The event center offers private parties for 20-220 people for all occasions.
The name, Little Italy’s Loading Dock, stems from the early 1900s when Little Italy was a bustling fishing neighborhood, priding itself as the world’s largest tuna industry. The success caused a lot of traffic on the docks, making the loading docks the meeting place for the community as the central hub of culture and commerce. As time went on, more fishing competition entered San Diego and prices skyrocketed, causing many Little Italy fishing families to move out of the seaside neighborhood, ending the tradition.
“Our bar and grill is bringing back the traditions of the Little Italy neighborhood—when people used to meet around the fishing docks after each day to tell stories, drink and eat together,” said Joseph. “Little Italy’s Loading Dock pays homage to our building’s original intent, as the loading dock for the neighborhood’s rail and surface deliveries. Everyday people would gather after a day on the water and tell stories of the day’s catch, and now people can come together again at Little Italy’s Loading Dock.”
Little Italy’s Loading Dock has a “Trade & Transit” themed décor, which emphasizes the history of the location and the community as one of Little Italy’s original loading docks in the early 1900s. The event center and restaurant marries the modern bar and grill atmosphere with the nostalgic history of the community that came before it.
“As a way to honor the past traditions of Little Italy, we created the bar and grill to bring back the custom of coming together, sharing stories and unwinding after a long day whether you’re a local or just passing through from the airport,” said Joseph. “Now people can meet at Little Italy’s Loading Dock and guests can sit at the bar and watch the planes go by on our roof top camera showing the flight path overhead as they wait for their flight, because whether you are coming or going we welcome you in!”
Little Italy’s Loading Dock is equipped with a photo booth made out of an old shipping container, numerous TVs for viewing sports games, an open dining area and an event center that can host private events. Patrons can also take part in different recreational games like ping pong and corn-hole.
“We have a big family of 28 cousins and we all love getting together and entertaining,” said Joseph. “It is important to our family to have a place where we can all come together and make sure everyone is comfortable. Little Italy’s Loading Dock event center was created with our family in mind as a space that could cater to any and all events and gatherings that would be perfect for any group size.”
The event center can host any occasion including traditional parties, professional settings for meetings, banquet seating for breakfast and lunches, theater style seating for viewing parties, classroom style seating for seminars and more. The space is equipped with full audio/visual capabilities, custom floorplans, staging and microphones, podium, projection, in-house catering and more, perfect for your next gathering.
“The best part about going into business with my cousin is seeing his dream of creating the perfect gathering place come to life,” said Ryan Feld, General Manager of Little Italy’s Loading Dock. “Chris and I are very close and have been our entire life. We grew up together and work well together, so we thought it would be fun to go into business together.”
Joseph’s father also known as “The Dude” is also involved in the business as the catering and event chef at Little Italy’s Loading Dock. Originally from Fresno, California, Gary has dedicated his time to providing guidance to Little Italy’s Loading Dock after being in the food service industry for almost 40 years. He personally trained the staff on how to make their signature tri-tip sandwich, which he claims is the “Best Tri-Tip Sandwich South of Fresno,” the original home of tri-tip BBQ.
Little Italy’s Loading Dock is located on 2400 Kettner Blvd. Ste 110. For more information about Little Italy’s Loading Dock, visit www.liloadingdock.com.