As part of the Port of San Diego’s efforts to enliven the waterfront, a new, walk-up café will soon be added to the recent North Embarcadero improvements in San Diego. The Board of Port Commissioners has approved a lease to Carnitas’ Snack Shack III, LLC, to operate the new café located at 1004 North Harbor Drive.

Carnitas’ currently has two restaurants in the region. Its original North Park location opened in 2011 and has experienced tremendous success. Last year it opened a second location in the Del Mar area.

The new Carnitas’ on the waterfront of San Diego Bay will include a locally-sourced craft beer garden component to augment its successful “pork centric” menu. Its menu will include as many locally sourced ingredients as possible.

The new Carnitas’ will be housed in an artistically designed structure that is part of the North Embarcadero Visionary Plan Phase 1 project. It includes multiple, angled glass panels of varying colors. Carnitas’ will be responsible for tenant improvements, which include exterior glass, interior finishes including restaurant equipment, flooring, ceiling, heating and air conditioning equipment, utilities, millwork and interior walls. Construction is anticipated to take about six months.

Since the new Carnitas’ will be a walk-up café, its lease with the Port will allow the restaurant to utilize adjacent jacaranda groves and seating areas for customers to enjoy their food.

The completion and tenancy of the new walk up café is one of the final components of the North Embarcadero Visionary Plan Phase 1 project, which broke ground in January 2012 and was opened to the public in November 2014. The project encompassed an area on the waterfront from Navy Pier to B Street Pier and a portion of West Broadway from North Harbor Drive to Pacific Highway. The project created new public plazas, public art, jacaranda groves, new lighting and landscaping, a new public restroom and traffic improvements. New ticket kiosks for bay tour operators were also part of the improvements, as well as a new visitor information center. Carnitas’ will be the only permanent food service within the boundaries of North Embarcadero Visionary Plan Phase 1.