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Seaport Village will add an authentic Mexican taco shop to expanded food lineup

Seaport Village
The Port of San Diego, which owns and operates Seaport Village, is pushing ahead with a leasing strategy meant to fill empty storefronts and replace out-of-fashion shops with trendier restaurant concepts.
(Sam Hodgson/The San Diego Union-Tribune)

Crack Taco Shop will replace Eclipse Eyewear in the eastern village area now known as the Lighthouse District.

By next summer, the bayside shopping center popular with tourists will be serving up more local fare courtesy of Crack Taco, an eatery that makes authentic Mexican tacos with meat marinated in a Burgundy Pepper sauce.

Tuesday, the Port of San Diego OK’d a 10-year lease with Crack Taco Shop for a 560 square-foot venue in Seaport Village that comes with a 280 square-foot outdoor patio that overlooks San Diego Bay. The fast-casual restaurant, which makes its own corn tortillas and sells specialty Micheladas, is taking the place of Eclipse Eyewear in the eastern village area now known as the Lighthouse District.

Opened in 1980, Seaport Village includes 90,000 square feet of specialty retailers and restaurants on a 14-acre site at 849 West Harbor Drive. In 2018, the San Diego Unified Port District took over operation of Seaport Village and has invested millions in sprucing up the outdoor tourist destination.

It’s also pushed ahead with a leasing strategy meant to fill empty storefronts and replace out-of-fashion shops with trendier restaurant concepts and stores. Newly added tenants meant to appeal to locals and tourists alike include Mike Hess Brewing, Mr. Moto Pizza, Spill the Beans Coffee, Malibu Farm and Old Harbor Distilling Company.

The revival effort comes as developer 1HWYW works to finalize its plan for a $2.5 billion mega-project that would redevelop the entire Central Embarcadero, which includes the waterfront center.

Per the terms of the lease agreement, the port will provide Crack Taco with a $185,000 allowance for venue improvements, although the operator must spend a minimum of $400,000 on upgrades to the space. After subtracting the improvement allowance and broker fees, the agency expects to collect nearly a $1 million in net revenue over the course of the 10-year term, according to a staff report on the negotiated agreement.

Additionally, Crack Taco has the option to extend the lease for a five-year term. It’s also entitled to as much as $100,000 in fees should the port elect to terminate the lease early, starting in year six, to accommodate the redevelopment effort.

Seaport Village is currently around 90 percent occupied and has seven vacancies mostly concentrated in the Lighthouse District. Located along the promenade, the future Crack Taco Shop is taking over a space critical to boosting foot traffic in the emptier eastern district, port staff said in the the report.

The venue is the second location for Crack Taco, which has a restaurant in Mission Valley. The Seaport Village location is expected to open in the summer of 2022.


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