Sad news from Fisherman's Wharf: Forbes Island, the floating restaurant/local treasure off of Pier 39, was damaged today in an early-morning fire that is believed to be accidental. The good news is that the blaze occurred in the Sea Lion Room, one of two private rooms on the main level of the island, and appears to have been contained mostly to that space, leaving the kitchen, main bar, and dining room in excellent condition, without even much water damage.
According to KTVU, proprietor Forbes Thor Kiddoo was on-site when the blaze started, and battled it himself with a garden hose. Firefighters had to take a fire boat out to the restaurant to combat the blaze, but were able to get it under control. Partner Erick Hendricks told Inside Scoop that the main issue is that they'll likely have to cut off the part of the barge that holds the damaged room, which will mean an expensive rebuilding process. In the meantime, the restaurant is closed, but they hope to trim the plants, clean up, and reopen shortly, pending an OK from the fire inspector. Unfortunately, a wedding party was booked for the Sea Lion Room tonight, but they've been able to find another venue.
For those unfamiliar with Forbes Island, it was built by Kiddoo as a private houseboat in 1975, and became a permanent fixture at Pier 39 in 1990. It features a lighthouse and private rooms up top, with the restaurant and bar located downstairs (and underwater). The Bold Italic did a nice profile of it a few years back, for those looking to learn more about the history of the place and how it all works.
It's been a bad year for iconic Bay Area restaurants and fire, as Chez Panisse and Merritt Restaurant & Bakery have also had major blazes, the latter of which just occurred Wednesday. As with those spots, we'll keep you posted on when Forbes Island will reopen.
· Forbes Island suffers an early-morning fire [Inside Scoop]
· Floating San Francisco waterfront restaurant damaged by fire [KTVU]
· Forbes Island [The Bold Italic]