Since 1921, the Sand Dollar has served diners in downtown Stinson Beach, drawing Marin County residents and visitors with Tomales Bay oysters, Dungeness crab cioppino, and an expansive patio that — especially on warm days — is packed from opening to last call. That patio is empty today, but this time, the issue isn’t the pandemic: at 8:42 a.m. on Tuesday, its neighbor, the Oceanic Realty office, exploded, damaging several businesses along the city’s strip.
A fire broke out in downtown Stinson Beach after an explosion blew off a roof of a building, shaking the community. Video courtesy of @virginiafelch. Check @marinij for updates. pic.twitter.com/So1vd0pRv9— Adrian Rodriguez (@adrianrrodri) June 16, 2020
According to Marin County Fire Department spokesperson Laine Hendricks, the explosion originated in the top floor of the realty office, for reasons that are as yet unknown. Oceanic Realty was completely destroyed, the Marin Independent Journal reports, as was a neighboring law office. The Sand Dollar and a nearby flower shop were also damaged. Hendricks says two people suffered minor injuries in the incident, but both were treated at the scene.
Deputies, @CHPMarin and @marincountyfire on scene of structure fire in the area of downtown Stinson Beach. Avoid the area. pic.twitter.com/hvOOd9AFUr— Marin County Sheriff (@MarinSheriff) June 16, 2020
It’s unclear how bad the damage was to the Sand Dollar, which in 2000 was purchased by the brother-and-brother team of Sam and August Temer. Its building was built on three barges that sailed up to Stinson Beach, then “made their way up Highway 1 where they were fused together to form the Sand Dollar,” former SF Chronicle food critic Michael Bauer wrote in 2014, saying then that “on a recent visit I had some of the best oysters I remember, briny and sweet Marin Miyaga that were fresh and cold; each bite seemed to capture the essence of the area.”
Efforts by Eater SF to determine the fate of the Sand Dollar were unsuccessful as of publication time, as its website appears to be the victim of a hack, and a call to its longstanding phone number rang without an answer. Efforts to reach the Temers were also unsuccessful but in 2009, Sam Temer indicated to the Marin Independent Journal that the restaurant was an important part of Stinson history that shouldn’t be discarded, as “the Sand Dollar is to Stinson, what Tadich Grill is to San Francisco,” with “locals, politicians and famous athletes among [his] loyal clientele.”