My parents were just in town, and one of the many great things we got up to was a mystery trip to Forbes Island, a restaurant floating just beyond the docks of Fisherman’s Wharf. It’s a wacky spot accessible only by ferry – usually captained by Forbes Thor Kiddoo himself.
This restaurant-island used to be Forbes' houseboat, across the bay in Sausalito. After some wild-sounding parties in the 1980's and an appearance in Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous, Forbes drove it over to San Francisco and re-opened it as an underwater restaurant.
Behind the bar, with stained glass portholes at his back, Pierre makes a terrific pre-dinner drink. Then between courses, you can take your cocktail up to the top of the island’s lighthouse for chilly but wide-open views of the city, and back down to the island, complete with white sand beaches and palm trees.
Apparently, this is the only privately-built lighthouse in the country. Its lens was built in 1820 and is on loan from the US Lighthouse Society – who are also looking to give this other floating lighthouse away to a good home. What generous folks.
Back in the underwater dining room, the walls slope inward and are covered with all kinds of sea-faring oil paintings and artifacts. And there’s even a full bed in the ladies’ room if it turns out that your sea legs aren’t so sea-worthy.