Anthony’s demolished, Portside Pier construction next
Anthony’s Fish Grotto building, a landmark restaurant on the downtown waterfront for five decades, is gone and its replacement Portside Pier is on its way.
R.E. Staite Engineering completed demolition on Wednesday of the 24,855-square-foot building at 1360 N. Harbor Drive, just south of the San Diego Maritime Museum’s “Star of India.”
Owner Ray Carpenter said the removal of 66 pilings will begin in about 10 days. A vibratory hammer or high-pressure water hose will be used to loosen the prestressed concrete structures that are up to 50 feet tall and extend as much as 30 feet below the bay floor. Then choker and steel wire slings will be attached to the columns and a crane will lift them up. They’ll be hauled away.
“These techniques for pile driving originated with the Romans,” Carpenter said. “There has not been a lot of changes, other than the vibratory hammer.”
The hammer is actually a diesel-powered, hydraulically driven gripper that loosens the piling from the bay soil — much like a shoe stuck in the mud that has to be shaken free before it’s lifted out.
After April 1, Brigantine Restaurants will install 57 new pilings and pour a concrete platform over the next four months before starting construction on its four-restaurant Portside Pier building about Sept. 1, said Mike Morton Jr., Brigantine president and CEO.
Morton said he’s awaiting city approval of building permits for the $17 million, 34,000-square-foot project that will include a new dock-and-dine facility and a second-floor viewing deck open to the public.
The restaurants, expected to open in the third quarter of next year, will include:
- Brigantine on the Bay: A “surf and turf” menu plus oyster bar and lounge with an “exhibition cooking” area.
- Miguel’s Cocina: A Mexican-themed restaurant.
- Ketch Grill & Taps: A casual dining area with pub fare and area craft beers.
- Portside Gelato & Coffee: Cafe Moto roaster coffees and Italian-style ice cream at an outside food station.
The San Diego Unified Port District signed a $1.64 million demolition contract with Staite and a 40-year lease with Brigantine that is expected to produce at least $1.5 million in annual rent to the port.
Anthony’s, which first opened farther south on Harbor Drive in 1946, moved to its last location in 1966 but the port did not renew its lease in 2016. It continues to operate in La Mesa.