Inside Portside Pier — San Diego’s new $25M waterfront attraction

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SAN DIEGO — A major waterfront development, complete with four eateries, sweeping views and cool architecture, has opened on the north end of the Embarcadero after years of planning and construction.

Portside Pier — a joint venture by the Port of San Diego and the Brigantine restaurant — opened Tuesday at a time when fresh air and social distance have never been more important, and boosters played up the development’s ample outside space and sea breeze.

Restaurants in the 42,000-square-foot complex will rely heavily on their outdoor dining options as their crucial opening weeks coincide with the coronavirus pandemic.

“We had geared this for the outdoors and it was very fortuitous for us, but could we afford to operate like this forever? No,” Mike Morton Jr., the Brigantine Restaurants CEO, told the San Diego Union-Tribune.

“We are hoping that by later this year or early next year, we will be able to get back to normal operations. This is not ideal for any of us in this industry; however, we understand the pandemic and the need to be careful.”

In the meantime, the views will help draw visitors, too: The $25 million project features a second-story public walkway and a public viewing deck with chairs and tables, and portions of the buildings incorporate glass dome shapes that keep the sight-lines open.

Visitors can get food and drink from Brigantine Seafood and Oyster Bar, Miguel’s Cocina, Ketch Grill & Taps, and Portside Coffee & Gelato.

Learn more about Portside Pier here.

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