SAN DIEGO — After more than 70 years of serving chowder and fish & chips to locals and tourists who enjoyed expansive views of San Diego Bay, Anthony’s Fish Grotto on the downtown waterfront is scheduled to close for good tonight.
The Port of San Diego, as part of an effort to remake the Embarcadero, chose to not renew the restaurant’s lease, which expires Tuesday.
Catherine “Mama” Ghio opened the original Anthony’s as a 16-seat diner at the old downtown ferry landing in 1946. The restaurant moved to its current location on North Harbor Drive in 1965.
“Mama” Ghio’s clam chowder, considered a house specialty, was being sold for $2.50 to observe the eatery’s final days.
The La Mesa location on Murray Drive near Severin Drive will continue operating.
As for the waterfront site, the port’s Board of Commissioners awarded the lease to The Brigantine Inc., which plans to invest around $13 million to renovate the property and open four eateries — a Brigantine restaurant; a Miguel’s Cocina, a Mexican food chain also owned by Brigantine; Ketch Grill & Taps, a casual walk-up, dine-in and take-out grill that offers local craft beers and spirits; and Portside Gelato & Coffee, to feature coffee and espresso from San Diego roaster Cafe Moto.
The port is currently negotiating with a coalition of firms to redevelop Seaport Village, and recently completed an extensive renovation of a large section of the North Emeracadero. Planning is underway for a makeover of the rest of the North Embarcadero, but that project is probably several years away.