A local man who has spent the past 20 years building a houseboat that he hopes will become Pier 1's next great restaurant has suddenly found his plans literally stuck in the mud. Vincent Lackey, the man at the helm of the incredibly optimistic restaurant project, had hoped to finish his project in time for the America's Cup next year, but has instead found himself run aground in India Basin where his questionably seaworthy houseboat has also run afoul of the neighbors.
Lackey's houseboat, which was illegally parked at Pier 96 until a couple of weeks ago, now sits in 16 inches of mud about 50 feet offshore from Shoreline Park in India Basin on the north side of Hunters Point. Although Lackey says he moved the boat in order to continue working on his restaurant, that plan seems now more like a pipedream. According to representatives from the Port of San Francisco, Lackey only claimed ownership of the boat when they attempted to have the thing salvaged for parts.
His plan to convert the vessel in to a floating waterfront eatery called "The San Francisco Bay Sanctuary" (which is not a good name for a restaurant, by the way) doesn't really to hold water either. Lackey told the Examiner he planned to open a 3,000 square-foot concert dome on Pier 1, complete with a guy in possession of "a voice like Tony Bennett" to provide the entertainment. As Renée Dunn Martin, a spokesperson for the Port, told SFist this morning however, no formal discussions about the project ever took place and it probably wouldn't be allowed under Port or BCDC guidelines anyway. In other words, Lackey was probably just floating ideas by the Harbor Master.
Back in India Basin, the neighbors naturally don't like the sight of the thing. Lackey, who now lives in the East Bay, promised that his imaginary restaurant would be good news for everybody. (By clearing up the view, we guess?) As the President of the neighborhood association in India Basin succinctly explained Lackey's sinking dream: “It’s a big nuisance...and probably some sort of health hazard.”
Now Lackey is dodging the various organizations that want him to pull up anchor and head somewhere else. No organization will take responsibility for removing the vessel and according to Supervisor Cohen's office, the city will need to get the title on the boat before they can haul it away — an endeavor that could cost as much as 20 grand. After trying to unstick the houseboat by himself Tuesday afternoon, Lackey changed clothes and headed back to shore, poling himself along on wait appears to be a depressingly homemade raft.