The always odd floating restaurant with a lighthouse next to Pier 39, Forbes Island, has officially shuttered for good as longtime owner Forbes Thor Kiddoo has decided to retire. Eater broke the news this week, following on months of the restaurant being closed for "temporary maintenance," and a similar closure last year and a 2013 fire. Pier 39 spokesperson Sue Muzzin confirms to Eater that "After nearly 20 years at the Pier 39 marina, Forbes Island has closed and is ready to set sail for a new adventure."
Kiddoo is reportedly looking to sell the 700-ton barge with its 100-seat underwater dining room, and it will perhaps be towed elsewhere and get revived as a dinner attraction or club.
Originally built as an outlandish private houseboat with its own beach, waterfall, hot tub, wine cellar, and mirror- and velvet-lined bedrooms, completed in 1980, Kiddoo never succeeded in finding a buyer for his creation. He used it as his own residence garnering plenty of publicity and backlash from local authorities over where it could be moored, and he later decided to tow it to Sausalito and host an early version of a pop-up restaurant onboard in 1987.
The "island" then spent some time in Marin's Richardson Bay, and off of Richmond, before finally getting a long-term home at Pier 39 in 1999.
Now Kiddoo tells the Chronicle that he's planning to start marketing the island to potential buyers but will need to find a place to dock it from which he'll be able to do that. "It’ll be sold as a restaurant, or a private home, or a club, because that’s what it’s set up for now," he tells the paper. "But it’s going to be a lot for someone to take on because there are so many moving parts."
The place enjoyed a four-star rating on Yelp with reviewers tending to focus on the "enchanting" and unique setting, despite a fairly rote menu and a $100+ prix fixe.
Bon voyage, Forbes Island! I'm sure some enterprising person will be happy to take this oddity off of Kiddoo's hands.