While the topside of Forbes Island may look like any other island - lighthouse, sand, palm trees, restaurant, and bar - the underside of Forbes Island looks suspiciously like a barge.
The “island” was created in 1975 in the San Francisco Bay in Sausalito by millionaire Houseboat Designer, Forbes Thor Kiddoo as his private residence. Born of 280 tons of concrete, Forbes Island is a massive creation complete with the island look and feel created by the 120 tons of rocks and 90 tons of sand on its surface, for years it was a palm-tree topped landmark in the middle of the bay. Shortly after its creation, Forbes Island was even featured on “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous.”
Forbes Island is now a restaurant anchored just off Pier 39. The underwater dining room is decorated in Victorian-seagoing opulance with porthole windows peering into the murky waters. Above deck two additional dinig rooms offer views of the city, sea lions and Alcatraz along side a 40 foot lighthouse, the top of which is accessible by a beautiful spiral staircase. The lighthouse is equipped with a real vintage Fresnel lens, on loan from the US Lighthouse Society.
Visitors can dine at the upscale restaurant while hearing the voices of sea lions or grab a quick island cocktail near the blackbirds that have made the palms of Forbes their home.
Update August, 2017: Forbes Island has closed for good.
Know Before You Go
The shuttle runs from H dock continuously after 5pm.
- The San Francisco Gate: "Forbes Island, a unique restaurant off Pier 39" (August 2010): http://articles.sfgate.com/2010-08-22/entertainment/22228921_1_pier-diners-feast-fresnel