Sinbad’s Pier 2 restaurant is proving more tenacious than a barnacle for the Port of San Francisco.
On notice from a state agency to start demolishing Pier 2, where the seafood restaurant and cocktail spot has occupied prime waterfront real estate since the 1970s, the Port filed an eviction lawsuit Thursday to remove the restaurant.
Under an area land-use plan crafted in preparations for the America’s Cup, the Port was to have begun demolition of the wooden pier last month to make way for a new commuter ferry terminal built by the Water Emergency Transportation Agency.
Other tenants of the pier have packed up and left. But not Sinbad’s, an old-school eatery that’s given the Port headaches for years.
In trouble with the Port in the past for $220,000 in unpaid rent, the restaurant’s owners, the Stinson brothers, agreed in 2012 to vacate the pier by the beginning of this year.
They’ve since reversed course, and are arguing that construction on the ferry terminal won’t begin until next year and Sinbad’s could remain until then.
The situation is now heading to lengthy litigation. Before a 30-day notice from the Port to vacate expired in late March, the eatery filed its own lawsuit accusing the Port of acting in bad faith and asking for a judge to intervene.
“If [WETA] needs the pier now, that’s the first we’ve heard of it,” said Sinbad’s attorney Robert Kane, who said that the area plan that required the pier to be demolished was crafted for the America’s Cup, which ended up not needing the land after all.
The Port could in theory ask the Bay Conservation and Development Commission for an extension on when the pier must be demolished. However, both the Port and the BCDC have indicated that no such extension is likely to be granted, and the BCDC has already informed the Port that fines could be on the way if the pier isn’t removed.
The restaurant is now “willfully trespassing on Port property,” Port Executive Director Monique Moyer said in a statement.
Meanwhile, the restaurant — with its unmatched views of the Bay Bridge from its bar area — remains open for business.