If Dragon Beaux hasn’t already put SF in the national dim sum spotlight (per @chandavkl) this is likely to do so, putting KP quality dim sum squarely in the path of every visitor to SF (gastrotourist or not). It also could spur a rennaissance of the underutilized Ghirardelli Square and nearby Cannery malls, hopefully attracting some more casual complementary venues. Not since Celia Chiang held fort at The Mandarin has a visit to the Wharf been mandatory for Asian food aficionados.
Thanks for the news flash! I was surprised to see how forlorn Ghirardelli Square has become during last week’s SF visit.
Last year we took some tourists there on a weekend and it was as crowded as ever. Perhaps a specific time during the day/ week/ year that its quiet?
I’m sure that’s part of it, but the empty storefronts added to it.
Souperman may remember the Portofino cafe in, if I recall correctly, the Mustard (or was that Cocoa) building. They were serving espresso and capuchino before Howard Schultz had his epiphany in Italy and conquered the world.
Started my F&B journey at Portofino as a busser soon after the Summer of Love. Ghiardelli was rocking then. Folks from all over the world, Many Japanese. The men invariably in dark business suits and white socks lugging huge Nikons. Many Germans, along with other Europeans, sporting shorts, weather be damned. Lots of sunburnt mid-westerners, trying valiantly to pronounce cap-pu-chino. A very exotic beverage in them days.
Nowadays, the Fishermen’s Wharf mix skews more towards Indian (SE Asian), Mexican and many many colorfully dressed Chinese Mainlander.
Pier 39 opened in 1978 and slowly but surely became the main tourist attraction at the Wharf. Pier 39 sucked much of the traffic from the Ghiardelli/Cannery end of the strip. As noted, many stores are empty or repurposed. Some as office space , others morphed into the Fairmont Residence and the Argonaut Hotel.
On weekends or special events in high season, there may still be the jostling crowds reminiscent of days of old. On off times, one can roll a bowling ball down Beach Street and not get any pin action. How do I know? I was involved in a restaurant in the Cannery and spent lots of hours there. We almost made it 10 years, but finally capitulated, took our losses, licked our wounds and moved on.
Would love to see a resurgence in the area. Hopefully the new Koi Palace is a positive step in reviving this historic and beautiful venue. I live a few blocks away, so no parking headaches.
I remember the Portofino but never hung out there because I was a North Beacher from the moment I landed in San Francisco and wore the Caffe Trieste on my sleeve. Later on I spent more time at the Cannery, mostly schmoozing with Dan Noreen at the Cannery Wine Cellar (about beer, not wine). Which restaurant at the Cannery were you connected with?
Next to Charley Brown’s. Shouting distance from the girls (their term) at Alioto Lazio. Our “catch of the day” was what their brother’s boat had scored that given day.
The boat would radio in as they were returning to dock, and we would mark our specials board accordingly.
I’d prefer to keep the name of our restaurant entombed, as it should.
Funny about being a North Beacher. I grew up kitty corner from Saints P&P. A jaunt to Aquatic Park was a day trip.
According to this newsflash, Koi Palace’s Pallette at Ghirardelli Square will be “an expanded version of Dragon Beaux.” It will also have a very impressive new neighbor: