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CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8 | cbs8.com

Portside Pier opens for first time ever along Embarcadero

After five years in the making, not even a global pandemic was going to stop the two-story dining hub from opening.

SAN DIEGO — After five years going from permit to completion, Portside Pier is finally opening its doors to outdoor dining, and I've got to tell you, it's spectacular inside. 

"It's good to have the doors open," said CEO and President of The Brigantine Mike Morton. "We have a tremendous amount of outdoor space and to have it full of people on the first day... I'm so excited."

Portside Pier had to jump over a lot of hurdles to have a location that could seat more than 1,000. But of course, times have changed. 

"During these times with the outdoor and social distancing we're to manage about 500 seats at once," Morton said.

Morton credits the adaptability to the restaurant's design. He said the facility opens up in three different locations.

And with a footprint of that size, it makes for six different venues to allow proper social distancing. 

Centerpiece to the two-story hub is their flagship restaurant. 

"It's our original brand, it started 51 years ago and this is by far the most beautiful Brigantine to date," Morton said.

Next up and soon to be a San Diego classic, is Topside, located right above the Brigantine. Morton said the open deck bar can seat about 150 people.

"This is where business will get done San Diego style, while taking it all in," Morton said.

You can also find beers at Ketch Brewing and tasting deck. The open area also has public table access with no need to purchase anything. 

Downstairs from the brewery is Miguel Cocina, serving Mexican food and house-made tortillas.

The southeastern corner of the bay-side dining facility is Ketch Grill. Along the Embarcadero end, you can find Portside Coffee and Gelato.

Morton said he knows the location will attract tourists but it's built for all. 

"I want San Diegans to make this their regular spot... there's plenty of room for everyone," Morton said.

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