CORONADO, Calif. — What if treating yourself to an elegant dinner could also help the community? In this Zevely Zone, I visited the Bluewater Boathouse Grill. "Coronado was a ghost town," said Derik Morse, the restaurant's general manger. Derik will never forget the depths of the pandemic when the old boathouse that once served the Hotel Del and now houses the Bluewater Boathouse Grill was shut down and empty.
"I hope we never have to do that again," said Derik. "Everybody's world changed, and everybody's world got really small." When Derik welcomed customers back, the staff decided to not only open their doors but their hearts to more than 15 non-profits listed below.
Pacific Animal Welfare Society of Coronado (PAWS)
Helen Woodward Animal Center
San Diego Council on Literacy
SEALKids, supporting the sons and daughters of Navy SEALs in SD
FOCUS San Diego/Coronado
San Diego Leukemia and Lymphoma Society
San Diego Humane Society
St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital (SD Chapter)
Coronado Island Film Festival
National Multiple Sclerosis Society (SD Chapter)
Coronado Fire Department
Port of San Diego Harbor Master
Coronado City Council
Coronado High School men’s and women’s sports teams.
I asked Derik how they are able to help so many organizations. "It's easy, I like to make people smile, that is why we got into this industry, but we take it a step further," said Derik.
It was with that very spirit, the Bluewater Boathouse Grill made a call out of the blue. It was a pleasant and very unexpected phone call made to the San Diego Humane Society. "It was indeed we couldn't be happier with this new partnership," said Nina Thompson with the San Diego Humane Society. Nina told us the timing couldn't have been better; their shelters are currently overflowing with 400 animals that need to be adopted. "It's wonderful news to the San Diego Humane Society because we couldn't do the work if it weren't for the community's support we rely so heavily on donations," said Nina.
The Bluewater Boathouse has a staff of more than one hundred employees who consider themselves an army of good. "Our staff loves animals, our staff loves kids, we are in a military town, so it just made sense," said Derik. From helping a military family with food, or a charity with gift cards, Derik says it just feels good to say yes. when someone in need knocks on the door.
"Some of them are 50 dollars, some of them are 100 dollars, some of them are 300 dollars," said Derik. Just talking about serving the community brings him to the brink of tears. "In my life I have cried more happy tears than sad tears," said Derik who feels restaurants should put people before profits and not only serve food but the community. "Because it makes people smile," said Derik. "I want to be someone who is inspiring."
During and since the pandemic, Bluewater Boathouse provided fresh seafood, financial or other support to the 2021 Coronado Island Film Festival, a local golf tournament supporting St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, and the National Multiple Sclerosis Society MS Dinner Auction. The restaurant has provided hundreds of box lunches to the Coronado Fire Department, Coronado Barbers and the Port of San Diego Harbor Master and actively supports the Coronado City Council and Coronado High School men’s and women’s sports teams.
If you've never been to the Bluewater Boathouse Grill, they are best known for their sustainable seafood and mud pie. For more information click here.