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Dining along San Francisco's working waterfront.

Dining along San Francisco's working waterfront

Lunch beside the Bay in San Franciscodoesn't have to mean Fisherman's Wharf. At a handful of restaurants along the working waterfront south of China Basin, you can eat hearty fare at outdoor spool tables while towering cranes tend to ships in dry docks across the way. Regulars include Giants fans fueling up on their way to Candlestick Park 5 miles south.

The newest eatery (and perhaps a sign ofthings to come) is high-tech Caffe Esprit at the popular clothing chain outlet.

Before or after your meal, you might takeadvantage of new pockets of Bay access here. Walk along the water, fish for perch and striped bass (no license needed), get a close look at berthed ships. You can even launch your boat at a public ramp.

The south waterfront is a quick detour offInterstate 80 or 280. Street parking is plentiful.

Casual outdoor seating at five waterfront restaurants

1. Blanche's. In the 25 years that she'sbeen holding court at the south end of the Fourth Street drawbridge, Blanche has served shrimp Louis to both dock workers and eminent artists. Her patio overlooking China Basin is decorated with coin carts from the first San Francisco mint, benches from the Ferry Building, and a wheelbarrow used in building the Twin Peaks streetcar tunnel. Open 11 to 2:30 Tuesdays through Fridays.

2. Olive Oil's. Hamburgers, sandwiches,and salads are the basic fare served till 3 daily at this Mission Rock Terminal bar and grill. Brunch is served from 10 to 3 on weekends.

3. Caffe Esprit. You can wash down agrilled bluefin tuna sandwich with an egg cream from the soda fountain. There are also imaginative pizzas and salads, as well as an espresso bar. Hours are 11 A.M. to 11 P.M. daily.

4. Mission Rock Resort. Another waterfrontold-timer. Two levels of decks above a small marina accommodate fair-weather diners. Upstairs, the restaurant serves seafood, hamburgers, sandwiches, and salads (be prepared to wait for a table on weekends). The downstairs lunch counter sells hot dogs and hamburgers. Lunch is served until 3 on weekdays, 4 on weekends. Sunday brunch is from 8 to 3.

5. The Ramp. The name refers to a boat-launchingramp just a few yards away from the outdoor tables. The lunch menu, served till 3 daily, includes seafood, sandwiches, hamburgers, soups, and salads. Saturdays and Sundays from 3 to 7, a barbecue is fired up for jazz concerts on the patio.

Public piers, parks, a promenade

A new promenade is scheduled to openthis month on the north edge of China Basin. The 1/4-mile walkway borders South Beach Harbor, a 670-berth marina constructed as part of a city redevelopment project.

A concrete breakwater, outfitted withtaps and fish-cleaning tables for anglers, stretches into the Bay toward downtown Oakland. Stroll out to the end for the best view of the floating dry dock recently installed at the end of Mission Rock Terminal, where you'll usually see a Navy ship laid up for repairs. Ships from Canada carrying newsprint for northern California papers tie up closer, at Pier 48.

You'll get another perspective on the MissionRock Terminal from a pocket park with benches just south of the terminal. On a kiosk there, you'll see photographs of Mission Rock from the 19th century, when it was a busy island of wood warehouses and wharves. Also notice the nearby boat ramp, where you can back your trailered boat into the Bay.

Walk out over the water on the T-shapedpier at Agua Vista Park to view ships moored at Todd Shipyards, originally the Union Iron Works. The first steel ship built on the West Coast was launched here in 1885.

Photo: Giant tiki head watches over diners at The Ramp. "Whirley'crane in left distance is used for ship repair at Todd Shipyards

Photo: Numbers in circles on our map locate restaurants described in text; small numbers indicate piers. Below, industrial-chic design of Caffe Esprit (3) includes sliding garage-door windows
COPYRIGHT 1987 Sunset Publishing Corp.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1987 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:includes restaurants
Publication:Sunset
Article Type:Directory
Date:Apr 1, 1987
Words:662
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