Tips On Being Able To Enjoy These New Bayfront Dining & Drinking Spots
The Portside Pier restaurants on the bay in downtown San Diego are beautifully designed, a very pleasurable place to have a meal and a couple of drinks, and are a long-needed place on the water in this part of the city.
It’s just that being able to get a seat to enjoy the view and atmosphere is difficult. Part of it is because it’s so new, and thus wildly popular. Another factor is that in this COVID-19 era, table space is limited and only have the seats at the bars are unavailable to social distancing protocol.
But the main reason it’s so difficult to get a seat or table is because of a confusing and changing seating system that, by comparison, makes the U.S. tax code easy to understand.
For Brigantine, for example, you pretty much need a reservation to get a seat. But not even that works sometimes because on evening Open Table over-booked the tables by a double amount. Another time, I was told by the hostess that there was not a reservation available for the next three days.
On the top of Brigantine is a place called Top Sail and while it’s owned by Brigantine (as are all the restaurants at Portside Pier) it has a different seating system. Or rather a confusing one.
PubClub.com’s small group of three was told by the Brigantine hostess that it’s open seating; just go up and if there’s an empty table, grab it. This worked twice but open attempting this a third time we were told rather pointedly by a very stressed hostess that there is no open seating and we must remove ourselves immediately, tho she would be happy to put our name on a list. The next available table would be in an hour and a half.
Next door upstairs at Ketch, PubClub was able to just sit at an open table and get service, tho downstairs a huge line with 30 people in it stretched along the sidewalk. This line, tho, is confusing because it is for manly the street level dining and also a place called Miguel’s, so that line can make the wait times seems deceiving.
With all this being stated, here are the three best ways to get a table at the Portside Pier restaurants:
• Make a reservation three days in advance and hope you get a table:
• Go between 2-4 p.m.
• Go after 9 p.m. Generally the diners start to leave around this time and of course you can get service as long as you are seated by 10.
In all places, bar seating is available on a walk-up basis but you better have extraordinary timing to get a seat because the restaurants are popular, they are great places to hang out and half the seats are not available because of social distancing requirements.