History of PIER 39
August 1977 – Construction begins on PIER 39.
October 4, 1978 – PIER 39 opens on schedule to fanfare in San Francisco. Originally, PIER 39 had 50 stores, a diving pool and street performers. The PIER also had 23 restaurants. Some of the original restaurants—Pier Market Seafood Restaurant, Neptune’s Bar & Grill, Eagle Cafe and Swiss Louis Italian & Seafood Restaurant—are still open today.
May 1979 – Blue & Gold Fleet launches its first Bay Cruise.
August 1981 – Moor + South acquires property, forming the PIER 39 Limited Partnership.
May 1983 – Diving pool at Bay End of The PIER replaced with Venetian Carousel from inside Palace of Fun Arts.
January 1989 – PIER 39 is named the third most-visited attraction in the country by USA Today.
January 1990 – California sea lions begin arriving in droves on PIER 39’s K Dock, creating a local and international sensation. To date, the population has grown as high as 1,701.
April 1996 – Underwater World (now Aquarium of the Bay) opens to the public.
October 1996 – Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. Restaurant & Market opens at PIER 39.
February 1997 – Adventure Cat joins the PIER 39 Marina.
June 1997 – Blazing Saddles Bike Rentals & Tours begins operating out of Pier 41.
January 1998 – Crab House opens at PIER 39.
July 1998 – PIER 39 “Best Place to People Watch (San Francisco)” and “Best Video Games Arcade” as voted by the San Francisco Chronicle’s Readers’ Choice competition.
February 1999 – Forbes Island, the world’s only man-made, floating island restaurant, opens in PIER 39’s West Marina.
July 1999 – PIER 39 “Best Place to People Watch (San Francisco)” as voted by the San Francisco Chronicle’s Readers’ Choice competition.
May 2002 – Riptide Arcade family entertainment center (now Players Sports Grill & Arcade) opens with more than 100 video games, virtual reality units, novelty and prize redemption games.
August 2002 – Hard Rock Cafe opens.
March 2003 – Frequent Flyers – a fun-filled bungee trampoline – opens on Level 1.
October 2003 – PIER 39 celebrates its 25th anniversary on San Francisco’s historic waterfront.
July 2004 – Wipeout Bar & Grill opens at the front of PIER 39.
May 2007 – Fog Harbor Fish House opens.
April 2008 – Wines of California Wine Bar opens on Level 1.
December 2008 – Arrival of the new, two-story San Francisco Carousel which was hand-crafted in Italy and features paintings of famous San Francisco landmarks.
May 2009 – Blue & Gold Fleet officially debuts RocketBoat, the high-speed thrill ride on San Francisco Bay. RocketBoat is open seasonally (May through October).
July 2009 – Riptide Arcade is remodeled into an arcade and restaurant, and renamed Players Sports Grill & Arcade.
October 2009 – Magowan’s Infinite Mirror Maze opens.
November 2009 – A record 1,701 Sea Lions haul out on PIER 39’s K-Dock. Six new floats are added to accommodate the sudden influx of these marine mammals. San Francisco Whale Tours joins the PIER 39 Marina.
December 2009 – Luigi’s Pizzeria opens on Level 2 of PIER 39.
January 2010 – Aquarium of the Bay obtains non-profit status after it is acquired by The Bay Institute.
September 2010 – Hana Zen Japanese Grill & Sushi Bar opens.
May 2011 – PIER 39 ranked most-visited attraction in San Francisco by San Francisco Travel Association’s 2010 Visitor Profile Study.
October 2011 – Beer 39, featuring beer tasting and beer-related gifts, opens on Level 2 of PIER 39. AC Sailing SF joins the PIER 39 Marina and offers the America’s Cup sailing experience on San Francisco Bay.
October 2012 – Mango’s Taqueria & Cantina and 7D Experience – a simulated roller coaster and laser blaster attraction – opens their doors at PIER 39.
June 2013 – Musical Stairs by Remo Saraceni, creator of the famous piano from the Tom Hanks movie Big, are installed at PIER 39.
August 2013 – Wine Tasting on the Bay, the Bay’s first and only floating winetasting room, joins the PIER 39 Marina.
September 2013 – Bay Voyager – a 28-foot custom rigid-hulled inflatable boat – begins operating sightseeing tours out of PIER 39’s Marina.
October 2013 – PIER 39 celebrates its 35th Anniversary on San Francisco’s historic waterfront.
January 2014 – The Sea Lion Center, owned and operated by Aquarium of the Bay, opens at PIER 39. The Sea Lion Center is a free interpretative learning center focusing on the California sea lion.
March 2014 – 7D Experience invites guests to race their opponents through a web of laser beams at new LaZer Challenge attraction.
July 2014 – PIER 39 unveils Open Heart—part of San Francisco General Hospital Foundation’s 2014 “Hearts in San Francisco” collection—at the Bay End of The PIER.
January 2015 – PIER 39 celebrates the 25th anniversary of the sea lions’ arrival to PIER 39.
April 2015 – PIER 39 once again ranked most-visited attraction in San Francisco by San Francisco Travel Association’s 2014 Visitor Profile Study.