San Diego

Owner Optimistic Iconic Cafe on Ocean Beach Pier Will Reopen Soon

The owner and operator of the iconic Walking on Water Cafe on the Ocean Beach Pier is optimistic the damages to the pier caused by Friday's dangerously high surf won't keep him out of business for too long.

Chuck Fisher was able to inspect the restaurant Saturday and said there was no damage to the café.

"It isn't a big, big hit," he told NBC 7 on Saturday.

He and his family have operated the restaurant since 1993. Twice before this closure, his place closed for six months each time. In 2002 high waves not only brought down railings but damaged the pier structure.

"Anytime these gates are closed, we do not get a lot of customers," Fisher said. "We'll be glad when it opens and speaking for my family as well as for the staff."

He is hopeful that he will be able to reopen in about two weeks. 

The pier, which was significantly damaged, continued to be shut down until further notice for repairs.

Several seawalls were breached at local beaches as surf levels rose Friday, according to San Diego Fire-Rescue lifeguards.

Waves at all city of San Diego beaches were reaching 10 to 12 feet before 8 a.m. Friday, during a high surf advisory that warned of potentially dangerous waves, according to SDFD spokesperson Jose Ysea. 

The elevated surf caused significant damage to the railing and the wood paneling of the Ocean Beach Pier, which was closed to pedestrians at the time, Ysea said. 

"It's an old lady, that's for sure," Fisher said Friday, describing the pier. "I know the city has received studies on it. It's going to need some maintenance but I'm sure the pier is going to be there for a long time."

SkyRanger 7 captured footage of the OB Pier, which was missing a significant chunk of the railing.

Nearby, the surge caused flooding on an Ocean Beach street, prompting lifeguards to close off the area surrounding Newport Avenue and Abbott Street.

Seawalls in La Jolla and Mission Beach were also breached, though no roads were reported to be closed. 

The National Weather Service issued a high surf advisory that was set to expire at 4 a.m. The advisory warned of potentially dangerous rip currents and coastal flooding.  

During the advisory strong rip currents could create a drowning risk for swimmers.

The city of Imperial Beach began preparing Thursday night for the elevated sea levels and potential coastal flooding

IB Mayor Serge Dedina said it is likely sewage-contaminated water, which has tainted ocean water, would be pushed onto city streets. He posted a video on Friday showing a boardwalk being overtaken by murky waters

The high surf comes from a storm churning far off the western coast, according to NBC 7 Meteorologist Sheena Parveen.

The last in a series of winter storms made its way out of San Diego on Friday and drier and warmer conditions were expected next week. 

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