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Boat-shaped restaurant building in Morro Bay torn down for new development

Posted at 5:59 PM, Oct 23, 2018

The boat-shaped building in Morro Bay is no more.

The building most recently home to Tognazzini’s Dockside 3 restaurant was demolished on Tuesday morning. Two other buildings next to it along the Embarcadero also came down.

The city owns the land and the restaurant owner, Mark Tognazzini, was renting the building from the developer.

The Historical Society of Morro Bay tried to save and relocate the building but those plans were scrapped due to structural problems.

“I think it’s sad,” said Johnnie Bandelian of Morro Bay. “It’s been here forever, as long as I can remember, and I just wanted to see it go down.”

Locals say it’s a staple of Morro Bay and American history.

“It’s a piece of Americana that I really regret losing because there’s a kind of building that looks like what it is — the hotdog building or the building with the records on top or the building with the big milk bottle — that’s a type of architecture that was common in the mid-50s and mid-century America and we’ve lost ours,” said Glenn Silloway, Historical Society of Morro Bay President.

Tognazzini’s Dockside 3 was well-known for its freshly-caught smoked seafood.

Mark Tognazzini talked with KSBY in August about the then-looming demolition.

“We knew going into this that this was the ultimate plan by the city and by the developer although we felt that over a five-year period of time, we made every effort we could with the city and with the developer to convince them this is an iconic building in Morro Bay, that it should stay,” he said.

The Historical Society of Morro Bay wanted to move it and use it as its home and visitor’s center but the building was too deteriorated to do so.

They were, however, able to salvage some parts of it.

“We have a whole ceiling that was varnished tongue-and-groove wood that is carefully marked so we can actually rebuild it someday at a better location,” Silloway explained.

They saved some of the original Mexican tile from inside, as well.

The developer did not want to go on camera but said the new building should be done by early spring.

The new development will house a restaurant, an oyster company and a sport fishing business.

The other two Tognazzini restaurants near the site are still in business and have no plans to close.