Forbes Island, now closed, was a restaurant between Pier 39 and Pier 41 in Fisherman's Wharf, San Francisco, United States. It has been temporarily moved to Holland Riverside Marina in Brentwood, California. It was the only "floating island" restaurant in the Bay Area. The restaurant was inspired by Captain Nemo's marine dwelling.
Forbes Island began as a residence on December 23, 1980, anchored offshore in Richardson Bay near Sausalito in Marin County, California. It was created by Forbes Thor Kiddoo, who invested $800,000 in the floating dwelling, and built it between 1975 and 1980, using portholes from old vessels, seascape paintings and a lathe to secure the wooden paneling and pillars. It had 15 rooms, three state rooms, a 600 square foot salon with "fine woods, mirrors, brass, Persian rugs, a fireplace, chess table, grand piano and English pipe organ" and its own wine cellar. By the late 1980s, Sausalito residents started to complain that the dwelling was illegally moored. A 1987 article in Islands Magazine noted that Kiddoo had intended selling the houseboat, but it wasn't until 1991 that the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission forced him out of Sausalito, due to building regulations.
After being evicted, Kiddoo applied to moor his barge in Half Moon Bay, but was rejected. He anchored it for five years in Antioch, California and spent time remodelling it, before he was given a 15-year renewable lease in San Francisco. The island dwelling was relocated and reopened as the Forbes Island restaurant between Pier 39 and Pier 41 in Fisherman's Wharf, San Francisco in 1999. The only "floating island" restaurant in the Bay Area, it measured 50 by 100 feet, weighed 700 tons, and had its own palm trees, waterfall, fake fireplace, 55-step lighthouse with Fresnel lens, and Tahitian dining room. The portalled dining room was underwater and decorated to resemble the interior of sailing ship from the early 19th century. The restaurant had its own wine cellar, which was once a venue for a Tony Bennett concert, and the restaurant also has a boudoir for women.
In 2016 the Island underwent renovation and repair work. On April 5 a San Francisco Fire Department fireboat towed the island to the BAE Systems San Francisco Ship Repair Yard at Pier 70, to commence a two-month restoration. It was later returned to location near Pier 39 and was scheduled to reopen on June 15.
In August 2017, Forbes Island Restaurant closed down, with Forbes Kidoo retiring.
A 2010 report stated that the restaurant served calamari salad, flatiron steak with mustard-cognac sauce, herb-baked lamb and other dishes. The San Francisco Chronicle wrote of the dining experience: "Warmed by a faux fire, diners feast on filet mignon, mushroom risotto and sea bass while chandeliers sway with the ocean surge beneath them. Fish swim by portholes and Satchmo plays on the sound system." The 2016 menu included steak, salmon, ribs, chicken and risotto.
- Islands Magazine. January–February 1987. p. 18. ISSN 0745-7847.
- "Forbes Island, a unique restaurant off Pier 39". 22 August 2010. Retrieved 21 June 2016.
- Kiddoo, Donald B. (2002). Early History of the Scotch-Irish Families Caldow, Caddow, Caddoo, Kildoo, Kildew, Kiddoo. D.B. Kiddoo. p. 851.
- Sterling, Richard (26 March 2010). The Unofficial Guide to San Francisco. John Wiley & Sons. p. 247. ISBN 978-0-470-63724-1.
- "After 2 Months Of Repairs, Forbes Island Sets Sail Back To The Wharf". Hoodline. 29 May 2016. Retrieved 21 June 2016.
- "Floating Restaurant Forbes Island Has Closed For Good". SF Eater. August 15, 2017. Retrieved 21 September 2017.
- "Floating restaurant Forbes Island finds a new home — in the East Bay". Forbes. March 27, 2017. Retrieved December 11, 2018.