TUESDAY, MAY 20, 1956 A COLORFUL FIGURE in San Francisco restaurant life is the genial owner of Fishermen's Grotto, Mike Geraldi, who opened the first restaurant in Fisherman's Wharf. Mike got his start as a boy, trudging up and down San Francisco hills selling baskets of fish he earned by helping fishermen unload their catches. He finally saved enough to buy a fishing boat and set up a little corner stand to sell his own fish. During this time he noted the tastes of his customers, storing recipes which were to become invaluable in later years. As his trade grew he opened his restaurant on the Wharf.

Mike Geraldi - Circa 1934


This was in 1935,
in the same location as the present Grotto. In Fact, part of the present building is still the original Fishermen's Grotto, which underwent alterations five times in the course of its own steady growth. The success of his venture was so prompt that other restaurants soon followed the lead, and colorful Fisherman's Wharf with its accent on food service was born. The Grotto is a two story building out near the end of the Wharf. It commands a view of the colorful fleets, net menders and all the excitement and life that center on the Wharf. At Fishermen's Grotto, many notables have been served, including Presidents, athletes, movie stars and other famous personages from all over the world.

Day and night
, Fishermen's Grotto serves capacity crowds, a tribute to the policies of Mike Geraldi, who insists that good service, supercilious quality foods, spotless cleanliness, and a sincere appreciation of customers patronage are the golden formula for success.

Facts About the Wharf
In this tradition, the late Mike Geraldi, for 26 years a fisherman and his family for generations fishermen fulfilled an ambition of bringing you the many recipes developed by fishermen throughout the world. He built the first seafood restaurant at stall Number 9 on the Wharf and he named it Fishermen's Grotto in honor of the fishermen themselves. He wanted a trademark symbolic of the fishermen and so The Little Fisherman was created; weather beaten, dour, and bringing a smile to all who see it. This restaurant was the beginning of Fisherman's Wharf as it is known today.


The original building was decorated in a Venetian motif, with gaily painted mooring poles reminiscent of Venice. In 1953 his sons added the Florentine Dining Room and Fireplace Lounge - in modern Italian Renaissance styling - which commands a panoramic view of the city's hills and skyline, the Golden Gate Bridge, the fishermen mending their nets and the boats bobbing as though to free themselves from their moorings. Many San Franciscan's show this dining room with pride as one of the most beautiful on the Pacific Coast. Many varieties of fish used in the 150 menu selections are caught by the local fishing fleet the same day as served; and Fishermen's Grotto No. 9, San Franciscans own favorite place on the Wharf, has earned an enviable reputation. It is recommended by restaurant guides and gourmets throughout the world. Today, the two story building is not only a famous restaurant, but a tradition.