Waves Burst Into Pacifica's Moonraker Restaurant, Rushing Over Tables, Chairs

Massive waves cleared a 25-foot retaining wall and crashed into a Pacifica restaurant early Saturday morning, bursting through the beachside windows and rushing over tables and chairs.

Moonraker manager Emily Yeafoli shared the restaurant's surveillance video with NBC Bay Area on Tuesday, adding that the water spilled all over the banquet room of the restaurant located inside the Best Western Lighthouse Hotel at 105 Rockaway Beach Ave.

No one was inside the restaurant at the time, but a man was in the lobby of the Best Western that shares a wall with the restaurant when the wave hit.

"I heard the crash, and they had everyone right away relocate to a different area," said Tony Mercado.

Another witness had been watching the high waves.

"You could see the waves splashing way up onto the sidewalk," said Sue Phelps. "I wasn’t surprised to hear the window broke. Just never turn your back on it."

City crews were on hand to clear debris and clean up the sidewalk. And inside the Moonraker, electric fans were set up to dry out the floor, Yeafoli said.

Storms over the weekend were brutal, causing waves throughout the region to swell to record heights. In Monterey Bay for example, 34-foot waves crashed into the historic SS Palo Alto, ripping off its stern.

Despite the boarded-up windows, Yeafoli said Moonraker is open for business. She's not yet sure how much the damage cost, adding that insurance will pay for it. "We have an event scheduled in the room on Friday," she said. "So fingers crossed it's fixed by then."

This isn't the first time the ocean waves knocked out window panes at Moonraker. Yeafoli said that "years and years ago," sometime in the 1990s, the windows blew out on the second floor of the restaurant during similarly stormy weather.

Meanwhile, at Sharp Park Beach, a handful of photographers were on hand snapping shots of a rare goose sighting. Birdwatcher Dawn Jefferson said someone spotted an Native Alaskan Goose and sent out an alert to the birdwatching community. She descibed it as a "lifetime spotting."

"This is the first time I’ve ever seen an emperor goose in my life," Jefferson said. "It could be the weather that brought his goose down, it’s hard to say."

Elsewhere in Pacifica public works crews began repairs on a giant sinkhole that opened up on a popular path to the beach last month. The sunny weather Tuesday gave workers the opportunity to fill the hole with concrete.

There was no estimate on when the path would reopen, but crews said they are making progress.

Contact Us