Oakland Sea Food Grotto at night, mid-1950s

The Grotto Restaurant in Jack London Square opened in 1937. It was owned and run by Andy Franicevich, Mike Stipic and Tony Markovich for many years.

The project was first announced as Fisherman's Pier in May 1936, the idea of Bart Ghio and Joseph Lawrence. 1 In 1937, the Oakland Sea Food Grotto restaurant opened with Sam Francovich, formerly chef of Maye's Oyster House in San Francisco. 2

Fire at the Oakland Sea Food Grotto (1962)

In 1966, a new restaurant was built behind the original location and the name was shortened to the Grotto. The restaurant closed for two weeks while equipment was moved, and then the old location was torn down.

New location of the Grotto; old location in front

In February 1990 the Grotto Restaurant closed permanently. Kincaid's Restaurant currently occupies the site of the former Grotto.

Images shown are courtesy of and copyright Mike Stipic (Mike's son, Andy's second cousin). See AlamedaInfo.com for lots more images, including matchbooks, menus and other ephemera, as well as pictures of patrons including local baseball star Lefty O'Doul.

from 1961 Oakland Tribune adcourtesy Barth Gimble

1936 11937 2

Links and References

  1. Oakland's Fisherman's Wharf Opens Tomorrow Oakland Tribune May 14, 1936
  2. grand opening ad Oakland Tribune November 10, 1937