rebirth of its restaurant, the contemporary Harborside and
beautifully renovated Grand Ballroom for weddings and parties.
Built in 1905, the Pavilion is on the National Register of
Historical Places. The Pavilion once housed a terminal for the
Pacific Electric Red Car Line, which in its heyday was part of the
world's largest trolley system.
During the '30s and '40s, the Pavilion was the first stop for
teenagers traveling to Balboa's main attraction, the Rendezvous
Ballroom, Southern California's in spot during the swing era. Big
bands performed at the Rendezvous until 1966, when it was destroyed
by fire. The Pavilion also housed a bowling alley, a dance hall and
even public baths.
In recent years, it's been a waterfront dining and banquet
facility for Christmas boat-parade spectators, wedding attendees,
locals and out-of-town guests.
Last year, brothers and co-owners David and Doug Salisbury
replaced the Pavilion's aging 32-year-old Tale of The Whale
restaurant and banquet room with the Harborside, which serves
breakfast, lunch and dinner and offers live entertainment. They also
renovated the upstairs Grand Ballroom, which encompasses two rooms --
each large enough for 250 guests -- that can be transformed into one
giant room for 500.
The ballroom best suits large parties. Plans for a semi-private
dining room for groups of 25 to 30 are underway.
Three-quarters of the rooms have wood floors for dancing. Each
room has a private entrance that can accommodate live entertainment,
and has spectacular harbor views.
During the renovation, the Salisburys respected the integrity of
"Our goal was to maintain the history here," David Salisbury said.
"We installed the same woods, perforated tin ceilings and wainscot
that the rooms once had."
Photos of a bygone era decorate the walls, including bathing
beauties from the '20s and historic pictures of the Balboa Island
Ferry and Balboa Beach.
Since 1987, the Salisburys have owned the nearby waterfront
Newport Landing Restaurant. David Salisbury runs the day-to-day
restaurant business, whereas Doug is "the administrator and legal