Massive barge brings jobs, events to Coasterra restaurant

Posted at 4:58 PM, Jun 27, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-27 21:26:57-04

One of San Diego's largest restaurants is expanding in an unconventional way -- on the water.

And that means more jobs are coming to one of the county's faster growing industries.

The 85-ton, 6,000 square-foot barge made its way from Chula Vista to Harbor Island's Coasterra Restaurant on Monday. The trip took about three hours. 

The restaurant, already 28,000-square-feet, plans to use it as an events space, and will add up to 50 people to its staff of about 170 workers.

Jobs in San Diego County's restaurant industry are growing at an above average pace. Bars and restaurants have added nearly 4,000 jobs in the last year.

Will Cabistan is a bartender at the restaurant. He was struggling to make ends meet, and left school at San Diego State to take the job. He says working at the restaurant is keeping him busy, and paying hime enough to afford life in San Diego.

"Some nights, there's a 2-hour wait, it'll almost be like a club right here," he said. "There will be people behind them trying to wave you down, trying to order drinks."

A crowd gathered along Harbor Island to watch the barge make the slow and steady trip.

"Is this the most perfect place to have a company picnic?" said Michael Steel, who saw the barge come in. 

Cabistan said he won't be a bartender forever and plans to go back to school, but for now, his job has helped him right his own ship.