Monterey, California: Historic Cannery Row and John Steinbeck Walking Tour
Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. Bench
Have a seat for a moment on Forrest Gump’s bench. I’m sure he won’t mind sharing his box of chocolates.
The Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. restaurant is the highest grossing restaurant on the Row. It is also the only structure that survives of the Del Mar Canning Company, having been its reduction plant. The InterContinental Hotel to your right was the Del Mar Canning Company cannery and the buildings across the street were its warehouse.
Originally this area was part of the Chinese fishing village that extended along McAbee Beach. In 1916, the Japanese run Bayside Fish & Flour Company built a small reduction plant here.
Except during wartime, when canning was a maximum priority, the reduction process which was relatively simple was highly profitable. In the reduction plant, fish scraps, waste and even edible fish would be ground in a centrifuge into fishmeal, poultry feed or fertilizer. The process also produced a terrible smell for which Monterey became famous.
In 1927, Edward David took over the reduction and canning operation and opened the Del Mar Canning Company. Disaster struck in 1936 and the entire complex burned to the ground, a story that mysteriously occurred time and again here on Cannery Row. However it happened, David used the fire and resultant insurance money to rebuild and expand his operation. He added a second warehouse across the street which was connected to the cannery by an elevated conveyor called a cross over. You will see these all along Cannery Row.
David sold his cannery in 1947 to Westgate-Sun Harbor Canning. Two fires, one in 1951 and a second in 1952, led to the total demolition of the entire cannery. Well, except for the reduction plant, which in the late 1990’s became this restaurant.
The InterContinental Clement Monterey Hotel was built atop the site of the original cannery and cannery warehouses that were demolished by the fires of the 1950’s. This stylish waterfront hotel was built in a similar design as the original buildings and opened in 2008.
Time to continue with our walk. With Bubba Gump behind you, turn right and walk toward the entrance to the C restaurant located in the InterContinental Clement Monterey Hotel.