Mersea, Treasure Island’s eagerly awaited comfort-casual restaurant, officially opens its doors on January 12. The restaurant and bar, built entirely of recycled shipping containers, offers an elevated, comfort-casual menu developed by Executive Chef Parke Ulrich and sweeping, panoramic views of the San Francisco skyline, Bay Bridge, and Golden Gate Bridge from every seat. Mersea, a name derived from an Old English word meaning “island oasis,” marks a significant milestone in the island’s growing community.
“We’re incredibly excited to open our doors to provide neighbors, Bay Area locals and visitors with a welcoming gathering place to enjoy delicious, locally-sourced food and beautiful, sweeping views of San Francisco,” says Chef Ulrich.
“We’re also extremely proud of our partnership with the Treasure Island Homeless Development Initiative (TIHDI) and member organizations—Toolworks and Bakeworks—that provide career opportunities and job training for low-income and formerly homeless individuals,” says co-founder MeeSun Boice. “Our team is committed to providing TIHDI members with on-site restaurant industry training to make positive, measurable changes in the Treasure Island community, as well as provide job opportunities for people with barriers to employment.”
A celebrated executive chef of landmark San Francisco waterfront restaurants Waterbar and EPIC Steak, Parke Ulrich brings his high standards, creativity, and passion for fresh, sustainably-sourced ingredients to the comfort-casual menu at Mersea. The menu features delicious, approachable items from an array of cuisines representing the cultural diversity of the Bay Area. Unique dishes with globally-inspired flavors include Pork Roll and Egg Sandwich with Kimchi, Aioli and Arugula; Togarashi Spiced Kettle Corn; and Chicken Shio Ramen. An array of American classics, prepared with Chef Ulrich’s special touch, includes Clam Chowder, Double Stacked Wagyu Cheeseburger, P3 Philly Cheese, and an assortment of salads, soups, sandwiches, seafood favorites, snacks, and desserts. Breakfast offerings include assorted pastries by Bakeworks, as well as house-made egg sandwiches, brioche French toast, and a build-your-own toast option, to name a few.
Mersea’s innovative design approach, utilizes recycled industrial shipping containers, an environmentally conscious reuse of local materials, as well as a nod to San Francisco’s history as a major port. Thirteen shipping containers were repurposed to create the indoor bar and dining space, an impressive MRDK military-grade kitchen, sleek restrooms, and a cozy private dining room deemed the “Board Room”—a nod to Chef Parke’s passion for surfing and water. Floor-to-ceiling windows unify the indoor and outdoor areas into one integrated experience and allow for stunning views of the San Francisco skyline. The restaurant’s commitment to repurposing as much as possible is evident in details such as the reuse of multiple pallets to create seating areas throughout the space, reclaimed wood furniture pieces, an herb garden made out of recycled pallets, converting the MRDK military kitchen panel doors to four large communal tables and more. As a tribute to the old Treasure Island Bowling Alley, artist and carpenter, Joe Wrye and Parke Ulrich built two communal tables from the former maple bowling alley lanes.
As part of the industrial design, Mersea utilizes a Field Food Service System (FFSS), a mobile, technologically advanced military-grade kitchen built within three ISO dimensional containers, which are capable of serving 1,700 meals per day in even the harshest weather conditions. The FFSS comprises a streamlined Marine Rapid Deployment Kitchen (MRDK) outfitted with top-of-the-line appliances and fittings.
For entertainment, Mersea features an outdoor bocce ball court and a professional, custom designed putting green created by renowned golf and putting green designers, Back Nine Greens. Back Nine Greens also generously donated a small, single putting green surrounded by three native boulders, located next to the bocce ball court. The space also includes a number of living walls made up of plants and succulents created by Kenneth Coverdell, owner of BlueSky Designs.