Back in 1970 if you wanted good fresh fish you had to drive to Newport Beach or San Pedro. Wanting something more local, Seal Beach dentist, Walt Babcock, and his wife, Mona, decided to open their own restaurant and fish market. Thus Walt’s Wharf was launched. Walt used his own fishing boat to bring in fresh fish for the first few years, and then utilized his contacts with local fishermen so there would always be fresh fish at the Wharf.
Walt and Mona sold the restaurant in 1979 to devote themselves to their new purchase of 110 acres of farmland near Lompoc in northern Santa Barbara County. The existing crop of lima beans was immediately pulled, and in its place twenty-five acres of wine grapes were planted. Then, in 1984, they built a small, state-of-the-art winery called Babcock Vineyards, and their son, Bryan, became the winemaker.
Meanwhile, the restaurant had closed, and Walt and Mona decided to reopen it. They installed a new grill with a live oak fire, replaced the fish market with a lively oyster bar, and committed themselves to making Walt’s Wharf the best seafood restaurant in Seal Beach. By this time, Walt was growing organic vegetables and lettuces at the farm, which he delivered to the Wharf on a weekly basis. He also sought out local growers of specialty vegetables and lettuces to deliver to the Wharf when the farm’s small supply ran out.
Walt’s Wharf continues to serve the freshest fish and vegetables available. We make our own fresh pasta and desserts daily. Our outstanding wine list is accentuated by the excellent selection of wines from Babcock Vineyards, where there are presently 60 acres of vineyards run by Bryan Babcock, now a world-class winemaker.
Our entire staff welcomes you to Walt’s Wharf, where…
If it’s fresher…It’s still swimming!