Spenger’s Fish Grotto
CITY OF BERKELEY LANDMARKdesignated in 2001
Clam chowder, baked beans and 10¢ beer—these and fish dinners drew crowds to fabled Spenger’s. It all began in the 1860s when Johann Spenger from Bavaria started fishing in the Bay. The gabled structure he built here housed his business and family. In the 1930s, son Frank opened a ground floor restaurant, gradually adding dining rooms and bars as the establishment’s popularity grew. Celebrities from Ernest Hemingway and Clark Gable to Jack Dempsey and Joe DiMaggio rubbed elbows with local families, dockworkers, Cal students, politicians, and racetrack gamblers. The Spenger family sold the business in 1999.
Berkeley Historical Plaque Project