Video shows huge wave crashing into Santa Barbara restaurant

Patrons of the Moby Dick Restaurant on Stearns Wharf in Santa Barbara were "shocked and stunned" after a huge wave crashed into the restaurant Saturday, breaking a window and prompting employees to evacuate the dining room.

Gerry Mora, a manager at the restaurant, told The Times he was concentrating on a waiting list that was building up at about 9:30 a.m. when he heard "screaming and shouting."


One of the servers ran from the back of the restaurant saying "the window's broke, the window's broke," Mora recalled.

After assessing the situation, Mora helped evacuate the restaurant in case another wave hit.

Patrons were "mostly just shocked and stunned," he said. "We were all in shock."

The event was caught on video by customers and posted to YouTube.

"Some of my customers got wet. Thank goodness no one got hurt or cut by the glass," Mora said.

Some people were knocked over, according to the Santa Barbara City Fire Department. But no injuries were reported.

The first wave probably damaged the pier, Mora said, adding that the second wave must have thrown up a piece of wood, breaking the glass.

"We are assuming that a piece of wood got knocked up from the wharf," Mora said.

With the broken window patched with wood, the restaurant reopened to a busy crowd Sunday with patrons curious about the spot where the wave landed, Mora said.

"I've been here for 10 years and not once this has happened," Mora said. "We've had big waves before, but nothing like this."