David Tallichet's Ports O' Call Restaurant, housed in a Polynesian longhouse and surrounded by a forest of tropical foliage in pure Adventureland tradition, opened February 8th, 1961 and proved an immediate success. A lagoon at the entrance, ringed jungle-thick with tropical plants, had a Chinese sampan boat partially sunken in it. Rooms inside were themed to Hawaii (Waikiki), Tahiti, the Hong Kong Yacht Club and a Japanese "Tea Room" - a concept lifted wholesale from Steve Crane's Kon-Tiki Ports chain in Hiltons across the country.
The restaurant sat in the larger Ports O' Call Village -- a seaside plaza that featured souvenir and gift shops, along with restaurants, sweetshops, fish markets and quick-bite eateries. This New England-style seaside village encompassed 15 acres of shops, restaurants and attractions. A meandering promenade of cobblestone streets connects the specialty shops.
More than 40 surrounding merchants were in place when the entire complex held its grand opening on July 13, 1963. When the Whaler’s Wharf section, south of the restaurant, opened in 1967, there were 85 businesses operating in Ports O’ Call Village.
The village drew a good number of people who passed through San Pedro to visit Marineland, a high-profile aquarium/theme park attraction next door, in Rancho Palos Verdes, that closed in February 1987.
By the late 1970s and early 1980s, village merchants began to complain about their leases and the upkeep.
By 1984 Tallichet was forced to make some changes and address concerns. The Ports O' Call Restaurant was given a new look and they added a second level with banquet facilities, although the Polynesian theme was done away with almost entirely. Described as "Nautical Victorian", photos of the place which survive online resemble more an 80s retirement home recreation room with bits of tropical decor here and there.
The refurbishments weren't enough and the village continued a slow decline over the years...
The Ports O' Call Restaurant hung on until 2018, when it was forced to close.
Currently, as of 2022, this area is scheduled to be re-developed and has been re-branded as West Harbor (with restaurants, shops, and fresh markets). The $155 million project is scheduled to complete in three phases, with the first phase introducing new restaurants, shops and bars with a finish date of 2024.