AttractionsThe tourist icon will be looking for a new home outside of Hong Kong after being hit by financial difficulties.

Hong Kong's Jumbo Floating Restaurant is gone

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The Jumbo Floating Restaurant was towed out of Aberdeen, Hong Kong.
The Jumbo Floating Restaurant was towed out of Aberdeen, Hong Kong. Photo Credit: Travel Weekly Asia

Under grey skies on Tuesday morning, a group of spectators watched on solemnly as Hong Kong’s famed Jumbo Floating Restaurant got towed out of the city after the pandemic finally sunk the struggling business.

The iconic restaurant had been featured in countless Hollywood films, and even fed prominent guests like Queen Elizabeth II and Tom Cruise over its 46 years of operation. At the peak of its success, Hong Kong residents and international travellers had flocked to the grand restaurant designed like a Chinese imperial palace for upscale Cantonese feasts.

Spanning 76m long, the floating restaurant could seat 2,300 diners, and its banquet halls hosted everything from weddings to corporate diners.

Parent company, Melco International Development, said that the restaurant had been bleeding money since 2013, and cumulative losses had exceeded HK$100 million (US$12.7 million).

The pandemic-induced closure of Jumbo Floating Restaurant had also made matters worse. Shareholders were burdened by major financial issues, as millions of Hong Kong dollars had to be spent on maintenance to keep it afloat.

The problem was further exacerbated when the kitchen barge — a separate vessel behind the boat — capsized last month.

“We do not foresee that [Jumbo Floating Restaurant] can resume business in the immediate future,” Melco said, further adding that potential deals to keep the restaurant open fell through due to the high operating costs.

There is no clarity yet on where the restaurant will be berthed next. The company’s initial plans were to move it to a lower-cost site where maintenance could still be conducted as it awaits its new home.

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