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