Hong Kong’s iconic floating restaurant closes after nearly 50 years

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Hong Kong bid farewell to the iconic Jumbo Floating Restaurant on Tuesday as it walked away after 46 years in business following failed attempts to revitalize the restaurant business.

Opened in 1976, the restaurant was a popular tourist destination known for its fresh seafood, traditional Cantonese cuisine, and design that resembles a Chinese imperial palace. The famous attraction, featured in several local and international films, has hosted the likes of Queen Elizabeth II and Tom Cruise.

Photo taken on June 13, 2022 shows the iconic Jumbo floating restaurant in Hong Kong. (Kyodo)

After nearly half a century in business, however, the Hong Kong Island water restaurant temporarily closed in March 2020, citing financial difficulties caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Jumbo was initially promised a new life by city leader Carrie Lam, who pledged to revitalize the monument as a ‘distinctive cultural heritage and tourist attraction’ as part of the government’s initiative to the city to redevelop the Southern District of Hong Kong Island in its 2022 policy speech.

But the promise fell through as Jumbo’s parent company said last month it could not find a new operator, according to local media.

Jumbo operators have reportedly offered to donate the restaurant to a dozen businesses over the past year, but have found no takers as annual upkeep costs millions a year, according to reports.

The restaurant will be moved overseas and await a new operator, but its exact location will not be revealed for privacy reasons, according to the reports.

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