Hong Kong’s World-Renowned Floating Restaurant to Close Down

One of the most renowned tourist attractions in Hong Kong, the 46-year-old Jumbo Floating Restaurant, will be leaving Aberdeen Harbor in June due to financial difficulties caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.The luxurious, imperial-style, floating restaurant, which has hosted numerous notable figures and celebrities, including Queen Elizabeth II and former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, was established in 1976 after four years of craftsmanship funded by two late Hong Kong business tycoons, Stanley Ho and Cheng Yu-tung. In a May 30 announcement published on HK01, an online news platform in Hong Kong, the restaurant’s parent company, Aberdeen Restaurant Enterprise, said reasons, such as high maintenance costs, lack of suitable berths, and an expiring restaurant license, have made continuing the business unfeasible under the current economic circumstances. “The millions in annual upkeep costs” have prevented dozens of enterprises and organizations from taking over the restaurant even if it was donated by the company. Hence, the vessel, which has been out of business since March 2020 due to COVID-19, would be sent abroad for storage and maintenance while waiting for a new operator, the company said, according to HK01. Former Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam had promised in her 2020 policy address to revitalize the Jumbo Floating Restaurant as part of efforts to facilitate the Island South Initiative, and the Hong Kong Ocean Park would accept the restaurant as a donation. However, it seems that negotiations between the two companies have been unsuccessful, as the Hong Kong government no longer plans to fund the operation, according to a statement made by Lam at a press conference on May 31. Furthermore, just two days after the restaurant’s announcement, a 30-meter kitchen barge attached to the restaurant capsized at midnight on June 1, further exacerbating the financial strain on the company. Seven Legislative Council members, including Lo Kin Hei, chairman of the Hong Kong Democratic Party, signed a joint letter to the Hong Kong government on June 1, asking the authorities to step in to preserve the Jumbo Floating Restaurant. “The restaurant has an important role in both cultural conservation and historical inheritance. Otherwise, we will lose another distinctively well-known and celebrated attraction site here in Hong Kong,” Lo said in a statement on Facebook. Follow Julia Ye is an Australian-based reporter who joined The Epoch Times in 2021. She mainly covers China-related issues and has been a reporter since 2003.

Hong Kong’s World-Renowned Floating Restaurant to Close Down

One of the most renowned tourist attractions in Hong Kong, the 46-year-old Jumbo Floating Restaurant, will be leaving Aberdeen Harbor in June due to financial difficulties caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The luxurious, imperial-style, floating restaurant, which has hosted numerous notable figures and celebrities, including Queen Elizabeth II and former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, was established in 1976 after four years of craftsmanship funded by two late Hong Kong business tycoons, Stanley Ho and Cheng Yu-tung.

In a May 30 announcement published on HK01, an online news platform in Hong Kong, the restaurant’s parent company, Aberdeen Restaurant Enterprise, said reasons, such as high maintenance costs, lack of suitable berths, and an expiring restaurant license, have made continuing the business unfeasible under the current economic circumstances.

“The millions in annual upkeep costs” have prevented dozens of enterprises and organizations from taking over the restaurant even if it was donated by the company. Hence, the vessel, which has been out of business since March 2020 due to COVID-19, would be sent abroad for storage and maintenance while waiting for a new operator, the company said, according to HK01.

Former Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam had promised in her 2020 policy address to revitalize the Jumbo Floating Restaurant as part of efforts to facilitate the Island South Initiative, and the Hong Kong Ocean Park would accept the restaurant as a donation.

However, it seems that negotiations between the two companies have been unsuccessful, as the Hong Kong government no longer plans to fund the operation, according to a statement made by Lam at a press conference on May 31.

Furthermore, just two days after the restaurant’s announcement, a 30-meter kitchen barge attached to the restaurant capsized at midnight on June 1, further exacerbating the financial strain on the company.

Seven Legislative Council members, including Lo Kin Hei, chairman of the Hong Kong Democratic Party, signed a joint letter to the Hong Kong government on June 1, asking the authorities to step in to preserve the Jumbo Floating Restaurant.

“The restaurant has an important role in both cultural conservation and historical inheritance. Otherwise, we will lose another distinctively well-known and celebrated attraction site here in Hong Kong,” Lo said in a statement on Facebook.


Follow

Julia Ye is an Australian-based reporter who joined The Epoch Times in 2021. She mainly covers China-related issues and has been a reporter since 2003.