Why Hong Kong's Famous Jumbo Floating Restaurant Has Closed

While a "Jumbo Floating Restaurant" may sound like something out of a science fiction film, it's not only real, it existed for over four decades — until recently, at least. The restaurant shut its doors in 2020. 

Hong Kong's Jumbo Floating Restaurant, according to Yahoo, was a $3.8 million 76-meter-long eatery that could seat a whopping 2,300 diners. Opened in 1976 by casino developer Stanley Ho, the restaurant has since been featured in numerous films and has had many family visitors, including Queen Elizabeth II and Tom Cruise. AP reports the restaurant has had over 30 million guests since its opening, and with the aesthetic of a Chinese imperial palace, it was one of the most unique-looking attractions in the city. But over the years, it became more difficult to operate, accruing massive losses in the past decade.

Unfortunately for fans of the famous restaurant, earlier this week, it was towed away from its Aberdeen Harbour location.

Jumbo Floating Restaurant's owners had trouble weathering the pandemic

AP reports that Aberdeen Restaurant Enterprises closed Jumbo Floating Restaurant's doors in 2020 due to the pandemic. Although, they searched for a new owner but failed to find one. Yahoo also notes that the restaurant closed in March 2020 after "around a decade of financial woes."

The Washington Post points out that Jumbo Floating Restaurant's extravagant banquets featuring roast suckling pig, lobster, and other Cantonese delicacies were some of its main attractions. In the 1990s, the restaurant became a major tourist attraction, with visitors clamoring to get into the beloved spot.

While the restaurant is closed for now, its future is uncertain — according to The Washington Post, the company towing the restaurant planned to relocate it to a less costly location where they could still do maintenance on it. That said, the owners have been clear that they don't anticipate the restaurant reopening anytime soon.