Thursday, February 6, 2014

Jeff Ruby's Floating Restaurant, The Waterfront, Broke Away Again

- The Waterfront, a floating restaurant in Covington, KY, at rest after drifting away from its moorings on the morning of February 6, 2014.

The Waterfront, a floating restaurant on the Kentucky shore of the Ohio River that offered vistas of downtown Cincinnati, broke away from its moorings again earlier today in Covington, KY. The incident follows a similar one in March of 2011 when the riverfront dining establishment was dislodged by flood waters with around 100 patrons on board before becoming stuck against the nearby Clay Wade Bailey Bridge.

- The Waterfront as seen from the Covington shore.

Once a marquee establishment in local restauranteur Jeff Ruby's upscale dining empire, the restaurant had remained closed since the 2011 incident and only two maintenance workers were on board the boat this morning when it broke away. One of the workers managed to reach the shore from an access ramp, the other was stranded on the boat as it began to drift. They described their experiences to the Cincinnati Enquirer here, one of them explaining how a large piece of ice smacked into the boat just before it began to drift.

- Members of the Covington Fire Department at the site.

According to Covington Fire Chief Dan Matthew, the Waterfront is still being held to land by an electrical cable, one of the few that did not snap when the boat became dislodged. At the time these photographs were taken around 5:00 PM, tug boats and the U.S. Coast Guard were on the scene preparing to stabilize the vessel.

Above: A September 2013 Queen City Discovery photograph showing the Waterfront's normal location.

Below: Photograph following today's incident.


As we reported back in our September article about Covington's closed floating restaurants, Ruby was initially unsure of what to do with the dining establishment after the 2011 incident. However, in April 2013, Ruby partnered with the city of Covington to reach a deal for reopening the restaurant. As part of the deal, Ruby was given a $1.5 Million dollar grant by the city to help renovate and relocate the restaurant further East downriver at the site of the defunct Covington Landing. Ruby had agreed to pay $75,000 per year in rent as well as an undisclosed percentage in revenue to the city. No official opening date or timetable had been announced though.

- Members of the U.S. Coast Guard walk along the bank of the Ohio River near where The Waterfront came to rest.

Ruby told Channel 9 WCPO today that he still intends to relocate the restaurant downriver where he claims it will have better protection from the currents. How today's incident will effect the timetable for reopening is not currently known.

- Fake palm trees mark The Waterfront's dock, which is now missing a boat.

More Info:
"The Shuttered Restaurant Floatilla of Covington"a look at the Waterfront and the other closed floating restaurant attractions on the Covington, KY shoreline.
"The Night That Covington Stood Still" - A satirical look at the first Waterfront breakaway incident.

Update | Oct. 22, 2017:
  • The Waterfront eventually partially sank and was towed away. It will not be reopening.

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