We can’t understand what people didn’t like about a floating McDonald’s restaurant, but it seems there just wasn’t the appetite for a floating burger joint back in the 80s.
Built for the Expo ’86 in Vancouver, Canada, the McBarge (official name the Friendship 500) was meant to show off cutting edge tech and design.
After the exhibition, the plan was for the restaurant to be floated to a new location, allowing people to enjoy their Quarter Pounders on the open water.
Rather like today, in 1986, the burger chain was under pressure to tempt young affluent adults back to the Big Mac and the floating restaurant was part of a new marketing strategy based around ‘affordable elegance’ – hence the upscale floating bistro feel seen below.
There were garden rooms, tasteful art and panoramic views of Expo 86. The key attraction was the hidden kitchen, served by a conveyor belt that delivered burgers and fries hot to the serving counter.
But, the shine quickly wore off and the McBarge has spent the last 30 years anchored, a disused and unloved relic, just offshore in Burrard Inlet, southwestern British Columbia.
Eerie images show the 57-metre-long ghost ship covered in rust and graffiti (ironically, not dissimilar to the ‘edgy’ new look McDonald’s have been rolling out in restaurants in the UK).
But, some refused to give up hope. They even went there to enjoy a takeaway cheeseburger occasionally.
A Facebook group called Save the McBarge (Friendship 500) was set up in 2009 to bring together the former employees and longtime enthusiasts keen on seeing the floating fast food restaurant properly restored and given a purpose again.
And, three decades on, the McBarge is making a comeback. But, sadly, probably not as a McDonald’s.
Current owner, Howard Meakin, of Sturgeon’s Developments has moved the boat to Maple Ridge, where it is currently undergoing a £2.3m makeover, after getting a full clean.
‘I can’t tell you what the plan is. We’re under a non-disclosure agreement, but it fits in with the 30th anniversary of the Exposition,’ Meakin told The Vancouver Sun before the move.
‘It will all happen in 2016, and we expect that it’s going to take probably most of the year to do the work. It will be restored and refitted.’
Great news. And, it’s given us an idea, why not stick a Maccy’s on the Thames so us Brits can enjoy our Big Macs on the water too?
Read more: http://metro.co.uk/2016/03/08/inside-the-abandoned-floating-mcdonalds-restaurant-thats-set-for-a-million-pound-makeover-5740634/#ixzz42neY83ZS