The owner of an Expo 86 icon says he getting closer to restoring the floating restaurant to its former glory.
Howard Meakin said bringing the “McBarge,” a once floating McDonald’s restaurant known as the Friendship 500, back to life has been a bucket list item.
“It’s been a waiting game for the right location,” he told The News about finding a high traffic spot to anchor the 57-metre, two-storey glass-and-metal barge
The barge was used as a floating McDonald’s restaurant during the world’s fair, held on the shores of Vancouver’s False Creek in 1986.
Now after 30 years of ownership Meakin hopes to it restore the barge and reopen it as a seafood restaurant.
“If the right location doesn’t come up then it’s a different situation, but I think we’re getting close on one now,” he said. “We’re excited about the future for the barge and getting it put back into really fantastic shape is what are goal is.”
The barge is currently anchored in the Fraser River on a private water lot.
“It’s been there for a couple of years now,” he said.
But Meakin is hopeful the barge won’t be sitting idle much longer.
“Right now we’ve got one location that we are working through and hopefully by the fall we’ll have it tied down and we can think about moving it from where it is now,” he explained.
Once a location is secured Meakin believes the work will move swiftly.
“We’ve gutted the interior of the barge so that when we find the right location we can move fairly quickly,” he said. “When I say that, within six to nine months we can re-clad the exterior and put in all new servicing, air conditioning, plumbing, heating and so forth.”