St. Louis Once Had A Floating McDonald’s
I had no idea this existed, but back in 1980 St. Louis was home to the first and only floating McDonald's on the Mississippi River.
The McDonald's floating boat was a stationary structure that was on the St. Louis Riverfront for 20 years. Now I moved to the Tri-State Area in 1991, and took several trips to St. Louis from then until 2000, and I NEVER knew this existed. The boat closed its location for business reason, according to the St. Louis Dispatch.
There were special uniforms made, this particular franchise employed 200 people, and the boat itself was designed by artist Charles Pearson. In the article the boat is described as,
The boat, built on a former cement barge, seats 134 persons inside and 200 more on open-air decks. It weighs 702 tons and measures more than 185 feet in length and 50 feet to the top of its twin smokestacks.
So why build a floating McDonald's? Back in the 1980's, the St. Louis Riverfront was the place to be, and local government was noticing the amount of people visiting the Riverfront. When the question came up on what do we do now, that's when Samuel Hayes and Dr. Benjamin H. Davis Sr stepped in with an idea that would make history. The idea actually came from Hayes four year prior and Davis is no stranger to the McDonald's franchise, at the time he already owned four.
This was the first for the franchise, but not the last. There later came the McBarge a floating McDonald's restaurant in Canada, but now sits vacant and is for sale. If you dare!
Just think of it, sitting on a deck eating McDonald's and looking out to the river, I'm sure it was a site to see. Sad that it no longer exists, but you never know it might be back.