McBarge to ReOpen as Floating Restaurant

Comments 15 by Rebecca Bollwitt

McBarge, the famous floating McDonald’s restaurant from Expo86, is set to reopen. The vessel has been moored in Burrard Inlet for about the last twenty years but following an approval from Mission City Council, it’s getting a new lease on life.

My annual McBarge photo update
Photo credit: John Biehler on Flickr

The Sturgeons On the Fraser project, which has an estimated value of $10 million, would use the barge to create a floating restaurant, pub and café at the foot of Horne Street adjacent to the former Meeker Cedar Mill site.

Developer Howard Meakin said he was “shell-shocked” when the council approved the third reading of a foreshore rezoning application related to the project…

…Meakin said that more than half a million people live within a 30-minute drive of the site so he expects the restaurant/ barge will become popular with local residents as well as being a draw for people further away because of its history.
[Source: Vancouver Sun]

According to the Vancouver Sun article, the project will take about 18 months to complete, pending further approval for parking access, and will include a marina, offices for fishing and eco-tour operators, as well as a float-plane terminus.

the McBarge of Expo 86
Photo credit: Tyler Ingram on Flickr

McBarge expo 86, yo McBarge
Photo credit: sporkist & unk’s dump truck on Flickr

Those who have spent time along the shores of Burrard Inlet, like at Cates Park or Barnet Marine Park, may have spotted this idle giant over the years. My last post McBarge was in 2009 and every so often someone will post a Twitpic from their window on the West Coast Express.

Expo 86 - The McBarge!
My own photo from Expo86

It’s Expo86 nostalgia factor is huge and the river-front areas of our region are picking up in terms of public access, community development, parks, and dining. I’d love to know — will you check out the McBarge as Sturgeons on the Fraser River in Mission?

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15 Comments  —  Comments Are Closed

  1. MingFriday, February 3rd, 2012 — 9:06am PST

    I remember the McBarge and Expo86. I had a seasons pass for Expo, and spent half my summer just hanging around the site. I recall only patronizing the McBarge once because of absurdly long lines.

    I’m not that nostalgic about the structure, but if the restaurant/cafe turns out to be decent, I’d make a trip out to mission to check it out.

  2. TylerIngramFriday, February 3rd, 2012 — 9:06am PST

    I heard about its relocation to Mission. Sucks though, would have been nice to see it back in False Creek or something.

    I am highly surprised that McDonald’s actually didn’t bring it back for the Winter Olympics. That would haven been EPIC!

    I remember going on the McBarge during Expo86. I fell in love the with concept of floating restaurants lol

  3. BradFriday, February 3rd, 2012 — 9:19am PST

    How people who live around here now, were even around back then? It feels like there are fewer Lower Mainland born and raised still living here. I for one have been waiting since the day Expo shut its doors to see what would happen with the McBarge. Being a 15 year when Expo was around I remember eating on it almost every day I was at Expo!

  4. Amber @ VancouverMom.caFriday, February 3rd, 2012 — 9:20am PST

    I have really fond memories of the McBarge from Expo 86. I think the fact that I was a kid at the time really amps up the nostalgia factor. I would totally visit it in Mission, although I agree with @TylerIngram that a more central location would be better. It would just be more accessible to more people. Regardless of where it is, though, I’m glad to see it’s not going to be sitting idle and empty any longer.

  5. CynthiaFriday, February 3rd, 2012 — 9:22am PST

    Oh wow! I live in Mission and know this has been in discussion for a while but didn’t know if/when it was going ahead. That’s great news & will help revitalize the area, I’m sure we’ll go check it out when it’s open!

  6. Willis TurnerFriday, February 3rd, 2012 — 11:01am PST

    I remember McBarge well and what particularly stood out to me was the little dinghy that McDonalds crew members paddled around in to pickup the McTrash in the water.

    It made me feel old when glimpsing the forlorn looking barge in the inlet from WCE and having to explain to my 20 year old daughter what it was.

    For sure I would check it out when it is reborn. We’re just a bridge away in Abbotsford.

  7. JetFriday, February 3rd, 2012 — 11:57am PST

    I was born 2 years after expo 86. Still I’ve read a lot about the McBarge, always wished I could have gone there.

    I’m excited to hear it’ll be open again. I’ll be sure to to stop in once it’s open.

  8. SanazFriday, February 3rd, 2012 — 3:11pm PST

    I’d always wondered why all these years it wasn’t used as a restaurant or a bar? It’s a great spot in the summer time! And I was born the year Expo was in town so can’t remember;)

  9. laurieFriday, February 3rd, 2012 — 10:42pm PST

    Wow! I have been watching McBarge everyday for the past 7 years outside my windows. This is even more shocking then April 2009 windstorm blowing it off it second post creating a swaying effect since! Love this news and look forward to boarding this crazy vessel!

  10. JPSaturday, February 4th, 2012 — 9:25am PST

    I can’t wait to eat here. This is exactly what Mission needs.

  11. RachelMonday, February 6th, 2012 — 10:15pm PST

    Now this is cool! I always hoped someone would take this on. I can’t wait to see the result.

  12. Famous Floating McDonald’s Set To Re-Open In Mission | 604NowTuesday, February 7th, 2012 — 3:33pm PST

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  13. TempleSunday, March 10th, 2013 — 11:11am PDT

    I wish the city of mission would be even more cooperative in getting this project to the green light stage.

    Mission is a great area for fishing and wildlife adventures.Mission needs something to help class it up in a sense.Mission is a town that has great potential if only the people in charge would open there eyes and use there imagination.I believe a project like this one would be a great start.

    I would definatly visit the restaurant.

  14. JohnnyWednesday, April 17th, 2013 — 4:41pm PDT

    What is the latest news on this deal ?

  15. Sadie MannTuesday, April 23rd, 2013 — 4:59pm PDT

    I love that people think that Mission is “out of the way” jeez people there is more to this beautiful province then just Vancouver. I hope this project does go thru, It would be awesome to see the old McBarge redone.

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