View Single Post
Old 08-21-2019, 09:53 PM
RickI's Avatar
RickI RickI is offline
Site Admin
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Florida
Posts: 8,697

More about the vessel and former restaurants in this Sun Sentinel article:


Originally, it was christened the Nemesis, a proud 350-ton, 165-foot U.S. Coast Guard cutter.

It was built in 1934 during the days of Prohibition and chased rum-runners around the tip of Florida. Later, it patrolled the Eastern Seaboard during World War II and was said to have destroyed a German submarine.

After such a distinguished military career, no one could have guessed that, as a civilian, it would become such a miserable source of controversy in Fort Lauderdale.

But it sits now a tramp, berthed on the New River just east of the Southeast Third Avenue bridge. It is sun-faded and tired, slightly listing and lackluster.

It is, of course, at least under its most recent identity, The Ancient Mariner. And although it has lost several battles as a floating restaurant, its owners are mounting yet another campaign to make it a viable business venture.

The question one might ask is, how many times can one boat be sunk and raised -- figuratively in the financial sense, literally in the physical sense?

The answer, my friend, is blowing in the wind -- either that, or as many times as its old hull will endure.

Even back in the summer of 1979, when the vessel first docked in Fort Lauderdale, it was escorted by discontent.

Then dubbed Livingstone's Landing, it took up five berths along the city docks, prompting protests from those who were looking for dock space and turned away. Further, nearby live-aboards complained that it was ugly and hazardous.

But the city had granted the boat's owner, Jack Jackson, a veteran of managing theme restaurants, a one-year lease in return for a minimum of $20,000 or 2 percent of gross profits.

Jackson was undaunted by the naysayers. He had found the ship, at that time named The African Trader, along the Miami River, waiting to be scrapped.

He purchased it for $20,000 and sank another $480,000 into refurbishing it. Bulkheads were cut out. The engines were stripped. Two new decks, stairwells, paneling, plants, carpeting and wicker furniture were added.

All of this was to give the ship a theme, linked to the celebrated understatement of Henry Stanley. Stanley, as you will recall, was the one who found the long missing Dr. David Livingstone, a missionary in Africa in the 19th century. His greeting: "Dr. Livingstone, I presume?"

When it finally opened for business in Fort Lauderdale that fall, Livingtone's Landing was given a three-star rating as a restaurant. One of those stars was earned solely on the power of atmosphere. Diners still found the food more than acceptable, with choices such as steak, fish, barbecued pork ribs or scallops stroganoff.

A year and a half later, in February 1981, the boat closed, citing management problems and a lack of business.

Two months later at 6:30 a.m. April 28, only weeks before it was set to reopen again, it sank at its dock. It rolled over on its port side and came to rest half-submerged in about 10 feet of water.

When they raised the boat 17 days later, at a cost of $85,000, salvage crews found that small rust holes in the stern had caused it to sink. The boat, by then sold to restaurateur Thomas Quinn, was shored up, refurbished and reopened again.

And the rest brings us to modern times. The boat was again heading into financial trouble in March this year when a hepatitis outbreak resulted in 109 reported cases. By May, the restaurant closed, again.

Since then, it has been suggested that it be sunk as an artificial reef, or moved to Stuart, to try its luck as a restaurant there.

Under the latest development, the new owners, K.S.S. Enterprises Inc., plan to spend $200,000 to renovate it again, give the city advance rent and hope to reopen again next month.

It is very tempting for one such as myself, who has enjoyed many a breezy lunch on the upper deck, to say let's give the old boat one more chance. Despite its naughtiness, it is still this city's stepchild.

But in light of the progress that is sweeping through Fort Lauderdale, this once-proud cutter now seems out of place."
FKA, Inc.

transcribed by:
Rick Iossi
Reply With Quote