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Keith Norrington 06-21-2007 12:04 PM

McDonald's Riverboat - St. Louis
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Here are a few photos of the McDonald's Riverboat, always advertised as the ONLY floating McDonald's in the world, and long a fixture on the St. Louis levee from 1980 until it "disappeared" in the 1990's. Does anybody know WHERE it went?

Although built on a barge, the riverboat was well designed inside (featuring large photo murals of old steamboat scenes) and even had faux sidewheels in the wheelboxes which diners walked through to go aft on the second deck. An ice cream stand and a souvenir shop were on the forecastle and "concealed" inside small buildings that were disguised as stacked freight on the deck.

The service usually left a lot to be desired on the riverboat, but it was fun to visit and a common sight to see a long line of people stretching across the gangplank at lunch time!

Bruce MacCullagh 06-21-2007 01:34 PM

[QUOTE=Keith Norrington;6217]Here are a few photos of the McDonald's Riverboat. Does anybody know WHERE it went?[/QUOTE]

This website [URL=""][/URL] claims that it is now the [URL=""]Arch View Cafe[/URL]

Keith Norrington 06-21-2007 01:56 PM

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Thanks, but I don't think that website is correct. I thought the Arch View Cafe was on the wharfboat for the excursion boats TOM SAWYER and BECKY THATCHER. Help, Darin and Kevin!

Steve Huffman 06-21-2007 07:12 PM

I always thought it would be clever if someone had a floating riverboat restaurant like this, and put a Dairy Queen franchise in it. The boat would automatically have its name: DAIRY QUEEN :-)

Kevin Dickmeyer 06-22-2007 08:09 AM

Good morning all! I think Keith is correct. I have not dined there as of yet-in fact I had no idea there was even a restaurant there! (PR in St. Louis usually only relates to sporting events). I do know that the only place it could be located is on the wharfboat for the Tom & Becky, as there aren't anymore structures on the riverfront except the heli-pad. I shall have to investigate...but before I go, I will already comment to the fact that it would be nice if they would move that helicopter for a nice and peaceful dinner!!!

Richard Weisenberger 06-22-2007 08:51 AM

Dairy Queen
Neat idea! It should definitely be a paddlewheeler. I've always thought of Dairy Queen whenever I see the DQ on the Delta Queen's smokestack as both use "DQ". With this idea implemented, we'd actually have a "Dairy Queen". It could even do dinner cruises between certain hours. The DQ franchise could even help pay for its upkeep and operation.

[QUOTE=Steve Huffman;6223]I always thought it would be clever if someone had a floating riverboat restaurant like this, and put a Dairy Queen franchise in it. The boat would automatically have its name: DAIRY QUEEN :-)[/QUOTE]

Richard Weisenberger 06-22-2007 08:58 AM

We've eaten there before too. It wasn't quite the Mike Fink in Covington, but it was great for a fast food restaurant. I wonder if it would have been more successful if it had done dinner cruises? If still in operation today, it would have the Gateway Arch on the St. Louis side and the Gateway Geyser facing East St. Louis.

[QUOTE=Pete Sisak;6222]I've been on the floating Mac's a few times, it was always neat, I thought![/QUOTE]

Darin Schuld 06-26-2007 10:48 AM

Arch View Cafe is not the McDonalds
To answer the question, the Arch View Cafe is not the former McDonalds riverboat. I don't know where the McDonalds ended up. The Arch View Cafe is nothing new, except in name. It's the same Gateway Arch Riverboat wharfboat as has always been there. It's just that they fixed it up and added the mysterious barge behind the existing one. I think it is an office barge.

The McDonalds was never designed for cruising. It was only a stationary boat. It would not survive as a cruising boat, because it goes against the very idea of fast food. When you are done with your meal, you leave the boat. The gambling "boat" industry is the same way. Gamblers don't care about cruises, so when they are done losing, they want to get off. That's why casinos don't cruise, and barely float anymore.

By the way, the Gateway Geyser is not, and never will be, a real St. Louis attraction. While it sounds interesting, the "geyser" rarely operates and when it does no one notices. If you stand on the riverfront steps, you are watching a plume of water that is almost a mile away across the river. What's so exciting about that? Plus, there's no sound. So, it's just a skinny plume of water, that blends in with the clouds. A better idea would be to create a water attraction on the Missouri side of the river.

Kevin is right. PR, or "news", rarely involves something interesting. If it is not sports, then it is bad news. The news crews only notice the river when it is flooding. And, they probably need maps just to find it.

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