COVINGTON, Kentucky — An upscale restaurant along the Ohio River that has been closed since it broke free from its moorings in 2011 during heavy flooding will reopen in Covington.
Jeff Ruby told The Kentucky Enquirer (http://bit.ly/ZEcQjH) that after two years of legal wrangling he has signed a deal to reopen the Waterfront at nearby Covington Landing.
Ruby had been in negotiations to possibly move the restaurant to nearby Newport. The talks came after Covington officials balked at making costly improvements at Covington Landing, where the eatery had been located for 25 years.
Covington City Manager Larry Klein had said the city explored options to keep the business, but it didn't have the funding needed for improvements. At the time, the cost for improvements was estimated at nearly $2.5 million, and Klein said the city didn't have that much funding to put toward renovations.
However, city officials ultimately agree to spend $1.5 million on improvements that will be repaid with lease proceeds.
When the restaurant came loose, it had 84 patrons on board. None were injured, but they all had to be rescued with ladders and ropes.
Ruby said he originally wasn't going to reopen the nightspot, but received an outpouring of support for it.
"I named it for 'On the Waterfront', but I should have named it 'The Poseidon Adventure'," Ruby often jokes.
The restaurant, like Marlon Brando's character in the movie, had been knocked down but not out.
He said it will come back better than before. Ruby said he plans to spend a substantial amount — more than $1 million — to expand and renovate the facility. He said the additions will include a second-floor grand ballroom.
"The new Waterfront — there'll be nothing in America like it," Ruby said.
He said there isn't a timeline on when the restaurant will reopen.
Information from: The Kentucky Enquirer, http://www.nky.com