Floating Restaurant - Memphis an Innovative Leader

Self-service grocery stores, overnight package delivery, and a national chain of quality motels all put Memphis on the map as a place for innovation. So did ideas for a floating hotel and the floating restaurant, Sunset Cafe, at the foot of the Cobblestone Landing.

In the 1980s, you could walk down the cobblestones, sit on a floating restaurant, eat a hamburger, and drink a beer any day or night of the week. Memphis was even thinking about adding a floating hotel. Click “read more” to see what’s happened.

Today the Delta Queen is docked in Chattanooga as a floating hotel, and New York floats restaurants, tennis courts, a jazz club, a swimming pool, a science center, and a kayak dock.

Memphis's Sunset Cafe is gone, but the potential to activate our riverfront by docking special use barges at the foot of the Cobblestone Landing is a possibility for the future and should be a part of any plan to restore the Cobblestone Landing.

Starting as far back as a 1978 City plan, all plans for the riverfront called for restoration of the Cobblestone Landing as a vital, functioning docking point for floating restaurants, markets, and performance spaces. As the 2002 RDC Master Plan says, “A full restoration and retro-fit of the Cobblestones into a contemporary state-of-the-art riverboat landing with dining and retail opportunities is essential to the success of the Harbor. “

The Cobblestone Landing “restoration” project recently submitted by the RDC to TDOT and the Corps of Engineers, significantly alters the Cobblestone Landing. If approved the project will shut-down future boat and barge access at the landing.