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Reuben E. Lee

foodiechick May 7, 2012 02:50 PM

Just curious, anyone know what happened to the old Reuben E. Lee? I was at C-Level restaurant this weekend and the creaky, old girl has vanished, although I'm sure ghosts of rehearsal dinners past are still lurking around.

  1. b
    Beach Chick May 7, 2012 03:30 PM

    Aloha foodiechica..
    You sure they didn't sink that old broad..

    Memories..went to Prom dinner and had lobster thermidor in the back galley with a virgin strawberry daiquiri.

    That sternwheeler would be beautiful restored and the wheelhouse up top, was a great place for private dinners.
    Wasn't it owned by Reubens next door...miss that place!

    1. Gypsy Jan May 7, 2012 04:06 PM

      Oh boy, you are digging up some memories.

      The Reuben E/ . Lee in Newport Harbor was anchored by timber posts.

      The food was always meh, but the setting was beautiful and the on the water dining made up for it, along with the strong drinks from the bar,.

      1. t
        TXGSD May 7, 2012 04:52 PM

        Saw it being towed toward South Bay a week or two ago. I assume they are going to dismantle it and salvage the barge it sits on. Just memories now.

        1 Reply
        1. re: TXGSD
          Encinitan May 7, 2012 04:59 PM

          Or maybe it will become Mariscos Reuben.

        2. s
          stevewag23 May 7, 2012 05:27 PM

          Interesting that there is no real news coverage on this.

          A story from 2005: http://www.signonsandiego.com/uniontrib/20050310/news_7m10bell.html

          I guess there was one in Newport as well, which I vaguely remember: http://articles.latimes.com/2007/jul/...

          4 Replies
          1. re: stevewag23
            foodiechick May 8, 2012 01:38 AM

            I read (maybe a couple of years ago) that the Cohn's had an option on it and were looking into if it was viable to bring it back to life as a new dining concept. Not sure how an immobile paddle boat could fit in that category.

            1. re: foodiechick
              Josh May 8, 2012 08:59 AM

              One might view an immobile paddle boat as being the ideal metaphor for their restaurants' cuisine: flashy, of a bygone era, and going nowhere.

            2. re: stevewag23
              RB Hound May 9, 2012 09:28 PM

              Well, there is coverage now, sort of - Diane Bell posted an update today:


              This raises another question: does Diane Bell lurk here, or is she actually an active poster incognito? :)

              1. re: RB Hound
                foodiechick May 9, 2012 09:39 PM

                Thanks RBH!

            3. Fake Name May 7, 2012 09:00 PM

              And let us not forget the Bahia Belle. I have partial memories- just flashes, really, random images- of one night tooling around Mission Bay.

              6 Replies
              1. re: Fake Name
                foodiechick May 8, 2012 01:41 AM

                Not forgotten. I believe that the Dowager Bahia Belle is still "tooling" around Mission Bay, offering "Murder Mystery Dinners" and the like. Maybe even Mother's Day Brunch. Maybe Mrs. FN would would like such a mom's day adventure? ;D

                1. re: foodiechick
                  svnirvana May 8, 2012 08:52 AM

                  Yeah, the Bahia Belle is still in business, but I think they have been constrained somewhat by the City of San Diego's lack of dredging at Mission Bay.

                  There used to be another one "Something Evans" (Evans owned the hotel) but I havent seen it around lately and heard that she went somewhere else because the shoaling in Mission Bay would cause her to run aground at low tide. Might not be the case but that's the waterfront rumor.

                  1. re: svnirvana
                    Fake Name May 8, 2012 09:04 AM

                    Evans recently bought the Convention Center, too.

                2. re: Fake Name
                  pickypicky May 9, 2012 05:04 PM

                  Sad to say I was on the Bahia Belle about 10 days ago. Friends from Switzerland mentioned they'd love to cruise on it (Swiss visitor husband is wheelchair-bound), so we sucked it up and went. It was beyond dreary, so I just hung my head outside the window and pretended to be in Malta. We were on the "Family" run, but as we disembarked, the singer and band boarded for the "Adult" runs. I'm not sure which is worse. There is no food, and the drinks are very weak. The decor is embarassing, sort of family-style Disney bordello.

                  1. re: pickypicky
                    Fake Name May 9, 2012 05:14 PM

                    "I just hung my head outside the window and pretended to be in Malta"

                    And how successful were you?

                    1. re: Fake Name
                      pickypicky May 10, 2012 11:37 AM

                      about seven minutes worth on each trip. the lights on shore and the water rushing past. . .

                3. Dagney May 9, 2012 10:47 PM

                  Reuben E Lee? Good grief I am now spinning in a whirl of prom memories on pillows made of pink taffeta dresses from 1986. I LOVED that place.

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