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May 7, 2012 02:50 PM

Reuben E. Lee

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.

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  1. 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. 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. 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

          Or maybe it will become Mariscos Reuben.

        2. Interesting that there is no real news coverage on this.

          A story from 2005:

          I guess there was one in Newport as well, which I vaguely remember:

          4 Replies
          1. re: stevewag23

            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

              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

              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? :)

            3. 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

                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

                  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

                    Evans recently bought the Convention Center, too.

                2. re: Fake Name

                  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

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

                    And how successful were you?

                    1. re: Fake Name

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