The first floating restaurant in Northampton is due to open next year after a ‘dining boat’ was lowered on to the River Nene earlier this month.
The specially-built boat was put into place at Midsummer Meadow before Christmas.
Its owners, Jack Patel and his daughter, Hema, are now working on fitting out the vessel before its grand opening.
Hema said: “We’re still working on the menu, but it’s going to be all-British food which will be locally sourced and cooked on-site.”
Discussing the planning behind the static restaurant, she added: “It’s been a dream of my father’s for a long time. He used to look at the River Nene and think it would be perfect to have a boat on there. He’s put everything into it and it’s been eight years in the planning, but he’s never given up.”
The boat is due to open in the spring on a site close to the town’s former power station, where the new University of Northampton campus is due to be built. Hena said: “We can see the works for the university going on from where we are. It’s going to be fantastic to be part of that area when the university opens.”
Plans for the restaurant were first submitted to Northampton Borough Council in 2010. They caused controversy at the time because the police identified the Midsummer Meadow area as a known ‘gay cruising’ site and members of Northampton’s gay community threatened to take legal action to prevent the development. Their legal threat came to nothing however and plans for the restaurant were backed by the council in 2010 and again in April this year.