Home   Maidstone   News   Article

The unlucky history of flooding, burglary and fire at Embankments Tapas and Music Bar, Maidstone

Being an on-the-water restaurant, Embankments Tapas & Music Bar has faced a number of misfortunes over the years, from flooding to burglary.

The bar, located on the River Medway outside Archbishops Palace in Maidstone, has now gone up in flames.

The Barge Restaurant in Maidstone
The Barge Restaurant in Maidstone

The restaurant, formerly named The Barge, was opened by James Bailey in 2009 who thought it was a shame the riverside was not being used to its full potential.

It was designed after and built out of an old French motor-sailing barge.

However, trouble struck the restaurant before it even opened.

On its journey from Allington to its mooring on Mill Street, the boat was found to be three inches too high to pass under Maidstone Bridge.

After the owner acquired more ballast to bring the vessel lower into the river, the floating restaurant was able to make the final hundred yards to where it sits today.

The Barge on its way to the mooring in Maidstone
The Barge on its way to the mooring in Maidstone

In 2013, The Barge went into liquidation, then re-opened as Embankments Tapas & Music Bar serving tapas-style dishes made with fresh local produce.

Years later, in August 2016, bad luck struck the business again when the boat was burgled.

Some cash from the till and multiple bottles of prosecco were found to have been taken from the restaurant after police were called to the scene in the morning.

The restaurant has also faced flooding a number of times.

During the floods of 2013 it remained moored but floating worryingly close to the Archbishop's Palace.

The Embankments Tapas and Music Bar after Christmas flooding 2019
The Embankments Tapas and Music Bar after Christmas flooding 2019

More recently in December 2019, the boat was seen tipped perilously to one side after the flooding over Christmas.

On Christmas Eve, a pleasure boat had broken loose in the high water and, after being swept downriver, it became trapped under the prow (pointed front) of Embankments.

The tapas bar was forced to close over the Christmas period. The owners apologised for any inconvenience, saying: "It was out of our control."

This morning fire engines and police officers are at the scene tackling the fire which has broken out on the vessel.

There are currently no casualties and properties nearby have been told to keep their windows and doors shut. Drivers have also been warned to avoid the area.

Embankments Bar on fire this morning Picture: George Taliana
Embankments Bar on fire this morning Picture: George Taliana

Read more: All the latest news from Maidstone


More by this author


Close This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.Learn More