Cologne: The boathouse “Alte Liebe” is back at the start

“I’m ready to go,” says Dennis Rheinhardt. He could actually start operating the gastronomy on October 1st at the newly renovated traditional boathouse “Alte Liebe”. However, the reopening may still be postponed, because the final acceptance by the building supervision still has to take place.

After that, he could pick up his license from the Trade Licensing Office; it would already be ready, emphasizes the owner and manager of the floating restaurant, which is anchored near the Rodenkirchen motorway bridge.

The “Old Love”, probably in the early 1950s

The red and white striped gastro ship has been closed for around two and a half years. The restart was delayed again and again – first because of Corona and then because the renovation took longer than planned. But now everything is ready. The new kitchen has been installed and the technology has been renovated. Inside and outside, upstairs and downstairs, the boathouse has been prepared and beautified.

The tradition is continued – the “Alte Liebe” remains in family ownership

All the requirements of the authorities have been met. The 33-year-old reports that he has also found waitresses and is only looking for a cook and kitchen help. At the beginning of 2020 he took over the boathouse from his grandfather Arno Frank. After 50 years, the senior wanted to hand it over to the younger generation and retire at the age of 80. However, he did not go completely silently.

Owner Old Love

Dennis Rheinhardt, owner of “Alte Liebe”

At the end of his career he filed for bankruptcy. The original limited liability company was dissolved. Grandson Dennis is now running the boathouse as a sole proprietor. “It remains family-owned,” says the new owner. It was important to him to continue the tradition.

From a boathouse ready for scrap to a catering ship

Accordingly, the concept should essentially remain as before, with a more down-to-earth kitchen, a boat that can also be rented for family and company celebrations. He hopes he will face less adversity than his grandpa. In 1973 he bought the boathouse, which was almost scrap at the time, and almost single-handedly converted it into a catering ship. In the 1980s and 1990s, three serious collisions involving freighters and tankers occurred, severely damaging the Alte Liebe.

In addition, the boathouse burned down twice, most recently in 2003. Total loss. Each time, Arno Frank and his team have rebuilt the 45 meter long, around 15 meter wide and 250 tonne boathouse. Dennis Reinhardt also witnessed the last big fire on the Alte Liebe. He grew up on the boat.

Due to the bankruptcy in early summer 2020 and the pandemic, some family celebrations for which advance payments had already been made could not take place. There are disappointed voices, and those affected criticize that the money is probably lost. However, Dennis Reinhardt asserts that amicable solutions were found with 90 percent of those affected, and the rest were referred to the insolvency administration.

Source: Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger – Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger by

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