Skip to main content
Report this ad

The Rockmore no more?

If they'd taken this picture from the other side you'd see the smoke stacks of the power plant. Yum.
If they'd taken this picture from the other side you'd see the smoke stacks of the power plant. Yum.

You might not have the Rockmore to kick back in anymore. This is not necessarily a bad thing.

The Rockmore is a floating restaurant and bar in the middle of Salem (MA) harbor. It is a favorite stop for tourists and those without their own aquatic form of transportation. Got your own boat? No problem, tie up along side. Don’t? Just call the free launch service from piers in Marblehead or Salem.

However, you may have missed your opportunity because the Rockmore’s future is uncertain. The operators of the Rockmore recently pled guilty in federal court to charges that it dumped raw sewage into area waters. The $300,000 fine and a generally unhappy local populace may have brought an end to this summer time hang out. You can read more details about the dumping charges here.

Will the Rockmore be missed? Yes, by those looking to take advantage of Massachusetts lax laws on BUI (boating under the influence). No, for those looking for a meal.

In fairness to the Rockmore it did provide a novel experience. Getting a free boat ride through Salem harbor and having a few cold ones with friends or family, especially those from out of town, was a decent way to kill a few hours on a summer day. But when it came to the food and service…ugh!

The following is an edited version of a review I wrote some time ago.

Imagine eating a meal from a baseball park concession stand while floating in a harbor below the shadow of a coal burning power plant.

The good news? You don't have to imagine any longer.

The bad news? You don't have to imagine any longer.

This experience exists at the Rockmore. If the waves kick up you might get sea sick. And if that doesn't get you the food probably will. It is horrible!

The service? Marginal (after all, your their captive on this floating slop-house). The view? Not bad if you are into smoke belching industrial landscapes.

The food here really is terrible. For example, their idea of a burrito is to take a hamburger patty, grill it like a hamburger, then chop it up and roll it in a cold tortilla with way too much picante sauce (Pace?) and lettuce.

Their guacamole sets a new standard in the wrong direction. There is so little avocado in it that it looks like sour cream with green food coloring.

The service? Not bad if you have fantasies of being invisible. I stood at the bar for over five minutes with the bartender right in front of me. She never raised her head to acknowledge my presence. I was two feet in front of her and she acted like I wasn't there. When she finally did it took her another five minutes to pour a diet coke. Really unbelievable.

The popularity of this place is only explained by the novelty of eating at a floating restaurant. If it was on shore it would only bear your patronage if it was the last place on earth serving food.


  • Norman Reynolds 5 years ago

    I strongly disagree with your biased description of the Rockmore. It had normal to good 'pub food', and the "blechng smoke stacks' are more than two miles away. It is in a very pretty setting, and the service was excellent. I've been a consistant customer for many years on my sloop Valhalla. I hope it reopens, it was the only floating bar for boaters in the area.

Report this ad