It seems that waterfront businesses are willing to pull out all the stops to draw in customers during the pandemic, including the iconic Seattle Great Wheel. As part of the ride experience, there are now four-course dinners offered on the gondolas, which reach about 175 feet above ground, overlooking Elliott Bay.
The $152.50-per-person meal comes from sibling business the Fisherman’s Restaurant, and includes prawn cocktail, Caesar salad, grilled salmon, and chocolate pot de creme for dessert, with the option to add some wine pairings (and request vegetarian alternatives). Each gondola can seat four people, and reservations go through Resy.
The Great Wheel isn’t the first operation to look at elevated dining during the pandemic. In October 2020, a Michelin-starred Budapest restaurant served fancy multicourse meals on a ferris wheel, and there has been similar effort in San Diego as well, not to mention a scuttled idea in Boston to serve people dinner while suspended from a crane. The appeal seems to be that one can enjoy a restaurant-like experience and yet still stay socially distanced from other diners, while also taking in some nice views.
Like other touristy attractions at Pier 57, the Great Wheel has seen a decline in business overall over the past year, not just because of the pandemic, but also because of infrastructure problems at the waterfront. In September, the adjacent Pier 58 collapsed due to years of deterioration, and the Great Wheel closed for several months as a result, reopening in early 2021. Now, the sky-high dining feature hopes to boost some interest during the continuing challenges.