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Riverboat Mike Fink Gone by January 1st

COVINGTON, Ky. (Rich Jaffe) -- For more than five years, the once glamorous riverboat restaurant, The Mike Fink, has sat idle on the Covington riverfront.

Tuesday though, Local 12 has learned what the future holds for the floating icon. 

Marcie Miller and daughter Reyna go past the Mike Fink almost daily on their walks. 

She says, "It's an eyesore.  We wish they would either move it or do something to fix it up, and really this whole area needs a little TLC and it would be brilliant."

Marcie and many other area homeowners are about to get their wish.

The Mike Fink is leaving.

After closing it's doors as a restaurant more than five years ago, the boat has sat idle except for a new half million dollar hull.  City leaders and riverboat owner, Jimmy Bernstein, have agreed it will be gone by January 1st.

Bernstein says the city needs to upgrade the shoreline while he fixes up the boat.  He says they've been "ducking" that responsibility.

City officials say it's just the opposite.  They need to see a business plan before they invest in the property.

Brad Bernstein tells Local 12, "The Mike Fink only belongs in Covington. Me personally, speaking maybe a little bit out from my family, we want to see it stay there more than anything else."

Bernstein chef and owners son, Brad, is currently working on a new restaurant in Oakley called the Red Feather.  He says his family is committed to seeing the riverboat in some form attached to Covington's shoreline in the future, perhaps in time for the 2015 bicentennial.

Bernstein says, "I think it's a one of a kind representation of Americana history.  I think it's perfect to be the front door for Covington.  I think it showcases what the city is all about and how it's become the kind of city it is today."

In the meantime Marcie Miller says, "I would love to see it moved out of here and I wouldn't mind it coming back.  A little time, money, investment it would be nice but right now it's an eyesore and I would love to see it go."

In naming his new restaurant the Red Feather, Brad Bernstein is showing his respect to the Mike Fink.  It seems Mike Fink, the old riverman, wore a red feather in his hat.  A sign of his prowess as a marksman.  He could reportedly drink a gallon of whiskey and shoot the tail off a pig at 90 paces.

A notoriously tough old keelboatman, we'll see if his namesake is as tough.

Watch video HERE



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