The restaurant business noticed an uncommon pattern within the Nineteen Nineties. As a substitute of specializing in offering good meals and a nice ambiance, many new eateries prioritized leisure above all else. With spectacular animatronics, superstar visitor appearances, and reside performers, these companies blurred the road between theme park and restaurant.
Themed eating places are related to the tip of the twentieth century, however many nonetheless function at this time (and a few date again even earlier). From Mars 2112 to Planet Hollywood, let’s look again on a few of the most formidable novelty eating places of all time.
1. Mars 2112
Anybody who visited Occasions Sq. in New York Metropolis between 1998 and 2001 could have observed a wierd attraction with a flying saucer out entrance. The space-themed restaurant Mars 2112 introduced visitors right into a subterranean world designed to appear like a Martian panorama. The weird atmosphere was embellished with “lava” swimming pools, glowing house rocks, and folks in alien costumes.
2. Titanic Theatre Restaurant
Recreating the Titanic’s last voyage is not most individuals’s concept of a enjoyable time, however that is what the Titanic Theatre Restaurant in Williamstown, Australia, guarantees. The constructing is modeled after the doomed ocean liner and even sports activities 4 funnels on its roof. Visitors can expertise “decrease deck eating” and order meals à la carte or pay a little bit further for a prix fixe dinner and leisure. In keeping with the restaurant’s web site, on the history-themed present, “survival is assured and so is an effective time.”
Themed eating places have been so widespread within the Nineteen Nineties that even Steven Spielberg joined the pattern. In 1994, a yr after the discharge of Jurassic Park and Schindler’s Listing, the director opened Dive! in Century Metropolis, California, along with his producing associate Jeffrey Katzenberg. The submarine-shaped eatery was impressed by Spielberg’s love of nautical journey tales. It featured torpedo-shaped bar seats, portholes that stuffed with water, and a menu of submarine sandwiches. The idea was initially profitable sufficient to spur a Vegas location, however each eating places shuttered by the early 2000s as a consequence of poor gross sales.
4. Trend Café
The Trend Café—an enterprise fronted by supermodels Naomi Campbell, Elle Macpherson, Claudia Schiffer, and Christy Turlington—opened its first location in New York Metropolis’s Rockefeller Heart in 1995. 4 further places opened all through the Nineteen Nineties, together with one in London. The combination of meals and high-fashion didn’t catch on, nevertheless, and the chain was defunct by 1999. In 2000, founders Francesco and Tommaso Buti have been arrested on fees of fraud, cash laundering, and conspiracy.
5. Casa Bonita
Although the Mexico-themed chain originated in Oklahoma Metropolis in 1968, essentially the most well-known location may be present in Denver, Colorado. The Denver Casa Bonita opened in 1973 and is now the final remaining location. After strolling by the ornate facade, visitors discover themselves in a cavernous inside full with faux rock formations, gold and silver mines, and conventional Mexican buildings. Probably the most well-known options stands out as the waterfalls, which reside cliff divers sometimes soar from.
6. Rainforest Café
The Rainforest Café has introduced a playful jungle atmosphere to malls and theme parks around the globe because the early Nineteen Nineties. The worldwide chain is thought for its life-sized animatronics of animals like elephants, gorillas, and crocodiles. Waterfalls and simulated thunderstorms additionally promote the wild atmosphere. Although the corporate has lengthy handed its peak, greater than 20 places nonetheless function around the globe at this time.
7. Rollercoaster Restaurant
On the UK’s well-known Alton Towers theme park, the thrills do not cease when visitors sit all the way down to eat. The park’s Rollercoaster Restaurant accommodates an intricate coaster observe that delivers dishes from the kitchen to diners’ tables. Meals take quite a few twists and turns to get to their vacation spot, however very similar to riders on an actual rollercoaster, they’re tightly strapped in, so messes aren’t a problem.
8. Official All-Star Café
As a substitute of watching an precise sports activities sport, followers might go to an Official All-Star Café within the Nineteen Nineties to eat stadium meals in a sports-inspired setting. Developed by Planet Hollywood, the idea was backed by star athletes like Wayne Gretzky, Joe Montana, and Shaquille O’Neal. Quite a few places opened after the preliminary launch in 1995, however by 2007, the chain had disappeared from the map.
9. Planet Hollywood
When Planet Hollywood first opened in New York Metropolis, buyers like Bruce Willis, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Sylvester Stallone gave it on the spot star energy. The chain’s well-known backers have been obligated to attend openings and even swing by the eating places sometimes. Although most prospects by no means acquired to see a real-life superstar throughout their meal, they have been in a position to dine within the presence of genuine film props and Hollywood-inspired decor. After preliminary success, Planet Hollywood’s inventory abruptly plummeted within the late Nineteen Nineties. At the moment there are only a few places left.
10. Tv Metropolis
If diners didn’t really feel like channeling their interior film star at Planet Hollywood, they may faux to be TV actors at Tv Metropolis. The New York Metropolis restaurant—which included 130 tv units and a studio the place visitors might host their very own TV segments—solely operated for 3 years after opening in 1996.
11. T-Rex Café
Disney Springs in Florida is house to the T-Rex Café. Visitors should stroll beneath a big fossil to enter the prehistoric-themed restaurant. As soon as inside, they’ll be entertained by animatronic dinosaurs, primordial decor, and pretend meteor showers.