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History of Theme Restaurants and Clubs

Where there were predecessor concepts, during the 1990s the theme restaurant and club
era swept the world, and in particular the U.S., with most retail developers looking at
themed restaurants and themed clubs as a way to increase the consumer appeal of retail
facilities in destination locations. A strong sub-set of this fad, was the large number of
celebrity-themed restaurants.
Themed restaurants included celebrity-backed concepts such as Fashion Cafe (with
models Campbell, MacPherson, and Schiffer), Planet Hollywood (Schwarzenneger,
Stallone, and Willis), and the Official All-Star Sports Cafe (Agassi, Seles, and Gretzky),
among many others.
Pure brand-based concepts included ESPN Cafe, Billboard Live!, Disney Stores,
NASCAR Cafe, and dozens of others.
Still other themed concepts were based on intriguing concepts and/or environments such
as Jekyll & Hyde Club, Drink!, Discovery Zone FunCenters, Dave & Busters, and Block
Party.
Most of the venues created during the themed restaurant era enjoyed some consumer
success but ultimately failed as consumers moved to the next concept.
History of Themed Restaurants and Clubs
First Unit Openings
This chronology includes only some of the more notable entries in this product category
from major players, and is not a representative list of all theme restaurant openings
during the time period shown.

1971
Hard Rock Cafe (London, England)
1977
Chuck E. Cheese (San Jose, California)
1982
Dave & Busters (Dallas, Texas)
1983
Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament (Kissimmee, Florida)
Hooters (Clearwater, Florida)
1984
Ed Debevics (Phoenix, Arizona)
1988
Dolly Partons Dixie Stampede (Pigeon Forge, Tennessee)
1991
Planet Hollywood (New York City)
1992
America Live! (Bloomington, Minnesota)
Drink! (Chicago, Illinois)
House of Blues (Cambridge, Massachusetts)
1993
Entros (Seattle, Washington)
Michael Jordans Restaurant (Chicago, Illinois)
P.F. Changs China Bistro (Scottsdale, Arizona)
Front Row Sports Grill (Orlando, Florida)

1994
Rainforest Cafe (Bloomington, Minnesota)
Harley-Davidson Cafe (New York City)
Wildhorse Saloon (Nashville, Tennessee)
Dive! (Los Angeles, California)
Country Star American Music Grill (Universal City, California)
1995
Official All-Star Sports Cafe (New York City)
Fashion Cafe (New York City)
Jekyll & Hyde Club (New York City)
Motown Cafe (New York City)
1996
Billboard Live! (West Hollywood, California)
NASCAR Cafe (Myrtle Beach, South Carolina)
Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. (Monterey Bay, California)
Reds (Edmonton, Canada)
Fultons Crab House (Orlando, Florida)
1997
Easyriders Cafe (Myrtle Beach, South Carolina)
1998
Motorsports Grill (Orlando, Florida)
ESPN Zone (Baltimore, Maryland)
Theme Restaurant Concepts that Did Not Make it to Market:
Cafe@Play
Classic Sports Network Restaurant
David Copperfields Magic
National Lampoon Cafe

Sinatras
Television City
TV Land
Vegas!

List of theme restaurants


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completeness. You can help by expanding it with reliably sourced entries.
Ellen's Stardust Diner
The Airplane Restaurant Boeing KC-97, Colorado Springs, CO
Alice's Tea Cup - Storybook time, New York (Manhattan), New York
Arabian Nights - show coupled with a dining experience, Kissimmee, Florida
Asti - New York (opera memorabilia.)
Autopub - car museum, New York NY
The Australian Bar and Restaurant - sports bar, New York City
Australian Outback Spectacular - Australiana dinner and show package featuring many
Australian animals, songs and bush tucker
Battle of the Dance - dinner theater, Anaheim, California,
B.E.D. - dine in bed SF CA & FL
Belle of Louisville Steamboat, Louisville, KY
Binghamton (ferryboat) - a retired ferryboat that operated from 1905 to 1967, New
Jersey

Blue Bayou - Disneyland in Anaheim, California, Disneyland Paris and Tokyo


Disneyland, in Chiba, Japan
Bounce Farringdon - a large social venue that boasts 17 ping pong tables. Holborn,
London
Bubba Gump Shrimp Company The film Forrest Gump (the first theme restaurant
inspired by a film)
The Bubble Room Restaurant - memorabilia from the 30 to the 60s, Captiva, Florida
The Buckhorn Exchange Wild game, oldest restaurant in Denver, CO
Buns and Guns war detail, Beirut, Lebanon
Cabbages and Condoms waiters wears condoms on heads and condom art, Bangkok,
Thailand
Cafe '50s - 50's style Santa Monica CA
Calico Cat Caf - cat place, Tokyo Japan
Camaje Bistro and Lounge - dining in the dark, 85 MacDougal Street NY
The Cannery Waterfront cannery, Newport Beach, CA
Cannibalistic Restaurant - Sushi served in a body-shaped container, Japan
Captain John's Harbour Boat Restaurant - Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Casa Bonita Restaurant - Theme park restaurant Lakewood, Colorado
Cave Restaurant - Eating in a cave Richland, Missouri
Chuck E. Cheese's (formerly Chuck E. Cheese's Pizza Time Theatre and Chuck E.
Cheese's Pizza), games raffle, theatre various area

City Tavern Colonial tavern, Philadelphia, PA


Clearman's Northwoods Inn Log cabin in the woods, Covina, La Mirada and San
Gabriel, CA
Clifton's Cafeteria - World largest cafeteria, LA CA
Clinic Bar, - The hospital-themed, Clarke Quay, Singapore
Cold Spring Tavern Stagecoach stop, Santa Barbara, CA
Colonial Inn Colonial tavern, Concord, MA
The Colonial Tramcar Restaurant - a restaurant which operates from a converted fleet
of three vintage trams, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.
Colonial Williamsburg Several colonial taverns in a restored colonial city,
Williamsburg, VA
The Coyote Ugly Saloon - Based on the movie Coyote Ugly, NYC NY
Christon Caf Christianity themed, Tokyo, Japan
Dans Le Noir - Dining in the dark, Clerkenwell, London
Death Themed Restaurant Eating in a very large casket, Truskavets, Ukraine
Delta King Steamboat, Sacramento, CA
Delta Queen Steamboat, Chattanooga, TN
Devil Island Prison Restaurant - scary place China
Dinner in a Hospital - Taipei
Disaster Caf - A 7.8 earthquake restaurant, Lloret de Mar, Spain

Dive! - was a 300-seat restaurant Beverly Hills, CA


Dolly Parton's Dixie Stampede American patriotic
Don the Beachcomer - tiki restaurants, Various Locations
Dracula's Cabaret Restaurant - a theater restaurants,Australian & one other restaurant
in Melbourne
Duvet - dine in bed NY NY
Ed Debevic's 1950s diner
The Edison Powerplant, Los Angeles, CA
Ellen's Stardust Diner 1950s diner
Camp 18 Restaurant Logging camp, Elsie, OR
Family Fun Center and Bullwinkle's Restaurant - features animated robotic
performances by Bullwinkle and Rocky, Tukwila, Washington
Fashion Cafe - featuring celebrity models, New York City
Five Crowns English Tudor, Corona del Mar, CA
Forum of the 12 Caesars - inspired by series Mad Men
Geisha House - Hollywood CA
Gardens Of Taxco - West Hollywood CA
Graveyard Restaurant Eating with the dead, Ahmadabad, India
Goofy's Kitchen at the Disneyland Hotel, Anaheim, California
Harald - Viking age Finland

Hard Rock Cafe Rock music Universal City CA & FL in Nev Las Vegas.
Heart Attack Grill Hospital
Hell Pizza - Hell theme is used in the menu, New Zealand
Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village Various historically themed restaurants,
Dearborn, MI
Hillbilly Hot Dogs - roadside hot dog stand and tourist attraction, located near
Huntington, West Virginia
Hitlers Cross aka Cross Cafe history, Mumbai, India
Hobbit House run by little people, Manila, Philippines
Hog's Breath Cafe (also known as Hog's Breath Saloon) is an Australian and
international chain of steak house restaurants
Hospital Restaurant - Latvia
H.R. Giger Bar - visual effects for the film Alien. Various Locations, Switzerland
Ice Restaurant - Dubai
In The Dark Restaurant - London
Islands Fine Burgers & Drinks (also known as Islands) - beach theme various
locations, ca
Jacob Wirth Restaurant Historic building, Boston, MA
Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville Tropical beach
Jumbo Kingdom - Hong Kong

Jurassic Project - Jurassic era, Industry CA


Jekyll & Hyde Club Victorian English, (Manhattan), New York
L&L Hawaiian Barbecue - Hawaii theme, Honolulu, Hawaii
The Lockup - Haunted dining, Tokyo, Japan
Longfellow's Wayside Inn Colonial inn, Sudbury, MA
Longhorn Steakhouse - Orlando, Florida
Kayabukiya Tavern - Monkeys act as your wait staff, Utsunomiya, Japan
Mad Mex Fresh Mexican Grill - Lucha libre themed, Sydney & New Zealand
Madonna Inn Resort & Spa - San Luis Obispo, California
Mai-Kai Restaurant - tiki themed, 3599 North Federal Highway in Oakland Park,
Florida
Mao-Era Red Guards Restaurant Nanning, China
Mars 2112 - aliens & space, NY
The Medieval Banquet medieval dining, East Smithfield, London
Medieval Times - medieval days, various areas
''Mike Fink'' Restaurant Steam towboat, Covington, KY
Michie Tavern Colonial tavern, Charlottesville, VA
Mining Camp Restaurant Mining, Apache Jct., AZ
Modern Toilet It's a bathroom-themed restaurant, Taipei, Taiwan

Montana's Cookhouse - a lodge/wilderness setting that tries to provide guests with an


escape to simpler times, Vaughan, Ontario
Montana Mike's - Big Steak Country, (Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, North
Dakota, Oklahoma, and Texas)
Moshulu Four-masted bark (sailing ship), Philadelphia, PA
Motown Caf - music NY NY
MS Normac - is a floating restaurant boat that was launched as a fire tug named the
James R. Elliot. Port Huron, Michigan
MV Sydney 2000 - cruise ship dining, Sydney Harbour
Mystic Seaport Nautical-themed restaurants, Mystic, CT
Natchez Steamboat, New Orleans, LA
NBA City - basketball, Orlando, Florida
Ninga - ninga headquarters NY
Official All Star Cafe - not a typical sport bar, Times Square in New York City Cancun
and at the Showcase Mall on the Las Vegas Strip.[3][4] From 1997 until 2001
Outback Steakhouse - an Australian-themed, Tampa, Florida with over 950 locations in
23 countries throughout North and South America, Europe, Asia, and Australia
Oxygen Lounge - airy place, Tarzana
Pacific Dining Car Railroad, Los Angeles and Santa Monica, CA
Peanut Butter & Co. Sandwich Shop - everything on the menu is prepared with peanut
butter, New York (Manhattan), New York

Peep - being watched, 177 Prince Street NY


Pirates Dinner Adventure - eating with songs of the pirate era, Buena Park, California
Pitch-Black Restaurant dark dining, Beijing, China
Planet Hollywood The film industry
Pomona Valley Mining Company Mining, Pomona, CA
Portillo's Restaurants 1920's Chicago and other themes
Proud Bird Restaurant & Museum Historic aircraft, Los Angeles, CA
PS Lincoln Castle - was a coal-fired side-wheel paddle steamer, under permanent dock
in Alexandra Dock Grimsby
Rainforest Cafe Rainforest various locations Houston, Texas
The Red Sea Star - an underwater restaurant, bar and observatory located 16 feet below
the Red Sea. Ein Bokek, Israel
Rick's Caf Casablanca - inspire by the movie Casablanca Casablanca, Morocco
Ricky's Sports Theatre and Grill - an Oakland Raiders themed sports bar, San Leandro,
California
Rimsky-Korsakoffee House - haunted cafe * bar, Portland, Oregon
Robot-Staffed Restaurant Nuremberg, Germany
The Rugby Club (rebranded as The Rugby Club Sydney) - a Australian Rugby unionthemed, Sydney,Australia
Rustar Floating Restaurant - floating dining, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Safe House Restaurant Secret agents and espionage


Sarastro - An impressive opera themed restaurant, Covent Garden, London
SBX aka Sports Box - sports theme, Mumbai; Noida; Indore; Siliguri; Bangalore
Seor Frog's - infamous party scene, throughout Mexico, the Caribbean, South
America and the United States
Shoeless Joe's - a sports-themed restaurant, Ontario, Canada
Silver Star Cafe - railway carriage, Port Hedland, Western Australia
Space Aliens Grill & Bar - outer space themed restaurants, Bismarck, North Dakota
Star Seafood Floating Restaurant - boat dining, Sha Tin, China
Stir Crazy Thane - an Oriental kitchen Restaurant, Thane, Maharashtra, India
Tam O'Shanter Scottish, Los Angeles, CA
T-REX Cafe at Downtown Disney - be amazed to dine by dino, Lake Buena Vista,
Florida
Texas de Brazil - combinations of brazil & texas dining, Dallas, Texas
Texas Roadhouse - a Western theme, Louisville, Kentucky, U.S.
Tilted Kilt Pub & Eatery - a Celtic themed sports, Tempe, Arizona, United States
Tinseltown - Hollywood era, Clerkenwell, London
Toilet Restaurant - Taiwan
Trader Vic's - beach themed, Emeryville, California
TS Queen Mary - ship dining, William Denny shipyard at Dumbarton

Twin Peaks (restaurant chain) - a hooters type of sports bar, Addison, Texas,United
States
Tyler's Tender - train themed restaurant Schererville, Indiana
Underwater Restaurant - completely underwater Maldives
USAT General Frank M. Coxe - floating restaurant, California's San Francisco Bay
Vampire Caf Vamp dining, Tokyo, Japan
Voodoo Doughnut - an independent doughnut shop, Portland, Oregon
Walkabout (pub chain) - an Australian themed, United Kingdom
The Warehouse Restaurant Warehouse theme, Marina del Rey, CA
WCW Nitro Grill - an American professional wrestling steak house restaurant, Las
Vegas
Wingstop Restaurants, Inc - aviation-themed, Garland, Texas,
The World (WWE) - pro wreeatling theme, Times Square in New York, New York, in
the Paramount Theatre building on the corner of Broadway and 43rd Street.
The Zetor Restaurant - a Helsinki restaurant created in to pay tribute to a Czech tractor
manufacturer, Helsinki, Finland