7 Movie and TV Themed Restaurants Around the World
By Sonia Weiser
Image Credit: Loren Javier, Flickr // CC: BY-NC-ND 2.0
Have you ever wanted to eat dinner aboard a sinking Titanic, or visit a place where everyone knows your name? Or maybe relaxing on a large orange couch and drinking coffee out of giant mugs is more your style. All over the world, there are movie and TV show themed restaurants and bars, giving fans a chance to dine among the scenery they’ve only ever seen on screen. In 2012, The Week published a list of nine movie-inspired theme bars—here are seven more to add to your bucket list.
Central Perk may be one of the most recognizable fictional hangouts of all time, not to mention one of the most comfortable. But if you happened to miss out on the Big Apple Friends' pop-up shop last year, there's a year-round Central Perk in Beijing, with a replica of Joey and Chandler’s apartment right next door.
2. Breaking Bad
Cook up your own cocktails in an RV with professional mixologists at ABQ, London’s very own ode to Walter White. Running for three months starting this July, the RV holds 20-22 people at a time, and a ticket, which includes two cocktails, is £30 or $46. So far, 24,750 people have reserved spots.
A Los Pollos Hermanos fried-chicken joint may also be in the works. During Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan’s Reddit AMA, he mentioned that one enterprising individual had expressed interest in making the fictional restaurant a reality.
3. Doctor Who
Whovians can enjoy a wide variety of dishes at The Pandorica, a Doctor Who-themed restaurant in Beacon, NY. While the decor is clearly Time Lord inspired, it’s classy and subtle—TARDIS paintings adorn the walls, and small centerpieces and other details pay homage to the show. Episodes of Doctor Who play on a TV screen, and they even have weekly Doctor Who trivia night.
4. Forrest Gump
Named after Pvt. Benjamin Buford 'Bubba' Blue and his pal Forrest Gump, the Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. restaurant chain seeks to capture the down-home feel of the Oscar winning film. Menu items include "Mama Gump’s Garlic Bread Basket," the "Run Across America Sampler," and "Lt. Dan’s Drunken Shrimp." Since the restaurant’s debut in 1996, the chain has expanded to 40 locations around the world.
Image Credit: The TitanicTheatre Restaurant in Williamstown
A Titanic-themed restaurant has got to be a hard sell, yet two restaurants—one in Los Angeles’ Koreatown, the other in Williamstown, Australia—have done their best to turn the tragedy into a positive dining experience. Café Jack, an Asian-fusion restaurant, is an actual boat sitting on a 6500-square-foot plot in the middle of Los Angeles. Since 2007, guests who come aboard dine among posters, publicity stills, decorations similar to those in the film, and, according to a write up in LA Weekly, lots of hearts.
The Titanic Theatre Restaurant in Williamstown is a more interactive experience. Guests enjoy live entertainment, the option to travel in “first class” or “steerage,” a three-course meal, and quite a bit of booze. Costumes are encouraged, but if you forget to bring your own, you can rent one from the restaurant.
Cheers ended its 11 season run back in 1993, but the bar that inspired the NBC hit is still in business. The inside of the Beacon Hill staple isn’t identical to its fictional counterpart—the set designers needed to create a layout that would accommodate a live audience’s viewing angle—however, the show did use the bar’s facade for its opening shot.
7. Mamma Mia
Former ABBA member Bjorn Ulvaeus is getting into the restaurant biz with a new Mamma Mia-themed restaurant concept. The Greek taverna setting of the beloved (and soon-to-close) Broadway play will be transported to Stockholm’s Grona Lund amusement park. There, it will house an interactive dinner theater based around the character of Nico, the 50-something taverna owner, and his younger Swedish wife. The restaurant is set to open in January.