Anytime news or a lead surrounding Steven Spielberg or any of his productions is submitted to Beyond the Marquee, we gladly invest our time to look into it … and we’ve got some really interesting news to post today.
A few days ago, we received an anonymous tip from someone in the know that led us to a particular Spielberg-related website whose content had us working overtime to research and verify its validity. We came up short on getting full details, but feel it’s safe to report that what we found may, in fact, be the real deal. Our suspicions were confirmed today when a Press Release hit the newswires in a frenzy announcing that two new mega-themed restaurants based on the films of Steven Spielberg are under construction and purportedly headed to popular theme park resorts on both US coasts. The name of this grand restaurant idea? SPIELBURGERS.
It didn’t strike us as odd that this news comes out of the sky with absolutely no warning since Spielberg projects are often known for their shroud of secrecy. A visit to the website, www.SPIELBURGERS.com, clues people in to the details of the new restaurant and we here at BTM are quite impressed by what we’ve seen thus far. The opening page hints that the restaurant looks like a high-end movie theatre, right down to the Spielberg-specific film posters of Jaws and Jurassic Park. Closer inspection reveals that the Jaws poster is geared toward promoting the restaurant with Bruce the Shark chomping down on hamburgers rather than a bare-naked beauty. Clever touch.
It’s the proposed ideas for the Themed Dining that really caught our attention and makes us think that Spielburgers isn’t just another run-of-the-mill Hollywood-themed restaurant that cashes in on old movie props as the main draw. This place looks like a lot of effort went into designing highly-detailed environments that truly do put diners into scenes from their favorite Steven Spielberg films…without having to take a ride on a tram or rollercoaster to enjoy them.
Clicking on the Themed Dining link brings up some snazzy concept art that makes it easy to imagine what this place is all about. If you’ve ever gone to a Rainforest Café or any of the themed diners located in Walt Disney World, you’re probably thinking this idea isn’t new. We’d agree with that, but from what we’ve seen from the Spielburgers website content and the press release, we believe that this particular Spielberg project is going to be far more than just another Dive! Pun intended.
We love the idea of “Dinner IN a Movie”, eating in locations taken directly from scenes of Spielberg’s best films like E.T., Indiana Jones, Close Encounters of the Third Kind and Jurassic Park. Wonder if they serve lamb chops in the latter? The mere thought of having a full-size T-Rex eyeing diners from behind a fence (and possibly breaking free) is downright cool in our opinion. The website also states there will be areas designed from Spielberg-produced movies and one of those is Back to the Future. We can imagine the amount of atmospheric fun they could have with creating different environments based off that trilogy of films. The website currently indicates that concept art for the Back to the Future and ET rooms will be coming soon, but they’ve put in descriptive text of what might be in store.
It’s our guess that the place may take some cues from Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress and possibly work as a rotating restaurant so that diners can be safely ushered from one themed area to another while eating. This would eliminate having to walk into separate rooms to enjoy all the set pieces. Full details on the technologies employed haven’t been given, so we’re unclear about this, but it’s probably safe to say that much will be borrowed from high-end attractions currently used to great effect at popular theme parks.
A look at the Menu page on the website boasts a ton of creative selections that they’ve listed in an image of the proposed menu. With items all named from movies, characters and varying elements of Spielberg films, it looks like a lot of planning went into the food portion of Spielburgers. Some of the names are downright clever whether it be the side order of Marty McFries (missed opportunity there, McDonald’s) or the Western Cheeseburger named the Fievel Goes West. It’s the hamburger selections themselves that really do give credence to the name SpielBurgers and a look at some of the selections makes us hungry at the thought. If anything, the creativity that went into making the menu should delight anyone familiar with Spielberg films.
In restaurants that have a thematic gimmick behind them, it’s usually the menu that suffers and leads to nothing more than fast food junk. Everything we’ve seen indicates that Spielburgers is more of a high-end restaurant catering to families; probably not far off from what Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. currently offers in terms of service, food, and affordability. The Spielburgers press release makes good mention of their commitment to top-quality food at a decent price while the attractions of the restaurant are there for added pleasure. That’s a bold, yet refreshing statement to make when it’s a no-brainer that the themed areas of the restaurant are going to be the main draw over the food.
While trying to confirm details about Spielburgers, we concentrated on the proposed locations and figured we’d hear something from our contacts on both coasts as to where groundbreaking might occur. The website and press release leave hints indicating that the actual locations of the restaurants will be announced sometime this summer with a proposed launch in the Fall of 2012. Future sites are mentioned for development in Shanghai and Dubai. A subtle Easter Egg hint on the Locations page indicates a Google Maps snapshot of Orlando that could either point to Walt Disney World or Universal Studios Florida. If it’s the latter and located at Universal’s famed CityWalk, it would make sense since the Spielberg name is closely tied to Universal Studios and their theme parks.
In the 1990′s, Steven Spielberg opened up a couple sub sandwich restaurants called Dive! in Southern California. However, pun intended, they eventually went under. While we can’t confirm Mr. Spielberg’s involvement in this new restaurant idea, we can only see good things if it becomes a reality. Both Disney and Universal have been amping up their theme park offerings lately to further increase attentance. Universal recently opened the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando with plans for one in Hollywood to be built soon. Disney has been revamping Fantasyland in Walt Disney World and are close to completing an entire overhaul of Disney’s California Adventure park in Anaheim. Our guess is that Spielburgers will be a welcome addition to either of those tourist destinations and we look forward to hearing more.
Browse around www.spielburgers.com to get a feel for the proposed restaurant. They also have a Twitter account and an official Facebook page you can Like. Stay tuned to Beyond the Marquee for follow-ups on this lead. We’ll let you know more once we get the official word!