Thursday, January 13, 2011

Eight restaurants named for movies, and your ideas for a few more

Posted By on Thu, Jan 13, 2011 at 1:26 PM

This Toronto restaurant has the name but no Joan Crawford serving fried chicken and waffles.
  • This Toronto restaurant has the name but no Joan Crawford serving fried chicken and waffles.


Should anyone be surprised that some enterprising entrepreneurs took the title of the popular 2002 Nia Vardalos movie, My Big Fat Greek Wedding, and used it as a restaurant title? The owners of the Arizona-based My Big Fat Greek Restaurant chain -- the subject of this week's Cafe review -- did, and you have to give them credit: It's clever, and it works.

This isn't an isolated idea. There are many other restaurants named after famous movies, including the Canadian restaurant, above, named for a 1945 Warner Bros. film, Mildred Pierce, about a waitress turned restaurateur -- played by Kansas City's own Joan Crawford.

Other restaurants in the United States named after movies? There's the California-based Bubba Gump Shrimp Company, inspired by the film Forrest Gump. There's a Chinese restaurant in New York named for the 1961 film (and Broadway musical) Flower Drum Song and an Asian restaurant in Framingham, Massachussetts, named for The Joy Luck Club. Oh, and let's not forget those TV-inspired steakhouse chains: Ponderosa and Bonanza!

Popeye's Fried Chicken, I recently discovered, wasn't named after the cartoon character but the hero of the 1971 film The French Connection. Is there a Gallic restaurant named for the same movie? Yes, the French Connection Cafe in Fort Myers, Florida. And, yes, there is a wine bar in London called the Planet of the Grapes!

But what would be some good titles for new restaurants? There are plenty of empty restaurant locations in the Kansas City metro. How about taking one of those spots -- maybe the vacant Chili's in Westport -- and creating a Danish-style smorgasbord named for the 1987 film Babette's Feast? Oh, I'm sorry, there already is one -- a bakery, not a buffet -- in Long Beach, California.

How about a steakhouse with a boxing motif called Raging Bull? Wait, there is one, in Australia!

So, Fat City readers, can you think of a great restaurant name named for a film that's not already an actual restaurant named for a film? The best idea in the comment section wins a movie-related prize.

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