News today that Rainforest Cafe abruptly shut down its only Connecticut location hit parents pretty hard. I’ll admit, I had never been to one before I had kids, in fact, Kara and I used to chuckle at the people waiting in line to get inside. We later eagerly became those people.
According to a tweet from Rainforest, they wanted to stay but the Westfarms Mall didn’t renew their lease. (read the story here in The Patch: http://avon.patch.com/articles/rainforest-cafe-at-westfarms-mall-closes-its-doors) and the Courant here: http://courantblogs.com/java/rain-forest-cafe-at-westfarms-closes/)
My kids loved this place, and it was promised to them for special occasions. My son enjoyed the place so much, he wanted a toy monkey for Christmas. Read about that here: http://dennishouse.wordpress.com/2013/01/01/my-challenge-with-the-cheerful-chimps/
Surely, some mayor in Connecticut can find a place for such a family friendly destination. How about Front Street at Adriaen’s Landing in Hartford near the Connecticut Science Center? The Science Center, Legofest, Winterfest and other family events would provide the clientele. Rainforest is a big deal. They’re at Disney World and Disneyland and it would be a big coup for Hartford. It would be a great neighbor for the Spotlight Theaters, Capital Grille and Infinity Hall.
Here’s what the one in Chicago looks like. How cool would this be next to the Spotlight Theaters on Front Street?
This is the second store to leave Westfarms Mall in the past year that has made it a less desirable location for me. Parade of Novelties left last spring with its abundant stock of Hartford Whalers paraphernalia. This would be great at the XL Center or Adriaen’s Landing.
Oh No! We just took our kids there yesterday. My 3 year old kept asking to see “Tracy the Tree” and my 2 year old wanted to see the alligator. We may have to avoid the mall now, those were our incentives for the kids to behave and walk the mall with us.
Wow. That is surprising. Anyway as for the other store you mentioned there is a Parade of Sports Novelties at the Westfield Meriden Square Mall in Meriden. It’s in the Best Buy/Dicks Sporting Goods Wing on the 2nd Floor.
I’ve been there, Marc, but it is a little far for me. Thanks!
Rainforest for Front Street would be great mix of families and the nightlife – add more visible safety (private and/or city) and the draw WILL happen like Baltimore as the plan had it. Time to get going on mid-range affordable housing there too so families in the burbs will say location location instead of OMG No Way.. (ala Blue Back in WH (everyone thought that would bust remember) And along comes my Space Needle project to draw even more with a tiny footprint (amazed when I read how small).
Ideas are great but they need grassroots upsurge and investors to invest in the city.
John M West
I like the idea of Rainforest at Front St, particularly with the Science Center across the street.
John and Lynn, I agree..I think it would be a perfect fit.
Dennis, check out the Seattle Space Needle web site note the dimensions.. http://www.spaceneedle.com/
Gee we could watch the UCONN games from above @ the Rent similar to watching the Toronto Blue Jays from the CN tower (Pre-Roger’s Center)
What better way to showcase the city.. and add extra broadcast tower rights… LOL