Chicago’s Rainforest Cafe closing & the weird history of theme restaurants

At the corner of Ohio and Clark for 23 years, Rainforest Cafe has been a tourist trap of giant molded plastic animals luring in families with a gift shop that has a restaurant behind it but those days are gone, as this week came the news that it’s closing. Block Club Chicago published this detailed report yesterday about how the pandemic helped speed up the closure plans that had been in the works for some time. You can also see on-site pictures of the store’s signs being dismantled in the article.

In the video above, Innovision 3D breaks down how the chain restaurant has faded off from it’s trendy highs in the 90s.  The video also digs deep into the concept of theme restaurants goes back to the 1800’s. Yeah, it was a thing way before Planet Hollywood.

Here is another video from Erik Nicholas showing off what the Rainforest Cafe in Chicago looked like with all of it’s animal decorations.