Dining Down Memory Lane: 20 Classic Restaurants from the 1990s We'll Never Forget

By Jack Ripley | March 20, 2024

Planet Hollywood

For every McDonald's or Subway, there were a few restaurants that weren't quite as successful. Though some made a big splash when they first arrived, they fizzled out as times - and customer tastes – changed. Embark on a nostalgic journey through time as we reminisce about the beloved eateries that defined the dining scene of the '90s. If you can still remember when "Seinfeld" and "Friends" ruled Thursday nights and renting videos at Blockbuster was king, join us on a look back at the forgotten restaurants of the 1990s that we still miss.

 

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Imagine seeing Madonna's iconic bustier or Rocky's boxing gloves just feet away from your table. Those of us who had the chance to dine in a Planet Hollywood location had this experience. Planet Hollywood was essentially what happens when you combine a Hollywood museum with a restaurant. Bruce Willis, Sylvester Stallone, and Arnold Schwarzenegger were among the early investors. They even showed up to unveil new locations and donated some of their costumes and film memorabilia.

Planet Hollywood was more than just a restaurant, though. Many people came just for the souvenirs, which they bought from the on-site stores. Just like the Hard Rock Café, Planet Hollywood offered shirts, jackets, glasses, and other souvenirs. Most featured the chain's blue planet logo on the front, along with the city's name. While there were dozens of Planet Hollywood locations in the '90s, the chain is down to just three today.

The Official All-Star Cafe

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The success of Planet Hollywood led to a host of imitators like The Official All-Star Café. It hoped to do for athletes what the other chain did for actors. Ken Griffey Jr., Andre Agassi, and Wayne Gretzky were just a few of the pro athletes who jumped on board as investors. Fans lined up around-the-block to step inside the first café in Times Square, which opened in 1995. Shortly after, two more restaurants joined the chain.

As with Planet Hollywood, The Official All-Star Café had tons of memorabilia on display. Fans could view uniforms, hockey sticks, tennis rackets, and much more before or after they dined. Many of the menu items featured sports terms and player names, too. Sadly, the chain couldn't keep guests entertained. The last café closed in 2007.