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

By Jack Ripley | May 4, 2024

ShowBiz Pizza Place

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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Chuck E. Cheese wasn't the only joint that offered pizza and a show. During the early 1980s, a competitor emerged in the form of ShowBiz Pizza Place. When it opened in 1981, this chain gave parents the perfect place to take their kids. Not only could they grab a pizza and drinks, but they could keep their kids entertained with the fun arcade games. ShowBiz later added animatronic shows. It's no wonder so many '80s and '90s kids had their birthday parties there!

Despite its success and the addition of a new and more modern logo, ShowBiz didn't exist much beyond the early '90s. The chain merged with Chuck E. Cheese and saw all its restaurants rebranded. If you want to re-create your ShowBiz Pizza Place memories today, head to your nearest Chuck E. Cheese. You'll find some of the same animatronics and games.

Planet Hollywood

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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.