With Disney’s plan for a four-star luxury hotel in the dustheap of history, it looks like Earl of Sandwich’s temporary return may be more than just temporary, and now another former Downtown Disney tenant may be looking to return.
According to The Orange County Register‘s Brady Macdonald, Landry’s Inc. has expressed interest in reopening Rainforest Cafe in its former location. The restaurant closed, along with several other tenants in the area, back in June in anticipation of the hotel’s construction.
Keith Beitler, Landry’s senior vice president and chief operating officer of specialty restaurant and amusement divisions, told Macdonald: “Disney knows of our interest in reopening Rainforest Cafe in Anaheim. We are hopeful they will consider Landry’s for any future site plans.” Disney responded to the Register, saying that they were exploring a number of options for the area and couldn’t comment on any particular discussion. Last week, Disney officials told the newspaper that no discussions had been opened about Rainforest Cafe. Landry’s continues to manage several restaurants in Walt Disney World, including two Rainforest Cafe locations in Disney Springs and Disney’s Animal Kingdom, as well as the Yak & Yeti Restaurant, also in Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
Macdonald’s article also provided information about other former Downtown Disney tenants. Disney also commented that there were no negotiations taking place to resurrect ESPN Zone, a collaboration between ABC Television and the Hearst Corporation. Starbucks stated that there were also no plans to reopen their location in Downtown Disney’s west side. (The Starbucks across from World of Disney remains open.) A recent rumor that AMC Theatres’ planned location in Anaheim GardenWalk was being cancelled in favor of reopening at Downtown Disney was squashed by GardenWalk officials, reiterating that the project is on schedule and expected to open in early 2019.
Could Rainforest Cafe reclaim its thunder at Downtown Disney? Stay tuned as we continue to update you on the situation.