Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The Rainforest Cafe was Closed!!

They closed the Rainforest Cafe in the mall closest to me. I am soooooooooo bummed! Yesterday, I went to take my 7-year-old out for a day at the mall. Our trip was to include lunch at the Rainforest Cafe then off to build our very own friend at Build-a-Bear. Well, when I got to the mall, this mall is huge, I parked my car in the parking garage and entered through the entrance that I always enter through. And too my surprise there was no more Rainforest Cafe.

Now this mall has been going through some serious renovations. New wings, new stores & restaurants, larger parking garage including valet parking. So as I walked through the hall I just figured that maybe for some reason I was confused. Maybe on the wrong floor. Or maybe the Rainforest Cafe was down the hall a bit more. Wishful thinking. It was gone. My son and I even looked for it on the mall directory that stood right there where the Rainforest Cafe use to be. It wasn't listed. It was gone. I just couldn't believe it. This fun place to bring the kids to eat was gone. No more giant snakes, crazy monkeys, moving elephants, and lightning storms. I felt a piece of my inner child wither to the ground. There isn't another Rainforest Cafe even remotely nearby. This one was main access to a lot of folks in the surrounding area. Why, would they close? Well, I got my answer.

After lunch, in the mall food court. Ugh! My son and I headed off to Build-a-Bear. I love that store. We do not go too often but when we do we have so much fun. Anyhoot, while there I asked one of their employees if he knew why the Rainforest Cafe had closed. Well, what I basically found out was that since the renovation they had placed some seriously up-scaled stores down in that end of the mall with hopes to bring in some serious business. Mind you that this end of the mall was basically all new. I think they literally extended the back side of the mall to create more selling space. Anyhow, the mall owners figured up-scale stores, high priced items, equals higher rent. Well, that wasn't good for the Rainforest Cafe because even though they were not a up-scaled restaurant, there location just happened to fall within this new high-end wing. Therefore their rent got raised and they unfortunately where forced to close. So no more Rainforest Cafe.

Well based on what I have been told I hear the mall owners are now eating (no pun intended) their poor choice. This Rainforest Cafe was not only a hot spot but because of its uniqueness it brought in a lot of business from much of the surrounding area. After all, it was the only one located within a pretty decent distance for many people. And while the food at this Rainforest Cafe had its up and its downs, and was a little pricey, it was not near as pricey as these up-scaled stores. With the economy today, who has money to spend $1000 on a purse or $3000 for a jacket. I don't know. Not me. But this of course doesn't change the fact that I am still bummed. Good bye Rainforest Cafe. I hold many memories in my heart.

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