A Puff The Magic Dragon-Themed Chain Restaurant Might Be Coming, And Other Weird Places You Can Dine In
I'm just going to apologize right now for what I'm about to do. I'm going to announce that a Puff the Magic Dragon-themed restaurant chain is imminent. And then you are going to start singing "Puff the Magic Dragon," and then you will be singing it in your head all day, and you may never stop ever again. Ever. I am so very sorry to do that to you, especially on a Monday.
News broke recently that Steven Schussler, the man responsible for the Rainforest Cafe concept, has purchased the worldwide licensing rights to the Puff franchise, with the ultimate goal of developing a restaurant chain and merchandise line featuring the eponymous dragon from Peter, Paul, and Mary's heartbreaking song. Schussler is the not the first to capitalize on the world's most maddeningly sad dragon tale; an animated television show and a children's book both quickly followed the 1963 tune's release. It's also become a sort of unofficial, tongue-in-cheek anthem for people who like to... er, "puff," so to speak.
Considering Schussler Creative, Inc. is responsible for a whole slew of Disney World Resort restaurants, I have a feeling there won't be anything remotely marijuana-related in the Puff experience. So if a whole chain of restaurants can be inspired by a 1960s animated dragon from Honah Lee, a magical land where apparently there are always autumn mists and sealing wax is a hot commodity, what other bizarre environments can people be convinced to eat in? Well, the answer is... pretty much anywhere. All of these theme restaurants actually exist, so if you wanted to, you could make a pilgrimage to experience them for yourself.
1. Trailer Park Lounge (New York City)
With menu items like the Double-Wide Burger (grilled to "backyard picnic perfection") and the Jim Bob's IQ cocktail, posh NYC diners can get a taste of Americana without ever leaving the 212. I mean, enforcing socioeconomic stereotypes always peaks my appetite, so...
2. Heart Attack Grill (Las Vegas)
Diners over 350 lbs. eat for free, and if you don't finish your Bypass Burger, which holds the World Record for the Most Caloric Burger, a waitress dressed like a nurse publicly spanks you. I think that description pretty much speaks for itself.
3. The Cave (Richland, MO)
It's a restaurant, but it's also in an actual cave with waterfalls and fish ponds (unclear whether it also includes bats). And because every themed restaurant in the United States is required to have some sort of binge-eating challenge, if you finish the Stalegmite Burger, which includes an entire loaf of French bread, 16 cheeses, and 4 pounds of ground beef, in under 30 minutes, it's free. Personally, I think they should have made it include some sort of raw fish so I could get the full, authentic Golum experience, but what do I know? It's permanently closed now, so alas, we'll never get to go spelunking to this particular location.
4. Opaque (various locations)
Oh, this is just where you eat in a pitch black room with strangers, because apparently it heightens your other senses when your sight is stolen from you. Wow, that sounds like such an enjoyable and relaxing environment, because it's not like my stress levels will also be heightened. Not at all. I'm totally chill about this concept.
5. Magic Restroom Cafe (City of Industry, CA)
OK, so this one actually closed recently, but I had to include it because I can't believe it ever opened in the first place. It's a restaurant where you sit on toilets and eat food out of mini toilets. That's literally the whole theme — toilets. I couldn't do a lot of research on this because it made me too nauseated to type.
Images: Frances1972/Flickr; Giphy (6)