Whatever Happened To Official All Star Cafe?

Over the years, Americans have seen a lot of great restaurants come and go, from Chi-Chi's Restaurant to Howard Johnson's. One of the chains most missed by many '80s and '90s babies is Official All-Star Cafe. A sports bar backed by some of the biggest names in the game — including Andre Agassi, Wayne Gretzky, Shaquille O'Neal, and Tiger Woods — it all began in Times Square in 1995 (via When Is Now). Official All-Star Cafe was known for its over-the-top decor, including sports memorabilia galore, booths shaped like baseball gloves, and seemingly endless big screen TVs.

Unfortunately, for fans of the sports-themed restaurant, it no longer exists. The last Official All-Star Cafe — which was located in Walt Disney World — closed in 2007, the Daily Meal reports. What caused the Planet Hollywood-owned chain to shutter its doors for good? Here's what you may not have known about the restaurant that once was a must-visit destination in some of the country's biggest cities.

It struggled to get repeat customers because of the location

All of the Original All-Star Cafe locations were in vacation hot spots — the Las Vegas Strip, Times Square in New York City, and Walt Disney World, to name a few. While ideal for attracting tourists looking for a unique dining experience, that also made it difficult for the restaurant to grow any type of returning customer base. Most people would dine in for a meal while they were visiting the area and then never come back. Not exactly great for business. "The most successful themed restaurant properties are in resort cities where a continuously changing audience minimizes the need for repeat customers," the Las Vegas Sun explains.

Another reason that diners didn't return is because there was nothing new to see the second, third, or fourth time around. Meaning, Official All-Star Cafe set itself up as a "one-and-done" destination, like something to be checked off a must-see list. "People don't see any reason to go back," Ron Paul, the president of Technomic Inc., a restaurant consulting firm, told AP News at the time. "The idea isn't dead, but to survive they need to offer something new, a reason to come back when you've already seen the exhibit."