Disney Closeing ESPN Zone Restaurants

By PAUL ZIOBRO of the Wall Street Journal

Walt Disney Co. is closing five of its seven ESPN Zone locations, including its Times Square location, on June 16 as the company found it increasingly challenging to operate the sports-themed restaurants.

ESPN Zone ClosingAn ESPN spokesman said the company will be closing ESPN Zones in Baltimore, Chicago, New York, Las Vegas and Washington, while keeping the locations in Los Angeles and Anaheim open. The announcement followed media reports, including in the Los Angeles Times and Chicago Tribune, that some or all of the restaurant locations would be closed.

ESPN Zone, an arcade-style restaurant used as a brand extension for the popular sports network, becomes a victim of the economic downturn, where consumers increasingly cut back on visits to restaurants. The locations took up pricey real estate, like the high-profile Times Square spot at 42nd Street and Broadway, which make it difficult to operate the chains profitably.


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Stuart is a celebrity chef, food activist and award-winning food writer. He penned the cookbooks Third Coast Cuisine: Recipes of the Gulf of Mexico, No Sides Needed: 34 Recipes To Simplify Life and Amigeauxs - Mexican/Creole Fusion Cuisine. He hosts two Internet cooking shows "Everyday Gourmet" and "Little Grill Big Flavor." His recipes have been featured in Current, Lagniappe, Southern Tailgater, The Kitchen Hotline and on the Cooking Channel.

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2015 1st Place Luck of the Irish Cook-off
2015 4th Place Downtown Cajun Cook-off
2015 2nd Place Fins' Wings & Chili Cook-off
2014 2015 4th Place LA Gumbo Cook-off
2012 Taste Award nominee for best chef (web)
2012 Finalist in the Safeway Next Chef Contest
2011 Taste Award Nominee for Little Grill Big Flavor
2011, 12 Member: Council of Media Tastemakers
2011 Judge: 29th Chef's of the Coast Cook-off
2011 Judge: Dauphin Island Wing Cook-off
2011 Cooking Channel Perfect 3 Recipe Finalist
2011 Judge: Dauphin Island Gumbo Cook-off
2011 Culinary Hall of Fame Member
2010 Tasty Awards Judge
2010 Judge: Bayou La Batre Gumbo Cook-off
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2010 Chef2Chef Top 10 Best Food Blogs
2010 Denay's Top 10 Best Food Blogs
2009 2nd Place Bay Area Food Bank Chef Challenge
2008 Tava: Discovery Contest Runner-up
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