As we enter a world of non-stop entertainment, where films and computer games are available at the touch of a button 24 hours a day, it seems that some people are not content to merely go to a restaurant to eat, but they need to be entertained too. With this in mind, restaurants all over the world have put together eating and entertainment packages to appeal to all manner of diners, from opera and religious dirges to fun, thigh slapping Oompah bands. While diners don’t actually have to sing for their supper, they certainly get supper with a song.
Ellen’s Stardust Diner, New York
Located in Times Square, Ellen’s Stardust Diner is probably the epitome of an entertainment restaurant. Decorated like a scene from ‘Happy Days’, the restaurant doesn’t take bookings, but diners are happy to queue to experience the incredible quality of the singing staff. Serving up a menu of typical diner food, the icing on the cake is the non-stop singing and fantastic atmosphere enjoyed by both young and old alike.
De Beleving, Utrecht
Set in beautiful atmospheric brick walled cellars on the Old Canal, De Beleving (The Experience) not only has a wide selection of good food and wines but their staff are primarily recruited for their singing and musical ability with singing, guitar and piano playing waiters supplying a nightly feast of music and entertainment until late in the evening.
Tiroler Hut, Bayswater, London
If you love the idea of dressing in lederhosen or dirndl skirts and lifting a stein or two of beer as you belt out traditional German drinking ditties or the songs from the Sound of Music, Tiroler Hut is the place for you. Set in a basement with low, low ceilings, it’s reminiscent of a German Beer Hall and serves up typical Deutsche fare such as schnitzels and sausages, but it’s the musical entertainment that brings diners to this vibrant restaurant. Apparently the lounge singer has been working here for 50 years, so he’s obviously very happy in his work!
Pyongyang, Phnom Penh, Cambodia
When we think of North Korea, it doesn’t actually conjure up images of fun, however the North Korean Government have set up a chain of restaurants from North China to Thailand which are staffed by singing North Korean waitresses. These have proved immensely popular, probably not for their menu which includes such delicacies as ice encrusted ‘cold noodles’ and dangogi (otherwise known as dog), but for the music and dance routines performed by the traditionally dressed waitresses and of course their renditions of all those famous Korean Pop classics.
L’Eau Vive, Rome
Perhaps the strangest ‘musical’ restaurant is located in Rome and part of a chain of restaurants set up in the 1960s and managed by the Missionary Workers of the Immaculate of the Donum Dei Missionary Family; rather a mouthful – but these French style restaurants have a rather unusual addition to the menu – every evening nuns sing Ave Maria in front of a statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary; proof that you should always remember to say ‘grace’ before your meal.
Sue loves nothing better than trying new restaurants, sampling their menus and providing online reviews. Clever signage such as that provided by The Menu Shop is one sure fire way to entice her in to dine.