Immersive DC Universe restaurant heading to London
Warner Bros. to team with Wonderland Restaurants to build a DC-themed restaurant in London.
In the past, superhero and comic movies were perhaps viewed as escapism and a venture into fantasy for a brief few hours. They were something to consume for a little while before emerging blinking from the theatre and resuming daily duties.
Comic books have historically had communities form around them as well, but with their explosion in popularity in recent times, consumers are now very invested in the stories of their favourite characters, and are ravenous for anything related. This means production companies would need to look for innovative ways to promote their universes and provide their customers with unique experiences.
Warner Bros. and DC Comics have teamed with Wonderland Restaurants to develop and open a DC-themed restaurant at 77 Brewer Street in London. Named "Park Row" (a DC in-world reference to the street that is considered the birthplace of Batman), the venture will redevelop 18,000 square feet to fit the themes of the DC world.
Forbes reports that the premises will be developed into five areas, with guests entering a central section kitted out to resemble the Batcave. The atmospheres in each area vary, with a library-esque section named Pennyworth (after Alfred the Butler), Old Gotham City (described as a "villainous speakeasy), an Omakase restaurant with a Harley Quinn style, and the Penguin-themed Iceberg Lounge, which will be home to live entertainment.
A design and access statement, obtained by Eater London expands on the development, saying "The proposed design continues the use of the space as a high-end restaurant. The restaurant will be rooted within the DC Multiverse, taking visitors on a culinary adventure through the many fictional Universes famous for their superhero residents such as Batman, Superman and Wonderwoman."
Theme restaurants can risk being rather cheesy and perhaps flavourless, however the names behind this venture are notable; James Bulmer, who was a backer of the three Michelin-starred restaurant The Fat Duck, and Claudio Cardoso, who was the global group executive chef of Sushisamba. The roster of names behind Park Row should hopefully lift the themed-restaurant to being more than just a gimmick, and being a strong experience on its own.