When the Burlington Mall Had a Rainforest Cafe
One of my favorite restaurants is the Rainforest Cafe. I miss that there is no longer one within driving distance from home.
Rain Forest Cafe doesn't have the best menu and it is pricey, but what I love about it is the atmosphere and the memories made through the years of time spent with family and friends on special occasions.
Rainforest Cafe is a jungle-themed restaurant chain owned by Landry's Inc. of Houston. The first Rainforest Cafe opened on February 3, 1994 at the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota.
Current U.S. locations include Florida, New Jersey, Minnesota, Arizona, Nevada, California, Texas, Illinois, Michigan and Tennessee.
International locations include France, Japan, Canada, Malta and Abu Dhabi, and Dubai in the United Arab Emirates.
Many domestic and foreign locations have closed since the height of the chain's popularity, including the one at the Burlington Mall in Burlington, Massachusetts. That location opened in October 1998 and closed on April 26, 2016.
The first Rainforest Cafe I visited was in 1996 at what was then called Downtown Disney in Orlando, Florida. I was amazed by the exterior, which consisted of a volcano that erupted with flames, the animatronic animals and thunderstorms on the inside.
My family often celebrated special events at the Burlington Mall location. Wherever our travels took us around the country, we would visit the Rainforest Cafe if there was one locally.
We still visit the Rainforest Cafe locations in Nashville, Orlando and Las Vegas just for old-time's sake.
Then-New Bedford Mayor Fred Kalisz and I once led two busloads of school kids on a field trip to Boston's Science Museum, which included lunch at the Burlington Mall's Rainforest Cafe. Most had never been to either and enjoyed both.
The Burlington Mall Rainforest Cafe location was replaced by a furniture store.
Wouldn't it be awesome if they opened a Rainforest Cafe on King's Highway in New Bedford?
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Gallery Credit: Reesha Cosby