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New Hollywood and Vine restaurant honors Muppets

Discussion in 'Muppet Headlines' started by Phillip, Oct 15, 2002.

  1. Phillip

    Phillip Administrator Staff Member

    Roll out the red carpet for Hollywood and Vine restaurant

    By Heidi Prescott
    Tribune Columnist

    The famous intersection of Hollywood Boulevard and Vine Street in Hollywood, Calif., is the place to gaze at the stars.

    In just a few weeks, Mishawaka will unveil its own Hollywood and Vine. Customers of this new locally owned restaurant at University Park Mall will have the chance to star-gaze. The walls and tabletops are covered with movie and television posters.

    But that's not even the half of it.

    Tom Cruise, Julia Roberts, George Clooney, Meg Ryan, Tom Hanks and dozens of Hollywood celebrities have autographed the posters. They were collected -- though he does not like to call himself a "collector" -- by restaurant co-owner Jim Ward.

    How do you put your hands on so many autographed posters? e-Bay?

    "Contacts," Ward says modestly.

    Obviously, the kind of contacts in California that movie and television buffs would kill to have.

    Ward takes pride in how the posters have been framed and grouped in what used to be Atlanta Bread Co. A wide assortment of movie themes is found in the lobby -- from "Field of Dreams" to a French "Harry Potter" poster autographed by the actors as well as author J.K. Rowling.

    Large movie posters and smaller photos ranging from Tom Cruise in "Top Gun" to Jim Henson and The Muppets line the walls as you enter the restaurant. Another wall is covered with clapboards -- black and white slates generally used by movie directors to announce scenes and take numbers -- and a replicated "Walk of Fame."

    A back wall near the kitchen contains an enlarged picture of the Desilu Studios backlot, detailing where "Andy Griffith" was filmed, as well as numerous photos of Don Knotts.

    "Each one is something special," Ward says as he strolls the restaurant looking up at his potentially valuable collectibles. Ward and his partner in the business, Tim Concannon, made sure each frame is securely bolted to the wall and they installed a security system to keep the valuables safe.

    Nine Oscars -- replicas, of course, also line the checkout counter.

    "We canvassed people and asked about their image of Hollywood. I tried to bring some of that here," he says. And the theme is not just visible in the decor, but on the menu, too.

    There's the Kevin Bacon, Lettuce & Tomato sandwich, Three's a Cob salad, Alan Thicke cut sirloin, and a funny "American Pie" reference is made on the dessert menu.

    But every poster depicts a family-friendly movie or television show. If you consider each of his movie selections, Ward likes happy endings.

    If the autographs are not enough, Ward plans to display some unusual film artifacts in the windows at the entrance to the restaurant inside the food court. They will contain the uniforms worn in "A League of Their Own," the mitt used by Geena Davis, and a Madonna autograph.

    "As they look around," Ward says about his customers, "I want to see them smile." Ward and Concannon, also operate the Cinnabon Bakery at the mall.

    A familiar name in furniture

    Sofa Select may not be a familiar-sounding store name, but what about Eslinger Furniture? Five years after selling their South Bend furniture store to Heilig-Meyers, the Eslingers are back in business and Heilig-Meyers is gone.

    Back, but under a new name.

    Their new sofa store can be found at 4110 Grape Road, Mishawaka, in the Grape and Day Center. Sofa Select is scheduled to open Thursday in the former Indiana Home store.

    Despite the prime location, Sofa Select will be up against a perception issue.

    "Our marketing challenge is letting people know we're extremely different from the previous furniture store. We're not just opening under a new name," said Tom Eslinger.

    The main difference is Sofa Select will only carry living room, den, and family room furniture. In scouting the local market, Eslinger said their showroom will have more sofas than anyone else locally. Eighty-five sofas, to be exact.

    "We've been talking about this for a year and a half, and I knew if I ever wanted to get back in the business I wanted the store to be something different, not another 'me too' store," he said. "What we're doing today is a whole lot different than before."

    Have you heard?

    The former Service Merchandise store at University Commons shopping center on Grape Road is all torn up as Best Buy renovates the building for its new store. Watch for signs designating an alternative entrance and exit to the plaza during construction ... The space once occupied by the Papyrus store at University Park Mall will be used by Amish Acres through December ... Life Uniform has moved from University Park Mall to 5776 N. Grape Road, Indian Ridge Plaza ... The State Cafe, 132 S. Michigan St., downtown South Bend, now offers a lunch buffet on Wednesdays ... Wilson's Leather and Subway recently opened at Orchards Mall, Benton Harbor.

    http://www.southbendtribune.com/sto...0021011-sbt-MICH-B10-Roll_out_the_red_car.sto
  2. grail

    grail New Member

    now see...you just HAD to go and give me a reason to go back to south bend. it's only a couple of hours from here, may have to use it as an excuse to pay someone a visit...
  3. Michael

    Michael New Member

    Don't make too much of a special journey, not to see the Muppets feature anyway. Its nice that Jim Henson is included and that the article mentioned it, but as it says it is only a small photo and one of many in a large selection of signed pictures.

    Many of the Hollywood themed restaurants that have photos and montages on their walls feature Jim Henson or the Muppets in some form. So not really very newsworthy in the realm of things.

    Michael
  4. grail

    grail New Member

    oh i know, but i live in indianapolis, and my ex goes to notre dame, so up until this summer, i was in the area quite a bit. as it was, i just got disturbing news regarding her and someone who WAS my best friend (why must my life be a soap opera?)...so trust me, it was more talk than actual planning. i really don't wanna risk running into them, and that's just the sort of place they would go.

    i appreciate the heads up though...
  5. Stulz

    Stulz Member

    Hollywood Bld.

    speaking of Muppets on Hollywood Blv.
    I was driving down Hollywood Blv. last week and on the the store fronts had it's metal garage-type door pulled down.

    Yeah so... you all may inquire "What's the big deal?"

    Painted on the metal door in blacks, whites and grays was a portrait of Jim Henson and Kernit. It's the same image as used for the Apple "Think different" campain. And the image is pretty much right across the street from Jim's star!

    Pretty cool eh?

    So if you're ever in the Hollywood area.. 1st lookme up.. Then go and see if the stores closed... It's a pleasent surprise to see!!
  6. Stulz

    Stulz Member

    correction

    my bad .. I passed by it agian teh other day and the image is NOT from the "Apple" campaign but is from "The Jim Henson Hour" promo shot of Jim standing next to the TV with Kermit on top and the "new" Muppets coming out from the screen.
    Only Jim and Kermit are represented on the garage door.


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