Monday, 13 August 2018

Monster Memories: Frank-N –Stein Bar & Grill

Scream Queen Brinke Stevens as an “Elvira-type mascot” for 
Frank-N –Stein Bar & Grill, 
Femme Fatales magazine, Spring 1994.
Not really a monster ‘memory’ as such as it seems it never actually existed but I was intrigued by this article which featured in the spring 1994 edition of Femme Fatales magazine featuring scream queen legend Brinke Stevens and a proposed restaurant called Frank-N –Stein Bar & Grill.  Writer/actor Delbert Winans is the founder of the Frank-N –Stein Bar & Grill, “A restaurant that serves as a historical overview of horror and science fiction films.” Winans negotiating for Burbank location, intends to “decorate the facilities with classic posters and authentic film props. The more graphic stuff- Things from the Texas Chainsaw Massacre and likeness of Linda Blair, hanging from the ceiling in a re-creation of The Exorcist- Will be limited to the bar area. Life-size wax figures will be sculpted by Henry Alvarez, whose work has surfaced in The Witches of Eastwick, The Thing, and three Robocop movies.” Brinke Stevenshas  has been brought in as an Elvira-type mascot. Fans who would like an illustrated brochure should send a sase to: Wolf’s Head Productions, 1540 West Gaylord, Long Beach, Calif. 90813-1233.” This place sounded amazing! I hadn’t heard of it before and so I turned to the internet, and yes, you guessed it... Nothing! Well, not much at least as it seems it never actually got off the ground, a real shame as I think this place would have been fantastic!  The only thing I could find was an article on the New Jersey Real-Time News website written by Donald Wittkowski posted on March 5, 2011 entitled, Atlantic City may get horror-themed wax museum and restaurant and it mentions, A development group hopes to capitalize on the public's fascination with the lifelike qualities of wax figures by combining a wax museum with another public obsession — eating. The waxworks-themed restaurant concept is being pitched to casinos in Atlantic City as the developers narrow their search for a location.” A gentleman called Joe Camarota, an engineer and former casino construction official was part of the development group said to have been working on the idea of melding the horror genre with a restaurant to create something called the "Hollywood Horror Cafe" since 1995 having teamed up with renowned West Coast wax sculptor and special effects expert Henry Alvarez and movie fine arts collector Delbert Winans to pursue a similar concept. What is particularly interesting about this partnership is that this group had formed after they were all introduced to each other through Sara Karloff, the daughter of Boris Karloff and as if that wasn’t enough their legal assistance was provided by Bela Lugos’s son, Bela Lugos Jr  a California attorney! It seemed that both Sara Karloff and Bela Lugosi Jr. had also agreed to help the group through their entertainment industry contacts and with licensing deals for horror memorabilia from the Karloff and Lugosi estates! Sadly Winans passed away in 2009 before seeing his vision become a reality but Alvarez and Camarota were continuing the partnership. The article explains how during the project’s development the company had originally been called  Gothic Entertainment Group and explains that before settling on the name "Hollywood Horror Cafe it had also been called " the "Gothic Grille" and "Frank-N-Stein Bar and Grille" (I believe ‘Monster Beastro’ was also used). It seemed that Alvarez was convinced that a waxworks-themed restaurant would be a popular with tourists in Atlantic City believing that a multimedia attraction would help pull the city out of its four-year economic slump, "For me, it's a big tourist area. They're trying to regenerate interest there. People are always interested in going to a wax museum to see celebrities." So how are they getting on? Does anyone out there know how this project is progressing? People are missing out on an amazing attraction here! Comment below or e-mail arfon@arfon.net if you have any additional information!

© Arfon Jones 2018. All images are copyrighted throughout the world.

2 comments:

  1. That sounds like a much better option than most fast food places...

    ReplyDelete

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