A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006. Now a Popeyes fast food restaurant on Google Maps.

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Entry from November 14, 2011
Destination Restaurant

A “destination restaurant” is a restaurant that draws people from beyond its neighborhood to specifically eat there. Destination restaurants can be theme restaurants or high quality restaurants.
The term “destination restaurant” has been cited in print since at least 1980.
Wikipedia: Types of restaurant
Destination restaurant
A destination restaurant is one that has a strong enough appeal to draw customers from beyond its community.
How to Make a Destination Restaurant
People often go to the restaurants and many of them have their favourite ones. But why and how people choose it? What are the reasons for their choice? Is it the food, ambience, price, service? No doubt, it is. But what if people in the town next to yours do not know this? You should know that marketing to your customers in neighboring communities is a valuable technique and it can help build your sales for the long term and expand the popularity of your establishment.
Most people have a favorite restaurant somewhere else. They may discover this on their own, or they may be told by friends. A destination restaurant is a place where people ordinarily go out of their way to visit.
24 September 1980, Oregonian (Portland, OR), “Development commission OKs $106 million Fountain Plaza complex” by Michael Alesko, pg. D8, col. 4:
“We plan at least four or five good desination restaurants plus some fast-food restaurants.”
Google NewsArchive
9 April 1982, Sarasota (FL) Journal, pg. 10A, col. 3 ad:
Dock your boat or park your car and dine at one of the six elegant, destination restaurants at Sarasota Quay or snack informally at the Gourmet Marketplace.
(Sarasota Quay—ed.)
Google Books
October 1982, Texas Monthly, pg. 99, col. 1:
Arthur’s, 4001 Broadway (826-3200).This is the closest thing in San Antonio to a “destination restaurant,” one whose attractions — of food, service, and ambience — are enough to make people simply want to be there.
6 February 1984, New York (NY) Times, “3 News Restaurants to Open in Rockefeller Center” by William E. Geist, pg. B3:
The restaurants are intended not only as an amenity for those who work in the area, offering meals from relatively low to relatively high prices, but also as an attraction to draw visitors to the center. “These are destination restaurants,” Mr. Valenti explained.
Google Books
Restaurant Design:
Ninety-five spaces that work

By Susan Colgan
New York, NY: Whitney Library of Design
Pg. 15:
A destination restaurant is a special place to go. It has an excellent reputation: The food is au point and the atmosphere usually combines elegance and restraint.
Google Books
4 April 1987, New York magazine, pg. 98, col. 2:
Already popular with young bankers and traders — you’ve seen this crowd and this postmodern room before — it’s (Tommy Tang’s—ed.) another “destination” restaurant that brings life to TriBeCa after dark.
Google Books
10 September 1990, New York magazine, pg. 148, col. 2:
It’s (Le Bar Bat—ed.) going to be a “destination restaurant,” as they say in the biz.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityRestaurants/Bars/Coffeehouses/Food Stores • Monday, November 14, 2011 • Permalink

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