From Graceland to Dubailand

Dubai’s first Elvis-themed restaurant is planned to open at a 1500ft² premises in Dubai.

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By  Lynne Nolan Published  September 1, 2006

Dubai’s first Elvis-themed restaurant is planned to open at a 1500ft² premises in Dubai. Waiters dressed like the king of rock and roll will serve diners at Elvisly Yours, which will be located at Mall of Arabia, Dubailand. Owned by London-based Sid Shaw and designed by Ray Hole of RH Architects, the exclusive gastronomic tribute to Elvis will form part of a global chain of restaurants of the same name. Targeting fans of Elvis and tourists, the business will merge the interests of Shaw, who has been selling Elvis memorabilia for over 25 years, and Hole, who has designed Mall of Arabia. Other companies involved in the venture include Simon Gillot of Intoto Design, Adrian Bates of Guest Bates Partnership as quantity surveyor, and Barry Hilton of Jailhouse Rock The Musical. RH Architects has allocated between AED 7 – 21 million [US $1.9 - $5.7 million] for the development, while the estimated opening date and location in the mall has yet to be confirmed. Plans for the restaurant’s interior include seating arranged in the shape of a guitar’s fret board, while the soundboard of the guitar will serve as a dance floor area. Look-alikes, karaoke, and tribute artists will provide Elvis-style entertainment. “The bar will be one of the longest in the world, wrapping around the inside of the restaurant in a huge arc. The music that influenced Elvis will also be entertaining diners, such as blues, country, gospel and rockabilly,” comments Ray Shaw, owner, Elvisly Yours Merchandising. Shaw expects the restaurants’ menus and cocktail lists — covered in blue suede with an embossed image of the singer — to become collectors’ items, and for merchandise sales to be a large part of business. Diners will also have the opportunity to savour the taste of the King’s renowned tunes in the form of the Jungle Room and Blue Suede Heaven suites. There will also be a 25ft high Elvis of the 50s greeting guests at the entrance with the words, “Thank You Very Much,” whilst moving his hips and curling his lip. With Elvis images and memorabilia, the menu will also be themed, with dishes including Stuck On You’ spicy chicken wings, Love Me Tender steaks, King Creole Gumbo, Too Much Monkey Business dessert and All Shook Up iced tea Lured by their leisure and entertainment driven-lifestyles incorporating a multiplicity of nationalities, Dubai, London and Japan have been chosen by the company to front the chain. “It is hoped to also open the restaurants in cities like Tokyo, Berlin and Dublin. The ethos will be to make sure the customer is King or Queen. We want to open an Elvisly Yours restaurant in every major city in the world, except the US of course, because we can’t use the Elvis name there, ” Shaw added.

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