Sure, laugh if you want. Their wonton taco appetizers are the bomb. And I'll stab anyone in the knuckles if they try to take one off my plate. (Full disclosure: I just lied. I haven't eaten at an Applebee's in 15 years.)
Yes, Club Applebee's is a real thing. It all started in a grass-roots sort of way: Locals needed a place to let their hair down (among other things) after the kids went to bed and a heads-up manager responded. He sealed the deal with half-priced apps and a karaoke machine. If you don't believe me, here's this from Advertising Age:
"Certain Applebee's locations in the U.S. have become known as Club Applebee's because locations such as one in Del Rio, Texas, and about 50 Applebee's in central Florida lure customers in with half-price appetizers, drink specials and the promise of dance music and karaoke."
"Staying open later allows us to have more fun things later at night when kids are in bed," Brian Masilionis, senior beverage manager at Applebee's, told AdAge.
I just can't stop thinking about the Ghost Bar. It would behoove Victory Park to take a page out of the Applebee's playbook, right? Post signs in the bathroom stalls in the lobby at the W, "Karaoke and half priced wonton tacos starting as soon as the kiddos are nighty-night." They'll kill it.
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Then, maybe, Victory Park will finally figure out what it's going to be when it grows up.
As far as taking these late night plans national: "We're not done talking about it nationally. Stay tuned in terms of how the messaging will evolve," Masilionis told AdAge.
After a quick run through the Googler for photos, the Observer's sister publication in Miami, Florida, NewTimes, scored these photos off YouTube from an Applebee's in Estero, Florida. See. Told you it'd be perfect for the old Ghost Bar crowd.
Tip o' the hat, Kyle Munzenrieder in Miami. Thanks for the keeping the dream alive.