skitched-20080829-180516.jpg has a nice roundup of failure. Not this kind. But rather the kind that is first necessary for anyone to truly be great.

Take entrepreneur Bob Compton…

Compton teamed up with magician David Copperfield to launch a magic-themed restaurant in New York City’s Times Square. They had raised $40 million and had completed 80% of the project when a majority equity partner blocked another interested investor to avoid further dilution. “After several years of work, the project imploded,” recalls Compton. “I was extraordinarily depressed.

Although the 90′s certainly didn’t need another “theme restaurant,” a Copperfield branded magic restaurant sure would have been interesting.

  • Christopher Tracy

    When I went through my first training/brainwashing session at Disney back in 2000… They showed a video that included promo for the future: “David Copperfield Illusions” themed restaurant at Pleasure Island.

    Between NY and Disney’s involvement…
    I have to wonder why it never happened?
    Some of the ideas they had going for the project were brilliant and WAY ahead of their time!

    Now… Almost a decade later… They are shutting down ALL the clubs at Disney’s Pleasure Island this month in order to put in…
    (Get this) Theme restaurants!

  • JoeV

    I believe that the majority equity partner was Conseco. They had invested over $34 million dollars and decided to call it quits before they lost much more.

    There was talk at the time of the restaurant being the first to have a cover charge.

    The first one in New York was to be followed by two more at Walt Disney World. One at Downtown Disney and one at the Disney-MGM Studios, now called Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

    Both locations had large signs or displays announcing the upcoming restaurants. The studios had a large billboard at the entrance and Downtown Disney had a store front, now called Mickey’s Groove, that was to be used as the gift shop. I may have some photos from back then but it was long before affordable digital cameras. I will scan them if I can locate them in my many shoe boxes of photos.

    I was able to see about 5 possible logo ideas too. Prior to DC’s show in Orlando there was a small table in the lobby with some of the possible merchandise that would have been available at the restaurant gift shop. We were asked to pick out favorite from the logos that were shown. Most of them were stylized versions of the initials – CMU.

    Here is a shot of Michael Eisner and David at the announcement –


  • Steve

    I remember going out there when the signage went in at Downtown Disney. Same night that I saw David’s saw-blade at the Planet Hollywood there. Some of the sketches were featured in magic magazine when they did a story on Homer Liwag. Or was it Chris Kenner? I don’t remember. The story looked kinda like a skattered desk if I remember correctly.