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27 Jul 2004

Elvisly Yours owner plans world-wide restaurant rollout



Sid Shaw, the man who sensationally took on the US-based Elvis Presley Estate and won the right to use the King’s name and image is now planning the global rollout of an Elvis-themed restaurant.

Shaw took the Elvis Presley Estate to court to challenge the idea that they could monopolise the singer’s name and eventually won the right to use the name outside of the US. Having run the Elvisly Yours shop on Baker Street since 1979, he now plans to turn his brand into a world-wide restaurant concept.

Shaw and his new business partner, Barry Hilton, have worked on the project and business plan with Ray Hole of Furneaux Stewart Design and the team is now looking for partners to roll the concept out.

“We want to open an Elvisly Yours restaurant in every major city in the world;” said Shaw, “except the US of course, because we can’t use the Elvis name there.”

He aims to open in London first, in 2005, then roll out globally from 2006, with target cities including Tokyo, Berlin, Dublin, Paris and Rome.

The restaurants, which are expected to cost around £1-3m to set up will all be between 10-11,000sq ft in size and offer 300 covers.

Guests will enter the restaurant through a 25ft tall, animatronic, 1950s-style Elvis Presley which talks, moves and curls his lip – and later bids you goodnight.

The walls will be covered with exclusive pictures of Elvis, while the staff will be dressed in Elvis-style costumes.

The food on the menu will be mainly Southern, Cajun and US-style food – and even include peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Each item will be Elvis-themed; such as Viva Las Vegas Pancakes, Jailhouse Rock Brownies and the Cool Shook Up vodka cocktail.

The restaurants will also include one of the world’s longest bars, with the combined bar and dining area themed as the fret-board of a guitar and wrapped around the performance space.

Either side of the stage are exclusive ‘jungle room’ private areas which guests can book and hold between 12 and 36 people.

Souvenirs will also be on sale including plates, mugs and Elvisly Yours champagne and even replicas of Elvis’s jumpsuits and jewellery. Shaw expects the restaurants’ menus and cocktail lists – covered in blue suede with an embossed image of the singer – to become collectors’ items. He also expects souvenir sales to be a large part of the business, aiming for merchandise sales on a par with those at Hard Rock Cafés.

“Elvis is one of the top 10 brands in the world,” said Shaw. “There are already seven Elvis-themed restaurants in London and another opening this week; there are thousands of Elvis tribute artists so there is clearly the market for our concept.

“The restaurants will not only play Elvis music and play host to Elvis tribute artists, but will also play the music that influenced him, including blues and gospel.

“There are so many songs and so many images of Elvis which can be used to keep changing our offer. We can have Blue Hawaii nights or GI Blues nights with music and staff costumes to match – even the guests might be encouraged to come in dressed up.

“The restaurant isn’t just for Elvis fans, it’s for anyone who wants good food and entertainment, but I really believe this will work as Elvis’s appeal is everlasting; the Japanese prime minister is a huge Elvis fan, I’m sure he would be very receptive to the idea of opening an Elvisly Yours restaurant in Tokyo.” Details: www.elvisly-yours.com or +44 (0)1923 242001


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