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Theme restaurants still faring well in Arizona

PHOENIX — Themed restaurants have come and gone over the years in the Valley but it remains a hot market for this type of operation.

“I would tell you there are more successful theme restaurants across the state than not,” said Steve Chucri with the Arizona Restaurant Association.

Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar & Grill in Mesa is an example of a theme-style restaurant that has done well. Planet Hollywood at the Biltmore? Not so much.

“If you don’t have the right model it’s likely to fail,” said Chucri. “It may not fail in the first few years but eventually it catches up with you.”

Country band Rascal Flatts will open its first restaurant at City North in Phoenix later this year. Chucri expects it to do well.

“Look at Black Barts in Flagstaff, the Gaslight in Tucson,” he said. “You can go all over. They still draw people. So I think the overall health of theme restaurants is favorable.”