From a list of famous restaurant chains that went out of business, this one might be the most surprising given its backers.
ESPN Zone’s goal was to improve upon the idea of the average sports by, creating a sports and dining experience for the whole family. The idea came about when Disney bought the television sports network in 1996. Looking at the same time for shopping and dining to include at the Disney Boardwalk in Walt Disney World, the company came up with the idea of a restaurant based on the popular channel. ESPN Zones included arcades, TV and radio studios, in addition to the requisite big screens and dining of a typical sports bar.
ESPN Zone opened a handful of locations in high-profile areas, including Las Vegas and New York’s Times Square, in addition to those located in Disney properties, including Downtown Disney in California. However, the popularity of ESPN Zone took a downturn after the financial crisis of 2008. The last location to close was in Downtown Disney in 2018, although an ESPN Grill remains at the Disney Boardwalk.