Conde Nast to Serve Up More Cheesy Magazine-Themed Restaurants

vogueYou can't blame them for trying, as the magazine world has been rocked in the past decade (and not in a good way), but Conde Nast's efforts to launch magazine-themed restaurants around the world is just sad. I love a good cheese plate in a restaurant, but cheesy-themed restaurants, not so much -- except the T-Rex Cafe with my kids, because that's pretty cool. 

But the Vogue Cafe or the GQ Bar -- could you really eat in one with a straight face? Conde Nast thinks plenty of people will as they're expanding their reach in the restaurant biz. Three such restaurants opened in Moscow in recent years (the two aforementioned as well as the Tatler Club), and they recently announced plans to open a Vogue Cafe in Kiev and a GQ Bar in Istanbul. None are planned for the United States yet, but unfortunately, it's probably only a matter of time.


Besides the cheese factor, if we're being honest, it just seems so ... beneath Vogue. Vogue is everything that is gorgeous and beautiful and, for the most part, unattainable in life. I buy it to fill my daydreams and inspire my thoughts ... I don't want to eat a bowl of soup in it or try to live out some weird magazine/reality fantasy. And can you even imagine the type of guy a GQ Bar would attract? I'm seeing a room full of men like Scott Disick.

Conde Nast sees it differently. Jonathan Newhouse told Women’s Wear Daily:

Vogue and GQ stand for the best in taste, discernment, and pleasurable living. Nothing could be more natural than to expand these brands into restaurants where our readers and digital users can experience these brands in a new and exciting form.

Exciting to whom, though? Throngs of tourists who have tired of Planet Hollywood and want to snap pictures of themselves next to life-sized statues of Anna Wintour (I'm just imagining), perhaps, but not to true fans of the magazine who actually buy it each month. Maybe I'm not giving them a fair shake as I've never been to one of the establishments, but the very thought of these restaurants just makes me think a little less of the magazines and more about how many little kitschy bits they could adapt from The Bubba Gump Shrimp Company (Stop Giselle, stop! signs on each table perhaps?). I can hear Madonna's song playing now ...

What do you think about magazine-themed restaurants -- tasty or tacky?

Image via Flickr

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