You’ve seen the Tom Hanks movie and used the catchphrases. Now you can down the food. The latest installment in the Forrest Gump phenomenon: the Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. restaurant, which opened March 29 in the coastal tourist town of Monterey, Calif., and may be just the first of many Forrest food joints.
The 200-seat theme eatery — a co-venture of Paramount Pictures and the California-based Rusty Pelican restaurant chain — features all things Gump, including a replica of Forrest’s famed bench, Oscar-winning director Robert Zemeckis’ production notes, and the requisite gift shop (plush shrimp toys are among the knickknacks for sale).
As for the menu, well, it certainly lives up to the name. ”We won’t have as many kinds of shrimp as talked about in the movie,” says Rusty Pelican restaurant CEO Scott Barnett, ”but we’ll have a big selection.” Main courses, which are priced from $6 to $16, include such Gump-inspired dishes as Lt. Dan’s Drunkin Prawns and Championship Ping Pong Salad, though the peas and carrots Forrest was always talking about are not yet on the menu.
So far, diners are eating it up. ”The first few days exceeded our wildest expectations,” says Gump Shrimp Co. general manager Dave Trombetta. ”We have consistently had two-hour waits and a line to get in.” Eat, Forrest! Eat!