The ESPN Zone restaurant in Times Square will close on June 16, along with four other ESPN-branded restaurants around the country, the company has announced. That means famished tourists will have to venture as many as 240 feet north on Broadway to the Hard Rock Cafe to get their standard-issue pub fare.
The other franchises to close are in Baltimore, Chicago, Las Vegas and Washington, DC. That leaves only the Los Angeles and Anaheim restaurants open. ESPN said that the economics of the restaurant business had become too difficult, but that the overall brand hadn’t stopped growing.
The closure of the Times Square franchise may also mark the end of an era, in which ESPN anchors inexplicably throw to their reporters, “live from the ESPN Zone in Times Square.” This saddens us somewhat: We’re pretty sure “live from the Disney Store in Times Square” won’t carry the same sports gravitas.