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[Updated] Rainforest Cafe at Westfarms Mall Closes Its Doors

Sunday night was the last night for the family-oriented restaurant/adventure spot in Connecticut.

[UPDATED] Tuesday, Feb. 12, 6:05 p.m.

Rainforest Cafe management was not available for comment when this story was originally published.

On Tuesday evening, Keith Beitler, Senior Vice President, Chief Operating Officer - Specialty Restaurants Division, Kemah Boardwalk & International Franchising provided the following statement via email: “Due to our lease not being renewed, Rainforest Cafe has closed its operation at Westfarms Mall. We are committed to providing our guests with a quality dining experience and we look forward serving our loyal patrons at our locations in Burlington, MA and Edison, NJ.”

Original Story

The Rainforest Cafe's jungle atmosphere may have been a welcome break from blizzard clean up for many West Hartford and Farmington Valley families, but locals will have to find their tropical fix elsewhere.

Following dinner on Sunday night, the Rainforest Cafe at Westfarms Mall closed its doors for good.

Westfarms General Manager Kevin Keenan confirmed Monday that Sunday was the last day of business for the restaurant/store/entertainment spot.

"I would expect people to be surprised because it's not something we announce in advance," he said.

Rainforest Cafe's lease was up, Keenan said. "It was a business decision, made on a number of factors, not to renew the lease," said Keenan. That negotiation was handled by Rainforest Cafe and Taubman Company, which owns Westfarms.

Keenan did not know how the information was being communicated to Rainforest Cafe employees.

The first floor space near Macy's will become the new home of an expanded Forever 21 store, Keenan said. Westfarms announced last week that the clothing store would be moving and expanding, but the location was not specified at that time.

"We're very excited about the expansion of Forever 21," said Keenan. "It will be an appropriate-sized space" for the popular, reasonably-priced women's clothing store. The expansion is being made possible through the relocation of Things Remembered and Champs.

There are currently no other Rainforest Cafes in Connecticut.

The following message appeared on Rainforest Cafe's website Monday morning: "The Farmington - Westfarms Mall location is closed. Please visit our two closest locations: Rainforest Cafe - Boston Burlington and Rainforest Cafe - Menlo Park.

 

Friend of Joe's February 18, 2013 at 10:33 PM
Sounds like you know everything Liz - why don't you start your own website/news outlet? Unless someone is clarevoyant, there are going to be things that get missed. And by the way, not all fires are news or news wothy you pompus windbag - You seem to have a lot of time on your hands you do-nothing elitest gargoyle. Get a job and get a life!
Friend of Joe's February 18, 2013 at 11:29 PM
MJ "Mommy, love me!" Mommy "No, you are a nasty brat" MJ "wahhhhhhaahhhhhahaaa" Poor MJ's mommy didn't love her. I suggest you take a look at what it means to be a human being and do us all a favor and move on.
Chocolate March 02, 2013 at 05:36 AM
They finally closed..wow!! I used to work there in 02-06 and they were threatening to close then. It's no surprise though, with places like Nomads and chuck e cheese's(always coupons n paper) it was bound to close its doors. What gets me is that they didn't have the decency to tell the employees they were closing or place them elsewhere. Ridiculous but just like Landry's Co.
Diana R. Rodriguez March 16, 2013 at 02:25 PM
Wow....I worked there from 09/2010-06/2011 & left due to my knee surgery (following the birth of my daughter & marriage)....Its crazy! I met so many nice people there & made new friends......I was SHOCKED when i heard it closed its doors for good....sad, truely sad.....thought my daughter would love the experience :(
Heather lyn March 19, 2013 at 05:23 PM
So sad.What a wonderful place to dine ! My husband and I have brought our girls there since they were babies.There both in high school and still enjoyed it so much.Hopefully they will decide to have another Rain Forest in Connecticut.You will be missed , Great food, wait staff, and much to enjoy looking at..... Your Friends xoxo

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