July 12, 1998 – The First ESPN Zone Restaurant Opens in Baltimore, Maryland
“Offering non-stop action, high-energy fun, unbelievable food, and much more.”
On July 12, 1998, the first ESPN Zone restaurant opened in Baltimore, Maryland, followed by openings in Chicago, New York, Atlanta, Washington DC, Anaheim, Las Vegas, and Denver. This was Disney’s first major commercial venture outside the theme parks, and was a sports restaurant complex based on the channel ESPN. The restaurant became well-known for its “Ultimate Couch Potato” contest, where customers competed to see who could out-sit each other while watching non-stop sports programming. The Atlanta and Denver restaurants closed in 2009, while the others, save for the one in Anaheim, closed in June, 2010.