Disney Closes Doors of Five ESPN Zone Restaurants

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Baltimore's ESPN Zone

Ron Sachs/CNP/Corbis

After this latest round of cuts, California will be the lone state left with a branch of the sports bar / restaurant / arcade combos.

The Walt Disney Co. announced on Wednesday that it is shutting down five of its ESPN Zone Restaurants. The AP reports that the spots set to close are Baltimore, Chicago, New York, Las Vegas, and Washington D.C. The only two locations that escaped the out-of-business axe are Los Angeles and Anaheim, Calif.

In July 1998, Baltimore was the first city to open an ESPN Zone branch, which combines a video arcade, food, drinks and live televised sporting events. But the recent economic downturn caused Disney to begin downsizing the brand in 2009, as it shut down locations in Atlanta and Denver.

“We didn’t see the business turning (around) quickly,” ESPN senior vice president Rick Alessandri told the AP. “It was a call, unfortunately, we had to make.”

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