Posts tagged Star Tribune
Steven Schussler: ‘I’m not one who gives up’
Creative stunts helped Steven Schussler launch his career and later get Rainforest Cafe off the ground.
By WENDY LEE, Star Tribune
Before Steven Schussler created and sold the Rainforest Cafe, his neighbors thought he was into black magic.
Schussler spent nearly $400,000 turning his St. Louis Park home into his concept, with sound systems, waterfalls, 40 tropical birds, two 150-pound tortoises and other exotic animals.
He painted his ceilings black, so that when the greenery couldn’t cover all parts of the wall the rainforest facade would look more real. He spent nights crying and at times, even he questioned whether he was psychotic.
Steve Schussler is Walt Disney of theme restaurants
Behind the scenes with Rainforest Cafe owner
By Rachel Hutton Wednesday, Nov 10 2010
To view photos of the tour go to: http://tcb.citypages.com/slideshow/steve-schusslers-theme-restaurant-empire-31805049/
The offices of Schussler Creative are located in a dull, nondescript Golden Valley industrial park, near businesses that deal in the mundanities of insurance claims and automotive parts. But inside, Schussler Creative has the energy of a Silicon Valley startup. On the day I visited, I could hardly find a seat in the reception area for the assemblage of model outboard motors, revolving Ferris wheels, and Disney characters dressed in Star Wars garb. So I leaned against a ledge where a cloak-wrapped Mickey aimed his light saber at Donald Duck, who had been frozen, Han Solo-style, in a carbonite block.
All this, I soon learned, was merely a warm-up for the contents of Schussler’s adjacent warehouse. A staff member led me to the office’s utilitarian kitchenette where muffled tribal music could be heard playing behind a set of double doors. The staffer held a remote control, and I noticed that one of the buttons was labeled “FOG.” Anticipation built as it does when the line for a Disney ride inches forward: What sort of imaginary world lay beyond? More >