MINNEAPOLIS-The founder of Rainforest café has just struck a partnership deal with Levy Restaurants to develop and operate their first “edutainment” concept: T-Rex.Restaurant and entertainment concept incubator Schussler Creative, owned by Rainforest founder Steve Schussler of Minneapolis, had what he calls a “key strategic decision” to bring in Levy Restaurants to manage all food, beverage and retail operations.

Together, he hopes they can develop the attraction to be a place for people to eat, shop, explore and discover at the interactive concept, which features the prehistoric predator, the Tyrannosaurus Rex. Designed with the elements of water, fire and ice, the experience comes to life in cascading waterfalls, bubbling geysers, animatronic dinosaurs, a real fossil dig site, a paleo laboratory and an ice cave. T-Rex intends to offer guests an adventure into prehistoric times while enjoying high-quality food.

The first restaurant will launch in Kansas City, MO in early 2006, near the Nascar speedway, Cabela’s and Warren Buffet’s Furniture Mart, an area expected to draw about 12 million to 15 million visitors per year.

Other high-traffic tourist destinations will follow, including legendary casino-destination Mohegan Sun in Connecticut by 2008. The restaurants will open in up to eight markets across the US.

Chicago-based Levy Restaurants specializes in sports and entertainment dining such as Spiaggia and Bistro 110 in Chicago and Fulton’s Crab House in Walt Disney World. The company owns, manages or operates 95 locations, including 24 restaurants and 71 sports and entertainment venues, in 41 markets across North America and Canada.

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