NEW YORK — Norman Rockwell’s warm and fuzzy portraits of Americana are widely admired, even though his visions may have been more dream than reality. Soon, Rockwell’s paintings of an idyllic America will be popping up on Long Island, but not in an art gallery.
Bill Sukow, a Sayville restaurateur, plans to open the first of about eight Norman Rockwell-themed restaurants in Stony Brook in January. Sukow, has signed a deal with the Norman Rockwell Estate Licensing Co. in Niles, Ill., giving him the right to display copies of the Rockwell drawings and sell artifacts at the 3,500-square-foot, moderately priced restaurants. They will feature such American dishes as Southern fried chicken and apple pie.
Sukow got the idea after visiting a Rockwell museum in Stockbridge, Mass. The agreement he signed calls on him to open eight to ten such restaurants in the next five years. A total of four will be on Long Island. People, Sukow thinks, “are yearning for Americana.”
Mary Seitz-Pagano, the Rockwell Estate’s licensing director, said there are no such theme restaurants in the country. “I think this is a great idea,” she said.
[August 6. 2009 | Source: newsday.com]