LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Diners can relive the golden age of air travel at a Los Angeles restaurant that recreates the experience of flying with Pan Am World Airways in the 1970s.
The “Pan Am Experience,” designed by aviation themed film production company Air Hollywood, allows guests - dubbed ‘passengers’ - to step back in time to dine inside an exact interior replica of a Pan Am Boeing 747.
The experience is divided into First Class cabins, where two tickets cost $690, $590 for the Main Deck and $490 for two seats at a Clipper Class cabins, with an upper deck dining room accessible via an original spiral staircase.
The restaurant is the brainchild of Anthony Toth, a self-confessed aviation junkie who started collecting Pan Am memorabilia after he took his first flight on the airline at the age of five, and Air Hollywood chief executive Talaat Captan.
“I actually had a lot of vintage menus from all my days of traveling Pan Am and so I picked really what my favorite one was and I went to a caterer and had them replicate the menu in exact detail,” Toth said.
“Part of the experience is actually how we present it and roll it on the cart and it’s what really brings the Pan Am menu to life,” he said.
Glamorous ‘air stewardesses’ wearing authentic uniforms from the 1970s era cover each table or tray-table with a white tablecloth, set it with Pan Am branded silverware and napkins, and then serve the five-course meal from aisle trolleys.
After a glass of champagne and hors d’oeuvre of caviar and melba toast accompanied by an optional shot of ice cold Finlandia vodka, diners are served a nostalgic menu of shrimp cocktail followed by chateaubriand steak, carved seat-side and served with seasonal vegetables. A cheese plate and desert follow.
A bartender mixes retro cocktails at the upper deck curved bar, and those who prefer a soft drink can choose 1970s favorites Tab and Fresca.
It is an experience that is hard to find for the modern traveler, guests said.
Sonja Vukasin, who worked as a flight attendant for Pan Am from 1963 to 1967, said present day air travel has entirely changed since her flying days.
“The airlines don’t do what they used to do. Pan Am was the best and they always created the very best service,” she said while dining at the restaurant.
Reporting by Jane Ross for Reuters TV; Editing by Piya Sinha-Roy and Andrew Hay