Throwing away the key after 23 years of terrifying tourists. 

If you’ve ever Googled “weird restaurants in Tokyo”, one of the top results that would’ve come up is The Lockup.

Diners at this prison-themed restaurant are handcuffed by a staff member posing as a police officer upon entry and led to dining rooms that look like prison cells. Plus, three times a night there’s a surprise jailbreak, where all the lights go out and staff dressed as clowns, monsters and all sorts of terrifying characters run around the restaurant terrorising patrons.

The horror-filled restaurant first burst onto the dining scene in Kyoto back in 1999 and grew to have over a dozen branches around Japan, including five in Tokyo. However, 23 years after The Lockup began, its time has now come to an end, because Partners Dining, the restaurant’s operators, has just announced that the last branch of The Lockup, in Shinjuku’s Kabukicho, will close for good on 31 July.

While no official reason has been given for the closure, The Lockup was particularly popular with international tourists, so it’s likely that the decrease in overseas visitors due to the pandemic played some role in the restaurant closing its doors.

Though the news has saddened fans of the unique eatery, The Lockup intends to go out with a bang, as it’s holding a closing event entitled “Everyone Jailbreak! Final The Lockup“. This final event comes with a special “Goodbye Lockup Course“, featuring 13 of the most popular menu items, which costs 3,000 yen (US$22.41) for the food, and 0 yen for the “imprisonment” (a.k.a. the entry fee), which usually costs 550 yen.

▼ As soon as you step into the entrance of the restaurant (pictured below), imprisonment is par for the course.

Some of the highlights from the Goodbye Lockup Course include the “We are Aliens” octopus plate…

▼ …and the Devil’s Left Hand, which looks gnarly but don’t worry — it’s only chicken.

Thirsty prisoners get to choose from a wide variety of weird beverages during their meal, with all-you-can drink “beaker drink” cocktails priced at a discounted rate of 690 yen until 26 June.

The closing event will run from 13 June until 24 July, which is roughly a week before the restaurant closes, so we’ll have to wait and see if any further shenanigans will be planned for that final jailbreak week.

The Lockup says it hopes to meet all its past prisoners again someday, and though the staff terrified us while they were here, we can’t help but hope we can meet them again someday too.

Restaurant information
Prison restaurant “The Lockup TOKYO” / 監獄レストラン「ザ・ロックアップTOKYO」
Address: Tokyo-to, Shinjuku-ku, Kabukicho 1-16-3 Tokyo Celesa Yoei Shinjuku Building 7F
東京都新宿区歌舞伎町1-16-3 セレサ陽栄新宿ビル7F
Open: 5:00 p.m.-11:00 p.m. (Mon-Fri) 12:00 p.m.-11:00 p.m. (Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays)
Website for reservations

Source: PR Times
Featured image: PR Times
Insert images: PR Times

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