There are 32 Bubba Gump Shrimp Company restaurants located around the world. Twenty-two are in the U.S. There are three in Japan, two in Mexico, two in Malaysia, and one each in the Philippines, Indonesia and Hong Kong.
But for the love of all things Holy about our good and fair state devine, there is not a Bubba Gump Shrimp Company in Alabama.
Not even one.
As you can see from my photos above, I’ve had the pleasure of eating at two of them: one in Times Square in New York, and the other on the bay in San Francisco. It’s a really great restaurant, and if you’re lucky, your server will find out where you’re from and you’ll have a blast. I ordered the coconut shrimp both times, and while it wasn’t Gulf-fresh, it was still delicious.
Everyone who is anyone in Alabama has clearly seen the 1994 blockbuster film Forrest Gump. The film won six Academy Awards including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Actor. It was the second highest grossing film of 1994, trailing behind The Lion King. Based on the novel by Winston Groom, Forrest Gump is the life story of a slow-witted man from Alabama, living through the 20th century. Forrest plays football for Bear Bryant, goes to Vietnam and eventually marries the love of his life, Jenny.
When Forrest joined the Army, he met another young man from Alabama, Benjamin Buford Blue, affectionately known as “Bubba.”
Bubba was from the Alabama Gulf Coast, where his family was, “in the shrimpin’ business.” He and Forrest agreed to go into business together after the war. Sadly, like many others, Bubba was killed in action in Vietnam. Upon his return home, Forrest purchased his own shrimp boat and started Bubba Gump Shrimp in Bayou La Batre, Alabama. He became a millionaire.
After the film, the first Bubba Gump Shrimp Company restaurant was opened in Monterey, California and it became a chain shortly thereafter. Despite the fictional film and novella having a recurring Alabama theme, the restaurant is yet to come to our state.
Why is there not a location here? It remains a mystery. Why would someone take the time to make a restaurant chain based on the state of Alabama (literally), have 32 locations, but NOT have a single one actually in Alabama?
Since the food served isn’t Gulf-Fresh, the restaurant doesn’t necessarily need to be located near our beaches. A location in Birmingham, Huntsville, or even Mobile would be perfect.
If you feel strongly that Bubba Gump Shrimp Company restaurant should have a location in Alabama, please let their management know here: http://www.bubbagump.com/contact/
Have you ever eaten at one? What did you think? Let us know in the comments below.