Can you imagine a world where someone believes that “no one needs more than one flavor of cheesecake?” Well, that was the prevailing “wisdom” across the southern California restaurant landscape in the 70s, just before The Cheesecake Factory swooped in with its never-ending varieties of cheesecake goodness. The Cheesecake Factory turns 45 this year. What better way to celebrate than to have some cheesecake?
The Cheesecake Factory’s Original Recipe
It all started in Detroit in the 40s when Evelyn Overton clipped a cheesecake recipe from the newspaper. Quite the home baker, she tinkered with the recipe, developing what would ultimately become her “Original” Cheesecake recipe. Although she opened a small cheesecake shop, she shuttered it to raise her two children, David and Renee.
The Cheesecake Factory Wasn’t Always a Restaurant
In a bold move, however, Evelyn Overton and her husband, Oscar, decided to use their dwindling savings to move to Los Angeles in 1972, where they reignited Evelyn’s dream. That year, they opened The Cheesecake Factory Bakery and began marketing and selling cheesecakes to restaurants throughout Los Angeles. Over the years, the couple gained momentum and extended the wholesale business across Southern California.
Who Says No to Strawberry Cheesecake?
Evelyn and Oscar Overton brought on their now-grown son, David Overton, to help grow the business. Immediately, however, Overton came face-to-face with what seemed like an unlikely hurdle – restaurants weren’t that interested in flavored cheesecakes. Taking the lead from his parents’ business savvy, he did something rather brazen, going so far as to open a Beverly Hills restaurant of their own to prove to others that – yes! – customers would love a variety of cheesecakes. Needless to say, he was right; and with that, David Overton became the founder and CEO of The Cheesecake Factory.
Even Famous People Love the Iconic Restaurant
As the business grew into a chain, Overton built the restaurant’s reputation for having an iconic menu, which includes more than 250 dishes and 30 varieties of the famous cheesecake. Since the restaurant’s menu reads more like a foodie’s wish list of American classics and international dishes, it quickly gained a following. So much so, The Cheesecake Factory has even earned loyalty from celebrities such as Magic Johnson, the Kardashian/Jenner family, Justin Bieber, Drake, Blake Shelton, Mindy Kaling, and Zendaya.
After 45 Years: The Locations Are as Unique as The Flavors
Since David Overton opened the first official Cheesecake Factory restaurant in Beverly Hills in 1978, the company has expanded to sell gift cards and merchandise and now includes over 200 locations worldwide. That list includes 30 international venues and some sites as unique as the famous cheesecake flavors themselves. Take, for example, the original location in Beverly Hills. Although it’s still the smallest of the many locations, with just enough room for 78 people, it’s twice as large as its original capacity.
If You’re a Fan of Big Bang Theory, Visit The Pasadena Location
Although it wasn’t filmed on-site, The Cheesecake Factory in Pasadena is the supposed location where the Big Bang Theory character, Penny, worked. Sure, Penny didn’t exactly stick the landing when she tried her hand at being a bartender at The Cheesecake Factory, she shifted to waitressing, and fans enjoyed her waitressing quips for the first seven seasons. In fact, the destination has become a popular stop for local tourist tours.
This Cheesecake Factory in Dubai Has Views of a Famous Suspended Aquarium
The first international Cheesecake Factory location opened in the Dubai Mall in August 2012. The restaurant’s layout is such that the dining room shares a wall with the famous Dubai Aquarium tank, one of the largest suspended aquariums on record. Luckily that wall is made of glass, so the guests get dinner – and a show. What could be better than noshing on their famed Cinnabon® Cinnamon Cheesecake while casually watching thousands of sea creatures and Sand Tiger Sharks?
Going to Caesars Palace in Las Vegas? Here’s a Guaranteed Win
Las Vegas is known for its excellent culinary scene with the likes of Vanderpump à Paris and Ramsay’s Kitchen, but The Cheesecake Factory has a trick up its sleeve. It’s located in the heart of the iconic Caesars Palace – across from the action, on the casino level. For the superstitious among us, it’s worth noting that this is The Cheesecake Factory’s 21st location. Knowing the minimum gambling age in Las Vegas is 21, this might inspire a bit of Vegas-esque fun.
Double Down in Dubai With Indoor Skiing and Sizzling Steak
As The Cheesecake Factory continued its international expansion to the Middle East, Latin America, and Asia, Dubai remained a popular location, with now six restaurants. Guests at the restaurant at Mall of the Emirates – at the base of Ski Dubai’s ski slope – are treated to sweeping views of the slopes. As if that isn’t unique enough, the Ski Dubai resort is an indoor ski facility with nearly 74,000 feet (22,500 square meters) of groomed indoor slopes.
Visit China’s First Cheesecake Factory Location at Shanghai Disney Resort
2016 was a big year at Shanghai Disney Resort, especially their Disneytown village. That year, The Cheesecake Factory moved into the dreamy landscape of Disneytown, the pedestrian-friendly district that immerses guests in all things Disney. Disneytown neighbors the Shanghai Disney amusement park but is a smaller, easy-to-navigate village setting. As we celebrate 100 Years of Disney, families and guests can explore Shanghai Disney Resort and landmark Cheesecake Factory – all in Disneytown’s easy-to-manage footprint.
The San Diego Location Is Listed on The National Register of Historic Places
Admittedly, the windows at The Cheesecake Factory of The Headquarters in San Diego are a bit small, but before raising an eyebrow – there’s a good reason. The location opened in 2013, but it’s housed within the historic old police headquarters, dating back to the 30s. The historic architecture also features lower-than-usual ceiling height compared to most locations. However, these details all contributed to the building being listed on the National Register of Historic Places. In addition to a memorable meal, guests can take photos across the street, where they’ll find eight fully preserved jail cells.
Visit The Cheesecake Factory’s Biggest Location
Knowing that the original Beverly Hills location remains the smallest, it’s only natural to wonder which of the over 200 restaurants is the largest. The Cheesecake Factory on the famed Kalakaua Avenue in Waikiki currently holds the title and offers three welcoming lanais (patios) aglow with the flickering light of tiki torches. Plus, in keeping with the area’s tropical vibe, guests here can enjoy the signature 250+ menu items but also local fish offerings and the popular cocktail, Paradise in a Pineapple, served in a fresh Hawaiian pineapple.