Twins: The Mid-'90s Restaurant Staffed by Identical Twins

New York City was a magical place in the '90s. Rent was affordable, the Village was still weird, and fountains were full of dancing young urbanites. The most magical thing of all, though, was the fact that you could go to a restaurant staffed entirely by identical twins.

Opened in 1994, Twins Restaurant was located on the Upper East Side. Its staff consisted of 29 sets of identical twins who worked as hostesses, bartenders, waiters, and waitresses. It was owned by Lisa and Debbie Ganz (identical twins) and Tom Berenger (there is only one Tom Berenger). In fact, there were only two nontwins who worked there full-time: the chef and the general manager.

When Twins opened, Lisa Ganz told People, "It took us only two weeks to find enough twins to work here. We've had twins quit their full-time day jobs to work here. It's not about money—it's about the twin thing." Employees had to work at the same time and wear the same outfit, and if one called out sick, the other twin was forced to take the day off. If your twin got fired at Twins, that meant you got canned as well. Twins giveth, and Twins taketh away.

The New York Times' Ruth Reichl was a fan, writing, "Twins sounds like a pretty silly gimmick. Until you get there. When you are greeted at the door by two gorgeous and identical hostesses, then glance at the bar to find two identical men pouring drinks, the idea begins to grow on you."

The menu was full of twin-themed dishes like Twin Peaks nachos, twin burgers, and Paté Duke platter (Patty Duke had an "identical cousin," not a twin, but some puns are too good to eschew). According to Reichl, the best item on the menu was the cheese fondue, "which arrives bubbling over a fire and surrounded by cubes of bread, tiny hot dogs, curly fries and pieces of broccoli."

If you and your twin dined at the restaurant, you'd be treated to two-for-one drinks. The Ganzes claim they met "over 100,000 sets of multiples" during the five years they ran the restaurant, a place they call "a shrine for multiples around the world." But alas, like the Statue of Zeus at Olympia before it, this shrine wouldn't last forever—Twins closed in 2000. Although there have been rumblings of a new incarnation in Times Square, Twins 2 has yet to materialize.

Last year, a restaurant opened in Moscow called Twin Stars that was also staffed entirely by twins. However, Lisa Ganz complained that, not only had Twin Stars stolen their concept, but the eatery also "only has fraternal twins." A restaurant that only has fraternal twins? Now that's just weird.

nextArticle.image_alt|e
Pierluigi Luceri, Flickr // CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
arrow
Weird
Two Human Toes Were Stolen From an Anatomy Exhibit
Pierluigi Luceri, Flickr // CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
Pierluigi Luceri, Flickr // CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

A 28-year-old New Zealand man walked into an anatomy exhibition with 10 toes and walked out with 12. We don't know why or how he did it, but the man stole two human toes from a Body Worlds display in Auckland last month, The New Zealand Herald reports.

The unnamed man appeared in court Monday and pleaded guilty to improperly interfering with the corpse "of an unknown person" and purloining two toes, which alone are valued at about $3800. The motivation for the human remains heist wasn't stated. (Fulfilling a dare seems a likely explanation, or maybe he's just a fan of The Big Lebowski.)

Whatever the reason may be, the story has a happy ending, at least: The digits have since been returned to their rightful place in the "Vital" exhibit, which explores the human body in motion. "Vital," which will remain open in Auckland until July 13, is one of several traveling exhibitions curated by Body Worlds. Two other Body Worlds exhibits are currently on view in the U.S., including "RX" (showcasing the effects of disease) in Toledo, Ohio, and "Animal Inside Out" (an "anatomical safari") in Richmond, Virginia.

The bodies, all of which are donated for exhibition purposes, are preserved via plastination, a process that "replaces bodily fluids and soluble fat in specimens with fluid plastics that harden after vacuum-forced impregnation," according to the Body Worlds website. More than 16,000 people around the world have signed up to donate their bodies after their deaths.

[h/t The New Zealand Herald]

nextArticle.image_alt|e
Dominique Faget, AFP/Getty Images
arrow
entertainment
David Lynch's Amazon T-Shirt Shop is as Surreal as His Movies
Dominique Faget, AFP/Getty Images
Dominique Faget, AFP/Getty Images

David Lynch, the celebrated director behind baffling-but-brilliant films like Eraserhead, Blue Velvet, Mulholland Drive, and Twin Peaks, is now selling his equally surreal T-shirts on Amazon.

As IndieWire reports, each shirt bears an image of one of Lynch’s paintings or photographs with an accompanying title. Some of his designs are more straightforward (the shirts labeled “House” and “Whale” feature, respectively, drawings of a house and a whale), while others are obscure (the shirt called “Chicken Head Tears” features a disturbing sculpture of a semi-human face).

This isn’t the first time Lynch has ventured into pursuits outside of filmmaking. Previously, he has sold coffee, designed furniture, produced music, hosted daily weather reports, and published a book about his experience with transcendental meditation. Art, in fact, falls a little closer to Lynch’s roots; the filmmaker trained for years at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts before making his mark in Hollywood.

Lynch’s Amazon store currently sells 57 T-shirts, ranging in size from small to triple XL, all for $26 each. As for our own feelings on the collection, we think they’re best reflected by this T-shirt named “Honestly, I’m Sort of Confused.”

Check out some of our favorites below:

T-shirt that says "Honestly, I'm Sort of Confused"
"Honestly, I'm Sort of Confused"

Buy it on Amazon

T-shirt with a drawing of a sleeping bird on it
"Sleeping Bird"

Buy it on Amazon

T-shirt that says Peace on Earth over and over again. The caption is pretty on the nose.
"Peace on Earth"

Buy it on Amazon

T-shirt with an image of a screaming face made out of turkey with ants in its mouth
"Turkey Cheese Head"

Buy it on Amazon

T-shirt with an odd sculpted clay face asking if you know who it is. You get the idea.
"I Was Wondering If You Know Who I Am?"

Buy it on Amazon

T-shirt with an image of a sculpted head that is not a chicken. It is blue, though.
"Chicken Head Blue"

Buy it on Amazon

T-shirt with a drawing of a lobster on it. Below the drawing, the lobster is labeled with the word lobster. Shocking, I know.
"Lobster"

Buy it on Amazon

T-shirt with an abstract drawing of what is by David Lynch's account, at least, a cowboy
"Cowboy"

Buy it on Amazon

[h/t IndieWire]

SECTIONS

arrow
LIVE SMARTER
More from mental floss studios