Rory explains to her dad that the never-seen but often-referenced local restaurant Al’s Pancake World doesn’t actually serve pancakes any more, although it once did. A few years previously Al switched to international cuisine, but as he had just had new napkins printed out he had to keep the name. Presumably when the napkins run out he will change the name, but he must have a lot of napkins as that never happened. The name of the business suggests it was always international cuisine, just with a pancake theme that was abandoned for some no doubt quirky reason.
Al keeping the name of the restaurant is not dissimilar to the situation with Arnold’s Restaurant in the sitcom Happy Days. Mitsumo Takahashi (Pat Morita), the restaurant’s owner, explains that he goes by the name “Arnold” because he bought the business as Arnold’s Restaurant, and it was too expensive to buy enough sign letters to rename it “Takahashi’s”. Patrons assumed the restaurant was named after him instead of the other way around.
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