“A dream is a dream,” says photographer Reed Fish, who’s travelling to all 206 Sizzler steakhouse restaurants with his wife.
They’ll photograph each franchise, and then publish them as a massive art installation. (“The Sizzler room,” his wife jokes…) They believe that Sizzler is Americana, and that this is conceptual art that tells us something about ourselves and our culture. “It really evokes a reaction to anyone who grew up in the United States…”
Hundreds of Sizzlers have closed since a 1996 bankruptcy, and Reed says each steakhouse closing is “emblematic of the change in the culture.” But though he thought he’d discover the sameness of franchises, he was surprised to learn that there’s individual people – and individual stories – behind each restaurant.
On her first date, she’d asked him his life’s ambition – and this was his answer. In this interview Reed reveals the saddest Sizzler in America, the most romantic, and the most dangerous. He remembers that when you were a kid, it was a special occasion when your family could go to Sizzler – so they’re making all the photographs blurry in a tribute to that nostalgia, and as a commentary on the franchise experience.
Or, as his wife puts it, “We’re doing this so you don’t have to.”