Every January 8, flamboyantly-costumed fans flock to a diner beside a gas station in the small town of Neve Ilan, Israel. They arrive, clad in gaudy shirts with wide-open necks, stick-on sideburns, and puffy, black wigs. They’re here to pay tribute to Elvis Presley on the legendary singer’s birthday. And they’ve come to the right place: Everything about the Elvis American Diner, located about 12 miles outside Jerusalem, celebrates the performer known to many as simply “the King.”
The diner hosts performances from Elvis impersonators both on Presley’s birthday and on August 16, the day he died. But visitors are welcome to come, eat, and admire its unique collection throughout the year. The place is covered in more than 700 pieces of Elvis memorabilia, from photos to posters to giant statues. The jukebox is filled with Presley’s hits ranging from “Heartbreak Hotel” to “Jailhouse Rock.”
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