Snoochie boochies! An experiential pop-up restaurant might not seem like the most logical venture to launch in the age of social distancing, but director, podcaster and omnipresent talking head Kevin Smith has been making it work, opening temporary versions of his fictional Mooby's restaurant in Los Angeles and New Jersey over the past few months. Now, he's bringing the Mooby's pop-up to Chicago, with the help of the team behind Saved By the Max, the Saved By the Bell-themed dining experience that originated in a Wicker Park storefront.
This morning, Smith announced that Mooby's will land in Chicago during the latter half of October, though the exact opening date and location of the pop-up remain a mystery. Just like the iterations launched in Los Angeles and New Jersey, the Midwest outpost will serve a menu of items inspired by Smith's films, including Cow Tipper burgers, Cocksmoker chicken sandwiches, Hater Totz tater tots and Onion Rings To Rule Them All. Smith went vegan a couple of years ago after recovering from a heart attack, so the Mooby's pop-up also offers plant-based versions of most of its dishes. However, you should be prepared for a bit of sticker shock when placing your order—the price of a sandwich and a side dish at the Mooby's pop-up in Los Angeles started at $30.
Just like previous versions of the concept, Chicago's Mooby's outpost will only offer carry-out, using a timed reservation system to get food to guests. The interior of the restaurant will contain a variety of tributes to Smith's catalog of films, ranging from his indie cinema debut Clerks to the more recent nostalgic romp Jay and Silent Bob Reboot—when you stop by to pick up your food, you may want to pose for a couple of photos. The pop-up will also contain a dedicated retail store packed with Mooby's and Kevin Smith-inspired T-shirts, face masks, posters and more.
While Smith's cinematic alter-ego Silent Bob and his more talkative friend Jay (portrayed by Jason Mewes) won't be loitering outside of Mooby's with a boombox like they did in Clerks 2, the pair could make an appearance in Chicago in November. Smith and Mewes are hosting a live taping of their Jay and Silent Bob Get Old podcast at the McHenry Outdoor Theater on November 1, so a quick stop at Mooby's for a pre-show meal doesn't seem out of the question.
Stay tuned for more details about when the Mooby's pop-up will put up its "I assure you we're open" banner and take a look at some photos of the L.A. iteration below.
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