HopCat Renames Crack Fries: "Addiction Is Not Funny"

By Kelly Burch 12/18/18

"We chose the name more than 11 years ago as a reference to the addictive quality of the fries and their cracked pepper seasoning, without consideration for those the drug negatively affected," said HopCat's CEO in a blog post.

Image: 
HopCat's crack fries are being renamed in the midst of the addiction epidemic
Photo via YouTube

HopCat, a bar that has locations in nine states, announced this week it will rename a favorite menu item: crack fries. 

“We chose the name more than 11 years ago as a reference to the addictive quality of the fries and their cracked pepper seasoning, without consideration for those the drug negatively affected. We were wrong,” company CEO Mark Gray said in a blog post from Monday Dec. 10. 

“The crack epidemic and the lasting impact on those it affects is not funny and never was,” Gray wrote. “As we grow as a company we have come to realize that to make light of this drug and of addiction contradicts our values of inclusion and community. We want to thank our guests, employees and community members who have helped us come to this realization and apologize for the pain the name brought to others.”

This isn’t the first time the fries have been in the spotlight. In 2015, Dean Dauphinais, a writer for The Fix, reached out to HopCat on Twitter about the name of the beer-battered fries. 

“When we started we honestly didn't think about offending. We just thought it was a good name…” HopCat said to Dauphinais via Twitter

“This might be a dumb question, but how 'bout just changing the name? There's NOTHING funny about crack or #addiction," Dauphinais replied. However, he was a few years too early. 

“Not a dumb question, but we have no plans to change the name,” HopCat tweeted. “We hope we can do some good by helping those in need.”

The chain pointed out that they had donated $1,000 from the sale of the fries to a center in Detroit that provides shelter and treatment for people who are homeless. 

The name change has been controversial, with some people saying that it represents political correctness gone too far.

“We’ve heard from a lot of people thanking us, and that’s gratifying,” HopCat spokesman Chris Knape told The Chicago Tribune. “And we’ve heard from a lot of people who are not happy, and they’re entitled to that opinion as well. In some ways, it’s flattering that people care that much about the name of a french fry.”

Knape said that while the joke may never have been funny, it falls particularly flat with the nation during an overdose epidemic. 

“Times change, we’ve changed and we decided to make a change,” he said. “It’s not a reflection of us wanting to be politically correct as much as wanting to present an image to the world that’s inclusive and recognizes that what may have been funny 11 years ago never really was.”

A new name has not been announced, but HopCat insists that only the name — not the recipe — is changing. 

Please read our comment policy. - The Fix
Disqus comments
Kelly Burch Contrib.jpg

Kelly Burch writes about addiction and mental health issues, particularly as they affect families. Follow her on TwitterFacebook, and LinkedIn.

Disqus comments