Midwest bar chain changing name of popular “Crack Fries”

Photo: Kosheleva_Kristina (iStock / Getty Images Plus)

Midwestern food chain HopCat is famous for a few things, including a reputation as one of the best beer bars in the U.S. It started in Michigan, and has now branched out throughout the Midwest and all the way to Florida. Now Hopcat is announcing that it’s changing the name of one of its most popular items on its menu: Crack Fries, which refers to not only the cracked pepper on the fries, but to their apparently “addictive quality.”

A few days after Munchies writer Hillary Pollack released an essay stating “Snack Foods Are Not Crack, and It’s Not Cute to Compare Them,” because branding comparing “gourmet foods to hard drugs makes light of the real impact of addiction and the War on Drugs,” Hopcat announces that it’s changing the name of Crack Fries. A post on the chain’s website explains:

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.

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The name change will involve a major effort of reprinting all the branch menus, which will launch in January, as well as promotional materials. The new name of the fries has not been revealed, although the chain stresses that the recipe for the fries is not changing—just the name.

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Gwen Ihnat

Gwen Ihnat is the Editorial Coordinator for The A.V. Club.