This Star Wars Cantina-Themed Bar Is the Ultimate Nerd Palace

Star Wars Cantina Bar
(Instagram/scumandvillainycantina)

We all need something to look forward to. Especially now. Even as some states start reopening at reduced capacity, there are plenty of cities that are still on total lockdown. And let me tell you, when your city is on total lockdown and you discover that there is a Star Wars Cantina-themed bar within walking distance of your home, time starts moving very, very slowly.

 

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Have you ever danced with a droid in the pale cantina light? . . #scumandvillainycantina #scifisafehouse

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This LA establishment is called Scum and Villainy Cantina (of course) and it is a self-proclaimed “friendly neighborhood geek bar.” Before you start having kittens because you clicked on the website and saw a guy gesturing at you to ‘live long and prosper,’ know that this bar caters to all geeks, not just the Star Wars variety. That’s right, this is a place where Trekkies, Star Wars fans, Battlestar Galactica fans, and every fan of niche nerdom can come together and live (and drink) in harmony. Vulkans can rub shoulders with Jawas and Cylons can shoot pool with Dr. Who. You are encouraged to dress up and they even host geek-themed tournaments for a variety of properties:

Some of their cocktails include The Mind Trick, Gold Bourbonkini, The Starbuck, Witness Me, Furiosa, I Aim to Misbehave, and the Dumbledore Special. Wondering what blue milk tasks like? This place has got you covered—and they’re even doing curbside pickup for those of us who can’t wait until the quarantine is over:

Just listen to how they describe themselves on their website:

Scum and Villainy Cantina is an intergalactic bar nestled deep within the wretched hive of Hollywood, CA. Inspired by the best drinking establishments from your favorite sci-fi and fantasy movies, Scum and Villainy is the geek bar you’ve been looking for.

Costumed bartenders join in the debate while mixing cocktails from a themed menu. Our laid-back atmosphere and strict “no bullying” mission creates a #ScifiSafeHouse not just for casual and mega-fans alike, but for anyone looking for a change of pace from the typical bar scene. Flying solo? Searching for your tribe? We definitely serve your kind here!

I will wait for you Scum and Villainy Cantina. I will wait for you as long as it takes.

REJOICE: Hot Dog Flavored Beer Is Here

Hot Dog Beer
(Sheetz)

It doesn’t get much better than a beer in one hand, hot dog in the other. (Unless it’s in your pillow.) It’s basically “10 and 2” for cookouts. But haven’t you ever wished that perhaps, someday, maybe we could combine the two? No? Never even crossed your mind? That actually sounds sort of gross to you?

Well, too bad. Because Sheetz, a popular convenience store/restaurant based in Pennsylvania, has rolled out a limited edition craft beer that’s brewed with, yes, hot dog.

Last summer, Sheetz got together with Rusty Rail Brewing to release its first store-brand beer, Project Coffee Hopz, brewed with their very own Sheetz Brothers Sumatra coffee beans.

(Sheetz)

Later in August, they broke ground with Project Blueberry Muffinz, which is exactly what it sounds like. A morning beer if we’ve ever seen one.

(Sheetz)

But Sheetz has really outdone themselves this year. Teaming up with Pennsylvania’s own Neshaminy Creek Brewing, they rolled out a brand new ABV India Pale Ale. Light. Crisp. Dry-hopped with Nugget and Centennial hops.

Oh, and hot dogs. They tossed a bunch of Sheetz brand hot dogs in the brew kettle. Yep.

Introducing…

PROJECT HOP DOGZ

(Sheetz)

The beer, described by Sheetz as “refreshing and dry, with delicate hop flavors of citrus and pine,” hit shelves at 128 locations across Pennsylvania this memorial day weekend.

“Don’t worry, the beer does not taste like hot dogs!” reassures Neshaminy’s head brewer, Jason Ranck. “We thought it was just a fun concept and the perfect beer for pairing with Sheetz Hot Dogz and warm-weather activities.”

Sheetz and Neshaminy’s hope to spread some much-needed good energy with this otherworldly concoction. “[It’s] a surprise that’ll engender smiles, laughter, and conversation—something we could all use more of right now,” Jason continued.

Very touching. Cheers to these innovators. Now back to the lab. August is just around the corner and we still don’t have a beer that tastes like new car smell.

Click here to see if Project Hop Dogz is available near you. And remember, dog responsibly.

Chuck E. Cheese Re-Brands on GrubHub to Sell More Pizza

Chuck E Cheese Rebrands
(Twitter/ChuckECheese)

COVID-19 has changed the way Americans eat. When restrictions went into place across much of the country, going to restaurants was out, cooking at home became the de facto option, and getting takeout was seen as the only chance to help struggling restaurants, especially local spots, survive the pandemic. And this forced some big chains to get a little creative, especially when it comes to delivery apps, such as Grubhub.

For instance, some Grubhub users have noticed a seemingly local pizza joint, called “Pasqually’s Pizza & Wings.” Sounds delightful. What they didn’t realize, though, was that it was actually…Chuck E. Cheese. Major chain restaurants are trying to stay afloat with “creative re-branding” on food apps, attempting to rebrand to give their food a better chance.

Let’s be honest, Chuck E. Cheese doesn’t sound like an appetizing option if you’re scrolling through Grubhub, unless you happen to be 12 and it’s your birthday. Their food is perfectly fine as long as it comes with a two-hour distraction for your kids. I will eat any pizza if it is served in peace. But it probably doesn’t stand up to establishments where food is their primary focus.

So why Pasqually’s? The name comes from Pasquale P. Pieplate, the “famous” Italian chef and drummer for the Chuck E. Cheese house band.

Chuck E. Cheese is far from the only brand trying a new identity on food apps. Applebees has been selling wings as “Neighborhood Wings” and chain spot “Smokey Bones” has been selling food as “The Wing Experience” and “The Burger Experience.”

Brands are doing their best to survive in these unprecedented times. And remember, the biggest chains employ a ton of people all of whom would like to keep working.

Chuck also looks to be regularly engaging kids while their establishments are closed and showing appreciation for healthcare workers via their Twitter account.

Restaurant Solves Social Distancing Problem With Human Bumper Cars

(Facebook / John Middlebrook)

Social distancing guidelines are tougher than ever to enforce as restaurants nationwide reopen their doors to the hungry, restless masses. Masks can be annoying unless you get one like this. Maintaining that mindful gap of six feet is at worst an inconvenience and at best a buzzkill. We’re all eating lots of take-out but how exactly do we make dining out fun?

One seafood restaurant in Maryland had an ingenious idea: mandatory rubber forcefields.

(Facebook / John Middlebrook)

The Fish Tales Bar & Grill in Ocean City has invested in “bumper tables,” which will allow patrons to roam freely without the lingering apprehension that comes with unwittingly violating CDC guidelines. Basically, Fish Tales has turned its customers in human bumper cars.

Owners Shawn and Donna Harman say the bumper tables will be available to anyone mingling at the bar or waiting to be seated. “If you put the two tables together, you can’t get within 6 feet of each other,” Donna said in an interview. “It’s fun.”

“It’s a novelty,” Shawn added. “It’s cool. It’s a great photo opportunity for them.”

Novel as they may be, the bumper tables are a hit with the bar regulars. And why wouldn’t they be? You’ve essentially converted the premises into a massive air hockey table.

Very rad, very responsible. We wish Donna and Shawn and all the heroic workers at Fish Tale Bar & Grill the best!

Chipotle and IKEA Divulge Their Guacamole and Meatball Recipes

Chipotle IKEA Recipes
(Instagram/chipotle Twitter/IKEAUK)

In the pre-CODVID world you could spice things up with a trip to a restaurant, or by sending your kids to a friend’s house on a Saturday, so you and the Mrs can make half-hearted plans that are abandoned after you pass out on the couch.

Now that everyone is stuck inside for the most part, though, you’re likely running low on fun, new home cooking projects. Several brands are trying to step up to help you recreate their dining experience at home.

The first comes from our friends at Chipotle. Everyone’s favorite fast-casual Mexican restaurant has decided to unveil their guacamole recipe for you to try at home. Not only that but their executive chef Chad Brauze chef will show you how to make it (along with a few twists). Chipotle released the video on their Instagram.

“I’m gonna teach you guys how to make some awesome Chipotle guacamole just like we make it in the restaurant…I guarantee you it’s the same recipe, same style, same technique,” Brauze said before diving into a bowl of fresh, ripe avocados. “Not only that, but I’m also going to teach you how to make some super extra guac.”

 

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Chef Chad goes live from his kitchen to share our OG guac recipe + three ways to make guac even ~more~ extra at home.

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And if you don’t need the tutorial, and prefer the ingredient listing instead, Chipotle posted that on Twitter.

OK, so you’re covered for spicing up your Taco Tuesday, what’s the next move? IKEA meatballs. That’s right, the little morsels of delicious are so good, they can singlehandedly save the marriage that IKEA broke up in the couch section. Those are the stakes IKEA set for itself. Draw couples into a hopeless situation that ends with a fight about TV stands, and then miraculously heals them with Swedish meatballs.

And while IKEA cafes may not be open to satisfy those cravings, they released their recipe so you can recreate the magic at home.

If you really want to perfect the recipe, start by getting into a fight with your spouse about end tables first.

And then after you’ve perfected these two new at-home cooking flourishes, you can impress your kids for an entire hour before they demand you throw everything out and give them chicken nuggets instead.

Restaurants Are Filling Their Seats With Blow-Up Dolls and Mannequins

Restaurant Blow Up Dolls and Mannequins
(Facebook/The Open Hearth Instagram/innatlittlewash)

The Inn at Little Washington is a three-star Michelin restaurant outside of Washington, D.C. It’s been shuttered due to the coronavirus for months and is finally set to re-open its doors at the end of May. The COVID-19 pandemic is far from over, however, and it will be a while before restaurants, and society in general, is back to normal. This means The Little Inn needs to make sure they observe some social distancing rules, even while serving customers.

In order to do that, they’ll be filling empty seats with faceless, motionless store mannequins. Which should make dining out absolutely terrifying!

Needless to say, Twitter has opinions on The Little Inn’s plans.

Over at The Open Hearth in Taylors, South Carolina – they’re using a slightly different approach. They’ve dressed up blow-up dolls and seated them throughout the establishment. The restaurant’s owner told Fox Carolina News that she purchased them on Amazon and they’re “the G-rated kind.”

Unlike the response to the mannequins, The Open Hearth’s clients have apparently taken a real fancy to them.

Just watch this:

It’s great to see both restaurants have a sense of humor about this whole situation because everyone agrees that COVID-19 really blows.

German Cafe Uses Noodle Hats to Promote Social Distancing

Cafe Rothe
(Facebook/Cafe Rothe)

Hey, this is normal. You know how when you go to a cafe and they walk over and give you a menu? And they take your drink order? And they give you a straw fedora with swimming noodles strapped to the top?

Well folks, times, as we all know, are crazy right now. German cafe, Café Rothe, has tried to add some levity to this pandemic by providing customers with swimming noodle-adorned hats to promote social distancing. Germany started loosening restrictions back in April and restaurants in the state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern are finally allowed to re-open their doors as of May 9th. Café Rothe is celebrating this occasion and to be honest, it looks pretty fun:

Café Rothe’s owner, Jacqueline Rothe, spoke to Insider:

In these difficult times it’s a pleasure to make others smile.

Customers seem to be loving it with one commenting (horrifically translated from German), “How awesome is this please? Irony and sarcasm united… very welcome at this time, from my point of view. Because what’s it called so beautiful? HUMOR IS WHEN YOU LAUGH. That’s why thanks to the people who can be seen in the picture. 🤣🤣🤣”

Ya know, fashion trends emerge out of nowhere. This could be the next big thing, you guys. Kudos to Café Rothe and their entire staff for coming up with something innovative and fun during these nutty times.

Eat Like a Superhero With This Marvel-Themed Cookbook

Marvel Eat the Universe
(Insight Editions)

You know how whenever you sit down to read a Marvel comic you get all hungers in your tum-tum? I call them the Marvel Rumbles and they happen because of all the fine cuisine featured in each comic. Insight Editions has answered the one question we’ve all been asking for years: Why isn’t there a cookbook dedicated to food which is inspired by popular storylines told across the Marvel universe? Especially when we have already Marvel cooking accessories.

Well, put your chef’s apron cape on because the wait is over. Introducing Marvel Eat the Universe: The Official Cookbook. Because who hasn’t been knee-deep in a Hulk comic and thought “Hulk Smash….ed….Potatoes?” Or desired a literal Trash Omellete inspired by Rocket Raccoon (because raccoons eat trash)? Or how about:

Nova Space-Cop Galaxy Doughnuts

Nova Space Cop Galaxy Doughnuts
(Insight Editions)

“They are essentially space cops, doing all sorts of space things thanks to the powers granted to them through the Nova Force,” says Food Network chef, Justin Warner — the book’s author. “When I was tasked with thinking about what Richard Rider would eat after a long day of being a space cop, the answer was obvious: space doughnuts.”

When I was tasked with thinking about what Richard Rider would eat after a long day of being a space cop, the answer was obvious: space doughnuts.

Phoenix Hot Chicken and Egg Oyakodon

Phoenix's Hot Chicken and Egg Oyakodon
(Insight Editions)

Jean Grey getting possessed by an all-powerful space force is intense, but not as intense as these chicken wings, you guys. Other tasty diddy’s include:

  • Deadpool’s Chimichangitas
  • Storm’s Tournedos
  • Dazzler’s Glittering Pizza Bagels
  • Hulk’s Paillard Arrabiata with Purple Smashed Potatoes
  • Runaways Okonomiyaki
  • Green Goblin Pumpkin Bombs

According to Insight Editions, all 60 dishes will “prepare [you] to eat like a Marvel Super Hero,” which would imply that Green Goblin enjoys a nice Pumpkin Bomb every now and then. We can absolutely get behind this.

You can pre-order now and expect the book to ship out around July 28th for a cool $26.99.

Guy Thinks He Can Beat Bill Murray in Nacho-Making Showdown for Charity

Bill Murray VS Guy Fieri
(Getty/Jeffrey Mayer)

Guy Fieri and Bill Murray are having a nacho cook-off for charity. That might be the coolest sentence you read all week. Or year. The Mayor of Flavortown will be taking on the comedy legend on May 15th on The Food Network’s Facebook page, in the “Nacho Average Showdown”.

The event will be to raise money for Fieri’s Restaurant Employee Relief Fund (RERF), the charity that gives grants of $500 to restaurant workers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. So far, he’s raised more than $20 million for workers, many of whom have been out of work for months.

The duo won’t be alone in their battle, either, as they enter this showdown with a tag team partner. Fieri will be partnered with his son, Hunter, and Murray will be joined by his son, Homer. It will be a classic father-son showdown, making one of America’s favorite snacks.

To elevate the stakes, even more, there will be celebrity judges. Shaquille O’Neal and Terry Crews will be the ones handing down the final verdict, although it’s tough to see anyone as a loser when they still end up with a glorious plate of nachos.

Fieri said the duo got the idea for the showdown from a bit they did on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.

Father-son events are right up our alley, obviously. And Fieri has been an incredible spokesperson for the forgotten food industry workers. And when it comes to Bill Murray, almost everything he touches is immediately better. So expectations are as high as they can get for a Nacho cook-off, this Friday at 5:00 p.m. EST.

You Can Own This Ridiculously Cool AT-AT Barbecue

AT-AT Grill
(Burned by Design)

Pardon us for saying so by your grill is lame. Oh, you’ve got the Blazemaster 8000 Titanium Ultra Plus? That’s cool, is it an AT-AT? Because from now until forever if your grill isn’t an AT-AT then your grill is lame. That’s the stake Alex Dodson has thrown in the ground when he welded (with fire and his hands) a near pitch-perfect replication of an AT-AT only it’s a goddam grill.

AT-ATBBQ 5
Yes. That’s fire surrounding it. Badass. (Burned by Design)

Alex runs Burned by Design, a euphoria for folks who like grills to be shaped like things that aren’t grills. According to his site, the approximate size of this particular grill is L47 x W20 x H39 and is “handcrafted in mild steel using 4mm precision cut laser profiles to capture that movie detailing.” It’ll run you a cool $1,712.22 which really isn’t that bad considering it’s a grill that looks like an AT-AT! From Star Wars! It gives you full permission (it doesn’t really) to yell “Burgers will be ready at-at 2:00!” Or “Who wants some Hoth Dogs???” Those 2 lines are worth the price alone. Check out this in-depth video Sr Dodson posted to Facebook in which he gives us every possible angle we could ever hope for. He’s also included a cut in there to show off his sick editing skillz:

This isn’t Alex’s first foray into the Star Wars universe. Check out this ridiculously cool fleet of wood burners:

Darth Vader Wood Burner
(Burned by Design)
death star wood burner
(Burned by Design)
Falcon wood burner
(Burned by Deisgn)
stormtrooper wood burner
(Burned by Design)

Alex Dodson, you have our respect. Of all the innovations to modern grilling, this has to be our favorite.

Ohio Restaurant Sells “Adult Happy Meal” That Comes With a Beer

Adult Happy Meal
(Twitter/McGingeryBeard)

When it comes to takeout, branding, and packaging is everything. No one has mastered this more than McDonald’s and their Happy Meals. And now, as restaurants are forced to get more creative with their business models in the COVID-19 era, at least one is scaling that idea up for adults.

A restaurant in Ohio, the Dunlap Cafe, has started selling Happy Meals for adults. All the normal happy meal components are there; the box, an entrée, a side, even a prize (a Koozie, in this case), and a dessert (a Twizzler). And the reason it’s an adult happy meal and not just a happy meal? It comes with your choice of alcoholic beverage.

The restaurant offers different options, depending on your drink of choice. The “Super Basic Box” comes with a PBR or Miller High Life. The “Basic Basic Box” includes a Bud, Bud Light, or Coors Light. The “Soccer Mom Selter Box” comes with a White Claw and they also offer adult happy meals with craft beers and cocktails for a higher fee.

While many families are still breaking up their routines with the occasional takeout meal, hopefully, this trend of adult happy meals continues. It will make quarantine a bit more tolerable if your meal comes with a beer. (Or your local ice cream truck sells booze.)

And honestly, one of the few positives to come from this awfulness is the trend of home beer and alcohol delivery. You can get cocktails and margaritas to-go from restaurants now. Is it the safest trend? Maybe not. Does it rule? Yeah, kind of.

Alcohol sales are through the roof, so no judgment when it comes to doing what you have to do to get through, and the same goes for restaurants trying to get a little more creative to survive.

Guy Fieri Creates Fund and Raises $21 Million for Restaurant Workers

Guy Fieri Launches Fund
(Getty/Scott Dudelson)

Guy Fieri is many things. He’s a famous chef, the host of a popular show, the Mayor of Flavortown, and, sometimes a bit of a punchline. His bright blond hair, his goatee, his flame-based style, all of these things make Fieri an easy target.

You might want to ease up on the jokes for a bit after you learn what the host of Diners, Dives, and Drive-Ins has been up to over the past couple of months: the celebrity chef just helped raise $21 million for restaurant workers affected by the pandemic.

Fieri appeared on TMZ Live last week to discuss his efforts.

He told TMZ that he partnered up with the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation to launch the Restaurant Employee Relief Fund. Then he went around calling major corporations that are involved in the restaurant and hospitality spaces and somehow managed to raise 20 million bucks in a mere two months.

The Fund has already given away more than 40,000 one-time grants worth $500 each to workers within the hospitality industry who are facing hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (You can apply for one of these grants here.)

Fieri also discussed the future of the restaurant industry, and you can watch the interview here:

Move Over, Ice Cream: We Have Frozen Cocktail Trucks Now

Booze Ice Cream Truck
(Facebook/Bovine & Barley)

As more and more places shutter their doors, some businesses are shifting production while others are shifting gears. One restaurant, the Bovine & Barley in downtown Houston, has taken to the streets in a grownup ice cream truck of sorts, delivering frozen cocktails right to their customers’ doorsteps.

Fac
(Facebook/Bovine & Barley)

The badass employees of this bar are masked up and fully equipped to assist folks from Midtown to The Heights in making the most of the gorgeous Texas springtime.

(Facebook/Bovine & Barley)

Whether you’re in the mood for a margarita, Moscow mule, daiquiri, mojito, michelada, or maybe just a good ol’ fashion pina colada, Bovine & Barley’s got the cure for what ails ya.

You can even score chips for just a buck.

(Facebook/Bovine & Barley)

Sadly, Bovine & Barley can only deliver to the good people of Houston, so it’s on us to safely circulate petitions within our respective communities that demand Frozen Cocktail Trucks become a thing of normalcy when we all get through this. Call your city councilperson.

Click here to follow Bovine & Barley on Facebook. Cheers, Houston!