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HopCat's changing the name of its popular-but-controversial 'Crack Fries'

Will a Crack Fry by any other name be as tasty?

Will a Crack Fry by any other name be as tasty? HopCat

Crack, you've no doubt heard, is "wack."

The deaths were bad; so too was the disproportionate negative impact on black communities. (America's response, of course, was not great.) There isn't a ton of humor in there. 

HopCat's Crack Fries on the other hand? Those things are not so wack. Named for their addictive nature, they've been the best-selling item for the beer-and-bar-food "anti-chain chain" since they opened, VP of marketing Chris Knape tells City Pages. They're available in a few varieties—from "Loaded Crack" (sounds good) to "Sloppy Crack" (sounds horrifying)—at all dozen-ish HopCat locations, including one in downtown Minneapolis.

But come January, you won't be able to order them anymore. At least, not by that name: HopCat's losing the "Crack Fry" moniker, one that "is not funny and never was," according to the brand.

"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," Mark Gray, CEO of HopCat parent company BarFly Ventures writes in a statement.

Knape tells CP that this decision was an internal one—even in our outraged-about-everything climate, people didn't push back on the name. "We felt it was the right thing to do," he says simply. 

You can read the full statement from HopCat below, or pop in those headphones and let Mark tell it to ya himself. 

Today we are announcing plans to change the name of our Crack Fries. Rest assured, the recipe and ingredients are not changing, only the name.

Our vision for creating an inclusive company that supports our communities, shows love for our team and best serves our guests is not compatible with the continued use of the Crack Fries name.

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.

The crack epidemic and the lasting impact on those it affects is not funny and never was.

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.

Transitioning to a new name will not happen overnight. A company wide menu reprint in mid-January will reflect the change. We will also need time to update all other materials, including online menus, training documents and promotions.

We are grateful for the support we’ve received over the years and your love of our fries. While we know it will take time to get used to this change, we are confident in our decision. It is not only the right thing to do, it reflects who we are.