The signature dish, beer battered french fries served with a dipping cheese sauce, was initially named because they're addictive like crack cocaine.

In a blog post with an accompanying video, BarFly Ventures, owner of the HopCat chain (which started in Grand Rapids and is now 17 restaurants strong), CEO Mark Gray stated 'drug addiction is not a joke.'

The name change to an undisclosed name will kick in in January at all 17 locations. Food Network named Crack Fries one of the ten best in the nation, so this has huge ramifications. HopCat has also been known to give first customers at new locations Crack Fries for a year.

The recipe for the beer batter is a closely guarded secret. The dish has been a staple at the original HopCat location at 25 Ionia Street since it opened in 2008.

In Gray's statement, he explained:

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 companywide 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.




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