Cheba Hut founder Scott Jennings is on a roll — but not a rainbow-hued sandwich roll. After calling Carl's Jr. "bandwagon douchebags" last month for rolling out a CBD burger, he's slapping Quiznos with the same phrase for introducing a Magic Mushroom Melt, complete with psychedelic bun, as a reaction to Denver's recent decriminalization of psilocybin mushrooms.
But Jennings is taking things a step further than mere name-calling; he's sending a cease-and-desist letter to Quiznos because of the name of the sandwich. "We've had our Magic Mushroom sandwich on for at least fifteen years," he notes. "So we've gotta go legal here."
Quiznos is planning to run its Magic Mushroom Melt, made with tie-dyed Swiss cheese, purple and green ranch dressing, button mushrooms, bacon and a bun that looks a little past its sell-by date, for one day only — Saturday, June 22 — at its 1275 Grant Street location, the chain's original store. That's only four blocks from Cheba Hut's Colfax Avenue location, and Jennings says the company has already been getting calls and walk-ins wondering if the multi-colored Quiznos sandwich is a joint project with his own company, based on the name and theme.
Cheba Hut's Magic Mushroom contains portabello mushrooms, teriyaki glaze, pepper Jack cheese, pineapple and green peppers. "It's such a great sandwich," Jennings adds. "I don't want it overshadowed by something that's bullshit."
He says that the cease-and-desist letter is being sent to Quiznos corporate headquarters, and adds, "We're also going to go to the store with a little cease-and-desist, Cheba style."
Fort Collins-based Cheba Hut was founded in 1998 with a stoner-culture theme, long before the legalization of cannabis in Colorado. The company has been dropping marijuana and ’shroom references onto its menu for more than twenty years, and continues to convey a counterculture ethos even as cannabis products become more and more mainstream.
Magic mushrooms, it seems, are the next big drug-related marketing trend — at least here in Denver.
Update: Quiznos copied us on this response sent to Cheba Hut:
Dear Cheba Hut,
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Thank you for your letter. We would be remiss in not tipping our white button caps to you, the attention has indeed been quite a trip. In having a bit of lighthearted sandwich fun, we, of course, had no intention of being poor spores. Lest this mushroom into menu madness, our gooey and groovy melt will become merely a psychedelic dream after 9pm tomorrow, as planned.
Thank you also for your “gift” of the adult performer dressed as a police officer you generously sent our way. As it happens, today’s developments have put us in a giving mood as well. We will be donating all proceeds from tomorrow’s special event at our 1275 Grant Street location in Denver to the Food Bank of the Rockies. We hope you’ll do the same and invite you to join us for a mellowed-out bite.
Here’s to keeping it tasteful and fun, guy.