Restaurant News & Reviews

HopCat bar to change name of its famous ‘crack’ fries. ‘Drug addiction is not a joke.’

HopCat’s signature “crack fries” was named as one of America’s Top 10 French Fries by Food Network magazine. The beer battered fries are sprinkled with HopCat’s signature cracked pepper seasoning and served with a side of warm cheese sauce for dipping.
HopCat’s signature “crack fries” was named as one of America’s Top 10 French Fries by Food Network magazine. The beer battered fries are sprinkled with HopCat’s signature cracked pepper seasoning and served with a side of warm cheese sauce for dipping. syang@kcstar.com

After 11 years, the company running the HopCat bar in downtown Lexington will change the name of its signature “crack” fries because the word also describes an addictive drug.

HopCat dubbed its dish “crack fries” because of its cracked pepper seasoning and addictive quality, said Mark Gray, CEO for BarFly Ventures. Gray said the company was wrong to not consider those negatively affected by the drug of the same name.

“The crack epidemic and the lasting impact on those it affects is not funny and never was,” Gray said in a blog post. “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.”

The transition to a new name for HopCat’s fries will begin in January with a menu reprint, the company said on its blog. A new name has not been announced, but the beer-battered, seasoned recipe will remain the same.

HopCat is based in Michigan and now has 17 locations, including on Short Street in Lexington and Bardstown Road in Louisville.

Its fries have been regarded as some as the best in the country, with Food Network giving the food a nod in their list of America’s 10 Best French Fries.

“We are grateful for the support we’ve received over the years and your love of our fries,” Gray stated on the blog. “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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