HopCat announces new name for controversial 'crack fries'

Melody Baetens
The Detroit News
Crack fries will be free from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday at HopCat.

Beer-centric restaurant chain HopCat has unveiled the new name of their popular seasoned french fries. 

Formerly known as “crack fries,” the beer-battered treat are now called "cosmic fries." This comes after backlash from some who said the term “crack fries” was insensitive to those struggling with drug addiction. 

The Michigan-based restaurant group, which was founded in 2008, announced via a blog post in December that it would be changing the name of the fries. 

“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,” wrote BarFly Ventures CEO Mark Gray late last year. 

Nothing has changed about the fries through all of this except for the name, which is inspired by the Frank Zappa song “Cosmik Debris,” the company said in a press statement. 

“One of the pillars of the HopCat brand is the love and celebration of music, and several of our restaurants are decorated with artistic renderings of some of our favorite artists,” said the statement. “The inspiration for the name comes from Mark Sellers’ (our founder), love of Frank Zappa. One of Zappa’s classic songs, 'Cosmik Debris,' mentions ‘the oil of Aphrodite’ and ‘the dust of the great wazoo.’ We’ve yet to incorporate these ingredients into our seasoning, but you never know what the future holds." 

The company says its fries were named one of the Top 10 French Fries in American by Food Network Magazine and are served with a side of warm cheese sauce. HopCat has locations all over the Midwest and Great Lakes region, including restaurants in Midtown Detroit, Royal Oak and Ann Arbor. 

HopCat will celebrate its 11th anniversary Saturday with a party at each location that includes a fries-eating competition. The winner of each location's contest will compete for $2,000 in July at the Michigan Summer Beer Festival in Ypsilanti on July. 


Twitter: @melodybaetens