Cheba Hut "Toasted" Subs opens in Iowa City

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http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/chi-ap-ia-marijuana-themeds,0,4600387.story

Pot-themed sandwich shop opens in Iowa City

Associated Press
12:10 p.m. February 19, 2011

Cheba Hut "Toasted" Subs, a marijuana-themed sandwich chain, opened a franchise in Iowa City last week, and the company says the early response has been encouraging.
"I can't believe how much buzz is going around town," said Marc Torres, a franchise consultant who was in Iowa City to train employees. "Everybody is stoked."
The shop the company's 14th overall, with the bulk of its shops being in Arizona and Colorado near college campuses
The Iowa City Press-Citizen reported that Cheba Hut bills itself at the nation's only counter-culture restaurant franchise.

The marijuana theme is evident on its menu. Sandwiches come in three sizes: nug, pinner and blunt. Sandwich names include the Silver Haze, the Afghani, the Acapulco Gold and the Majic Mushroom. They offer hemp brownies, too, and cannabis-themed art adorns the walls, including an image of the American Gothic couple holding a pipe alongside the pitchfork. Other paintings include images of reggae legend Bob Marley and Janis Joplin.

Kent and Deb Wedemeier, of Cedar Rapids, are co-owners of the shop, along with family friend Dave Timmons, of Iowa City.
"We want the customers to have fun, we want our employees to have fun and we want to have fun," Deb Wedemeier said. "We're a legitimate business. We want to be a part of the community, and we're excited we could give 15 or 16 people jobs."

The Wedemeiers also found an old Volkswagen bus they painted and use as a marketing tool for the business.
Wedemeier acknowledged some people could find the restaurant's theme objectionable but she said it's all in good fun.

Iowa City police spokeswoman Denise Brotherton said the department understands the drug-themed restaurant is in jest.
"We're not worried about it," she said. "It's a tongue-in-cheek restaurant obviously."
But she acknowledged that families that have members, particularly children, who have struggled with drug problems, may not find the humor in Cheba Hut's theme.
"To a family that's dealing with substance abuse, they may not find it so amusing," Brotherton said
 
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