It’s hard to miss the new Raising Cane’s at the crowded intersection of Fort Union Boulevard and 7200 South in Midvale, partly because it’s salmon pink and glows at night, and partly because it has Post Malone’s face and giant replicas of his tattoos all over it.
Malone, a popular rapper who lives a few minutes from the restaurant, designed the location himself and the motif he chose for the interior is ... eclectic.
There’s a full suit of armor in a corner. The bathrooms are medieval-themed, labeled “Men” and “Women” in a gothic font. Along one wall are three shadow boxes, each containing a performance outfit, including the look Malone wore on the cover of Billboard magazine in 2022, and three different pairs of black, buckled shoes that I suspect were stolen from a small pilgrim or a large leprechaun.
On another wall, pink pingpong balls shoot through an elaborate tube system that would exhaust even the most clever hamster, and on another are three of Malone’s guitars because I guess he doesn’t need them anymore. The rate at which rock stars burn through guitars feels wasteful to me.
Like, I know successful musicians have a robust income, but guitars are not cheap. Every time someone smashes a guitar on stage, I’m trying to do the math in my head — what’s the cost of smashing a guitar every night of a tour? If there’s any lesson to be learned from the many episodes of VH1’s “Behind The Music” I watched on Saturday afternoons as a tween, sustained success is not a guarantee. I just think Malone would be wise to put some of that guitar money into a Roth IRA or a standard CD. But I digress.
Overall the Post Malone Raising Cane’s feels very pink, very young and very much like a celebrity was given carte blanche power to design a fast-food franchise location in suburban Utah.
As for the food, I mean, it’s fried chicken and French fries. One would have to try, aggressively, to mess that up. The fry sauce has black pepper in it, which seems to be the main differentiator between Cane’s and the gazillion other places where one can procure chicken fingers.
But the food doesn’t actually matter. Or at least it’s not what will keep me coming back. What will keep me coming back, and driving past two other Raising Cane’s locations when I do, is the opportunity to feel like I’m sharing something special with Post Malone.
The logical part of my brain knows his involvement ends with this Raising Cane’s unique design and a special combo meal — The Box Combo (The Posty Way) which includes four chicken fingers, fries, two Cane’s sauces, two pieces of Texas toast, extra salt and pepper packets, and half unsweetened tea and half lemonade served in a collector’s cup that you will someday pull out of your cupboard in a moment of panic when you realize you invited six people over for dinner and only have five matching glasses.
But the illogical, nay, the dreamer part of my brain wants to believe Malone stands in the kitchen, all day every day, gently kissing every chicken finger before it’s served, perhaps serenading the Texas toast with acoustic renditions of his chart-topping hits. Maybe he even takes a turn manning the fryer.
I half-expected (half-hoped) that he would show up while I was there, at noon, on a Monday. I figured he might just want to check in to see if the pingpong balls were still flying through the tubes correctly and the chicken was being served piping hot.
He didn’t, of course, because he’s one of the world’s biggest stars and has other things to do on a Monday at noon. But there was something so thrilling about knowing that if Post Malone suddenly found himself hungry for lunch on a Monday at noon and happened to be in the area, he was more likely to go to this Raising Cane’s than anywhere else.
What would I do if he did actually walk in? Gawk, probably. Act like a star-stuck idiot. And then write a column about it. Like most things, it’s the mere possibility of the thing happening that’s more thrilling than the thing actually happening.
I finished my meal without a sighting, but I wasn’t disappointed. I was excited for the meals at the Post Malone Raising Cane’s and potential sightings to come. Which is, I believe, what they call in the biz, a successful marketing campaign.
When I got in my car to leave and turned on the radio, “Wrapped Around Your Finger” in Post Malone’s signature warble blared from the speakers.
Successful marketing indeed.