He makes movies, he puts New Jersey in movies, and he sells vegan Cow Tippers.
After Kevin Smith made his fast food restaurant Mooby’s a reality in West Hollywood and Red Bank, he took his fictional burger chain across the country.
Now he’s back. And as the Highland guy continues to film his next movie “Clerks III” in New Jersey, he’s bringing the fast food pop-up restaurant to Red Bank again this fall.
Or, as the announcement in our inboxes on Tuesday afternoon read, “RED mother f—in BANK!!! Snooooochies!!!!”
Before news broke that the pop-up would open again, Smith shared with fans on social media that the fictional fast-food company would play a role in ‘Clerks III,’ which filmed at Red Bank and at the Quick Stop at Leonardo, the same convenience store that made Smith famous in his breakout debut “Clerks” in 1994.
‘Clerks’ and ‘Clerks II’ stars Brian O’Halloran (Dante Hicks), Jeff Anderson (Randal Graves), Jay Mewes, Newark resident Rosario Dawson (Becky) and Trevor Fehrman (Elias) film ‘Clerks III’ since early August.
Dawson filmed scenes at Gianni’s house, who stood in for the Mooby’s of “Clerks II”.
“It was magical to see Dante, Randal, Becky, Elias and @jayandsilentbob reunited, and it was on the same site that we did the first @moobyspopup outside of LA last fall!” Smith got excited on Instagram.
“Kids, I *love what Clerks III is becoming!” he said. A photo from the set shared by Jay and Silent Bob’s Instagram account and published in Vanity Fair shows Dawson, O’Halloran, Anderson and Fehrman at the Quick Stop, one of many images that emerged from the few weeks of filming that Smith and cast members faithfully documented on social media.
In “Clerks III,” Randal has a revival inspired by a major event in Smith’s life: his near-fatal heart attack, the one that caused him to go on a vegan diet in 2018 and lose 50 pounds. The jaded clerk of Smith’s first film, shaken by a heart attack to examine his own mortality, follows in the director’s footsteps by making his own film based on the Quick Stop.
Of course, art imitates life, but how did Smith – director, screenwriter and producer – become a true fast-food entrepreneur?
The pandemic. Thanks to COVID-19 crushing plans for another pop-up restaurant, Smith was able to capitalize on a vacancy in a West Hollywood space to sell burgers inspired by the Mooby’s restaurant first seen in his 1999 film “Dogma which became the setting for “Clerks II” (2006).
“Paramount was going to do a ‘Clueless’ pop-up in that space at that time,” the director told NJ Advance Media last year. Derek Berrywho had created other TV and movie-inspired pop-up restaurants — “Saved by the Bell” and “Good Burger” — asked Smith if he was interested in making Mooby’s the next one.
Smith wondered if people would be up for the whimsical concept as COVID-19 raged on, but the idea, implemented with scheduled pickup times and social distancing, proved to be a hit, and the food delivery website belly of gold began selling Mooby’s meals nationwide.
“It ended up thriving,” Smith said. “I guess people felt that during the pandemic it was a good relief, something to do.”
The director’s usual order is a vegan Cow Tipper and Hater Totz — the tater tots unsuccessfully peddled by Fred Armisen’s character from the 2019 movie “Jay and Silent Bob Reboot.”
Last fall, fans paid $28 for Mooby’s meals that included a choice of burger or sandwich, such as the C-ck Smoker’s Chicken Sandwich or the Lasagna Sandwich made with Beyond Meat.
Anyone interested in Mooby’s can join the mailing list for early reservations or order a “custom boxed Mooby’s pizza” from Gianni’s through the restaurant app at moobyspopup.com.
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