Boston’s House of Blues will transform into a pop-up Mooby’s, the fictional burger chain that appears in various Kevin Smith movies, April 8-16.
Fans will remember the mascot, Mooby the golden calf, that enrages Matt Damon and Ben Affleck’s characters in “Dogma.” Chris Rock’s character eats at a Mooby’s in the same film. Mooby’s also appears in “Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back” and “Clerks II.”
“I think my boy’s out there shooting a movie right now. I might try to get him some Mooby’s on-set,” Smith says of his pal, and frequent Smith movie actor, Affleck, who’s been spotted filming “The Tender Bar” recently.
Smith plans to be in Boston April 8 for the Mooby’s ribbon-cutting. Here’s how it works:
House of Blues Boston will “cosplay as a Mooby’s” as Smith puts it. Order online via MoobysPopUp.com and schedule a time to snag your fare. Framingham’s Jack’s Abby brewery even created a Mooby’s beer.
I caught up with the cult-favorite filmmaker recently to talk his new Boston pop-up, the latest Mooby’s to pop up around the country since last summer.
Q. How did you get the idea for these Mooby’s pop-ups?
A. Years ago, when we were making ‘Dogma,’ Chris Rock was like, ‘You should do this one day.’ We never pursued it, [then] Derek Berry — the guy who did the Saved by the Max Cafe, the Breaking Bad restaurant, and Good Burger — hit me up: ‘Don’t you have a fake restaurant, Mooby’s? Can we do that?’ I was like, ‘Absolutely. I’ve been waiting years for someone to hit this low-hanging fruit.’ . . .
It became a way for restaurants to generate revenue during the pandemic. It’s not like you get rich doing a pop-up. But for a restaurant, where we can come in for a week and guarantee 2,500 meals in five days, and you have a guaranteed flow of customers coming in — it’s a no-brainer.
[Customers] tend to be happy, because it’s breaking the pandemic boredom: We can’t do anything entertaining but we have to eat, so at least we can take a few selfies with some Jay and Silent Bob nonsense. And those cats are tipping in advance. So before we even open doors, the waitstaff knows: we got tips coming our way.
Q. Will you come to Boston?
A. I’ll be in Boston for the ribbon-cutting April 8. My wife hasn’t traveled in over a year and got her shots, so she’s like, ‘I’m going with you!’ So right now, Boston is the most romantic city in the world to her. She’s like ‘We’re going to Boston! I have to pick out my Boston outfits!’
Q. So why Boston?
A. House of Blues reached out, and said: We’d do that. We never pressure anybody. We just wait for folks to reach out. The good thing about Mooby’s is it’s fake, so [no matter what building you dress up] people can’t say: ‘Well this don’t look like Mooby’s!’ Well what does? How many Mooby’s you been to exactly? Give us a day, and Derek will make it a Mooby’s.
Q. What’s your favorite menu item?
A. There’s a chicken sandwich in ‘Jay and Silent Bob Reboot’ called ‘Cock Smoker.’ We have that on our menu. It’s awesome to watch people try to order it in person. Generally everything is done on the reservation system in advance, but in LA, toward the end of the run, we opened it up [to walk-ins] and had four older ladies, each of giggling harder than the next when they ordered ‘Cock Smokers.’ I won’t get rich off restaurants, but that is wealth that you can’t measure.
Q. You have the beer tie-in.
A. Which is so great. Every city you go to, there are local brewers who are like, ‘Oh my God, we’ll . . . totally make a Mooby’s beer.’ It enables us to have one more souvenir to put on the wall. One day, you’re walking around the office going, ‘Remember when we did Mooby’s in Boston? That was nuts.’
Interview has been edited and condensed. Learn more and order at www.moobyspopup.com.