Have you heard about this? Have you seen this? Pepsi is opening a restaurant called Kola House in Manhattan. This means one of a few possible things: 1) Nobody thinks Pepsi is cool anymore, sales are dropping and they’re desperately trying to regain their cachet; 2) They found out the millions of dollars they’re spending online are possibly being wasted; 3) They simply have too much f-ing money in their ad budgets, so they’re spending it on an expensive boondoggle of a restaurant.
Everyone knows that soda isn’t cool anymore. That’s not to say you shouldn’t enjoy a soda from time to time, but people aren’t drinking eight a day like they used to. (I myself could use a ginger ale right about now.) So you can just imagine an executive meeting at Pepsi where someone introduces the idea for Kola House.
Pepsi Executive 1: I do say, gentlemen, this “social media” business is getting on my nerves. The powers that be have declared our product a danger to health, and all those angry people on the tweeter are slowly dragging us down to hell.
Pepsi Executive 2: Can it, Bernard, you idiot. You don’t even know what you’re talking about.
Pepsi Executive 3: Both of you can it! This is simple. You know what’s hot right now? FOOD! People love food. And they care about ingredients and their origins and shit. I don’t understand it anymore than I understand Twitter, but goddamn if it isn’t true. So we should open a super-hip restaurant.
Executive 1: What? Sorry, my hearing aid’s battery went out.
Executive 2: You’re totally right, but not just any restaurant. It has to be in the hippest neighborhood of the hippest city, and it HAS to feature Pepsi somehow. Maybe just one ingredient even. So…corn syrup, right?
Executive 3: No! Corn syrup is the devil to those Twitterers! But the rest of what you said is on point. I’m thinking Chelsea in Manhattan. It’s so hot right now.
Executives 1 and 2: Yeah!
Exec 3: And it shall feature…uh…kola nuts! Because it’s the only other thing in Pepsi that people would be able to easily associate with cola besides sugar.
All Execs: It shall be so! (Rabble rabble rabble) It shall be so!
Whoa. Are you still here? That was weird! Anyway, the restaurant is supposed to feature the kola nut, but come on — when have you ever had anything at a restaurant that featured or even contained kola nuts besides Coke? Or Pepsi, whichever the restaurant’s serving? If your answer was “never,” you’d be in the majority. And when a menu has a featured ingredient relegated to aioli on a burger or bitters in a cocktail, are you really featuring it? Maybe there’s a reason kola nuts shouldn’t be featured. Here’s what Wikipedia has to say about kola nuts in food and beverage outside of cola: ____________.
So if you’ve got some cash to burn and like to ogle car wrecks, go check out Kola House, set to open sometime this spring in Chelsea in Manhattan. Just know that they don’t have a head chef on board yet (because a chef would have to be insane to try to put together a menu featuring kola nuts) and their mixologist will get mad at you if you call him a mixologist; he prefers “alchemist.” You can’t even make that up.