Joel and Ethan Coen may have shot down any remaining speculation on the possibility of a sequel to The Big Lebowski — but that doesn’t mean other people won’t attempt their own ways of rehashing its themes, tropes and jokes. Events paying homage to the Dude, his bowling, his weed, and his woes have, as we’ve already seen, popped up around the country — for example, with a reading featuring Michael Fassbender and a festival that became too meta for their own good. But as Twincities.com reported yesterday, fans (but more likely, residents and bikers on their way through the small town) can now go to a place permanently devoted to The Big Lebowski, where they can literally become one with The Dude — by eating the french fry version of him.
For Robins, Iowa is now home to Lebowski’s Bar & Grill, a Lebowski-themed restaurant that serves a dangerous thing called the “Lebowski Burger” (key ingredients: beef, four cheeses, bacon, shaved roast beef, barbecue sauce and onion rings) and “The Dude,” aka fries covered in pulled pork, tomatoes, onions, bacon and barbecue sauce.
Apparently, at the restaurant’s ribbon cutting event on Monday, its co-owner Shawn Bodensteiner (who opened the restaurant with his wife, Nola) appeared dressed in the sweater worn by the Dude in the film.
The restaurant itself is strewn with references to the film — the walls are bedecked in quotes. The project was funded in part by a city initiative that polled residents about what kind of business they’d like to see in the town, and a consensus was reached on a non-franchise restaurant — making it the only restaurant in the town of Robins, whose population is 3,200. So, yes, if you want to dine out in Robins, you have no choice but to revisit (or visit for the first time, thus in a decontextualized fashion that might lead you to wonder why a certain ingredient heavy fry dish is named after a mysterious Dude) The Big Lebowski.
Here’s the restaurant’s Facebook page.