Kevin Smith

Kevin Smith’s fictional “Mooby’s” is taking over a pizza place in Red Bank as a pop-up restaurant.

Mooby’s will operate as a temporary pop-up restaurant in Giani’s Pizza. Mooby’s is open from tomorrow Friday, Sept. 18th to the 25th. Mooby’s pop up has taken over Gianni’s and redecorated the place on Wikoff Place off Broad Street in Red Bank.

“The hospitality industry was turned upside down during this unprecedented times,” says one of the pop-up’s creators, Derek Berry. “And more than ever, people need a place to liven their spirits. Mooby’s has proven to be the perfect hybrid version of our pop up model.”

All guests receive a pre-ordered “Mooby’s Pick-Up Experience” for $28, which includes their choice of one Moo Main (Cow Tipper or Cow Tipper with Beyond (Vegan) Burger, Cock Smoker Chicken Sandwich, Lasagna Sandwich with Beyond (Vegan) Meat, Egga Mooby Muffin with Beyond Sausage) plus a Salt Lick Side (Hater Totz or Onion Rings to rule them all).  Items like soda in commemorative cups, dessert, and merchandise from the  Jay and Silent Bob’s Secret Stash comic book store down the street can be added during pick up.

Mooby’s is unique as a fast food place to offer vegan options. Smith, known for being a bigger man, had a heart attack a few years ago and went vegan to lose a great deal of weight.

A Mooby’s pop up was run in West Hollywood before Smith launched one in his native Garden State.

Smith said Berry has made popups of other fictional restaurants from movies and TV like Los Pollos Hermanos from Breaking Bad.

Smith said the Mooby’s pop up is the best approximation for the location in Clerks II, which does not specify the town it is located in.

“I was like holy shit! We’re literally walking into Clerks II!” Smith said.

The Mooby’s menu was initially available for delivery in the app Postmates in Los Angeles where Smith has resided for many years. It was so popular on Postmates that the demand overloaded the server. They plan to open the pop up in other locations later this year.

Kevin Smith had been getting active in Corona relief and emergency events.  He made a video urging people to sign an online petition for a referendum in California. Nonetheless, the Garden State remains close to his heart.

“Me and (Jason) Mewes got off the plane, we were driving down the Parkway, and we realized if we didn’t happenstance grow up in Jersey, in Highlands, Jersey we never meet, and none of this shit ever happens.”

“So it’s a big part of who we are… and who we are as people,” Smith said regarding his New Jersey identity.

Smith has developed a signature look of denim shorts (jorts) and a backward cap. He recently added a purple blazer to the look.

“I started looking weird in the hockey jerseys. I didn’t fill them up anymore,” Smith said.

He joked he always wears the purple blazer even though he owns others.

“I’m going to wear it till it falls apart,” Smith joked. 

It’s become part of his signature look, like Steve Jobs’ turtleneck.

“There’s weed to smoke. Why thnk about clothes?” Smith joked.

Smith and Cannabis

Smith is closely following the upcoming legalization referendum in New Jersey and hopes it passes.

“I live in a weed legal community. Everything functions well. Nothing has burnt to the ground. There’s money to be made off it. There’s no reason not to legalize at this point,” Kevin Smith said.

Regarding gateway drug fears always brought up by prohibitionists, Smith said minors are not into cannabis, and those in middle age are looking for relief from chronic conditions and stress. 

Smith said he never smoked weed regularly until he smoked with legendary smoker Seth Rogen after filming Zack and Miri Make a Porno with him.

“It was bliss, man. I just liked who I was when I was smoking. I felt more myself,” Smith said. He slowly began smoking all day and has been an everyday smoker for 12 years.

“I’m a flower man. I like joints,” Smith said regarding his preferred method of consumption. 

Smith said his dream is to open a dispensary in the RST video store next to the Quick Stop.

“You can pick up your milk and pick up your weed,” he said.

“It will take a while,” Smith said, comparing it to the situation to the lengthy implementation in California.

“Give the people what they want. They want to get high,” Smith said.

He has his own strains under the company Caviar Gold whose products he personally enjoyed. 

“ I love it to death. So we reached out to them and said “hey man, do you want to do our weed?” 

So Caviar makes the strains Snoogins, Smoochy  Boochy, and Berzerker named after catchphrases from his movies. Smith hopes to sell them in Jersey soon.

Kevin Smith as Indie Director

Before moving to Hollywood, Smith’s movies centered around life in the suburbs of Monmouth County, NJ, where he was born and raised.

Mooby’s is the name of a fictional fast-food chain in his “View Askew Universe.” In Dogma, the angels played by Matt Damon and Ben Affleck kill the board of Mooby’s for their sins to help them get back into heaven.

In Clerks II, the titular clerks Dante and Randal, work at a Mooby’s after the convenience store of the first Clerks burnt down.

The Clerks convenience store is in Leonardo, NJ. In Mallrats, the main characters flee the mall and visit a flea market, which is now the site of Loew’s on Rt. 1 S in New Brunswick. In Chasing Amy, the art studio of the protagonists is on Broad Street in Red Bank.

In addition to directing the cult classics, Smith established a network of podcasts and YouTube shows. Ming Chen of AMC’s Comicbook Men runs the podcasting operation here in New Jersey. Tara Misu’s podcast was among those recorded there, at least before COVID. “Comic book Men” was filmed in his store on Red Bank’s Broad Street. 

Kevin Smith recently released Jay and Strike Back II, a sequel to the 2001 film in a limited theatrical release. Afterward, he took the show on the road on a U.S. tour along with longtime friend and costar Jason Mewes.

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