A framed picture of the Mona Lisa with a joint protruding from her mouth adorns the wall at Cheba Hut, Las Vegas’ only pot-themed sandwich store.
Cheba Hut is located next to The+Source dispensary at 2550 S. Rainbow Blvd., falling in line with the Colorado-based chain’s other 19 locations across mostly the western United States by operating next to legal pot stores.
More than 50 supporters from the local marijuana community attended an event last week to celebrate the restaurant’s four months of existence.
“Vegas is a foodie town and it has been a great fit so far,” said Scott Jennings, the Cheba Hut founder and CEO.
Based on “a right to free speech,” Jennings said the idea of a pot-themed eatery was more controversial when Cheba Hut opened its first store in 1998 as compared to 2018. That, of course, was before legalized recreational marijuana sales were passed.
Despite the shop’s persistent weed innuendo, none of Cheba Hut’s food is marijuana-infused. But pot legalization did help spur it to expand into the Las Vegas market. Jennings hopes to open up to five stores in the valley by 2020.
Menu items are named for popular marijuana strains like “Acapulco Gold,” “Silver Haze” and “Pacific Blue,” and come in sizes named after pot flower buds, like “nug,” and joints like “pinner” and “blunt.” Rice Krispies bars, pretzel nuggets and brownies are among over a dozen different “munchies” available, while Kool-Aid and a full bar are among options for “cotton mouth cures.”
General Manager Audrey Bolton, who moved from Denver to open the Las Vegas store, said the restaurant serves the valley’s “working class” community. While it welcomes those partying on the Strip, its clientele is not usually among those “spending thousands of dollars on bottle service” at nightclubs.
“Of course anybody’s welcome here, but it’s much more of an environment where people can get to know each other and become regulars,” Bolton said.
She added that customers “don’t have to be high” to eat at Cheba Hut.
If Las Vegas eventually begins to allow cannabis lounges, Jennings said Cheba Hut would not be among establishments applying for a license. But he added he hoped pot lounges would open near his stores.
“We’ve always been a fan of free speech and we’ve always been a fan of (marijuana) culture,” he said. “But we do sandwiches and booze. We leave the marijuana to the professionals.”