Catriona Crehan didn’t have experience running a restaurant, but that didn’t stop her from mounting a Kickstarter campaign for one last Saturday. The 25-year-old and her teenage brother claimed to come from a long line of restaurateurs in the now-defunct Kickstarter campaign for the “Meme Restaurant.”
The Meme Restaurant would be a family-friendly environment in Temecula, CA catering to no demographic in particular, the Kickstarter said, though its creators imagined that its menu might hold the most appeal for teens and young adults. After all, its hypothetical menu would boast such items as the $7 "The Rick Roll" (a Red Velvet "Cheese Cake" that is "[n]ever gonna dessert you," the description reads) and a $11 "HaramBurger" (a quarter-pound burger on a sesame seed bun that's meant to evoke the memory of Harambe). There would be an assortment of drinks, too, from a "Tide Pod shake" (a vanilla shake with orange/blue swirl) to “covfefe” (er, coffee).
The pair set a lofty goal of $350,000, money that would be funnelled towards "salaries, leasing, staffing, supplies, and marketing."
The siblings had conceived the Meme Restaurant in earnest. But sincerity doesn’t exactly traffic well online, where the online peanut gallery is routinely judgmental and unforgiving.
Crehan learned this the hard way. By last Tuesday, after the campaign had raised an ominous total of $6.66 from three backers—two of whom left rather critical comments—Crehan decided to abort the campaign altogether. She deleted the campaign along with her and her brother’s joint Kickstarter account, a decision she told the Daily Dot was allegedly the result of messages she received from strangers telling her to kill herself.
Shortly after Crehian set the campaign live, it was pilloried by various Redditors and YouTubers who found the pursuit staggeringly cringeworthy. Even the press engaged: "Whatever you do, never give your money to this terrible meme restaurant Kickstarter," Babe.net cautioned in a particularly uncharitable report, calling Crehan "a swindler."
Crehan, who could not be reached for comment on Monday by MUNCHIES, claimed to the Daily Dot that the restaurant was mostly her autistic teenage brother’s idea, and she simply wanted to help him realise those dreams. “He was really proud of his project,” she told the Daily Dot.
Once she found herself the target of such ruthless criticism, though, she attempted to slow the harassment by claiming that her project was a mere joke from the onset. That'd certainly explain the comment she left on Babe.net’s post last week, wherein she alleges that the project was conceived in jest: “As a social experiment, we created a horrid kickstarter [sic] as the ultimate trolling—we deleted once donations reached $6.66, we also gave ourselves 72 hours.”
Welp, looks like the world may never know the taste of a Tide Pod Shake, but perhaps that’s for the best.