Fans of the popular TV show Shark Tank know that it’s not always easy to convince the lineup of famous investors to embrace a novel idea — and in fact some participants go home empty-handed. But that wasn’t the case for owners of the now-renowned restaurant Fat Shack Underground, who managed to sweet talk investors into providing them with some sweet seed money for new locations and new possibilities.
One of those new possibilities is now situated in Pioneer Square. Head over to 88 Yesler Way for the perfect after-hours snack foods and desserts. Oh, but avoid Fat Shack if you’re not a fan of deep-fried foods. The owners sort of specialize in those. And they’re good at what they do.
Fat Shack Underground was first established as a single eatery on the East Coast. Soon, new locations would spring up in Colorado and Texas. The stint on Shark Tank landed them the funds to open their 15th location in Seattle. Billionaire Mark Cuban liked the restaurant idea — and the owners — and so he decided to grant them a whopping $250,000 for an equally whopping 15 percent stake in the franchise.
Oddly enough, Cuban is a 60-year-old health advocate. He’s accustomed to daily exercise, routine blood tests — and healthy eating habits. But that’s a lifestyle as far opposed to Fat Shack’s menu as it gets. It was especially surprising for Cuban to endorse the franchise because of his previous investments, which include products such as organic foods, plant-based supplements, and even vegan-made dog treats.
Fat Shack provides people with 2000-calorie snacks and sandwiches, i.e. heart attacks, strokes, and future diabetes for a premium price. Cuban said, “The business side of me says you’re hitting every line item. What I can’t get past is the whole health thing. Every other food product I have is geared towards healthy living.”
He was eventually compelled to change his mind when Fat Shack co-owner Tom Armenti told him he should consider diversifying his portfolio. Business words for a businessman. Armenti explained, “We don’t eat Fat Shack every single day, obviously. It’s a cheat meal for people to come in and get something really good.”
“Done,” Cuban responded. “Let’s go get fat.”
One has to wonder if health really matters as much when money speaks volumes. One also has to wonder if the fun snack establishment will take off in the highly Liberal bastion of Seattle, where people still, you know, walk whenever they can. Time will tell.