When the munchies hit, students will have a new option on Guadalupe Street starting this spring: Cheba Hut, a marijuana-themed sandwich shop.
Father and son co-owners Vince and Joe DeMaioribus said Guadalupe will be one of three planned locations for the sandwich shop in Austin. Vince said he hopes the Guadalupe location will be open in time to celebrate 4/20.
“Cheba Hut is a counterculture theme, and it fits with the counterculture ‘Keep Austin Weird’ kind of vibe,” Vince said. “The vibe gets you in the door and the food gets you coming back for multiple visits.”
The shop’s menu features sandwiches named after marijuana strains such as Jamaica Red and Silver Haze, said Seth Larsen, chief relationship officer for Cheba Hut. None of the menu items contain marijuana in any form, Larsen said. Cheba Hut also offers a full bar of beers from local breweries and signature drinks such as Larsen’s favorite, the Hash Can, an alcoholic drink mixed with a can of Red Bull.
“If you drive past the typical sandwich shop at 8 or 9 at night, you’re gonna see the chairs are on top of the table, and they’re mopping up the floor,” Vince said. “For Cheba Hut, you come by at 11 or midnight, and you’re going to see people still eating and having a drink at the bar. It’s a different experience than a typical sandwich shop, and I think the bar has a lot to do with that.”
Larsen said Cheba Hut has aimed to serve quality food since its founding in Arizona in 1998. He said they plan to bring more shops to Texas in Dallas, Houston and San Antonio.
“We make all of our sauces from scratch and slice all meats, cheeses and veggies fresh every day,” Larsen said. “We do the little things, and we want to keep it that way.”
Larsen said Cheba Hut fits perfectly with Austin’s music, art and culinary scene. He said current locations have done well in college towns, and he enjoys watching students become regulars at the shops.
“Restaurants are tied in general to major points in people’s lives,” Larsen said. “So whether you’re in college or going to work, we want it to be your must-stop place. We want (Cheba Hut) to be intertwined in people’s lives.”
Joe said he plans on designing Cheba Hut to complement Austin’s creative culture. They want to create a program that finds local artists to design murals on their shops’ walls, Joe said.
“We definitely want to have something with Willie Nelson,” Joe said. “We might include something from the movie ‘Dazed and Confused,’ but definitely the whole thing is going to be formed around Austin.”
Austin food blogger Talya Shalev said she likes how Cheba Hut has vegetarian options and will be another late-night food joint for students.
“It’s good they’re trying to fit for everyone’s needs and not just be a normal, mainstream shop,” marketing sophomore Shalev said. “Since it’s marijuana-themed, it’ll also be a fun experience … It’s not like the mainstream restaurant that’s been here … so I’m excited to see what it has to offer.”
Editor's note: This story was updated to correct the name of a source.