And items like the Wolf Dog were born.
And yes, they are calling the known hot dog lover a wiener.
Sarah Volk, co-owner of the Liberty Street Ale House in Franklin created a late night snack menu to comply with the governor's recent orders that no alcohol can be served without food being a part of the bill. She decided it was an opportunity to poke fun at Wolf and others too. Along with the hot dog options, diners choice to have either turkey or ham Trump Sandwhich (an accidental misspelling that has become another point of humor for the management). For those fond of tasteless lumpy things, the restaurant now offers up Karen's Cottage Cheese.
All tongue-in-cheek and all compliant.
"I'm frustrated with our governor, I won't lie," she said, though she added she doesn't envy him his job. Her main concern is her 13 employees, some of whom she had to layoff at times during these COVID-19 statewide restrictions. "We really are like a family," she said.
"I knew I had to do something," Volk said. The first shutdown was hard, but the community really rallied to support them. Being connected to the hotel helped as well. But the latest restrictions made her feel targeted, she said. So if the Governor says people need to order food to enjoy an adult beverage, she will provide food, even if it's just a wiener.
"It's terrifying not knowing when it is going to end," she said of the restrictions, which include decreased indoor seating of 25 percent. Volk says they will comply and make the most of it.
Some other area establishments are also following suit by adding jabs at the politicians while trying to provide for their customers. Hunters Inn in Guys Mills didn't really care to be partisan. They are offering a solo onion ring for 50 cents because they say it is the only hoop you have to jump through for a drink.
Other offerings on the COVID-19 menu, which is available whenever the bar is open, are mostly small, such as 1/4 servings of fries for a reduced price and a single hot pepper cheese ball.
One bar in Meadville got into a little hot water after a manger went a little too far with their "humor." Mad Hatters Southwest Grill created menu item attacking the Pennsylvania Department of Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine which was labeled by community members as transphobic. It was quickly taken down by the owners, but not before it went around on social media and several screenshots were taken and shared.
The owners later announced they terminated the employee and shut their business down temporarily. They issued a statement saying they regret the incident and will get their staff fully trained so they grow from this.
in the statement posted on their Facebook page, the owners said the following:
"I want to publicly apologize to Dr Levine for the offensive menu posted on our facebook page this morning. We extend the apology to all the members of the transgender community and to all the government officials that are working towards keeping us safe. We're taking several measures to prevent this type of situation from happening again in our restaurant. As a result, we're briefly closing our doors in order to hire new members of our team and have them receive proper training."
The ownership of Mad Hatters indicated that training will come from a transgender man from Allegheny College who has worked with people all over the country about transgender relations and civility.
Volk was afraid something like that would happen when small business owners started getting cute with their menus, but was pleased she and her manager Ritchie Rhinehardt sat down and came up with ideas together. Anything that didn't make the grade for tasteful poking fun was eliminated before the menu was finalized.
She said the Ale House will keep revising their menu offerings as they continue to stay in compliance with the governor's orders.