Cartoon Network's Adult Swim shuts down Washington, D.C.'s latest Rick and Morty-themed bar.
Drink Company -- the creators that brought you the popular Game of Thrones bar and Super Mario pub -- recently announced a new themed bar coming to Washington, D.C.: The Wubba Lubba Dub PUB. Based on the popular television show Rick and Morty, the Wubba Lubba Dub PUB was expected to open on August 16 and allow fans to get "schwifty" with their favorite animated characters until October 6.
However, much to fans' dismay, Turner Broadcasting/Cartoon Network threw a wrench in those plans. Citing that the themed bar violated their intellectual property rights, Turner threatened to take Drink Company to court and forced the bar to close on the very day of its planned opening.
The CEO of Drink Company, Angie Fetherston said they’d been in talks with Turner for a few weeks and originally reached a verbal agreement that included stipulations such as pushing the opening of the bar back. However, before the bar even opened, problems arose.
On August 13, Drink Company’s lawyers revealed that Turner Broadcasting sent them a counter-offer requesting a $100,000 licensing fee to use their characters. After that, Drink Company says that Turner no longer wanted to negotiate and forced the pop-up bar to close.
In a tweet to their fans, Drink Company stated that Turner Broadcasting and Cartoon Network:
“changed their minds, threatened us with exorbitant fees and then took everything off the table today and refused to talk any further. The whole time we were operating in good faith and willing to make concessions to bring this wonderful work of fan art to life.”
However, "Adult Swim," the night-time, adult version of Cartoon Network, reports that they were never approached in advance of Drink Company’s plans.
According to The Washington Post, Adult Swim responded in an email that stated,
“They bothered us, not only because it wasn’t polite and aimed at profiting off of Rick and Morty fans, but because we couldn’t be sure that the experience was going to be up to our standards for those fans, who we never want to disappoint. Also, it’s illegal, which we’re pretty sure still counts for something.”
So, as shots were fired, the doors were closed, 80 employees were laid off, and fans were disappointed.
Although Drink Company is encouraging its followers to reach out to Turner, you’ll no longer be able to get “riggedy riggedy wrecked” with Rick and Morty in Washington, D.C.
What You Missed Out On
The Wubba Lubba Dub PUB was specifically designed with fans in mind. Lined with a collection of seven-foot-tall Meeseeks, it featured life-size recreations of Rick’s garage lab, his spaceship, and Anatomy Park.
As fans waited for season four of Rick and Morty, they would’ve been entranced by the fake doors on the ceiling, “plumbus” advertised on the bar’s iconic inter-dimensional cable box, a portal made of mirrors, and cutouts of the show’s characters designed by graffiti artist Andrew Funk.
The three-bar establishment was also expected to feature 15 unique drinks based off the show’s themes, such as “Get Schwifty,” “Existence is Pain,” “Keep Summer Safe,” and “Sleepy Gary.”
According to Drink Company, the bar was set to be a “labor of love” and included multiple references to the show that made the entire world laugh out loud. However, we’ll never get to see the incredible art and gruesome hours of preparation that went into designing the ultimate Rick and Morty altar.
As Rick would say, “And that’s the way the news goes!” But what do you think? Were you excited to travel out of this world with Rick and Morty? Let us know in the comments!