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Fort Worth native wants to bring a pot-themed fast-casual restaurant to his hometown

Are parking meters coming to Magnolia Avenue, Fairmount district in Fort Worth?

Near Southside district in Fort Worth considering parking meters on Magnolia Avenue, Fairmount residential permits. They say all the spaces are utilized, mostly but all-day parking and meters could create a turnover.
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Near Southside district in Fort Worth considering parking meters on Magnolia Avenue, Fairmount residential permits. They say all the spaces are utilized, mostly but all-day parking and meters could create a turnover.

Chance Steed was on a ski trip in Colorado when his friend took him to his first Cheba Hut experience. He loved it so much that he decided he wanted to bring it to Fort Worth.

Cheba Hut is a toasted sub chain based out of Fort Collins, Colorado, with a very distinct theme: When they say toasted subs, they mean toasted subs.

Because everything about Cheba Hut is marijuana-themed.

The decor invokes the counterculture with a beachy, slightly trippy vibe. The artwork depicts various cartoon characters lighting up. All of the “toasted” subs are named after strains of pot (5-0, White Widow, Kush, etc). The sides are listed under “munchies.”

See where we’re going here?

Founder Scott Jennings got the idea to start a fast-casual restaurant 21 years ago in Arizona. He wanted a place with great food, a great atmosphere and fun work environment. Since then, Cheba Hut’s bud-ding growth has shot up like a weed, blazing through seven states (soon to be 15 by 2020) and spreading the word of ganja-themed sandwiches as far as they can reach.

Now does this mean any sub you order is going to be stuffed with the devil’s lettuce? No. It’s just a theme that pokes fun at the establishment. It’s a place that serves everyone.

“We have people that come in on a regular basis who have no idea that our sandwiches are named after weed,” said Seth Larsen, chief relationship officer. “We have blue collar workers, white collar workers, soccer moms...we have everybody. We’re unapologetic, and we’re authentic, and we’re a place that can be enjoyed by everyone.”

Steed doesn’t know if he’ll receive any backlash when he opens his restaurant, hopefully on Magnolia next year. But if he does, he hopes people will chill out about it.

“It’s just marijuana-themed,” Steed said. “It embraces the counterculture, pushing back against the establishment.”

Larsen also thinks there’s something a little bit more fun about bringing the counterculture to more typically conservative areas, like Texas.

“People out here in Colorado have been high for 40 years,” he said. “In more conservative markets, it’s easier to make a splash.”

That’s what Steed is hoping to do. The timeline hasn’t been set in stone yet, but he is hoping to open by April 20 next year.

And if you get that reference, you’ll probably fit in just fine at Cheba Hut.

Carla Jimenez covers breaking business news and commercial retail development. Born and raised in Euless, she took a detour in the Midwest for a few years, but she’s back in the land of football, barbecue and Dr Pepper.
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