In this era of ill-fated emporia, I have found myself worrying, from time to time, for KuKuRuZa (that’s a Russian word meaning, like, popcorn or something), the gourmet popcorn store that opened this fall on Pike and Second. I don’t have any particular connection to the shop, I just walk by it every day, and in so doing began to wonder what would become of this sort of venture in such stark, novelty-intolerant times.
But then its PR Rep wrote telling me that KuKuRuZa is working with a few bars to offer custom corns during happy hour. This actually makes a lot of sense. Because look, the popcorn is good. I’ve tried a bunch of flavors. It’s tasty. When companies are making money, tins of this stuff are just the sort of thing they give as corporate gifts. But that ain’t happening now. And even in thriving times, most people past the age of 12 wouldn’t walk into a gourmet popcorn shop and order a snack, at least with any sort of regularity. We all, however, love to dig into a bowl of something free and crunchy when its placed in front of us at the bar. In fact, sometimes, if I listen carefully enough, I can actually hear the curry popcorn at Kushibar calling my name. So this seems like smart business: the bars draw drinkers in search of munchies, the popcorn gets purchased.
Deals are still in the works, but the rep did tell me that BOKA will soon serve a signature flavor featuring smoked sea salt with black truffle oil. Well now, that sounds delicious. Here’s hoping other local bars will follow suit. It’s superstitious, sure, but part of me feels like if KuKu can survive—nay, thrive—in the current climate, then maybe there is hope for all of us.