McDowell's, pop-up restaurant inspired by 'Coming to America,' opening at Cherry Hill Mall

ByBrock Koller via WPVI logo
Saturday, March 13, 2021
EMBED <>More Videos

'Coming 2 America' will feaure the original cast and some new faces.

CHERRY HILL, New Jersey (WPVI) -- If you ever dreamed about starring in a movie, we may have found the closest thing and all you'll have to do is go to the Cherry Hill Mall.

Starting in April, a pop-up restaurant inspired by McDowell's, the fast-food eatery seen in the film "Coming to America," will open for a little over a week span at the South Jersey mall.

The pop-up will feature menu items such as the Big Mick. The spoof of McDonald's Big Mac features all the same ingredients - two all-beef patties, special sauce, cheese, lettuce, pickles, onions - but on a non-seeded bun, instead of a sesame seed bun.

Other options include their take on Chicken McNuggets called Chicken Chunks, a vegetarian option in the Meatless Mick, and The Louie Anderson grilled chicken sandwich.

A regular MickTicket will cost $28 and includes either the Big Mick, Chicken Chunks or the Louie Anderson, plus fries and a drink. The Meatless Mick, which is an Impossible Burger on a vegan bun and no cheese, is available for an additional charge.

With it being a family restaurant, there are choices for the kids. Those 10 and under can get the $15 Mildly Amusing Meal which includes a child-sized burger or chicken nuggets plus small fries and apple juice or water.

For dessert, there is the Sexual Chocolate Cake Shake, named for the band in the film; it's a chocolate milkshake topped with an entire slice of American Marshmallow Chocolate Chip Cake. All in a keepsake glass.

But due to COVID-19 restrictions, you will need to purchase timed tickets in advance to dine at McDowell's.

"We have extensive COVID-19 protocols and are selling only 20 tickets per half hour. Since all meals are pre-ordered and ready to be served as soon as diners arrive, diners are allotted one hour in the restaurant, so there are never more than 40 people dining at a time," Joe McCullough, founder and CEO of JMC Pop Ups LLC, the brand behind the restaurant, told 6abc.

In addition, JMC Pop Ups says there will be interactive photo opportunities, including Employee of the Month.

The McDowell's pop-up coincides with the release of the sequel "Coming 2 America."

JMC Pop Ups told 6abc the restaurant is "fan driven and not affiliated with Amazon Studios or Paramount Pictures."

This will not be the first pop-up restaurant the company has opened in our area.

Galaxy Burger and Beyond launched at the Springfield Mall earlier this year. This pop-up restaurant was all about science fiction.

JMC told 6abc the restaurants were developed in response to the pandemic.

"We wanted to create a family-friendly activity that would also be compliant with COVID protocols, while attracting people to malls to support the businesses there that are struggling due to the pandemic," McCullough said.

At Galaxy Burger and Beyond, hungry sci-fi fans could indulge in such out-of-this-world items as the Porg Tenders and Grilled Dodgers in the 24 Century sandwich.

Besides the food, guests could also visit the Q Bar, an 18-ft tall AT-AT, a 1:1 scale cockpit of the Millennium Falcon, a Star Trek Transporter replica, Iron Man's Hall of Armor and more.

The cockpit of the Millennium Falcon as seen at Galaxy Burger and Beyond.

JMC says Galaxy Burger will blast off again at the Willow Grove Park Mall beginning March 26. Like McDowell's, timed tickets are required.

"The response of the fans has been so enthusiastic and supportive that we decided to tap into another set of fans apart from science fiction. McDowell's was the perfect choice, and the recently vacated California Pizza Kitchen at Cherry Hill Mall is the perfect location. It's exciting to see people coming back to the malls," McCullough said.

JMC says they look for area malls that have been hit hard by COVID-19 by utilizing empty spaces to generate more mall traffic. They chose the Cherry Hill Mall for McDowell's due to the CPK location becoming available and the "great exterior exposure."

The Cherry Hill Mall is promoting the pop-up on its website, saying, "Prince Akeem got his start mopping floors at McDowell's in Queens. Now, the fictitious fast food joint from 'Coming To America' and 'Coming 2 America' is coming to Cherry Hill Mall!"

A portion of the proceeds from all of JMC's pop-up events will be donated to Eastern Pennsylvania Robotics Alliance and other local nonprofits.

JMC Pop Ups says there are plans for future McDowell's, but only in pop-up form. There are no plans to make them permanent restaurants.

"We are committed to the pop-up model so we can get customers back to as many malls as possible," McCullough said.

And at this time, there is no word if McDonald's, the home of the Golden Arches, is aware that the home of the Golden Arcs, McDowell's, is coming to Chery Hill.

"Not as far as we know," McCullough said.

McDowell's will be open at the Cherry Hill Mall from Friday, April 16 through Sunday, April 25, serving ticketed guests 11 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.