For Rick & Morty fans in D.C., the cancellation of Drink Company’s pop-up Wubba Lubba Dub PUB after a copyright dispute with Turner Broadcasting and Cartoon Network meant a minor change-up in their weekend plans.
But for a few members of the cartoon’s incredibly devoted fan base, the pub’s shutdown meant they were stuck with non-refundable plane tickets and D.C. hotel rooms that they booked specifically to drink cocktails with names like “Existence is Pain” and “You Pass Butter.” The pop-up originally planned to run from Thursday, August 16 to Saturday, October 6.
“I was planning a trip from New York with a few fellow R&M fans,” one fan wrote on Twitter, while others were heading to Washington from even farther-flung locations. “We have friends who booked flights to come see this bar. This is fucking bullshit, fuck Turner,” said Jake Sauser on Facebook. Despite his ire, Sauser told Eater his friends are still coming to town and the group will figure out something else to do.
Another fan was in a similar boat. “We are still coming — the room and flights are not refundable. We will explore the city, but are very sad the bar closed,” Jeff Persek, who lives in Bellevue, Washington, told Eater. Persek reached out to Drink Company about possibly being able to get a Rick & Morty-themed drink at another one of their bars, or to find out if there are any mementos he could purchase, but hadn't heard back as of publication.
Drink Company owner Derek Brown responded to Eater via a statement.
“We’re right there with the fans. This sucks. Everyone lost with this outcome when it could’ve been a win for all. This bar was a labor of love and we’re sorry fans didn’t get to see it. Unfortunately there’s not a lot we can do at this time but work to create something that will be worth the ticket when we re-open, which is happening soon. Stay tuned.”
In the meantime, Persek, for one, is keeping his eye out for any fan-instigated Rick and Morty meet-ups that might happen to be happening in D.C. while he’ll be here.