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Eminem surprises fans at the opening of his 'Mom's Spaghetti' restaurant in Detroit

Sep 30, 2021
Originally published on October 5, 2021 4:14 am

Rapper Eminem's seminal song "Lose Yourself," from the 2002 film 8 Mile, has likely inspired many listeners and artists with its urgent, motivating lyrics.

And now it has also inspired a pasta restaurant, thanks to this memorable line:

"His palms are sweaty, knees weak, arms are heavy / There's vomit on his sweater already, mom's spaghetti"

A new restaurant called Mom's Spaghetti opened in the artist's hometown of Detroit on Wednesday.

The concept restaurant is actually the result of a partnership between Eminem's team and a local restaurant group, and it started as a pop-up shop in 2017.

Mom's Spaghetti has made appearances at several Eminem festival performances since then and has delivered food to front-line hospital workers and COVID-19 vaccinators in Detroit during the coronavirus pandemic, according to a news release.

Paul Rosenberg, Eminem's manager, said in a statement that the response from fans has been "overwhelmingly positive," calling the previous pop-ups "really a test for us to determine whether there was enthusiasm for a regularly-occurring Mom's Spaghetti spot that would be open all year long."

The brick-and-mortar space consists of a walk-up restaurant window and an upstairs merchandise and memorabilia store called The Trailer (in another nod to 8 Mile). The store is small and "limited to eight Stans" at a time, the release says.

The restaurant's menu is simple, offering spaghetti (plain, with meatballs or with vegan "rabbit balls") and 'sghetti sandwiches, all for under $15.

"We're proud of the fact that we created a scratch sauce that tastes like it's straight from the jar, and wok-firing the noodles gives it that leftover pasta snap," said Curt Catallo, co-owner of Union Joints restaurant group. "The walk-up window and small diner-like spot for people to eat add to the feeling that this is a homegrown, DIY experience."

A local commercial helped get the word out ahead of the restaurant's grand opening on Wednesday evening. The Detroit Free Press reports that many fans camped out all day for a spot in line, which later stretched for blocks.

And some lucky stans got more than just a takeout box of spaghetti. Eminem made a surprise appearance, serving the first 10 fans in line both food and selfies. The generally reclusive rapper and his entourage then piled into a pair of SUVs and sped away, the Detroit Free Press observed, "chased Beatlemania-style down Woodward by packs of fans."

This story originally published in the Morning Edition live blog.

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