Midvale • Post Malone looked as happy as a man could be after having his face blown up to the size of a building.
“What’s going on?” the 27-year-old rapper/singer asked the approximately 400 fans who had gathered since early Thursday morning outside a new Raising Cane’s chicken restaurant in Midvale. Those fans cheered and shouted “I love you,” and he waved enthusiastically back to them.
“I appreciate everybody waiting around in the cold and the snow,” Malone told fans. He showed that appreciation by walking outside the restaurant, interacting with many of the fans — signing body parts, posing for selfies, giving high-fives. After touring the inside of the restaurant, Malone came out and greeted more fans.
The presence of a music star at the ribbon-cutting for a fast-food restaurant wasn’t the weird part of Thursday’s opening. The weird part was that Malone himself designed the restaurant, inside and out.
According to Raising Cane’s founder and CEO Todd Graves, picking a spot at 850 E. Fort Union Blvd., Midvale, for this location had everything to do with proximity to Malone — who moved into a Cottonwood Heights mansion in 2019.
Speaking into a bullhorn, Graves told the crowd about the conversation he had with Malone. “‘Can you put a Raising Cane’s close to my house in Utah?’ I said, ‘Hell, yeah.’” Then Malone asked if he could design the place, and Graves agreed.
The building’s exterior is painted black and electric pink, with a tight close-up of Malone’s tattooed face on the side facing the parking lot. In that parking lot, there was a classic 1974 Ford F250 pickup truck, wrapped in silver, and with a license plate that reads “POSTY” with a heart.
Inside, the pink color continues, covering the floor. There are displays of Malone’s guitars, and of outfits he wore during the 2019 Grammys and the January 2022 cover of Billboard magazine. Because Malone is a fan of medieval armor, the restrooms have a castle theme, complete with a suit of armor. And there’s a vending machine, wrapped in pink vinyl, from which customers can buy exclusive merchandise.
Customers can even order what Malone likes to eat there: Four chicken fingers, crinkle-cut fries, two containers of Cane’s sauce, two Texas toasts, and a collector’s cup filled half-and-half with unsweet tea and lemonade.
“We got some crazy stuff in there,” Malone said into the bullhorn. (He expressed a bit of nervousness: “I’m terrified; I’ve never spoken through a megaphone before.”)
“This is his vision,” Graves said. “I said, ‘Let’s do this thing next level.’ There’s no restaurant like this in the world.”
“Unique is the optimum word for what this is,” said Midvale Mayor Marcus Stevenson. “Having something like this, that is unique to this community, is going to bring in new people who maybe wouldn’t otherwise think of Midvale.”
Graves said he and Malone have been friends for years, a friendship based on mutual admiration.
“I was a fan of his music, and he was a fan of my chicken fingers,” Graves said. “We talked about life, we shotgunned some beers, and a friendship was born.”