Chewbacchus and Dat Dog team up for silly Mardi Gras shrine room

Chewbacchus and Dat Dog team up for Mardi Gras shrine room (Photo courtesy Dat Dog restaurant)

The Intergalactic Krewe of Chewbacchus, a science fiction-oriented Mardi Gras group, has agreed to team with Dat Dog, New Orleans' premier sausage restaurant, to create a tongue-in-cheek shrine room in the upstairs of Dat Dog's 601 Frenchmen Street location.

Chewbacchus, which annually presents one of the city's most popular foot parades, was named for Bacchus, the Roman god of wine, and Chewbacca, Star Wars' beloved hirsute sidekick. The Dat Dog upstairs room will feature a huge carved effigy of "The Sacred Drunken Wookiee" plus a Death Star disco ball, and an array of sculpture, costumes, and memorabilia.

"It's kind of like a funny take on the Rex Room at Antoine's," said Chewbacchus leader Ryan Ballard, referring to the museum-like display room of New Orleans' most regal old-line parade in New Orleans' oldest restaurant.

"I thought, 'It's perfect.' Because Chewbacchus is silly, a big giant cosmic joke,'" Ballard said, adding that it's "really cool to have a very public, very accessible Chewbacchus room out in the world."

Victoria Verhagen, Dat Dog's director of marketing, said that the restaurant got acquainted with Chewbacchus membership when the Dat Mobile food truck was dispatched to krewe functions.

"That krewe and our brand made so much sense together," she said. "We both have a cult following and we're both freaks and nerds. Who wouldn't want to team with the Krewe of Chewbacchus; they're just so cool."

The new shrine room, which overlooks the Chewbacchus parade route, will be dedicated with a ceremonial toast when the parade arrives, between 7:15 and 7:30 on Saturday, Feb. 18. Specialty cocktails and sausages are on the drawing board.

The "Sacred Drunken Wookiee" room will remain a Dat Dog dining room. The restaurant also plans to use it to host fundraising events benefitting the STOMP Troopers, a special program that welcomes children with autism to participate in the Chewbacchus parade.