In the longstanding battle of wills, booze and tomfoolery between two of Cleveland's best bars, it seems the Spotted Owl may have taken an unsurpassable lead with the installation of a new billboard above Porco Lounge and Tiki Room.
"Owl-oha from the Spotted Owl, Cleveland's best tiki bar," the billboard boasts of the Spotted Owl, a noted and well-received cocktail bar in Tremont that is decidedly un-tiki-like, right above the sign for Porco, a noted and well-received tiki bar.
The backstory, from the Spotted Owl's evil genius owner Will Hollingsworth:
"I asked Aaron Sechrist to design a t-shirt that says, 'Tiki is stupid,' and he told me, 'How about a t-shirt that says: The Spotted Owl — Cleveland's best tiki bar.' And we laughed and laughed. Then I realized it'd be funnier if it had a trademark symbol next to it, so we had it trademarked. (Note: You can see the TM after 'Cleveland's Best Tiki Bar' on the sign.) Then my business partner called and said, 'You know what would be really funny? If we bought a billboard.' And then I said, 'You know what would be even funnier? If we bought a billboard on Porco's roof.' So I called Lamar Signs and set it up last month."
Lamar Signs was hip to the joke but still needed to clear it with Porco owner Stefan Was.
"So I called Stefan, and I said, 'I can't tell you what the billboard is going to say because I don't want to ruin it, but I need you to trust me enough to call Lamar and tell them it's okay,'" Hollingsworth said.
Was, in keeping with the spirit of the prank wars, obliged.
"I had to sign off on permission for them to do it," Was says. "But nope, I had no idea what it was going to say."
After it was unveiled, Porco shared this message on Facebook: "Hollingsworth, you and your whole The Spotted Owl crew are DEAD! You rent a billboard on top of MY building? DEAD! Y’all better watch your backs."
As for one-upping the billboard, Was says, "Don't doubt me."
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