When the Washington Post asked Bill Panzica a couple of weeks ago if his Chocolate Bar Restaurant was doing anything special for the Republican National Convention, he said something like, "Uh, sure," then grabbed his wife and started brainstorming.
Western New Yorkers are familiar with the Chocolate Bar establishment on Chippewa Street in Buffalo, but he also has a bigger Chocolate Bar franchise in Cleveland, a few hundred yards from the Republican National Convention arena.
Within hours, Panzica had a two-page martini and dessert menu catering to convention-goers and all-around political nerds who'd happily pay $10.95 for a "Let's Make America Grape Again" martini (No outsourcing here. California grapes. American vodka. No passport needed.) or a whopping $79.97 for a 35 oz. "Trump Tower Martini," which comes with the following warning: Takes big hands to handle this glass.
"The material was unending," said Panzica, the CEO and director of franchise development for the Chocolate Bar.
Though the drink menu is Trump all the way, anyone in the mood for dessert is welcome to the Bernie Sundae, which comes with a menu description that sums up every irritating millennial generation trend he could squeeze onto the menu: Artisanal coffee ice cream made with local, ethically sourced, free-range dairy cream. Shaved chocolate from fair trade single origin beans which preserve biodiversity ... It goes on.
The Madam Hillary sundae is a bit racier. It's chocolate ice cream that comes with the description: Choose what ever topping that you think people would like. No nuts but with a maraschino cherry. (Caution: May stain clothing.)
The more closely you follow presidential election politics, the funnier the menu is. The Madam Hillary sundae for instance, obliquely refers to Clinton's email scandal by stating: For list of today's toppings please direct to the correct server.
Here's actual menu: Chocolate Bar RNC menu.
Even though only one of Panzica's Chocolate Bar restaurants is located in Cleveland, the special presidential campaign menu is featured in his restaurants in Buffalo and even Kuwait. He even ordered up special table tents and created Trump sugar cookies, which sell for $2 each.
"It’s nothing but people in cowboy hats," he said, adding that he also rented out the restaurant to the Connecticut Republican Committee.
It makes it worth the many hoops the Secret Service is making all nearby restaurants jump through to make sure the trucks and food traveling through the convention area are safe, he said.
As far as the November election goes, Panzica confesses to being one of many confused Republicans.
"You don’t know who to to vote for," he said. "It’s just such a crazy thing. I just want to have fun. It’s just too easy."