As the new pasta spot in his hometown has limited seating, customers are asked to place orders at the walk-up window, where they can choose items like a carton of “Mom’s Spaghetti” (with or without meatballs) or a "'S’ghetti Sandwich.”
Hungry visitors doing exactly that on Wednesday were greeted by the rapper himself, who posed for selfies with fans and handed them their orders.
“This has been my dream my whole life,” one fan told the Detroit News, adding that the rapper had even signed her container of “Mom’s Spaghetti,” one of the first orders dished out at the new eatery.
Another fan, Courtney Frost, told the news outlet that the surprise appearance “made the experience,” and that the pair had locked eyes.
Photos from the opening showed crowds lining up outside, many wearing T-shirts and sweaters with the rapper’s face splashed across the front.
“Moms spaghetti it’s alllllll ready Detroit! Come thru Wednesday,” the rapper tweeted to his 22.5 million followers earlier this week but did not announce that he would be at the concept restaurant’s opening.
Above the restaurant’s kitchen is a retail shop selling merchandise and Eminem memorabilia. Named “The Trailer,” the store is a nod to “8 Mile,” in which Eminem made his film debut by playing an aspiring rapper who lived in a trailer with his mother.
The song “Lose Yourself” won Eminem an Oscar in 2003, but he didn’t attend the awards ceremony because he didn’t think he had a chance of winning, he later said in an interview.
In a statement released this week, Eminem’s manager, Paul Rosenberg, said the response from fans to the star’s “pasta operation” had been “overwhelmingly positive.”
Rosenberg explained that it was the success of previous temporary pop-up spaghetti initiatives run by team Eminem and Union Joints restaurant group that inspired the permanent restaurant on Detroit’s Woodward Avenue.
“The previous pop-ups were 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,” he said.
On social media, journalists attending the launch reported that some fans had been waiting in line since 8:30 a.m. even though the official grand opening was scheduled for 5 p.m.
On Twitter, some applauded the rapper’s latest move.
“Made a whole restaurant based on two words from a nearly 20 year old song,” one user wrote in admiration.
Another joked: “I appreciate that Eminem’s restaurant is called Mom’s Spaghetti but I wish he had named it Ate Mile.”