Sandwich shop menu causes controversy with 'anorexic' and 'bipolar' sandwiches

preparing sandwich in the restaurant - stock photo
preparing sandwich in the restaurant - stock photo Photo credit Getty Images

A new sandwich shop in Quincy, Illinois intended to raise mental health awareness through its business, but instead, caused many on social media to call out the restaurant for the names of the sandwiches on its menu.

A local resident posted a picture of the Psycho-Riffic Sandwich Shop menu to Facebook, according to KHQA, and said "this looks like a mockery of mental illness," as the names of sandwiches included "anorexic," "bipolar," and "schitzo."

"I’ve seen people laughing about that ‘anorexia sandwich joke’ all over social media, already. Also, combining mental illnesses with terms like ‘psycho,’ ‘looney tune,’ ‘schitzo,’ and ‘crazy,’ IS NOT helpful to the cause of mental health awareness," Ashlea Goerlich said in the Facebook post.

"These are derogatory terms that true mental health advocates would avoid. There are so many things wrong with this whole concept. When you’ve actually dealt with diagnosed mental illness in your own life, NONE of this is funny or helpful. If anything, it is actually quite damaging and hurtful."

David Shoengood opened the Psycho-Riffic Sandwich Shop at the end of July, and told WGEM at the time that he gave the sandwiches their names to bring awareness to mental health.

"You know, everybody has been through things in their lives, try to enjoy it a little bit you know, have a good time and have fun, and just a good atmosphere for people to come in and enjoy," Shoengood said.

Shoengood said that he's willing to change the names of his sandwiches and he never intended to anger people with the names.

"I'm more than willing to talk to anybody because I believe in people," Shoengood said. "It doesn't make any difference today with all the stigma in not just mental health, but everything else going on. I have no problem helping people and that's my big thing."

Shoengood told KHQA that he has dealt with mental illness in the past, and was able to get help by going to a hospital.

Goerlich's post has been shared 320 times on Facebook, and currently has nearly 100 comments and 225 likes/reactions to it. She told the news station that despite the names of the sandwiches, she is glad to see a business try to bring awareness to mental health.

"I actually appreciate the owner trying to bring mental health awareness through his business and I believe it could have a really strong customer base," Goerlich said. "I think a rebranding of how things are being presented towards mental health awareness would be really helpful."