One year came the news that Ivar’s Inc. had discovered that founder Ivar Haglund had installed underwater billboards off Alki Beach to advertise clam chowder. Another year the seafood chain announced that it had developed a clam chowder vending machine.
In both cases, local media picked up the stories thinking they were true.
The Seattle-based seafood chain has become infamous for its pranks, and this year is no exception. Ivar’s has announced a plan to deliver clam chowder via seagull-shaped drones and is seeking willing customers to beta-test delivery.
The company has a long history of mischief dating back to at least 1940, according to its website. Recent notable spoofs included plans for marijuana-infused chowder that “lit up” excited servers, 3D printed chowder served “fresh off the press,” and instant chowder that could be purchased in small packets and mixed into a chowder tumbler with hot water.
Today’s April Fool's announcement calls attention to a new “iVar” drone that can confirm a customer’s identity based on facial recognition. The device is voiced by an AI-enhanced Ivar Haglund, who died in 1985. While waiting for delivery, customers can listen to a “full catalog of Ivar’s classic folk ditties and sea shanties.”
The restaurant chain, which launched on Seattle’s waterfront in 1938, operates 21 fast-casual seafood bars, three full-service waterfront-view restaurants and stadium concessions in T-Mobile Park, CenturyLink and Cheney Stadium.