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The week in ideas, July 20, 2012

A breastaurant buys a town. A really big lobster goes to highest bidder—or maybe back to sea. On demand mashed potatoes. And some ideas for getting around a California ban.

Idea #1: Buy a town. The crazy breastaurant owners come up with the greatest marketing gimmicks. Take Doug Guller, Founder and CEO of ATX Brands, which owns a regional chain called Bikinis. Guller has announced plans to buy the Texas ghost town of Bankersmith and rename it Bikinis. As Guller said in a press release, “There can’t be a better way to put Bikinis on the map…Literally.”

Idea #2: Raffle a really big lobster. Cape Cod’s Capt’n Elmer’s seafood restaurant is raffling off a monster 21-pound lobster, donating the proceeds to the Dana Farber Cancer Institute. Cool idea. Well, not for everybody. Conservationists have started a Facebook campaign urging the restaurant to release the lobster back into the ocean, offering donations to Dana Farber of their own.

Idea #3: Mashed potato vending machines. Yep, they’re real and apparently very popular at 7-Elevens in Singapore.

Idea #4: Beat the ban. Week in Ideas was off last week so we missed this one. California restaurant Presidio Social Club is getting around the state’s new foie gras ban by asserting that since it’s located on federal land the law doesn’t apply. Chefs at Hot's Kitchen in Los Angeles County and Chez TJ restaurant in Mountain View are giving foie gras away as a free side. The law says you can’t sell the stuff. Nothing about giving it away.


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