In March, Cabel Sasser was driving around the outskirts of Portland with his family when he spotted something that made him slam on his brakes: two detached Arby’s signs locked behind a fence.
As a connoisseur of American cultural iconography, he’d been staking out the remodel of the meat palace’s Cedar Hills location, just in case an opportunity to acquire some small part of the franchise came about.
“I have a non-ironic appreciation of fast food,” says Sasser, co-founder of Portland game publisher Panic. “The corporations aren’t great, and the worker treatment needs to be better, but there’s something uniquely fascinating and exciting to me about fast food chains.”
When he direct-messaged the company about possibly acquiring the signs, he didn’t expect a response—turns out, Arby’s was more than happy to hand them off to a dedicated customer. All he had to do was rent a U-Haul.
Once he had them in his possession, though, reality set in: What the hell was he going to do with two Arby’s signs?
One of them ended up in Los Angeles with a friend, “a huge Arby’s fan” who runs a video game merchandise business. The other is currently sitting in the Panic offices on West Burnside, which is just beginning to repopulate with staff post-pandemic.
“I’m still trying to figure out where to put it,” he says. “But for now, it’s the perfect way to welcome our employees back to the office, causing a resigned chuckle and an, ‘Oh God, what did Cabel do this time?’”