Beer, Coffee and a VW Beetle: Laughing Planet Unveils 20th Anniversary Plans

A sweeping, pandemic-delayed celebration is underway.

Two years ago, Laughing Planet was preparing to celebrate the 20th anniversary of its first Portland location (on Southeast Belmont Street). The pandemic delayed the colorful Mexican restaurant chain’s festivities, but now the company is preparing to celebrate...in a distinctly Laughing Planet fashion.

That means the unveiling of the new Lost in Space IPA, which Laughing Planet is creating with Migration Brewing (it will be available at all Laughing Planet and Migration locations). Additionally, the company is partnering with Extracto Coffee Roasters to create Subatomic, a coffee roast that will be available for purchase whole bean.

The most eye-catching part of the anniversary events is arguably the raffling off of “Casper,” CEO Franz Spielvogel’s 1978 VW Super Beetle, which will take place at 2 pm Saturday, Sept. 24, at Laughing Planet’s Woodstock restaurant. Proceeds will benefit the Blanchet House of Hospitality, and tickets are available at Laughing Planet locations and on the company’s website.

The first Laughing Planet was opened in Indiana by founder Richard Satnick, who moved to Portland and expanded to Corvallis and Eugene, before selling the business to a group that included Spielvogel in 2012 (there are now locations in Bend and Reno as well).

While Laughing Planet is first and foremost a burrito-based operation, it is also known for less-expected delights, including an impressive collection of dinosaur toys and deliciously, insanely thick and wheaty oatmeal chocolate chip cookies.