A battle of wits is being waged on opposing marquee signs outside a Somerville packie and a fast-food restaurant.
Local liquor store jokesters Sav-Mor over the weekend took on McDonald’s, the international burger chain with a restaurant across the street.
It all began when the fast-food giant advertised that it was selling two Egg McMuffins for $5.
Apparently interpreting the deal as a challenge, Sav-Mor fired back with an alternative, spelled out in block letters on its legendary marquee: “3 EGG MUFFIN $4.”
The sign came with a dare, and a shot across the bow for the fry-slinging corporate giant, what with its bargain breakfast options and its bright yellow sign competing for eyeballs on the McGrath Highway:
“YOUR MOVE MCDONALD’S.”
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McDonald’s did not back down.
“SAV MOR YOU AINT SEEN MCMUFFIN YET,” read the rebuttal.
It turns out that the home of the McChicken was happy to be brought into the orbit of Sav-Mor, the discount booze mart with a penchant for sassy slogans.
“When we saw the story and the sign, it was a no-brainer to respond,” McDonald’s spokeswoman Lindsay Wallin told the Boston Globe. “We have done similar [things] in another location on Route 1 in Saugus. I’ve always admired Sav-Mor’s creative messages and we are happy to be included!”
The back and forth has been an online sensation, but McDonald's seems to be ready to move on to other priorities, such as serving all-day breakfast.
“SAV MOR WE DON’T CRACK JOKES,” McDonald's sign read on Sunday. “WE CRACK EGGS.”
This isn't the first time Sav-Mor has appealed to its fast food neighbor. According to Robert Weiner, the Sav-Mor co-owner who has masterminded the store's signs for half a decade, the back-and-forth actually began with something of a missed connection.
For Valentine's Day two years ago, he said in an interview, he posted this message: "I HAVE A SECRET CRUSH ON THE MCDONALD'S SIGN."
It went unanswered.
So he was pleasantly surprised when, this time, he touched off a McWar.
"I thought it was great that they were willing to play along," Weiner said, adding that he has no ill-will toward the Golden Arches, his sign-making alter ego notwithstanding.
Throughout this whole experience, he said, he's been anonymously getting his morning coffee at the location every day.
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It’s all just friendly banter among partners, not competitors in roadside commerce, he said. After all, Sav-Mor sells six packs and booze, offering on its shelves neither eggs nor muffins.
But with the ball in their proverbial court this weekend, Sav-Mor, nevertheless, hit Ronald McDonald, hard.
“MY BOSS IS ALSO A CLOWN,” the sign now reads. “THANKS MCDONALD’S I ALWAYS WANTED AN ARCH ENEMY.”
So does Sav-Mor plan to stop making cheeky, and sometimes combative, signs anytime soon?
"Absolutely not," Weiner said. "As long as I'm in the liquor business. If someone offered me a bazillion dollars to make a TV show about the signs, though, I would definitely sell out."