Whoever Rips Off This Ancient Roman Snack Bar Is Going to Make a Fortune in Silicon Valley 

In Depth

Free fast-casual restaurant concept: just straight ripping off an ancient Roman snack bar recently excavated at Pompeii. Fish! Frescos! We’re halfway to an Instagrammable experience already!

The Guardian has a brief story on new finds out of Pompeii—at the moment, archeologists are tackling Regio V, a large section of the complex that hasn’t been evacuated in many years, armed with new technologies that have been developed since. They’ve found all kinds of things, like beautifully, intricately painted walls.

The latest treasure was shared on Instagram by Massimo Ossana, who is just wrapping five years as site superintendent (though he’s expected to be rehired, apparently). It’s a lunch counter/snack bar, called a thermopolium, which would have catered to poorer residents and was essentially a McDonalds of the ancient Roman world. There are around 150 of them scattered around Pompeii; “Typical menus included coarse bread with salty fish, baked cheese, lentils and spicy wine.”

Hell, you could probably lean into the ancient wisdom angle, slap Marcus Aurelius’s face on there somewhere and charge $18.75 for a single lunchtime meal in San Francisco and the most techie parts of Manhattan.

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