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Berco's Popcorn: Come For the Popcorn, Stay for a Movie

By Paul Biasco | June 5, 2013 8:10am
 Berco's Popcorn, 810 W. Armitage Ave., opened Tuesday afternoon.
Berco's Popcorn
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LINCOLN PARK — At the newest shop on Armitage, customers will come for the popcorn and get a movie on the side.

Berco's Popcorn has gained notoriety for its unique flavors including a gold-flake-coated "Billion Dollar Popcorn," and its newest creation, "Pig Powder," covered with the dry rub from Chicago q.

The store, which opened Tuesday afternoon at 810 W. Armitage Ave., has been in 30-year-old owner Matt Bercovitz's plans since he began selling tins of his popcorn online in 2011.

Not only will the business sell popcorn by the bag, tin and gallon, but it also will host weekly movie nights.

The shop has a 97-inch screen on the back wall and room for 24 seats inside — think an intimate Friday-night showing of "Big Lebowski" or "Pulp Fiction," coupled with with all-you-can-eat caramel corn.

You might even catch a sneak peak of a new release, Bercovitz said.

"We have a couple of Hollywood friends," he said. "We are hoping to get a couple things that haven't been released yet or are in theaters."

Bercovitz attended the University of Southern California, where he made his Hollywood connections.

"Usually you go to the movies and get popcorn," he said. "Now you go to get popcorn and get a movie."

Tickets to the viewings will likely be between $10 and $15 and come with a drink.

Bercovitz expects the first Friday night viewing to be held in either June or July, and is considering a "Monday morning movies with mom" series for area mothers.

As for the popcorn, Berco's has four premade staples: caramel corn, butter, "way too expensive white truffle" and white cheddar.

Customers are also able to create their own concoctions with powder mixes such as the "Pig Powder" from Chicago q, dark chocolate, white chocolate, fire salts, strawberry and vanilla.

Berco will be mixing those flavors by hand behind the counter every day.

"People seem to be really digging the custom creations," he said. "We are the only popcorn shop to do that."

When Berco opened his business online in 2011 he knew he needed something to stand out from the crowd and decided to create the "Billion Dollar Popcorn."

Since then, he has sold two 1-gallon tins to friends four tins to customers at $250 a pop.

The largest 6.5-gallon tin goes for $1,000.

"America in general loves hyperbole. The best. The biggest. The fastest. The Strongest. Whatever it is, the grandest," Bercovitz said. "Starting out when I was just online I needed a way to get people to stop and look at me."