A new pop-up burger bar that goes by the name of Pablo’s Escoburgers recently opened in Prahran in Melbourne, Australia. The small restaurant takes its name from the late Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar, who notoriously supplied roughly 80% of all the cocaine that was imported into the US in the late 1980s.
The bar serves up themed dishes, like a burger topped with a line of “cocaine,” which is actually garlic powder, complete with a fake $100 bill with Escobar’s face on it. The fry baskets also come with a fake baggie of cocaine and a tiny metal spoon.
One of the bar’s advertisements reads, “People are lining up for a taste.”
But not everyone appreciates the clever marketing scheme. In fact, the bar was accused of glorifying murder and drug use.
“Not really sure how to feel about this,” one Facebook user said.
“How can we explain (to) you people that IT ISN’T FUNNY? Try to do that with Hitler and see what happens. Use your brain folks,” another added.
The bar quickly made a post clarifying their position, saying that they are simply Australians with a dark sense of humor, and don’t mean to offend anyone with their outrageous restaurant theme.
The restaurant released a statement saying:
“We are very proud of our burgers but we do also understand that Pablo Escobar was a horrible man who destroyed the lives of thousands of Colombians, We do not condone, idolise or promote Pablo Emilio Escobar or his actions in anyway. We are however Australian and know how to have a laugh about a good play on words. Its just a name of a pop up burger bar not really a theme. Hard not to offend someone in 2019. Lots of Colombians enjoy the burgers here, also a lot give us terrible reviews and upset comments on FB much the way Pablo himself would have if he was still here today. Take the high road people, put it to rest and learn to forgive and forget!
Either way we love you all the same in a very “unpablo” way and know you will love our burgers. enjoy!”
Despite the controversy, many people appear to be having a good time with the strange promotion.
“Brilliant marketing! Nothing better than eating burgers and coke…” one said.
“Love it. Great play on words. Lighten up peps,” another posted.
In addition to online trolls, the owners of the bar may also need to worry about Pablo Escobar’s brother Roberto, who runs a business that revolves around the reputation of the late drug lord. Roberto is known to be protective of his family’s “trademark” and name. In fact, Roberto has been in an ongoing legal battle with Netflix over his family’s portrayal in the original series Narcos. According to TMZ, Roberto surrendered in his efforts against Netflix last year, but the details of the settlement are unknown.
Pablo’s Escoburgers can be found at 173 High St in Prahran, Victoria, Australia 3181.
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