A pop-up burger bar in Melbourne has been slammed after one of the most distinctive items on their menu has gone viral across social media. Titled 'Pablo Escoburger' - inspired after renowned Colombia drug lord and narcotrafficker - the restaurant has been dubbed disrespectful and even 'disgusting' by social media users and locals alike.
Since the eatery's signature patron burger has made waves online, outraged online critics have taken to various sites to leave a negative review aimed solely at its theme for fear of being insensitive, particularly towards those of Colombian descent. The controversial dish included a deluxe gourmet burger, which at first seems like your ordinary burger, except this one was topped with a generous line of garlic powder to mimic cocaine, paired with a fake dollar bill smushed deftly straight into the burger bun. There is a vegetarian option of the patron dish which has its own streak of creativity, served with a plastic pouch of the same powder - but with a spoon tucked inside.
So first thing's first: the chosen theme naturally carries controversy when we consider that the inspiration had come after the man who was responsible for one of the biggest drug rings in history paired with horrific brutalities that occured at the height of his power. Many took to social media to express their views in light of the uproar:
One user exclaimed, "You're idiots! To say this is in REALLY poor taste is an understatement! Wouldn't walk through your doors no matter how good your bloody burgers are. Pathetic!"
"Closer to home, how about a bali bombing burger - you think that will make everyone happy," another retorted.
Co-owner Vaughn Marks has released a statement on the restaurant's website in response to the criticism:
"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, idolize 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."
Despite the strong reactions from various critics, the owners of the eatery remained firm on the name and continue to encourage guests to come along to the bar as well as leave positive feedback as to balance out the sharp negativity in the reviews.