A pop-up restaurant in Melbourne, Australia has been blasted for selling a Pablo Escobar-inspired burger, which includes a line of white powder and a rolled up dollar bill on top. The restaurant, called Pablo's Escoburgers, is named after the notorious Colombian drug lord and features the slogan, “Nobody knows burgers like Pablo’s nose burgers.”
Escobar reportedly supplied an estimated 80% of the cocaine smuggled into the United States at the height of his career, earning over $21.9 billion a year. Named "The King of Cocaine," he was the wealthiest criminal in history, with an estimated net worth of $25 to $30 billion by the early 1990s, which made him one of the richest men in the world at the time.
Colombia’s cocaine industry were responsible for the country becoming the world's murder capital with 25,100 violent deaths in 1991 and 27,100 in 1992. The increased murder rate was driven by Escobar's hiring of hitmen to kill more than 600 police officers during this period.
Escobar, who headed the Medellín Cartel for 17 years, was responsible for the deaths of more than 3,500 people. In 1993, he was shot dead by police in 1993, after fleeing from La Catedral prison in Colombia. The scene was recreated in the Netflix series Narcos.
Consumers considered the Australian pop-up's nod to the terrorist to be inappropriate. The "Patron" burger has been widely criticized on Instagram. "This is really offensive and disrespectful to all the families of the victims that suffered the atrocities committed by this monster," one user wrote.
"He is not a hero, he was the biggest cancer in my country," another added. "This is really offensive and no one should ever visit your 'restaurant'. IGNORANT."
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Some sought to defend Pablo's Escoburgers, believing that the name of the restaurant is intended as a light-hearted joke. "Snowflakes, petals and the easily offended. When did you lose your sense of humour?" a Facebook user wrote.
Last month, Pablo's Escoburgers released a statement saying that they were not overlooking Escobar's actions with the theme of the restaurant. "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," the statement reads. "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."
While the Melbourne restaurant recognizes that the restaurant may rub some the wrong way, it is not apologizing or backing down. "Hard not to offend someone in 2019," they added. "Take the high road people, put it to rest and learn to forgive and forget!"