Singapore restaurant owners created a wave of controversy by naming their restaurant Pablo Escobar.
In an interview with the local lifestyle magazine in order to promote the launch of Pablo’s Kitchen, the three owners were cited as “big fans” of the Netflix series Narcos, whose previous seasons have centered on Escobar’s life in Colombia, particularly in the his rise as a cocaine dealer.
The series drew rave reviews internationally, but it also attracted negative commentary for glorifying Escobar and fueling a narrative of racist stereotypes.
in the menu of Pablo’s Kitchen Dishes reminiscent of the Escobar activity were integrated, which is why it is possible to eat “hits” and “cartel chicken”.
The restaurant’s Facebook page and Instagram accounts also feature a logo with the name, a picture of Escobar’s face from the Netflix series, and two crossed knives.
Asked about the controversial choice, Alex Neo, co-owner of the restaurant, said in an interview with the magazine that “if the food is good, you can call it anything”.
However, after a few negative comments choosing the name, the owners revealed that they would make some unspecified changes to the restaurant.
“We want to make it clear that our team disapproves of narcoterrorism crimes,” wrote the owners a post from Facebook.
They added that “like the Netflix TV series, Pablo’s Kitchen is attracted to the history of drug repression. To avoid misunderstandings, we will make changes to our space next week.”
O VICE spoke with a representative from Pablo’s Kitchen, who said the team was trying to resolve the criticisms and had no further comments to add.
Pablo Escobar was killed in a shootout in 1993 after a turbulent career that rocked Colombia and claimed the lives of countless victims.
Still, his name lives on and this is not the first restaurant to pay homage to the drug dealer. Establishments in Australia and New Zealand have also launched hamburgers named after him.
Also in Singapore, another bar called “Escobar” opened in 2018, offering Narcos-themed food.
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