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Exactly How Bad is the Restaurant Name ‘Escobar’?

1977 mugshot of Pablo Escobar | Medellín Control Agency | via

There’s been some controversy over a new restaurant on Fraser Street called Escobar. Last month they sent me a press release that gave me pause…

“The familiar and new. Latin America and the Pacific North West. Comfort and adventure. This sense of duality — in honour of their namesake, Pablo Escobar, who was perceived as a great man to some and a villain to others — is threaded throughout the restaurant, from the dishes to the décor to the atmosphere. This May, Escobar invites you into their home. Proceed with curiosity, an open-mind and just a little caution.”

Naming a restaurant after a drug lord and narco-terrorist responsible for the deaths of thousands is probably not going to go over well, like Indonesia’s Nazi-themed cafe or Vancouver’s Trump Tower (hey wait…). But the name “Escobar” is more stupid than bad. How stupid? About as stupid as any argument that begins with “Any press is good press”. So it’s pretty bad. But is it the worst?

Several years ago we put together a poll of the most unfortunate restaurant names we’d ever come across in Vancouver. Today we wonder how Escobar would rank among them. Accordingly, we’ve added it to their midst so our readership can arrange them in order of awfulness. And yes, these were real restaurants, though not a single one of them – save fledgling Escobar – is still around.

Which restaurant name is the worst?

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There are 19 comments

  1. There are at least two other restaurants in Canada with the name “Escobar”, one in Calgary and the other in Toronto. Perhaps it’s only the twinkie’s in Vancouver that is stupid?

  2. I would totally go to Deuce Bungalow and would hope they’d serve me limp carrots and give me no reason to stay!

  3. I believe it is now gone, but how did liquids and solids not make this list?

  4. That’s a logical fallacy. Post hoc, ergo propter hoc. But I’ll play along. The prior existence of stupidity elsewhere doesn’t make new versions of the same stupidity any less stupid in a different place. I think it might even make it MORE stupid. I could be alone in this, however.

  5. Morrison, when you go Latin on someone’s ass, I get chills. And yea, stupid is as stupid does.

  6. @Bill Grigg The restaurant in Calgary is called “Escoba” not “Escobar”. Escoba (without the R) means “Broom” in Spanish (not that this would make it a good name either).

    The Escobar in Toronto seems to be the “second floor bar” of a restaurant called Baro…and if you check comments online it seems like the Latinomerican community in Toronto doesn’t like them much either.

  7. any restaurant name that includes an alias of Shit must win, so it’s Shit Bungalow for me. Brown’s too if that’s any help.

  8. There’s no need to indulge the knee jerk reaction that Bill Grigg’s comment is obviously going for. Everyone who has ever had a conversation with a Columbian in their life is already fully aware of how willfully ignorant and short-sighted this restaurant is being in dying on this hill. Good luck filling seats by creating a community rift over something totally unrelated to the food, folks. I give you a year at most.

  9. I think its important to include the full name of “Deuce Bungalow” which was, “Deuce Bungalow: Spanglish Cantina”.

    Shaken not Stirred, the James Bond restaurant was outstanding as well.

  10. SL – was it not “Shakin’ Not Stirred”? God, I forgot about that one!

  11. Pho Bich Niga – closed but never forgotten

    Maybe off topic but I miss the old Brave Bull on Hastings with the Challenge/Threat of a $5.95 steak on the grimy yellow banner.

  12. C’mon,have you forgotten “a Taste of Greece” on4th and Macdonald, and the still existing “Liquids and Solids”?

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