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The Worst-Named Restaurant in Vancouver Has Closed After 14 Months

To the surprise of no one, the controversial Escobar restaurant closed yesterday (June 10th, 2019) after selling to unknown buyers.

All told, Escobar managed a 14-month run at 4245 Fraser Street. To be honest, we are a little amazed it lasted that long. The otherwise ambitious, Latin-themed restaurant was named in exceptionally poor taste after the murderous Colombian drug lord, Pablo Escobar. The name choice was hated so much that owners Ari Demosten and Alex Kyriazis were faced with sign-carrying protestors picketing their front door, tons of negative media attention and no small amount of online fury.

Sticking to their guns, the owners refused to change the name, essentially mooting the quality of a dining experience that was never able to step beyond the shadow of the restaurant’s original (and entirely avoidable) sin. It is therefore interred here as a cautionary tale rather an institution of conspicuous consequence.

Neighbourhood: Fraserhood
4245 Fraser St.

There are 13 comments

  1. Lol .. wow.. super spin city.

    Wanna mention how the owners are the nicest guys you’ll ever meet.
    How the experience was so good that people kept on coming back.
    How bout how successful the restaurant was Despite The bad press and how the bad press actually boosted sales.
    On weekends there was live sax and live percussion and how the vibe was incredible.

    But we’re in spin city and these SJWs wanna save the world.

  2. Here’s hoping the marketing team that brought you Hobo Cannabis suffers a similar fate if not a rebrand.

  3. Buddha, it was largely the Latinx community that protested against the restaurant. Even the Colombian Consulate said it was distasteful. And the “nice guy” owners were sure “nice” to tell their head chef and employees they were out of a job only the same day it was shut down.

  4. Not SJWs. People with common sense and real marketing savvy than to resort to choosing such a punk name for a restaurant. Even Colombian celebrities detest that name. Nice people also make mistakes. And this was a big one. Good riddance get out of East Van! You and your inconsiderate brand are not welcome here.

  5. I’m honestly glad to hear it, not because the name (I don’t really care either way) but because it was one of the worst and weirdest dining experiences I’ve had in Vancouver.

    We couldn’t finish any of the dishes, some of which were literally disgusting (don’t use that word lightly). Also the waitstaff used iPads which in a place like this just seems so odd. Drinks were okay and I liked their gin and tonic program.

  6. At the end of the day FoH/BoH staff out of a job. While name was dumb, it also equated to free publicity (which is never bad). Reality more likely is economics of opening a restaurant in a yet to be fully gentrified location hurt them more than anything. 14 months is not a bad run all things considered.

  7. A terrible name, but is calling a beer “Pablo Esco Nar” that much better? Seems like both are channeling and trading off the same distasteful reference, no?

  8. Good, I am glad!!!. People need to be more responsible and sensitive about culture, history and what is politically correct. They thought they were probably doing something funny, but it was actually distasteful 🙁

  9. Oh right there Mr. Buddhasax, spin city from the guy who played the sax at the restaurant lol. Any restaurant owner that closes there doors while giving zero notice to employees is a straight out douchebag……name your resto after a terrorist and now you’re twice the douchebag. End of story.

  10. I am wondering where are all of their marketing trolls that were bullying people on social media… The restaurant ownwers wasted a lot of money in those trolls and at the end their marketing failed.

  11. Just pointing out that Alex Kyriazis is on our community facebook page badmouthing and insulting everyone in the Fraserhood for not being supportive. Nice guy indeed.

    Alex’s direct post:
    “Unless you want the area to remain a revolving door of businesses, this community needs to buck up and support new concepts and ideas without the entitlement that keeps showing up. The lack of support is appalling. I wish Ray and Benjamin all the best and will openly try whatever they put out.
    If they serve eggs one way and I want them another I won’t bitch and complain on a public forum, if the lights are too dim or too bright I won’t post like a baby on yelp. This is your community? Be proud instead of constantly crapping on what is available.
    The keyboard warriors in this group don’t understand what it takes to open a business. Think before you post.”

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